The Problem of Evil - By Enoch

  
By:  Enoch  •  4 months ago  •  150 comments


The Problem of Evil - By Enoch
"Don't Speculate, Subjugate"

Leave a comment to auto-join group Chaplain's Corner

Chaplain's Corner

The problem of evil is one of the most difficult of all challenges with which theologians and theological philosophers grapple.

Briefly, the sticking point appears to be formulated as follows;

       G-d is all powerful.

       G-d is all caring.

There is unnecessary evil in the world. It causes suffering and harm. Why does not G-d use His powers to eliminate evil from occurring?

Over my more than seven decades I have read and given a fair hearing to people on all sides of the fence on this one. To date no one set of dance steps wins the Dancing with the Stars award, in my view.

The following are the best ways I have seen. Not perfect but least worst of available options.

  1. Tzimtzum (Contractions) Kabbalah (Zohar). G-d is perfect.

Why not make all in His creation perfect? Because that would be redundant and pointless. G-d doesn't do pointless. Rather G-d contracts himself to allow for spaces of imperfection. Free will is granted.

Revelation(s) provide guides for the use of free will to perfect (improve) things. When humans who have the intellectual capacity to choose between right and wrong elect, even at self-sacrifice to do right, they and G-d share in the credit.

In the case of a recent incident in India, the choice to hold manufacturers to high worker safety standards, and to pay them a fair days wage for a fair days work is up to regulators and commerce and industry.

In this instance case both failed. The error was lethal. This was a very wrong choice.

When our off spring were growing up, I could have done their homework for them. It would have turned out better, and been done faster. They also would have learned nothing from my doing it.  

If they needed help, I was there for them. It is better they figure things out for themselves. That is where the potential for human growth and development resides.

This is a serious position. However, it does not help when humans suffer from normal acts of nature, like natural disasters and predatory animal attacks. . A good, not perfect theory.

   2. "The best of all possible worlds". Read Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, The Monadology. Pay attention to the concept of "infinite regress".

Of all the ways this world could be, this is the best possible option. If we can imagine a world that is better, how and why I am not convinced that this theory holds water. 

   3. Does the world have to be free of evil for us to have sufficient reason to want to live G-d centered lives?

Let's review our human family relationships for an insight. As children, did we always act perfectly, and always fulfill the hopes, wishes and desires of our loving parents for us?

As mothers and fathers, were we flawless in our parenting? Were there no times when as children and as parents we let those we love down by our errors?

Is that sufficient reason to never relate to them or they to us again? Are we looking in the wrong place for reason(s) to live with evil, and remain close to G-d in our lives (assuming we exercise our option to do so)?

Mrs. E. and I have been together from more than half a century. She had done far better at being my wife than I have at being her husband. Ours is an imperfect yet rock solid marriage for life. We work daily at making "us" stronger and closer than the day before.

We do this because we both know we are better off together than apart. We make this work, because we have a better life for the marriage's success. Can the same be true for leading a G-d centered life?

There are those of us who elect to live our lives most fully abundantly, humanely, ethically etc. In many cases we do so by having them be G-d centered. We can live with the presence of evil without fully comprehending why it exists.

Our relationship with G-d is a strong motivator for us to do our part to make things better than they are. There is a famous story (parable) about a seminarian. 

As students of devotional texts and their application to addressing the problems and opportunities of life do, he or she prayed for understanding about why there is evil.

The Holy One, Blessed Be, could do something to prevent and rule it out for good and all. Why has not G-d done something?

Seraph (that type of angel who communicates for G-d to us) advised the student as follows.

The L-rd of Hosts wants you to know He daily does something about evil. He sends people like you to address and prevail over it. 

Get busy!

My life has been focused, among other activities, on serving G-d by trying my best to be there for those who need and want what I was given to apply for them on terms most meaningful to them. Not always, and quite frequently not because they deserve it. Rather because they need and want it.

The best answer I can provide for this vexing problem is that we can sit around and jawbone about it. The end result of that are a lot of theories from all sides which do nothing to advance the needs and goals of the human family.

For me and folks like me the best of all answers available isn't to be uncovered in doctrine or speculative philosophy. Rather in service to humanity.

Stand up to evil as you would to any bully. Do what you practically can to defeat, weaken and discourage it and its use for harm to others.

This is the best I can offer. It is where I place my chips on the gaming table of life. My bet is that there is no sure thing.

This is the best of all options I can find to deal with evil.......Don't speculate, subjugate.

Peace and Abundant Blessings to one and all.

Comments on articles posted must conform to site CoC, TOS and the Four B’s.

Comments violating these rules will be deleted for cause. While such articles and comments may have great value,

We suggest they be included in other areas of the site.  

Be Positive.

Be On-Point.

Be Respectful.

Or Be Gone.  

We look forward to your contributions from original thought(s) and the heritage culture or ideology which addresses the problem of evil.How to cope and overcome it. 

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch. 


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Raven Wing
1  Raven Wing    4 months ago

Evil is abounds throughout the world, and some of us have had a time in our life when we had to come to terms with it. 

We would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions and/or story of how to deal with the problem of Evil in life.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Raven Wing @1    4 months ago

We would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions and/or story of how to deal with the problem of Evil in life.

i've dealt with a lot of good people, who have let "Evil in life",

kill,]

"dreams turn to nightmares, heaven turns to hell"

is just rampant , running roughshod over otherwise fine and wood, if they hadn't chosen a sand, which is of coarse, altered like a bridge to help them traverse, the tunnel they soon find themselves  immersed under,   another blunder ,   darkened thunder,   as

i sit and wonder,

till my thoughts get lost as to how so many can't resist the temptation, as Evil is vast and wide, across every nation     stated in non denial States of conscience, 

as good ness apparently

got used up in 

the in know sense    of youth ,                  

as i believe they can show us all,

the TRUTH

 
 
 
Raven Wing
1.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1    4 months ago

Thank you for your wise words and thoughts, Iggy. It is something that many of us have had to deal with at some point in our lives. 

Evil shows itself in many different ways throughout our lives, always tempting us and trying to weaken our resolve.

In the end, we ourselves are the only one who can make the ultimate decision as to what path we want to walk in life. To either take a stand against Evil, or submit to it.

The one thing that Evil cannot not endure, is the truth. 

 
 
 
Enoch
1.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  Raven Wing @1.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Brother and Sister Igknorantzrulz and Raven Wing: Indeed evil pales and succumbs to truth. 

"And the truth shall set you free".

During December many religions, spiritual, and humanitarian approaches to life mark holidays with the use of lights in their ceremonies customs and traditions.

This late in the year it gets dark early.

It brightens up late.

Cold comes and stays.

Lights  pierce darkness.

Light heat cuts through bitter cold.

Symbolically holiday lights, electrical, candles, etc.throw off the light of truth to slice through the darkness of falsehood.

The warmth of the light of love melts the chilly indifference and frosty damage of hate.

Here is to light and to truth.

P&AB to you both; as to all of us.

Enoch.     

 
 
 
Enoch
2  author  Enoch    4 months ago

Dear Sister Raven Wing: Many thanks for you help on this very vexing yet universal in scope range and domain problem.

We are most grateful for this, and all you do for this room.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Enoch @2    4 months ago

Dear Brother Enoch, 

As always, it is my great pleasure to be of assistance to you in our room however I can.  

 
 
 
Enoch
2.1.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Raven Wing @2.1    4 months ago

Dear Sister Raven Wing: Helping is what you do so well.

You raise to the level of an art form working with others to achieve good things. 

This too helps good prevail over evil.

Well done.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Enoch
3  author  Enoch    4 months ago

Dear Fellow Members of the News Talkers Community. 

Please follow the site CoC, TOS; and the Four B's.

Be Respectful.

Be On-Point.

Be Positive.

 Or Be Gone!

We look forward to your commentary and ideas on how to address this difficult yet always present problem, and master it so it does not materially get in the way of the progress of humanity. 

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 months ago

Without evil how would we recognize good? Without sorrow, how would recognize happiness?

That being said, there has been such evil in the world, that it is hard to see how this could all be freewill. 

But...

In the story of Abraham, god warns Abraham that his descendants will be slaves. If god knew that already, are we to assume, he knew what everyone would do, and if that is true, then could you argue that there is no freewill?

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    4 months ago

Dear Friend Perrie: Happy Chanukah to you and yours. 

There are ways to recognize good and happiness without evil and sadness.

Environmental cues not withstanding, could we appreciate good and happiness without the contrast of evil and sorrow?

This is a variance of the "Best of All Possible Worlds" argument by Leibnitz.

If we could imagine a world where the negate of good, happiness, virtue, etc. isn't required to value and choose positive over negative then the Leibnitz tour de force is a premise that runs out of styem to move. 

Is it possible G-d could not create such a world where a two value system could be uniformly replaced by a  single or multiple value system?

If so, then this isn't the best of all possible worlds. 

It remains for now the world in which we do dwell.

Good question.

Please keep them coming.

Regarding the position that there is no free will if G-d knows in advance what will happen, that argument depends on time and for that matter space being the same to G-d as to humans. As well that G-d is subject to the same laws governing the relations of time and space as humans. I do not accept this as a valid premise.

Ever been in a airplane on a take off run ways strip, taxing and awaiting clearance from an airport control tower to go wheels up?

The take off and landing strip for those in the airplane cabin is a metaphor regarding how time looks to us on the ground.

The tar mat behind where we are at the moment is past. Where the airplane tires are present. The asphalt not yet traveled is future.

Now imagine just before the same plane descending and going through cloud cover approached a tar mat for landing.

From that higher view the tar mat in its entirety, front to back and all in between, what comes before and after the take off and landing trip is all visible through the airplane window. The view from that height is very different than it is on the ground.  

In this metaphor G-d sees what came before humans make decision, when they make decisions exercising free will; and the results of such choices. All this is available to G-d before, during and after they occur simultaneously. 

Fore knowledge by G-d doesn't negate free will for humans.

G-d as the source of time space and their relations is not bound by the laws G-d created to regulate them.

Equating a source with its result is a category mistake.

No mix and match with very different levels of reality.

Read Gilbert Ryle's The Dogma of the Ghost In The Machine   for an excellent exposition of this concept. 

Also see Alfred North Whitehead's Process Metaphysics and Religion in the Making; and Phillip Wheelwright's Aristotle. 

Good and clear ideas all on the difference in reality levels and why mix and match doesn't work.

One last reference. Michael Polyani's The Great Chain of Being

On this site we see this argument often used that there is no free will if G-d knows what will happen before it does.

That an argument is often repeated doesn't make it correct.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Time to put category mistakes to rest.

They obfuscate, not elucidate.

In the case of the Akedah (binding of Isaac) the point of the test of confidence isn't to let it happen. 

It is to show Abraham as senior patriarch that G-d has his and his son's back.

As well to put at ease those who follow Abraham and Isaac that the value in following a commandment is the commandment itself.

Doing good needs no more reward than choosing it as an end-in-itself.

Read Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Pure Ethics for a more complete explication of the Ding An Sich (thing-in-itself). 

Again, we are grateful for your raising a point often not handled either rationally or correctly often although claimed to be done both ways. 

Chag Hannukah Sameach (Joyous Festival of Lights) to you and yours.

P&AB now and always.

Enoch.    

 
 
 
bccrane
4.1.1  bccrane  replied to  Enoch @4.1    4 months ago
Regarding the position that there is no free will if G-d knows in advance what will happen, that argument depends on time and for that matter space being the same to G-d as to humans. As well that G-d is subject to the same laws governing the relations of time and space as humans. I do not accept this as a valid premise.

This is my take also, God is not bound by time, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, and the trinity the Father = past, the Son = present, and the Holy Spirit = the unknown future.  I have posted some of my experiences as to why I believe this before and the one thing I have found when it does happen I find I cannot change the outcome, because if I could it would have changed the experience to begin with, but further everything that led up to the culmination of the experience is freewill.  I've applied this to the writings in the OT and NT and came up with some interesting theories and this isn't just confined to religious writings.  This happens to everyone (and possibly to every living thing) and most just don't realize it for what it is. 

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  bccrane @4.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Friend bccrane: Great post.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

We are most grateful.

Please do come and participate in all our discussion threads in this group.

Your contributions will always be most welcome and valued, as are you.

Since best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Enoch.

 
 
 
bccrane
4.1.3  bccrane  replied to  Enoch @4.1.2    4 months ago

Well God may not be bound by time, but I sure am.  That's the reason why I rarely comment, because I don't have the free time to spend monitoring the conversations.

Just to relate what I was referencing in 4.1.1 was one of these experiences in which I had a dream I was with my wife and son in a parking lot and there was a large hot dog in the parking lot and I ended up talking with a man that I hadn't seen or talked to for about three years at the time this happened.  Well I took it as just a weird dream and left it at that.  Later that morning at work something came up that required me to make a trip to pick up parts for a job, my wife and son came along, after I took care of business my son wanted to go to the mall.  When we came out of the mall, across the parking lot was the famous hot dog car parked at the motel, my wife and son wanted pictures of it, I'm already thinking to myself "Whoa", as we come up to the car a man walks up to take a picture of it and when he turned around, it was the man in the dream, we exchange pleasantries and talk for a bit and find he just had pulled into the restaurant next door and his wife wanted a picture of the car also.  Just coincidence, I don't think so not something so profound as that.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Enoch @4.1    4 months ago

Hi Enoch! A Happy Chanukah to you and yours. 

I heard an interesting interpretation about the binding of Issac.

This rabbi said, that the story is to also show, that when you know something is bad, even when someone in authority tells you to do it, you should not. After god stops Abraham, and they do the burnt offering, Issac and his father have very little to do with each other. He interpreted that as hard feelings, and hey, who wouldn't have? 

What do you think?

 
 
 
The People's Fish
4.1.5  The People's Fish  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.4    4 months ago

Happy Religiously appropriate day to all of you!

Sincerely,

The Fish of the people!

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.6  author  Enoch  replied to  bccrane @4.1.3    4 months ago

Dear Friend bccrane: It does not surprise me that you are so attuned that you were able to apprehend this event prior to its happening. 

Over the course of our lives, we, those we know, or others we hear about have and will have such episodes of alertness.

It is for minds and souls far more developed than mine to Divine the shy's and hows of such things.

An Ultra Orthodox (Chassidic) Rabbi with whom I was most close and very influenced by Reb Daniel Goldstein (Shalitah - of Sacred Memory) and I would meet each other before the sun rose on weekday mornings. We would walk to pre-dawn Blessings then Morning Services together. On the way to our Congregation we would often talk about how we would invest our time, energy and other resources as relevant for the benefit of others that day.

One still dark early morning Reb Daniel advised that the night before he had a dream. In his dream someone neither of us had ever met would come to us seeking food, shelter and some assistance, as this person would be down on their luck. This one in need would be a homeless veteran. 

Following Services Reb Daniel and I strolled to the Seminary (Yeshivah U'Talmud Torah) where each of us were scheduled to teach courses in different topics to Seminary students.

On a public street along the route we happened upon an unshaved, not recently bathed man in tattered clothes standing out of doors shivering.

Reb Daniel told me that is the face of the man in his dream. 

We invited the man to walk with us to the classes in the Seminary.

In from the cold of the winter season we got him a warm meal, and taught our classes.

When done we invited him to Reb Daniel's home. 

Gave him a robe and towel so he could shower.

Meanwhile we got on the phone.

A paid a local tailor to make him a new suit, and some other clothing items.

An area resident who is an Optician performed and eye exam.

The man was given free glasses.

We had the Executive Director of Kupat Gemilat Chassadim (A charity fund for doing good deeds).

I was a Chaplain at a local Veterans Administration hospital.

They picked the man up in a car.

Took him for a routine physical.

They assigned a case worker to follow up.

This insured h would have a clean place to live.

Also create and implement a plan to get the man back on his feet.

We later found out he was afflicted with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

That is more common than many realize with combat hardened veterans.

If not for Reb Daniel's dream we wold not have known to approach the man out of a crowd and honor one whose valor and courage makes possible freedoms we all too often take for granted.

It did not surprise me that Reb Daniel was as you are so attuned to things that there is an alertness which pays humanitarian dividends.

As Rabbi Goldstein used to say in Yiddish, "Der Rebbeynu shel Oylum Vill Helfen".

"The Master of the Universe wants to help".

My most profound gratitude to you for rekindling this memory of one who meant so much to me, and to all so fortunate as to know him in his time in this life.

If we are lucky, even once we get to meet and profit from knowing one of his stature.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.    

 

                   

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.7  author  Enoch  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.4    4 months ago

Dear Friend Perrie: I think the Rabbi has a point.

When to obey; when and how to use G-d as a role model is fair game for questioning.

If I were Isaac I would look elsewhere for parental comfort, protection and care growing up. 

The point of the story is that as Rabbi Oscar Klein once said, "Of what value is our approach to living unless it is tested in the crucible of life"?

The search for meaning in odd places and circumstances is characteristic of devotional tales.

The veracity of a story is less important than what wisdom and guidance we can gain from it.    

Looking to the Holy One as a Role Model to Emulate (Imitatio Dei) in the Jewish approach to life is limited to following His positive attributes.

See Deuteronomy 13:4, Genesis 3:21, Genesis 18:1, Genesis 25:2, Deuteronomy 34:6 and Talmudic Tractate Sota 14a.

As well review Deuteronomy 11:22, Exodus 34:6, Psalms 145:17 and Commentary Sifre Deuteronomy 49:85a.

These are all examples of following positive attributes to bring out the Divine Sparks (Nitzotzot Yehudim) in us for good.

Avoiding the negative attributes is covered, for example in Exodus 20:5, and Mechilta 68a. "I am the Master of jealousy, and jealousy is not the master of me. How many of us can claim that? 

Best I can do when reading such stories is not to take them literally.

Rather seek to get such wisdom as I can out of them, as one would with any narrative whose value is not in literal interpretation.

Rather is trying to discern what value I can take away from the tale.

I would not test the trust of Abraham that way if I were the Uncreated Creator, Unmoved Mover, Prime Mover, First Cause etc.

Then again, I am but a Geezer Red Sea Pedestrian doing what I can for others who want need and are open to it on terms meaningful to them.

It is all right to try to understand what to do.

I find it a tad on the arrogant side to pretend to be able to read the Mind of G-d.

When I read and hear of those who claim to be able to do that I see red flags of caution are all around.

We do the best we can with what we have, for the benefit of anyone in our human family.

That is all I have going for me.

I am more than open to suggestions.

Great issue Perrie.

You didn't get to be Founder and Matriarch of this site for nothing.

At times this site and its proceedings may be your Akedah (Binding of Isaacv).

In this case, G-d chose wisely.

None better for this difficult and trying role than you.

P&AB.

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.8  author  Enoch  replied to  The People's Fish @4.1.5    4 months ago

Dear Fish of the People: Love the moniker.

Well done.

When I know for sure and certain what, if anything a person celebrates I customize the greeting specific to their way of life.

When I don't know, I default to a more generic form of well wishing.

That is my way of always respecting the person, with such knowledge or lack thereof as I am given to use.

We often get back the sensitivity to others we give out.

Not always.

Wish it were otherwise.

Wishing doesn't always make it so.

In Megillat Yonah (Scroll of Jonah) the prophet Jonah is swallowed by a Dag Gadol (great fish).

Therefore that fish could not have been a whale.

Whales are mammals. 

Here is a new name for you.

Dag Gadol shel Ameem (the People's Great Fish). 

Try it on for size.

Let me know.

P&AB.

Enoch.      

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.9  JohnRussell  replied to  Enoch @4.1    3 months ago
On this site we see this argument often used that there is no free will if G-d knows what will happen before it does. That an argument is often repeated doesn't make it correct.

All of your post here was well put Enoch. You do truly have knowledge and wisdom in such matters. 

As far as I can tell, human beings can only experience free will, and cannot EVER experience not having free will. 

What God may or may not know does not enter into it.  If it did or could, it would have to be possible for a human being to stop experiencing free will , and that is not possible. 

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.10  author  Enoch  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.9    3 months ago

Dear Brother John Russell: Very excellently presented.

I continue to learn and profit from what you share.

Good show. 

One theory I find credible is that human behavior is caused, but not compelled.

We are steered through nature and nurture to act in certain ways, not in others.

It is that options which gives us reason for hope.

We need not be slaves to causality, internally or externally negating our options for change and improvement.

Here is to a maximally good finish for 2019, and a 2020 that is our best year yet. To you, yours as to all of us.

P&AB Always.

Enoch. 

 
 
 
Krishna
4.2  Krishna  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    4 months ago
If god knew that already, are we to assume, he knew what everyone would do, and if that is true, then could you argue that there is no freewill?

Only is you assume that knowing what will happen in the future necessarily means you can control it.

Is it possible to know what future event will occur-- but still not necessarily be able to control it?

 
 
 
Enoch
4.2.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Krishna @4.2    4 months ago

Dear Friend Krishna: Good issue.

It is possible that the future could be controlled, but a force beyond those making and implementing decisions elects not to do so.

Hence free will.

Its an interesting issue.

Here to, the avoidance of category mistakes where one level of reality is perceived, or mis-perceived, depending on one's ontological posture is not supportably equated to another dissimilar one.

We find, for example in physics that at the macro level (Newtonian) the laws governing relations are different than at the micro (quantum mechanics) level. 

Even in physics category mistakes can happen.

Best not to swap distinctly different things.

Great contribution.

We are grateful. 

All the every best wishes to you and yours this holiday season.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.  

 

 
 
 
Citizen Kane-473667
4.3  Citizen Kane-473667  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    4 months ago
could you argue that there is no freewill

It is possible to know the outcome of a choice to be made without forcing the moment by predestining the choice. Take for example placing icecream and broccoli in front of a 3 year old.  We know which one they will choose, and we are still allowing them to practice Freewill in the process.

 
 
 
Enoch
4.3.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Citizen Kane-473667 @4.3    4 months ago

Dear Friend Citizen Kane: Good point.

The ice cream broccoli choice isn't just limited to three year olds.

Smiles.

I wish you and yours the very most meaningful and joyous of holidays.

Peace, Abundant Blessings and Plenty of Festive Ice Cream for dessert.

Enoch.   

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.2  Gordy327  replied to  Citizen Kane-473667 @4.3    4 months ago
It is possible to know the outcome of a choice to be made without forcing the moment by predestining the choice.

If the outcome is already known, then there is no possibly of making any choice to change the outcome. So there is no such thing as free choice.

We know which one they will choose, and we are still allowing them to practice Freewill in the process. 

Free will in that context is just an illusion.

 
 
 
Enoch
4.3.3  author  Enoch  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.2    3 months ago

Dear Friend Gordy: Sincere best wishes to you and yours for finishing up 2019 well.

Also for a 2020 that is your best year yet.

Fore knowledge does not causality and therefore negation of free will make.

Please see my post of 4.1 to our good friend and site Hostess with the Mostess Perrie Halpern above for details. 

On the free will versus determinism debate, kindly use search engines for works on the position of "caused but not compelled".

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.4  Gordy327  replied to  Enoch @4.3.3    3 months ago
Dear Friend Gordy: Sincere best wishes to you and yours for finishing up 2019 well.
Also for a 2020 that is your best year yet. 

Thank you Enoch. To you as well.

Fore knowledge does not causality and therefore negation of free will make.

If we're talking about an omniscient entity that knows every possible choice and outcome with absolute certainty, then there is no chance of choosing anything other than what is determined and already known. Therefore, free will is impossible and only an illusion from our perspective.

 
 
 
Enoch
4.3.5  author  Enoch  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.4    3 months ago

Dear Friend Gordy: Covered in 4.1 above.

I think we have gone as far as our understandings and positions on epistemology, ontology, theology,  and half a dozen other "ology's" can afford us.

That said, you are always most welcome and encouraged to participate here.

We look forward to and enjoy your thoughtful and sincere contributions.

Kindly do come and make your case.

Together we are all the better off for exposure to a diversity of views and pathways to such.

Where ever things shake out for each of us, when we understand what moves and is important to others, it makes for more harmony in disagreement. 

It as well points to situations where we haver common ground and can build on it Pro Bono Publico

No stopping us in fellowship.

P&AB Always. 

Enoch. 

P.S. Mrs. E. and I are going out for coffee now, to our favorite Bistro.

It is aptly named for a coffee shop, "Equal Grounds". 

Smiles.

E. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.3.6  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.4    3 months ago
If we're talking about an omniscient entity that knows every possible choice and outcome with absolute certainty, then there is no chance of choosing anything other than what is determined and already known. Therefore, free will is impossible and only an illusion from our perspective.

Doesnt matter.  As human beings we experience free will whether or not God knows the future.  Try telling yourself you dont have free will. Doesnt work. Even thinking about the subject is evidence of your free will. 

Your mistake is that you equate God's knowledge with human knowledge. God is a supernatural entitiy and transcends your logic.  I know you dont agree, but that is , well what it is. 

Just saying that there can be no free will if God exists as all omniscent doesnt get it done Gordy. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.7  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.3.6    3 months ago
Doesnt matter.  As human beings we experience free will whether or not God knows the future.  Try telling yourself you dont have free will. Doesnt work. Even thinking about the subject is evidence of your free will. 

If god knows the future, then that future cannot be changed by any choice other than what is already determined to be chosen. What we experience as free will is merely the illusion of free will. But there is no choice we will make other than what god already knows and has determined what we make. Assuming god is omniscient.

Your mistake is that you equate God's knowledge with human knowledge. God is a supernatural entity and transcends your logic.  I know you dont agree, but that is , well what it is. 

God supposedly already knows everything if he is omniscient. That's not in question. But logically, if god already knows everything, he already knows what "choice" we will make with absolute 100% certainty. Free will or choice is only possible if there is a less than 100% certainty.

Just saying that there can be no free will if God exists as all omniscent doesnt get it done Gordy. 

That's why I logically explained why an omniscient god negates the possibility of free will. But simply claiming we have free will whether god knows the future also "doesn't get it done," as you say. That's just an empty assertion that is logically contradictory.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.4  JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    3 months ago
Without evil how would we recognize good? Without sorrow, how would recognize happiness?

This is the bullseye. The heart of the matter. 

For whatever unknown or unknowable reason , existence as we know it consists of basic duality, up down right left in out orientation. This is because everything that exists can be placed in relation to something else.  "I'm cold".  Compared to what?  45 degrees is cold compared to 75, but warm compared to 15. 

As you say, "without evil how would we recognize good?"  These dualities are necessary for this existence, and thus CANNOT be used to disprove the existence of God. 

I do think that we do not understand God's purposes the way that we sometimes think we do  . I think God's purposes are largely beyond human understanding, and thats just the way it is. 

 
 
 
Enoch
4.4.1  author  Enoch  replied to  JohnRussell @4.4    3 months ago

Dear Brother John Russell: This is as fine a presentation of the Leibnitz position of this being the "best of all possible Worlds." 

I agree that using non relevant facts of life as a blunt instrument out of prejudice against religion is a non genuine activity which advances and proves (or disproves) nothing. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to You and Yours.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Ender
5  Ender    4 months ago

The meaning of good and bad, of better and worse, is simply helping or hurting.

 
 
 
Enoch
5.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Ender @5    4 months ago

Dear Friend Ender: Thanks for sharing Mr. Emerson's idea.

It rests on acting with good intention given the best information available when a decision and action based upon it occurs.

Here is a study question for you to ponder.

Do we give more credit to someone who did the best they could with what they had, and it turns out that more damage than help came from it: over someone with poor intentions who stumbled into doing better while attempting to obtain a harmful result but was inefficient at it?

That does happen.

What are we to do with it in Mr. Emerson's model?

You may wish to read Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics; as well as David Hume's, Treatise on Human Nature for interesting ways to cope with results not always being aligned with intentions.

Talmud Bavi's Meshechet Brachot - Perek Shishi, (Babylonian Talmud - sixth chapter) and Bachya ibn Pekudah's, Chovoth Ha Levavoth (Duties of the Heart) are also of value in the dichotomy between Coved Rosh, Cavannah Tovah (good intentions) and final results.

Thank you for raising a crucial point regarding the sometimes disconnect between positive inclinations and final outcomes.

This is a topic which often is approached. It is addressed in various ways in the history of moral analysis.

As with the problem of evil, my position remains pragmatic.

I am less concerned with purity of doctrine than I am with a best efforts basis to bring about the maximum goodness possible under circumstances in which we need to operate. 

All the very best wishes to you and yours during the festive season of so much meaning and joy to so many in such diverse and glorious ways.

P&AB.

Enoch.  

       

 
 
 
Ender
5.1.1  Ender  replied to  Enoch @5.1    4 months ago
Do we give more credit to someone who did the best they could with what they had, and it turns out that more damage than help came from it: over someone with poor intentions who stumbled into doing better while attempting to obtain a harmful result but was inefficient at it?

I just fail to see that. Character flaw I guess.

I can see someone doing the best they can at their job and for their family, living their lives and being kind to others. I see no way it would harm others.

On the other hand I can see people being grouchy, mean and not kind to their family and they are doing harm.

Another way I can see harm would be a company that made a drug that helps people, maybe even cure them. Then turn around and charge them 10k for it. Greed.

For me it comes down to intent.

All the very best wishes to you and yours during the festive season of so much meaning and joy to so many in such diverse and glorious ways

My very best to you and your family beautiful Enoch.

 
 
 
Enoch
5.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  Ender @5.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Friend Ender: Mens Rhea (criminal intent) is an important element in unlawful conduct prosecution. 

Excellent point.

That is, for example Bachya's stance.

Good intention is the chief Duty of the Heart.

Suppose someone really wants to help a suffering person. In research they do clinical trials, and follow all known protocols.

During the testing period they find, to their complete surprise that the drug disables enough test group volunteers that they pull the treatment. 

The intent was pure.  

The result turned out to do more harm than good.

Now let's posit that a chemical weapon designed for war, to injure and take life turns out to improve, even cure a disease which was thought unable to reverse or improve.

To whom do we give greater credit?

The clinical researcher trying to help, or the weapons creator trying to harm? 

That is the issue which perplexes those who address such moral problems.

No easy answer here.

We do the best we can, as that is all that seems to be in our power.

Thank you for your kind greeting and thought.

Much appreciated.    

E.

 
 
 
Ender
5.1.3  Ender  replied to  Enoch @5.1.2    4 months ago

I can almost see people that have volunteered for testing as people throwing themselves on the fire.

Sort of like sacrificing themselves for a greater good.

No ill will only the intent of making something that would benefit others.

As far as military use I am kind of torn. A lot of inventions have come from military conflict.

Though one could say, is all military conflict bad or come from bad will. I think military intervention like in WW2 actually comes from good intent. To liberate Europe.

Does allowing destruction and extermination rise to a level of complacence or doing something about it.

I just don't see doing something about it as bad intent.

 
 
 
Enoch
5.1.4  author  Enoch  replied to  Ender @5.1.3    4 months ago

Dear Friend Ender: Very well done here.

Many thanks for a thoughtful and informative post.

We are grateful.

Regarding volunteering for medical experiments, clinical trails etc. you are correct.

Those who subject themselves on a voluntary basis to this research assume the risks knowing what they can lose going in.

It is their health, and their choice to make.

In my case, as I have for decades volunteered, I do so mindful of an Agadah (legend, fold tale) of a man old and full of years. 

Each day he would go out to the olive orchards to pick them off trees, along with younger workers one half, one third and even one quarter his age.

In the broiling sun from time to time the younger ones would sit under the shade of trees, hydrate and take a break.

He would go to the far ends of the orchard and plant olive pits. Add potting soil and water.

The younger ones would have sport with him.

After all, it takes a good century from planting to harvesting olives.

Clearly he would never live to see this happen.

Why knock himself out this way?

His reply is that the olives all of them harvest had to be planted by people long gone, whom they will never know.

Those who planted the seeds (pits) never lived to see the trees grow and bear fruit.

He isn't doing this for himself.

He does this as a way of keeping going what he enjoys for generations to come he will never know.

No bad intent for him, as for volunteers in such research.  

No malevolent motivations on the part of the researchers either.

With good intentions still, bad things can happen.

As regards weapons of death injury and destruction to property and infrastructure when used for self defense, defense of country and liberty against aggressors this is a good and even morally necessary course of action.

According to Scripture, one of the Ten Commandments is not to murder.

It doesn't read in the original language not to kill.

It reads not to murder.

The Hebrew verbs Leharog and Lamoot (to murder and to kill) are never used interchangably in the primary source (Tanach - Hebrew an Aramaic Scripture).

Both involve the taking of life. 

When done in self defense it is right and proper to prevent a clear and present lethal danger from taking place by one or more bad actors.

The problem here is collateral damage.

Friendly fire and the loss of life and limb of those innocent caught up in a war zone is an ethical difficulty.

That is a whole different paint job from murder.

For example, an aggressor who will kill take take what is not theirs, conquer, pillage and enslave unless they are stopped.

In the case of the aggressor party, when they create weaponry of mass or individual destruction to take life for no reason other than to harm the less powerful because they can, their intent is not that of virtue.

It is possible that the knowledge and tools involved in the creation of such weaponry may result in advances for medicine, science and which can help humanity.

Who gets more credit, the defender or the aggressor.

Let's imagine a case in which the defender causes more harm to the innocent than the aggressor, whose innovations help more than are hurt.

It is clear where the better intention resides.

This is where the problem gets interesting.

Your position seems more in line with that of Bahya.

Super post Ender.

Your wisdom helps us out greatly as we ponder these important issues and matters.

Thanks.

Enoch.    

 

 
 
 
CB
6  CB     4 months ago

Hello Enoch and friends.

I want to approach this topic in this manner.  I, like many others have been told that God is perfection -plan and simple. And that, God is creator of the creature populations and races of Heaven and Earth.  That God is perfection one has to ask how something imperfect can manifest itself. Well, it can not in the presence of perfection. Thus, imperfection would find its root in moving away from perfection. As the distance increases so much so the imperfection.

We see this in human law. We establish rules to keep us moving in growth pattern around, through, and up and those who would cause us harm cut through those patterns in unlawful ways. We say they have acted unlawfully when they break away from the established patterns. As these lawbreakers travel farther distances from law its perfection turns imperfect—equally so.

Ultimately, if perfection is pictured as Light; imperfection can be pictured as Dark. Both to maximum blinding degrees.

All that needs to occur to return to Light; Law; Perfection is to travel the distance back towards God.


* More later. It is late and I have an early appointment in the AM. Will return after.  Peace all.

 
 
 
Enoch
6.1  author  Enoch  replied to  CB @6    4 months ago

Dear Brother CB: We look forward to your contribution filling out what is already here.

We are and shall be grateful to you for providing us with your insights.

It seems, Prima Facia your stance is close if not the same as Tzimtzum. 

Salvation is often defined as closeness with the Holy One.

Distance from the Divine leads to the opposite of salvation.

For us as those who elect to live a G-d centered life we employ the idea of Imitatio Dei (Using G-d as our role model, we endeavor to imitate His positive, but not negative attributes. We do so in order to live life most fully, abundantly, humanely, compassionately, ethically, fulfillingly etc).

Please finish well what you started so sagaciously when convenient.

Thanks.

Peace and Abundant Blessing Always.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You and Those Lucky Enough to Be Close to You.

Enoch.

     

 
 
 
CB
6.1.1  CB   replied to  Enoch @6.1    4 months ago

There appears to be a spectrum, or a wavelength, on which Perfection and Light and Law are maximized and an abyss of Imperfection and Dark and Lawlessness extending for deeper and deeper exploration. There can be a phenomenon of  light so encompassed about even its hues are captured in inky darkness—before it breaks out of its prison and delivers a measure of perfection and law to a new location on the spectrum where light has not been. Darkness is lessened as man becomes more enlightened in mind.

Even there can be long-swaths of time where light is corrupted and its magnificence only reignited by communicating with its Source essence. The brilliance of its rays and hues refreshed and restored.

Unfortunately, Light can be written off as a loss, should it drift to near pure Darkness that its own illuminate magnifies blackness itself. Or can it?

Can perfection ever truly be taken over by imperfection?

Can Law ever truly lose to lawlessness?

Can any Light lose its way entirely in the deep recesses of the Dark?

 
 
 
Enoch
6.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  CB @6.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Brother CB: In each of our forthcoming holidays the brightness of lights pierce darkness.

Lights also throw off warmth at a time of coldness.

Both of our holidays remind us that the light of truth illuminates us.

It cuts through the darkness of ignorance. 

The warmth of the light of truth warms us, as does the unconditional warmth of the love of G-d.  

Lockstep on symbolism for us, and for other traditions and heritages.

Great post Brother CB.

We are grateful.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
7  Ed-NavDoc    4 months ago

A problem with evil in this world is that some consider things evil and avoid it while others consider evil as just expedient and embrace it.

 
 
 
Enoch
7.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @7    4 months ago

Dear Brother Ed-NavDoc: It is indeed a problem.

Please share your thoughts on what, if anything we can do if not to resolve, than at least contain this problem so it doesn't get in the way of progress for our human family and planet. 

We would appreciate and look forward to your ideas on this.

Whichever holiday(s) you celebrate this season, I wish you and yours joyous and meaningful ones.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Ed.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
7.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Enoch @7.1    4 months ago

Dear Enoch, 

Throughout recorded history, there have been those that were some of the most evil people imaginable. In recent history we have people such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others. In these people's Twisted minds, they considered themselves as good guys helping their poeple. In reality they were tyrants and despots whom people allowed to rise to power because they told the people what they wanted to hear. 

One solution is for more people of moral and ethical character to stand up to such people before they amass such power over populations. I know many will tell me what a simplistic solution this is and itvptobably is, but it is at least a starting point. With that said, I wish you the most joyous of holidays and a happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours and to all on Newstalkers as well!

 
 
 
Enoch
7.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @7.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Brother Ed-NavyDoc: I totally agree with you.

We have to start somewhere.

Truth to power is as good a place as any.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Kathleen
8  Kathleen    4 months ago

I think that evil can be on other levels. I think cancer is evil it took my family away and they suffered from it. I try to stay away from people that are toxic, I think we have to find ways to deal with it in life. There will always be good and bad, just make sure you are good and either try to avoid it or fight back.

 
 
 
Enoch
8.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Kathleen @8    4 months ago

Dear Sister and Good Friend Kathleen: Good take, and even better advise and action plan.

Very well said.

We are most indebted to you for sharing your wisdom, warmth and humanity.

Ever good wish to you and yours for a joyous and meaningful holiday season.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.

P.S. If ever you need and want Pastoral Care, in total confidence and fully respecting your belief and values system or methodology I am but a site private note away.

I lost my father and younger sister to cancer.

Trust that I know how much all the hurt that stems from what this ravaging disease can do to its victims and those closest to them.

E. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
8.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Enoch @8.1    4 months ago

Thank you Enoch you are very kind. 

 
 
 
Enoch
8.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  Kathleen @8.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Friend Kathleen: I do try to be.

It is easiest when communicating with such a nice Lady of Style, Grace and Virtue as you.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
It Is ME
9  It Is ME    4 months ago

"The problem of evil is one of the most difficult of all challenges "

There are sooooo many words listed in the dictionary that can espouse to Evil !

Like the words "Assuming" or "Felt" !

If I "assume" something you write or speak about was "Rude and unfeeling", before actually knowing the intent, does your "assumption" make me the "Evil" one, or are you the "Evil" one for just "Assuming" !

The question isn't about "Evil" and it's existence, it's about figuring out when "Evil" is really in front of you. That's the hardest non-paying Human job on the planet !

IMO....GOD gave HUMANS abilities. What HUMANS do, or don't do with those abilities, isn't on GOD, but on YOU !

In the "END" is when Humans will be judged !

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1  author  Enoch  replied to  It Is ME @9    4 months ago

Dear Friend It Is ME: Thank you for your post.

While we may differ about the presence of evil, and the observation of behavior being merely based on assumptions we are not dwelling on a different planet. 

We share common ground here. 

There is a phrase in both Hebrew and Yiddish supporting your contention that, In the "END" is when Humans will be judged!  

That phrase is, "Yesh Yavoh Yom Ha Din. Baruch Dayan Emet".

"There will come a Day of Judgement. Blessed Be the True Judge" (G-d).

It would not surprise me if we share another view in common, based on your appreciated contribution here.

G-d gives us free will to choose between good and evil.

There are revelations, as we have senses and their extensions by instruments; and as well logic.

These ways of being able to discern right from wrong, so we can choose and motivate us to do right is at the heart of the way of living a G-d centered life.

In this fashion we can live our our time in the here and now optimally well.

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Enoch.

 

 

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Enoch @9.1    4 months ago
G-d gives us free will to choose between good and evil.

That he does !

Sometimes that "Free Will" can get petty though (a possible evil)....but we are all just Humans after all. 

I have a question for you....and I'm not trying to be "Rude" here (In case someone pops up and "Assumes" over this)…… Why do you write "G-d" instead of "Spelling" the name out in it's entirety ?

 
 
 
r.t..b...
9.1.2  r.t..b...  replied to  Enoch @9.1    4 months ago
These ways of being able to discern right from wrong, so we can choose and motivate us to do right is at the heart of the way of living a G-d centered life.

I think 'evil' is a broad sweeping adjective that is too often applied to circumstances that we may not comprehend, and thus in our anger, grief, or denial, we can justify our reactions to those circumstances by calling it 'evil'. That is not to dismiss the history of horrendous acts that have been perpetrated upon our fellow human beings. It is rather my attempt to rationalize why bad things happen to people. And it is in that realization where your spirituality lies.

Did god give my wife cancer? Of course not. Is it evil? No, in fact, as we progress through treatments and face the ultimate outcome, we have been subject to countless acts of kindness, genuine warmth and encouragement. We have taken the view that even though this is nothing we would have ever wanted, it our our opportunity to be a vehicle for all those who have surrounded us in prayer and in offering their heartfelt wishes to deal with the disease in their own way and in context of the spiritual realm in which they reside. 

It is just our way to take a bad (not evil) thing and motivate us to do what is 'at the heart of the way of living' for as long as we have the opportunity to do so. This may be a little far afield of the subject at hand, so apologies and thanks for the opportunity as always, Enoch.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
9.1.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  r.t..b... @9.1.2    4 months ago

no apologies needed.

your example and interpretations, imho, are accurate.

i believe in fate.  as when it's my time, it is my time, as i believe ive been living on borrowed time for a few decades.

best wishes to you in this Holiday season, and

a quick and speedy recovery to your wife

.

Personaly, i hate the Holidaze

so Ba Mutha FCKN humbug to all 

and to all

a Happy Holiday

I got DRINKIN to tend to , damnet !

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.4  author  Enoch  replied to  It Is ME @9.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Friend It Is ME: The reason why Torah True Jewish People such as and including me do not spell out the word referring to the L-r of Hosts in its entirety is as follows.

One of the Ten Commandments instructs us not to take the Name of the L-rd our G-d in vain.

There are seven words which function to refer to aspects of the Holy One Blessed Be (Ha Kodesh Baruchu).

We do not fully spell out any of them, out of respect.

On that Day of Days, Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) the Kohen Gadol  (Highest Priest) would after abstaining from eating meat for days prior, and wearing only White Garments with no leather footwear (for ritual purity and modesty) enter the Kodesh ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holy's in the Holy Temple - Beit Ha Migdah). This is considered the most Holy and Pure spot on the planet. On that day and only on that did was he allowed to fully pronounce the whole of the Name of G-d. 

We want to protect our relationship to G-d by making sure we do not get too casual in that relationship. We follow this maxim.

"Da'ah Lifnay Mee Atah Omed".

"Know before whom you stand".

I hope this sheds light on the question you posed.

Different people(s) will in different ways approach the same or similar issues in life.

It is helpful to converse with each other in fellowship, respect and good will. 

Honoring what matters which is important to others will never be misinterpreted.

That would be an example of good. 

People do not always agree on all things. 

When they respect the rights and beliefs of others they will soon enough find what they give out in the way of respect will be returned for the most part in like kind.   

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.5  author  Enoch  replied to  r.t..b... @9.1.2    4 months ago

Dear Friend and Person in Spirit r.t..b...: I am most grateful you chose to share this very inspiring and uplifting message with us all.

It is both very mature, and very wise how you and your dear wife are approaching the difficult path of dealing with this great challenge you face together.

That you do this together, that you are never alone speaks to a basic goodness of you both as a couple.

As well the virtues of those who are there for you two.

My site private message, and personal email remains open for you and yours.

There is a Blessing (Birkat Kohanim - The Priestly Blessing) that may be helpful for you and your wife.

You can find it in Misparim (Numbers 6. 24-26).

"May the L-rd bless you and keep you. Make His Face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. Lift up His Countenance upon you and give you peace".

Kindly accept this blessing me me and Mrs. E. to each and both of you.

Enoch.  

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.6  author  Enoch  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.1.3    4 months ago

Dear Friend Ignorantzrulz: Wishing someone or their's a complete and speedy recovery (Refuah Shlemah) is a very time tested and universallyh accepted blessing among me and mine.

Thank you for being there for our good friend r.t..b... and his most beloved wife. 

That is both a good thing to do for them, and speaks most well of your fine character.

We are grateful.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.  

Enoch.

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.7  It Is ME  replied to  Enoch @9.1.4    4 months ago

Thanks for the explanation.

Just …..out of curiosity (A vice jrSmiley_19_smiley_image.gif I have at times, sometimes good, sometimes not)…. When can you spell his name out.

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.8  It Is ME  replied to  It Is ME @9.1.7    4 months ago

Sorry....another curiosity on my part after thinking a bit...… If your' speaking to someone about God......is his name said differently ?

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.9  author  Enoch  replied to  It Is ME @9.1.7    4 months ago

Dear Friend It Is ME: I Cannot. I am not a Kohen Gadol (Great Priest).

I am only a not aging very well Rabbi who is of the Levite group (Temple Administrators).

There are certain rituals and places Levi's can do and go that Kohanim (Priests cannot or do not).

One example is that we are to wash the feet of Priests before they enter the Great Temple.

Doesn't pay very well.

After 6,000 plus years it is still steady work.

Winks.  

Enoch.

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.10  It Is ME  replied to  Enoch @9.1.9    4 months ago

Got it ! jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.11  author  Enoch  replied to  It Is ME @9.1.8    4 months ago

Dear Friend and Brother in spirit It IS ME: Please keep the interrogatives coming. 

Good questions all.

Some do not use the term G-d.

Rather a substitute name such as Adonai (L-rd).

Other ways of addressing this are as follows:

Ha Kadosh Baruchu (The Holy One, Blessed Be).

Ha Makom (The Place)

Rabbeynu shel Olam (Master of the Universe)

Eloheem (G-d of Objective Morality) 

And so forth.

We may use substitute which refer to some attribute or relationship to us based on context.

For example, Adonai Eloheynu refers to both the specific to Israel subjective loving aspect of G-d, and to the objective universal G-d of ethics.

Without love there is no justice, without justice love is impaired and limited. 

Using both shows we need each,one tempering the other. 

Another is Avenu Malkeynu (Our Father Our King). Like Avenu sheh bah Shamayim (Our Heavenly Father) we look upward for inspiration and out of awe. 

As in the Psalm "Aysav Ayney ha Harim, May Ayain vavoh Esree. Esree yavoh mee Adonai oseh Shamayim veh Ha Aretz".  

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where my help will come. My help will come from the G-d who made (created) the heavens and the earth".

Some would say Adonai, others Ha Shem (the Name) for G-d in this passage. 

It is not more than trying not to profane the Divine.

We tend to tread lightly there.

Good work brother.

Good work indeed.

Peace and Abundant Blessings to You and Yours.

Enoch.

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.12  It Is ME  replied to  Enoch @9.1    3 months ago
While we may differ about the presence of evil, and the observation of behavior being merely based on assumptions

I thought about this comment for a bit.

First....when do you think evil is really is present ?

Second …... Assumptions.....cause many problems in society (even War at times), so why would it not be consider evil rearing it's head ?

Assumption: Adjective; 1. arrogant or presumptuous.

 
 
 
Enoch
9.1.13  author  Enoch  replied to  It Is ME @9.1.12    3 months ago

Dear Friend It Is ME: Thank you for thinking about, and sharing your ideas on this topic.

Let me present a few examples of when I think evil is present.

Genocide is one.

Ethnic cleansing is another.

In both cases, the premeditated actions to exterminate members of a group of people who are of another religion, ethnicity, race, nationality or any other collection of humanity because they are not like the group doing the murdering isn't based on assumptions.

It is based on power grabs using fear to excite those who could stop it to go along with it.

Prejudice, hatred, persecution and other base emotions all play a role here.

P&AB.

Enoch.

   

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.1.14  It Is ME  replied to  Enoch @9.1.13    3 months ago
Genocide is one. Ethnic cleansing is another.

All occur because one "Assumes" the other is evil, and has the power to eliminate that "Assumed" Evil by Genocide or ethnic cleansing, no questions asked, and no "explanation" wanted or listened to as to "Why one isn't in need of being cleansed" !

 
 
 
Jack_TX
10  Jack_TX    4 months ago

Wise words, rabbouni.

 
 
 
Enoch
10.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Jack_TX @10    4 months ago

Dear Friend Jack-TX: Many thanks.

Welcome to our discussion threads.

A place where you are always most welcome, and greatly respected.

Please accept our most sincere wishes for a joyous and a meaningful holiday season.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch. 

 
 
 
Kavika
11  Kavika     4 months ago

Boozhoo niijii's,

I've attached a link that helps explain our (Ojibwe) view on this. It's a broad overview and delving into separate parts of it can become quite complicated. 

The ''Red Road'' is the path that we try to live by. To us it's is called ''balance'' in life. 

https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/anishinaabe-religious-traditions

 
 
 
Enoch
11.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Kavika @11    4 months ago

Dear Brother in Spirit, Treasured Friend and Most Valued Writing Partner Kavika: This is a wonderful gift you give us. 

This link provides us a chance to learn from the great, ancient and always relevance of your full, rich and wise heritage.

The complexity of it allows for its practitioners to navigate of sometimes rocky, and always wide and deep waters of this life.

That is a virtue.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always to You and Yours.

Enoch.

 
 
 
CB
12  CB     4 months ago
[1.] There is unnecessary evil in the world. It causes suffering and harm. [2.] Why does not G-d use His powers to eliminate evil from occurring?

1. Although I and many of us can do without 'more' occasions which appear to us as having no redeemable value, for they mark the 'ugly-est' chapters of our individual lives, has evil ever made mankind better?

2. Is evil spoilage or set of outgrowth dynamics from our possessing bodies, minds, and surrounding nature?

3. Could anything be or exist as evil, ahead of the classification on the scale?

 
 
 
Enoch
12.1  author  Enoch  replied to  CB @12    4 months ago

Dear Brother CB: Good questions all.

Let me address in your post number 13.

E.

 
 
 
CB
13  CB     4 months ago
[1.] Rather G-d contracts himself to allow for spaces of imperfection. [2.] Free will is granted.

[1.] Therein lies a big chunk of wisdom. God/Perfection, Light, Law, pulls back in making the universe with a beginning. That is, what begins by God's energy (power) is separate from being eternal.

Its parameters by definition are temporary and a form of 'clay' fashioned for some and varied purpose/s. As these things perform, they reveal  stresses and strains, and forces tear "pockets" into and throughout. As every which dynamic weighs on another, imperfections multiply.

The beauty of the universe's age (13 plus billion years old) as told through our sciences, testify to its unique quality (AKA: "Stuff") at its beginning.

[2.] Free will. The 'thing' has been given some 'potential and power' of its own. For even our universe from its beginning seems to understand how to 'tumble and fall' and get back up and continue on through full maturity on the way to a grand old age. Even the plants and trees seem to know how to communicate their needs to the surrounding soil, dirt, and ground. Humanity is learning to 'capture' the natural order by folding one idea on another, while discriminating against a third.

Free will is to do what one is able and willing and its inverse, to do.

 
 
 
Enoch
13.1  author  Enoch  replied to  CB @13    4 months ago

Dear Brother CB: The late and legendary football coach Vin Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers told his players this.

He isn't interested when his team gets knocked down. 

That is part of the game.

What he watches for is how quickly they get back up and play harder for it.

So it is with life.

We will get knocked down in the game of living.

We need to get up and play harder afterwards.

Folks like you others and me look to our relationship to G-d for help in staying motivated to play our personal best at all times.

It can make a difference.

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You and Yours.

Enoch.  

 

 
 
 
CB
13.1.1  CB   replied to  Enoch @13.1    3 months ago

God sees all perspectives from the Creator's vantage and position, including the 'traps,' 'minefields,' and 'meadows.' Also, Jesus enlightened us to a newer, deeper, God perspective, that is, all live in the presence of God!

If God wants to 'chat' with one or another, God simply says, "Come."

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14  Nerm_L    3 months ago

Why does God allow evil?  I contend that God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.  (Please note that 'God' is only a rhetorical placeholder representing a capability to intervene in the affairs of man and nature.)

Life feeds upon life.  An individual living thing cannot continue to live without causing harm.  Even a living thing subsisting on stone soup harms the stones.  The necessary harm caused by an individual living thing in order to live benefits the individual; continuing to live is highly subjective.  Is that necessary harm good or evil?  Doesn't that depend upon an individual's subjective point of view?  Those who do the eating consider that harm necessary but good.  Those who are being eaten would disagree.

If God intervenes to prevent harm then it becomes impossible for individual living things to continue to live.  Life feeds upon life.  God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @14    3 months ago
I contend that God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.

On the surface, that places a limit on god's capabilities. As such, god would no longer be omnipotent.

The necessary harm caused by an individual living thing in order to live benefits the individual; continuing to live is highly subjective.  Is that necessary harm good or evil?

Living (as a matter of self sustaining or sustenance) is neither good nor evil. It is simply a process.

Those who do the eating consider that harm necessary but good.  Those who are being eaten would disagree.

Indeed. But that is also an observable occurrence in nature. It's something by which there is nothing inherently good or evil about it.

If God intervenes to prevent harm then it becomes impossible for individual living things to continue to live.  Life feeds upon life.  God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.

See my first statement.

Why does God allow evil?

That reminds me of Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Of course, "evil" exists because god created "evil" to begin with. Assuming one believes in a god that created everything.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.1  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1    3 months ago
Of course, "evil" exists because god created "evil" to begin with. Assuming one believes in a god that created everything.

I think, one can see the limitations of words by themselves. Context is more important.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.1    3 months ago
I think, one can see the limitations of words by themselves. Context is more important.

Did god create evil or not?

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.2    3 months ago

Adding to your question ...

Given God is defined by many as that which created everything, God created evil by definition.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.4  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.2    3 months ago

Well, let me 'invert' your question. Is evil an absence of good?

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  CB @14.1.4    3 months ago

Evil is, by human definition, the opposite of good.   But, to presume your next question, good can exist without evil.   That is, it is not necessary to create evil in order to have good.   God could have simply made everything 'good'.  Indeed, per the Bible, God arguably did just that.   One can read into that the notion that what we consider to be 'evil' may actually be 'good' in the eyes of God.

Regardless, if something exists, it does so because God allowed it to exist.   If one is to hold the biblical God to be the perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent supreme entity and arbiter of objective morality then one really should not try to argue that anything happens without God being not only aware of it, but aware before it even happened and fully able to stop it from happening if God so desired.   (Usual caveat:  not suggesting that God can do that which is logically impossible like making an entity superior to Himself.)

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.6  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.4    3 months ago
Well, let me 'invert' your question. Is evil an absence of good?

How about you answer mine first!

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.6    3 months ago

jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif    Not falling for it, eh?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.1.8  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @14.1    3 months ago
On the surface, that places a limit on god's capabilities. As such, god would no longer be omnipotent.

I disagree.  Consider a simple example of 'taking from the rich to give to the poor'.  The act of taking is evil while the act of giving is good.  We may try to justify the evil by claiming the rich would not be harmed but that justification does not change the nature of evil.  'Taking from the poor to give to the rich' would be the same duality of good and evil but can't be dismissed with the same justification.

When we do good, we are taking from ourselves.  We accept the evil onto ourselves so others may receive good.  And we justify the evil by claiming we are not harmed in doing good.  But that does not change the nature of the evil.

Good and evil is a paradox.  Giving requires taking.  That's why we have free will.  We choose to take from ourselves, we choose to accept the evil onto ourselves, so that others can receive good.

God, like humans, cannot do good without also doing evil.  That's the paradox of give and take.  But God can accept the evil onto Itself so that others may receive good.  Someone doing evil in God's name places the evil onto God.  A God of limitless good would also be capable of accepting limitless evil onto Itself.  The fact that we can place the blame for evil onto God does not limit God's capabilities to do good.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.9  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @14.1.7    3 months ago

Nope. 

 
 
 
CB
14.1.10  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.6    3 months ago

Evil is created in the absence of doing what is good. God allows evil as consequence of not doing contextual good. That is rules are established in existence as well as in life. When neither is the case, at the center of the two there is innocence.

Does God create everything? For the believer the answer is a resounding: Yes, God does so, in its proper context.

NOTE: At the outset, I am going to state that here in Chaplain's Corner I will respect the hosts and keep cordial feeling abounding through me. I challenge you to do the same.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.11  CB   replied to  TᵢG @14.1.5    3 months ago

(Sniffing myself for attractant.) Hi Tig!

You say: "Good can exist without evil." I would like an example of this, if you have one to share please.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  CB @14.1.11    3 months ago

I could create automatons who only engage in good behavior.   In my created cyber reality there would be no evil.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.13  CB   replied to  TᵢG @14.1.12    3 months ago

True. I must have missed the topic shift to technology, automatons, and non-humans. No organics might mean no unusual dynamics

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.14  TᵢG  replied to  CB @14.1.13    3 months ago

I did not shift the topic.   You asked for an example and I gave you one.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.15  CB   replied to  TᵢG @14.1.14    3 months ago

Okay. I was not being accusatory. Consequently, thanks for your pithy answer.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.16  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.10    3 months ago
Does God create everything? For the believer the answer is a resounding: Yes, God does so, in its proper context.

So god did create evil then. Thank you. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.17  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @14.1.12    3 months ago
I could create automatons who only engage in good behavior.   In my created cyber reality there would be no evil.

Kind of like Robocop's 4 Directives, right? Lol

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.18  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @14.1.8    3 months ago
he act of taking is evil while the act of giving is good.  We may try to justify the evil by claiming the rich would not be harmed but that justification does not change the nature of evil.

That just proves my point that god has limitations, and thus, cannot be omnipotent. In this instance, god cannot prevent evil.

 That's why we have free will.  

Not if there's an omniscient god.

God, like humans, cannot do good without also doing evil.

See my first statement.

 A God of limitless good would also be capable of accepting limitless evil onto Itself.

If god is perfect, then god cannot be evil. 

 The fact that we can place the blame for evil onto God does not limit God's capabilities to do good.

It's not about god's capability to do good. But if evil exists, then it's god's fault. If god can be praised for good, he can be blamed for evil.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.19  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.17    3 months ago

The thing is, some argue that God has no choice but to create evil because He cannot create good without evil.   While it is true that we would not be able to recognize evil unless it exists, that does not mean that evil is a necessity.   Further, what is 'evil' is subjective.   To sensibly speak of evil we need an objective arbiter of morality.   If God is that arbiter then, as I noted, one might argue that God holds that everything He created is 'good'.   No evil.

Ultimately though, this good vs. evil discussion is always entirely subjective and riddled with equivocation.   What is not subjective is that the definition of the Christian God:   perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent, unique, eternal arbiter of objective morality and creator of everything necessarily means that everything that happens (good or bad) is knowingly allowed by God.   The biblical authors and subsequent theologians have boxed themselves into a contradiction.   God, as they define it, is a contradiction and thus does not exist (as they define it).   

Of course a sentient creator of the known universe is not a contradiction —as defined— and might indeed exist.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.20  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.16    3 months ago

This is not a proceeding you conducting where you can  question a makeshift witness; get the answer you desire and ignore the rest, is it?

Does God create everything? For the believer the answer is a resounding: Yes, God does so, in its proper context.

You need the remainder (as is being addressed throughout the comments) for a complete transfer of information. You're welcome.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.21  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.20    3 months ago
This is not a proceeding you conducting where you can  question a makeshift witness; get the answer you desire and ignore the rest, is it?

It was a simple question. Don't read into it too much.

You need the remainder (as is being addressed throughout the comments) for a complete transfer of information. You're welcome.

Again, it's a simple logical question. Context is irrelevant. 

 
 
 
CB
14.1.22  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.21    3 months ago

Context is always relevant.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.23  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.22    3 months ago

Not so much this time. But if you insist, I'm using a logical context.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.1.24  Nerm_L  replied to  CB @14.1.10    3 months ago
Evil is created in the absence of doing what is good. God allows evil as consequence of not doing contextual good. That is rules are established in existence as well as in life. When neither is the case, at the center of the two there is innocence.

Does God create everything? For the believer the answer is a resounding: Yes, God does so, in its proper context.

NOTE: At the outset, I am going to state that here in Chaplain's Corner I will respect the hosts and keep cordial feeling abounding through me. I challenge you to do the same.

In an admittedly oversimplified context, taking is evil while giving is good.  When we give to others we must either take from others or take from ourselves.  When we give to ourselves we must take from others.  We cannot give without taking.

There cannot be good without evil.  Conversely, there cannot be evil without good.  Doing one also does the other; that's the paradox of good and evil.

If we give to ourselves (a good) then it is necessary to take from others (an evil).  To me, that's what the idea of 'evil is created in the absence of doing what is good' really addresses.  We do not accept that a selfish good (giving to ourselves) is morally good.  

Evil arises from subjective selfishness.  Doing good requires thinking beyond self; doing good requires an empathetic objectivity.  But there can be no good without evil and there can be no evil without good.  Our sense of morality (based on empathetic objectivity) does not accept that a selfish good (giving to ourselves) is a moral good.  

God could not create good without creating evil.  And God could not create evil without creating good.  That's no different than creating mass also created gravity or creating gravity also created mass; there cannot be one without the other.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.1.25  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.23    3 months ago

What was CB's answer to this question?:

Gordy @14.1.2Did god create evil or not?

Seems to me it was:  'yes, but I can explain ...'.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.26  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.23    3 months ago

Qualified context is context, nevertheless. (We are glacially creeping away in the opposite direction of discussion.) I vote we alter course back.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.27  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @14.1.25    3 months ago

That was my take away from it too.

 
 
 
Gordy327
14.1.28  Gordy327  replied to  CB @14.1.26    3 months ago

I already stated context. You seem to want to change things up. If anyone has veered off course here, it's you.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.29  CB   replied to  Nerm_L @14.1.24    3 months ago

Hi Nerm! Here is the way I see this topic. Someone (God) sets the rules, guidelines, and penalties. That is the context. Evil is defined as a degradation and allotment going away from what is established as good. In-Between good and evil resides innocence.

For example, using your construction:

"There cannot be good without evil.  Conversely, there cannot be evil without good.  Doing one also does the other; that's the paradox of good and evil."

I would alter that in two ways:

  1. "There can be good without evil by declaring all things lawful.
  2. Conversely, there cannot be evil without good. Doing one allows for the other.

# 1 is impractical for God and mankind, nevertheless.

# 2. Ends any paradox.

 
 
 
CB
14.1.30  CB   replied to  Gordy327 @14.1.28    3 months ago

I'm good-if you are good with it. Thanks. I'd like to move on now, please.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @14    3 months ago
Life feeds upon life.  God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.

Your argument only applies to a narrow subset of what is considered 'evil'.   For example, would you consider Hitler to be evil?   He did not have to attempt genocide to continue to live.  This was his gratuitous act of evil.    So God certainly could prevent that form of evil without causing harm.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @14.2    3 months ago
Your argument only applies to a narrow subset of what is considered 'evil'.   For example, would you consider Hitler to be evil?   He did not have to attempt genocide to continue to live.  This was his gratuitous act of evil.    So God certainly could prevent that form of evil without causing harm.

Nature was created without evil.  Jupiter is not capable of doing good or evil.  Life is the imperfect flaw that introduced evil (and good) into nature.

Bringing Hitler into the discussion is trite.  The magnitude does not change the paradox of good and evil.  Taking a lollipop from a child for one's own benefit is no less evil than what Hitler did.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @14.2.1    3 months ago

Hitler, et. al. prove that evil is not simply a necessity for life as you posited.   Gratuitous evil does indeed exist.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.3  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @14.2.2    3 months ago
Hitler, et. al. prove that evil is not simply a necessity for life as you posited.   Gratuitous evil does indeed exist.

Hitler was the result of an evolutionary progression arising from the subjective necessity to cause harm so as to continue living.  Hitler achieved the same result as the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic but did not accomplish what the black death plagues that decimated Europe during the 1300s accomplished.  Life feeds on life.

Gratuitous evil can be directly attributed to the evolution of life.  A God is not necessary to explain why life does evil; science is quite adequate for explaining why there is evil.  Evil exists because life exists.

While examples of gratuitous evil are abundant there seems to be a paucity of examples for gratuitous good.  Those examples also exist but those examples seem to depend more upon spiritual empathetic objectivity to achieve gratuitous good.

Gratuitous evil can be readily explained by subjective selfishness.  But counteracting that evolved evil seems to require a collective spiritual empathetic objectivity; a selflessness that is more abstract and ephemeral.  That's why humans established religions.  That's why humans seek God.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @14.2.3    3 months ago
Life feeds on life.  ...  Gratuitous evil can be directly attributed to the evolution of life.  

Absolutely correct that life feeds on life.   Interesting that you deem that 'evil'.   Not everyone would consider the eating of a life form to be evil.   When you eat a salad, are you engaging in an evil act?

Hitler was the result of an evolutionary progression ...

Does not rebut my observation that Hitler engaged in gratuitous evil — acts that were not required for him to sustain his life.

A God is not necessary to explain why life does evil; ...

I agree.   Not sure why you interjected this.

... science is quite adequate for explaining why there is evil.  Evil exists because life exists.

This again is the result of your odd definition of 'evil'.   Science does not deal with moral issues.   Science can certainly explain that lifeforms consume other lifeforms and that this consumption is necessary.    We cannot exist (thus far) unless we consume that which was once alive.   Again, even vegans eat life forms.   


To wit ... one can argue anything if they are free to impose their own meaning on a common word like evil.   You do this often.   In this case, I am closing with the definition of the word 'evil' as commonly understood by most human beings:

Evil is commonly defined as:

  • [ Oxford ]  ☞ Profound immorality and wickedness, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.
  • [ Merriam-Webster ] ☞ the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing |  a cosmic evil force | something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity
  • [ Cambridge ] ☞ the  condition  of being  immoral cruel , or  bad , or an  act  of this  type
  • [ Collins ] ☞ a  powerful  force that some people  believe  to  exist , and which causes wicked and bad things to  happen . | all the wicked and bad things that happen in the world.

Eating life forms to survive does not seem to be part of the common English usage of the word 'evil'.  I am now going to engage in the evil act of drinking coffee.

 
 
 
katrix
14.2.5  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @14.2.4    3 months ago
When you eat a salad, are you engaging in an evil act?

Maybe ....

https://www.livescience.com/plants-squeal-when-stressed.html

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.6  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @14.2.4    3 months ago
Absolutely correct that life feeds on life.   Interesting that you deem that 'evil'.   Not everyone would consider the eating of a life form to be evil.   When you eat a salad, are you engaging in an evil act?

Eating a salad to obtain a selfish good requires the evil of harming the plants.  The justification of necessity does not change the nature of good and evil.  But obtaining a selfish good by eating a salad is not a moral good.  

Does not rebut my observation that Hitler engaged in gratuitous evil — acts that were not required for him to sustain his life.

As I attempted to explain, gratuitous evil (to obtain a gratuitous selfish good) evolved from necessary evil (to obtain a necessary selfish good).  I wasn't rebutting your claim; I was explaining your claim within the context of my posit.

This again is the result of your odd definition of 'evil'.   Science does not deal with moral issues.   Science can certainly explain that lifeforms consume other lifeforms and that this consumption is necessary.    We cannot exist (thus far) unless we consume that which was once alive.   Again, even vegans eat life forms. 

Not all good is morally good; not all evil is morally evil.  Science observes and explains, so, science is quite capable of observing and explaining good and evil since both exist in nature.  And science should be capable of quantifying necessary good and associated necessary evil.

Eating life forms to survive does not seem to be part of the common English usage of the word 'evil'.  I am now going to engage in the evil act of drinking coffee.

That which is being eaten has suffered a misfortune that has been imposed so that another living thing can obtain a selfish benefit.  Giving nourishment requires taking life.  There cannot be giving without taking.  But that necessary evil required to obtain a necessarily selfish good is neither moral or immoral.  Morality regulates good and evil beyond necessity.

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @14.2.6    3 months ago
Eating a salad to obtain a selfish good requires the evil of harming the plants. 

An illustration of how you have redefined the word 'evil'.   You have redefined 'evil' to mean 'to do harm'.    With that you can label virtually anything 'evil'.   For example, to deliver a baby by C-section the doctor must do evil by harming the tissue of the mother.   You are doing 'evil' every time you breathe because the act of breathing kills many of the inhaled microorganisms.   The examples illustrating the absurdity of this redefinition are endless.

Giving nourishment requires taking life.  There cannot be giving without taking.  But that [act of nourishment] necessary evil required to obtain a necessarily selfish good is neither moral or immoral. 

You will never get anywhere trying to push this silly redefinition of the word 'evil'.   Any point made based on a word with a made up meaning is itself meaningless.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.8  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @14.2.7    3 months ago
You will never get anywhere trying to push this silly redefinition of the word 'evil'.   Any point made based on a word with a made up meaning is itself meaningless.

Only defining evil within the context of morality does not provide an understanding of evil or good.  Morality does not regulate all good and evil.  

Someone can kill an antelope to obtain nourishment.  Someone can kill an antelope for a trophy.  The animal experiences the same suffering, harm, and misfortune in both situations.  Attempting to claim some noble justification for an action doesn't change the nature of evil.  Isn't attempting to avoid responsibility for causing suffering, harm, and misfortune immoral?

 
 
 
Enoch
14.2.9  author  Enoch  replied to  katrix @14.2.5    3 months ago

Dear Friend and Sister in Humanity Katrix: Thank you for sharing that important hyperlink regarding plants.

Whether in the animal or plant worlds a central nervous system, however primitive or sophisticated nervous system it is hard to find a genus and species which lacks such.

Feeling, it seems is central to life on this planet.

The consuming of foodstuffs for survival, in my heritage is not seen as evil in and of itself.

Two options which do not require the taking of animal and/or plant life are life forms who:

1. Consume only animal life forms already non-vital. Scavengers do this.

2. Consume only plant life forms already non-vital. Some people eat only fruits and grains which have fallen off parent plants and no longer perfom life functions. I think they self reference as fruitopians. I am be in error on the nomenclature. Not on the diet.

For the most part, we humans fall into neither category.

It would lead to an unbalanced diet and other health degenerative difficulties.

In my heritage we do not view eating and drinking as evil.

We see it as necessary for our survival.

We do view how we raise and grow foods, how we treat the animals and plants, how we prepare and consume edibles as of moral consequence(s).

Intent and motivation are the line of demarcation for us as either evil or just what is the case.

Kashrut (food purity laws) are a part of our traditions which address this. 

It all started with, "Asur levashel Egel bah Chalav Emo".

"It is forbidden to cook (boil) a kid (baby goat) in the milk of its mother".

In times of TaNaCh (Scriptural) my people lived in arid deserts.

They raised goats and sheep for dairy and meat foods.

Often lacking fresh water or cooking oils, it was a common practice in the area at that time in history to use the milk of animals herded to prepare meats.

The commandment not to do that was to avoid a situation in which a mother would see or figure out its own milk was used to boil or cook one of her offspring for dinner.

Eating to survive was not the evil.

Disrespecting, even emotionally torturing an animal by so doing was.

From that simple line a vast body of literature of Kosher laws emerged.

It continues to develop.

The impurity of foods refers less to food safety, although that is surely a part of the equation.

It is more how we handle the necessity of nutrition that either reduces us to a lower level of life, or spiritually elevates us.  

A good analogy here is the Scriptural Commandment not to murder.

The law does not say not to kill (LaMoot).

It forbids murder (Leharog).

These verbs are not ever used interchangeably in TaNaCh.

Why?

The answer lies in intent and circumstance.

The taking of life is the same in use of both verbs.

They are on different planets in terms of intent and circumstance.

The taking of life in defense; self, family, those who cannot self defend, nation etc. is allowed.

At times it is not only acceptable, it may be the most moral choice available.

That is very different from murdering to conquer, steal, revenge, etc. 

Eating to live isn't evil.

It is necessary as we and other life forms have evolved.

Serial killers tend to torture animals to death in their childhood.

They do this just to enjoy watching them suffer.

Whole different paint job on that house.

Great link and point Katrix.

A good ending for you and yours to 2019.

May 2020 be your best year yet.

P&AB.

Enoch. 

         

 
 
 
CB
14.2.10  CB   replied to  katrix @14.2.5    3 months ago

Oh my, I am 'terrified.' I have often wondered about plants "life." Sadly, I am a notorious over-waterer. I have been known to drown my plants "with love." I am recovering and finally at long last doing a bit better, though I always have to caution myself about this specific deficiency in me. Anyway, I have caught myself trying to vicariously understand what a plant goes through when it is slowly extinguishes its life under my intense watering scheme. I thought I was thinking too much about it now I am not so sure: I am terrified.

 
 
 
CB
14.2.11  CB   replied to  Enoch @14.2.9    3 months ago

Katrix, has opened up and generally confirmed a 'haunt' for me. It remains to be considered what if anything I can do about it. Sometime ago I wondered about the critters in the ground which would be 'divided,' cut, displaced by my efforts to create or rid myself of. It's all a bit much too. Quite depressing actually. Still, I am not naive, we, I, understand we are 'captured' here on this container for the duration of life.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.12  Nerm_L  replied to  Enoch @14.2.9    3 months ago

Hello, Enoch.  I know you have been lurking on the discussion.  How could you not?

The consuming of foodstuffs for survival, in my heritage is not seen as evil in and of itself.

I used that approach to foster discussion.  We must cause harm to nourish ourselves.  That's a dilemma that everyone experiences although I doubt many consider the implications.   And our humanity attempts to justify the necessity to cause harm to avoid moral questions.

What of dandelions?  We spray noxious chemicals intentionally formulated to kill dandelions.  Is our aesthetic sensibility really more important than the life of a dandelion?  The common response is to shrug; it's only a dandelion. 

We kill all the time out of necessity; it's only a cow or a carrot.  The necessity requires us to water-down our consideration of evil and we avoid the moral implications.  But what of dandelions? 

Is poisoning dandelions because we want a pretty lawn an act of evil?  Is poisoning dandelions to achieve an aesthetic ideal immoral?  We cannot justify poisoning dandelions as an act of necessity.  Why is poisoning a dandelion any different than ripping a lettuce plant out of the ground?

 
 
 
CB
14.2.13  CB   replied to  CB @14.2.11    3 months ago

That said, we 'wrestle' with reducing to the absurd. And thus, we come back up to avoiding a simple world of chaos.

 
 
 
Enoch
14.2.14  author  Enoch  replied to  Nerm_L @14.2.12    3 months ago

Dear Friend Nerm_L: Sounds like an excellent topic for us to discuss, when we go out for happy hour.

First glass of Dandelion Wine is on me.

Smiles.

All very best of wishes to you and yours for a successful end to 2019, a joyous and meaningful season of holidays; and a 2020 that will be you best year yet.

P&AB.

Enoch. 

 
 
 
Enoch
14.2.15  author  Enoch  replied to  CB @14.2.11    3 months ago

Dear Friend, Treasured Writing Partner and Brother in Spirit CB: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. 

P&AB.

Enoch. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.2.16  Nerm_L  replied to  Enoch @14.2.14    3 months ago
All very best of wishes to you and yours for a successful end to 2019, a joyous and meaningful season of holidays; and a 2020 that will be you best year yet.

Best wishes to you, as well.  May the future reveal what you seek.  Questions are easy, it's the answers that are a pain in the butt.

 
 
 
Enoch
14.2.17  author  Enoch  replied to  Nerm_L @14.2.16    3 months ago

LOL.

So True That!

E.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14    3 months ago
Life feeds upon life.

An isolated system obeys the conservation law (entropy) that its total energy–mass stays constant. Most often, in thermodynamics, mass and energy are treated as separately conserved.

An individual living thing cannot continue to live without causing harm.

"Harm" is subjective. Objectively, one energy consuming another to transform it into a different state is perfectly normal and ordinary and would only be seen as "harmful" from the perspective of the energy being consumed and transformed.

Even a living thing subsisting on stone soup harms the stones.

Like I said, subjective. Only from the stones perspective would that be considered "harm".

Is that necessary harm good or evil?

Neither.

Doesn't that depend upon an individual's subjective point of view?

Yes.

Those who do the eating consider that harm necessary but good.  Those who are being eaten would disagree.

Correct. Which is why morality is, by its very nature, subjective.

If God intervenes to prevent harm then it becomes impossible for individual living things to continue to live.

If the God people believe in were actually objective, that's true.

God cannot prevent evil without doing evil.

The concept of "God" cannot prevent objective "evil" without doing objective "evil". Most people believe in a subjective God, one who values their lives far more than other creatures or even planets or stars. They believe they are the "subjects" of some universal play so they consider negative things that happen to humans as "bad" or "evil" while things that bring humans happiness and joy, that feed our bellies and bring us satisfactions and most often considered "good".

So really, for any imaginary being that humans create, more often than not that being, for some completely bizarre unknown reason (shock! /s), values humans above all else. Who would have thunk it?

So when we start debating whether or not someones version of God could or couldn't prevent "evil" without doing "evil", accepting that "evil" itself is completely subjective, is necessary. Where someone hammering a nail into the base of a rabbit tail onto a tree and stripping its skin off then yanking out the entrails and roasting it over an open flame is an admired skill of a camp chef and not a psychopath murderer cannibal who should be locked up and the key thrown away, all because they're eating a rabbit and not a human. The subject matters. If killing an animal, stripping its skin off, ripping its guts out, roasting its flesh over a fire and then consuming it were objectively evil, then a supposed "God" certainly would not be able to prevent evil without doing evil.

Why does God allow evil?

Evil is subjective, so it depends on the subjects. In fact, a Muslim might consider something perfectly "righteous" that others would consider "evil" like killing those they believe are "infidels". And Christians might consider something totally "evil treason" that others consider "righteous resistance". So before we can even debate whether "God" allows "evil", we have to come to a conclusion as to which God we're talking about, and sadly, believers can't even come to a consensus on that. Once you can decide on which God is real, then you can debate whether or not it does or doesn't consider the same things "evil" that humans do.

If there is a grand creator then it cannot and does not "allow" evil, but it's definition of evil is likely very different than our own. I would imagine such a grand creator would have some objective morality that wasn't based solely on how an action effected humans which is pretty much humans entire understanding of evil, what does or doesn't harm or hurt humans. However, if you believe the God you worship to be objective yet still put humans first in all things and bases morality off what helps or hurts humans, than you likely worship a God of your own making.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3    3 months ago
An isolated system obeys the conservation law (entropy) that its total energy–mass stays constant. Most often, in thermodynamics, mass and energy are treated as separately conserved.

Individual living things are not isolated systems.  Living things cannot continue to live without interacting with their surroundings.  Life feeds on life.  

"Harm" is subjective.

That's what I said.

Objectively, one energy consuming another to transform it into a different state is perfectly normal and ordinary and would only be seen as "harmful" from the perspective of the energy being consumed and transformed.

Inanimate nature composed of mass and energy is not capable of doing good or evil.  That's because inanimate mass and energy does not actively attempt to consume.  Inanimate nature composed of mass and energy is not subjective because behavior is imposed by intrinsic properties and characteristics commonly identified as laws of nature.

Within nature, only life is capable of good and evil. Individual living things taking specific action to interact with and consume its surroundings so as to continue living is necessarily subjective.  Morality serves the same purpose as objective laws of nature imposed to regulate the behavior of inanimate nature.  And that morality can be as objective as the laws of nature.

The concept of "God" cannot prevent objective "evil" without doing objective "evil".

That's correct because good and evil are subjective.  But attempting to impose morality onto subjective good and evil does not require that morality need be subjective.

So really, for any imaginary being that humans create, more often than not that being, for some completely bizarre unknown reason (shock! /s), values humans above all else. Who would have thunk it?

Not surprising.  It's much easier to blame the evil we do on God (as an image of ourselves) than to blame ourselves.  The subjectivity of humans is directed toward accepting good onto themselves rather than accepting evil onto themselves.  Humans subjectivity desire a scapegoat.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.1    3 months ago
The subjectivity of humans is directed toward accepting good onto themselves rather than accepting evil onto themselves. 

If a human experiences some form of pain, hardship or loss, it's very likely that human, when being indoctrinated in whatever religion is most popular in that region, they tend to project their own understanding of "good" and "evil" onto their deity. They worship a God and pray to one beveling that God feels as they do, that their God must understand their plight and agree with their position. The social evolution of "good" and "evil" has been solely founded upon what things are subjectively good and bad for humans in general.

A key factor necessary for humans to subjectively decide what is good and evil is empathy. Many used to believe empathy was only found in humans, but scientists are now finding evidence of empathy in non-human animals, mainly in other primates such as chimpanzeesorangutans, but also in dogsmice, chickens and even elephants. Many can attest to the fact that their dogs often know what their owners consider "good" and "bad" and even show shame or guilt for having done something they know their owners will be displeased with.

Humans subjectivity desire a scapegoat.

With no objective morality, who are they trying to avoid displeasing? Subjectively, if we're looking for a scapegoat then we're really just trying to avoid taking the blame or looking bad in the eyes of other humans. Inventing a God or a Devil to blame things on only works as an explanation to other humans. "We wiped out the Philistine cities, women and children, put to the sword, but it's okay because God told us to do it. That's why we're not monsters, we're devout worshipers!".

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.3  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.2    3 months ago
With no objective morality, who are they trying to avoid displeasing? Subjectively, if we're looking for a scapegoat then we're really just trying to avoid taking the blame or looking bad in the eyes of other humans. Inventing a God or a Devil to blame things on only works as an explanation to other humans. "We wiped out the Philistine cities, women and children, put to the sword, but it's okay because God told us to do it. That's why we're not monsters, we're devout worshipers!".

I disagree.  Doing evil only requires subjective selfishness.  Doing good seems to require an empathy that extends beyond self.  Doing good requires observation and understanding of someone else's pain, hardship, or loss that depends upon a fairly high degree of objectivity.  

We can take from others to give or we can take from ourselves to give.  Giving to ourselves also requires taking from others.  That's why good and evil is a paradox; giving requires taking.   Doing good also requires doing evil. 

Doing good requires some degree of empathetic objectivity that allows us to think beyond self.  Morality to achieve good must also require some degree of empathetic objectivity.  Morality, of necessity, must be more objective than subjective.

Laws regulate subjective selfishness.  Morality regulates empathetic objectivity.  That's why laws and morality are not equivalent.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.4  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.3    3 months ago
We can take from others to give or we can take from ourselves to give.  Giving to ourselves also requires taking from others.  That's why good and evil is a paradox; giving requires taking.   Doing good also requires doing evil.

I disagree. While technically there are finite resources in the universe, we'll never even get close to seeing those resources diminished. That means that there is more than enough for every human to get what they need to not only survive but thrive, no "taking" from others needed. If you're saying that simply by consuming something we've "taken" it from someone else I'd also disagree, since that unit of energy consumed can actually be used to multiply a resource. Feed a man some bread providing his body energy, and he can work a day in the wheat fields providing bread for everyone.

Again, I see zero evidence for there being anything that could be called "objective evil". An asteroid minding its own business hurtling through space, the energy having launched it out on its own course having occurred millions or even billions of years before, now comes into earths path and we have a near extinction event killing billions. Good or evil? Subjectively, it's a terrible thing. Objectively, its just another day in a universe that doesn't give a fuck about humans.

 Morality regulates empathetic objectivity.

Objective morality would see no difference between humans and any other living creature. So if it's objectively moral to raise cows to slaughter and turn into steaks and hamburgers for humans, then objectively there would be no moral difference in raising humans for the same objective. Subjectively, it would obviously be immoral to do such a thing to humans.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.5  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.4    3 months ago
I disagree. While technically there are finite resources in the universe, we'll never even get close to seeing those resources diminished.

That is only a justification for evil.  But the justification doesn't change the nature of evil.

Again, I see zero evidence for there being anything that could be called "objective evil".

Nor do I.  As I have stated, evil arises from subjective selfishness.  As you point out, inanimate matter and energy is not subjective so are incapable of doing evil.  But that inability to do evil also means that inanimate matter and energy is incapable of doing good.

Objective morality would see no difference between humans and any other living creature. So if it's objectively moral to raise cows to slaughter and turn into steaks and hamburgers for humans, then objectively there would be no moral difference in raising humans for the same objective. Subjectively, it would obviously be immoral to do such a thing to humans.

Correct.  Feeding people beef is considered a good that requires the evil of slaughtering the cattle.  We must accept the evil to obtain the good.  While slaughtering cattle for food may be a necessary evil, treating cattle inhumanely is not a necessity.  Obtaining a good result does not morally justify every evil.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.6  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.5    3 months ago
We must accept the evil to obtain the good.

Evil: adjective - profoundly immoral and wicked.

Immoral: adjective - not conforming to accepted standards of morality.

Objective: adjective - not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Subjective: adjective - based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Humans, along with all known life in the universe, must consume some energy source to continue existing in its current form. The universe doesn't care what form energy takes, whether it's the energy burning at the core of our sun sustaining it, or the bite of steak we chew, break down and process into useable energy.

I submit, there is no such thing as "evil" accept that which is defined by Humans to describe things that humans dislike or harm humans ability to survive and procreate. So there is no "objective" evil as the very definition of evil means something that doesn't "conform" to human "accepted standards". And the fact is, those standards have evolved throughout history, thus "evil" has evolved throughout human history making it obviously "subjective" and in no way "objective".

"While slaughtering cattle for food may be a necessary evil"

Humans have been slaughtering cattle for food for millennia, it would definitely be seen as an "accepted standard of morality" thus it's not "evil" or "immoral" at all. You might personally think so, perhaps you are a member of PETA or are a Hindu who considers cows sacred, but that would not make slaughtering cows "objectively evil". Subjective evil? Yes, definitely.

So no, I do not have to accept that humans are committing any "necessary evil" in order to survive. Since there is no external standard of morality yet proven, there can be no "objective" morality and thus no "objective evil". In fact, one might reason that if there was an objective morality put in place by an external source who had authority to make such demands, it would seem bizarre and completely unreasonable for that external source to create us with a need to consume and then condemn our consumption as "evil".

If some creator made us and has an objective morality standard that condemns all taking of life and/or feeding on other living things but made humans omnivores that require hourly intakes of energy units, then such a creator is a sick and twisted being indeed. Such a being has more in common with Jigsaw from the saw movies than to any loving protector, putting humans in an impossible situation where they are required to sin in order to survive.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.7  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.6    3 months ago
Evil: adjective - profoundly immoral and wicked.

Which defines evil within the context of morality.  But not all good is moral and not all evil is immoral.  Moral good and immoral evil are subsets of all that is good and evil.

Immoral: adjective - not conforming to accepted standards of morality.

A circular argument that provides no illumination or understanding of either morality or immorality.

Objective: adjective - not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Selflessness; empathy.

Subjective: adjective - based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Selfishness; self centered.

So no, I do not have to accept that humans are committing any "necessary evil" in order to survive. Since there is no external standard of morality yet proven, there can be no "objective" morality and thus no "objective evil". In fact, one might reason that if there was an objective morality put in place by an external source who had authority to make such demands, it would seem bizarre and completely unreasonable for that external source to create us with a need to consume and then condemn our consumption as "evil".

Not all good is morally good.  Not all evil is immorally evil.  Morality regulates certain types of good and evil, not all good and evil.  A drought causes harm and suffering which is evil but the weather is not regulated by morality.  Rain ends the harm and suffering caused by the drought which is good but the weather is not regulated by morality.  

If some creator made us and has an objective morality standard that condemns all taking of life and/or feeding on other living things but made humans omnivores that require hourly intakes of energy units, then such a creator is a sick and twisted being indeed. Such a being has more in common with Jigsaw from the saw movies than to any loving protector, putting humans in an impossible situation where they are required to sin in order to survive.

There cannot be good without evil.  Some creator creating good must also create evil; there cannot be one without the other.  Some creator creating mass must also create gravity; there cannot be one without the other.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.8  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.7    3 months ago
But not all good is moral and not all evil is immoral. 

Nonsense. The very definition of "evil" is "profoundly immoral", not just "a tiny bit immoral" or "has nothing to do with morality".

Moral good and immoral evil are subsets of all that is good and evil.

Talk about circular arguments. Essentially you're trying to redefine "evil" to fit your own personal opinions which is dishonest in the extreme.

Morality regulates certain types of good and evil, not all good and evil.

On whos moral authority? Morality is subjective, thus evil is subjective. You can't twist or contort your way out of that simple fact.

There cannot be good without evil.

And there cannot be light without dark, we know this already. And even that is subjective. If I could see in every spectrum there is no where in the universe that would be considered "dark" to me, thus it effectively would exist only in theory. Only through the subjective lens of human eyes can we claim some differential between light and dark, same as good and evil.

Some creator creating mass must also create gravity; there cannot be one without the other.

Not if that creator has control over those laws and is not itself subject to them. If a creator is subject to the universal laws of physics, then it's certainly not all powerful. An all powerful God could create mass with no gravity, or perhaps a visible gravity where strands of white light show us where all gravity is present and we called gravity the "universe threads".

If there is some creator who is subject to the laws of the universe, and even that God can violate some "objective evil", then perhaps you could make a case for objective morality. Since no one has even proved any God exists, let alone one subject to the laws of physics, it's virtually impossible to make a solid case for anything close to "objective evil".

 
 
 
TᵢG
14.3.9  TᵢG  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.8    3 months ago
Talk about circular arguments. Essentially you're trying to redefine "evil" to fit your own personal opinions which is dishonest in the extreme.

Exactly, and he refuses to even acknowledge this dishonesty thus I am again disgusted and am again done dealing with yet another pointless charade.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.10  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.8    3 months ago
Nonsense. The very definition of "evil" is "profoundly immoral", not just "a tiny bit immoral" or "has nothing to do with morality".

Is deliberately causing suffering, harm, and misfortune for another living thing an act of evil or not?  If we must deliberately cause suffering, harm, and misfortune out of necessity is that simply bad rather than evil?  Why isn't that an attempt to subjectively redefine responsibility for causing suffering, harm, and misfortune?  Isn't it immoral to avoid accepting responsibility for deliberately causing suffering, harm, and misfortune?

Establishing an arbitrary distinction between 'bad' and 'evil' is an epistemological hat trick.  That approach only highlights the subjective nature of evil.  I seriously doubt any dictionary defines deliberately causing suffering, harm, and misfortune as good.

A dictionary presents common usage of words; a dictionary is subjective.  It shouldn't be too surprising that dictionary definitions for evil reflect the human subjectivity concerning evil.  Attempting to understand good and evil requires more than the ability to read a dictionary's subjective definitions.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.11  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.10    3 months ago
Is deliberately causing suffering, harm, and misfortune for another living thing an act of evil or not?

Not. I deliberately chew stalks of celery, definitely causing it harm and misfortune. As for whether it suffers, that's debatable, but I do not consider that an "evil" act. I support the deliberate capture, cutting open and snipping the sex organs of stray cats and dogs. This is not evil because it's actually being more humane.

That approach only highlights the subjective nature of evil.

But I thought you said evil was objective?

"morality can be as objective as the laws of nature."

Oh, that's right, you said "evil" is subjective but morality can be objective. Please give an example of something that is objectively immoral that isn't subjectively considered "evil". Considering the fact that the dictionary definition of "evil" does present "common usage of words" of which "evil" is one, and yes, dictionaries by their nature are subjective, how exactly does one go about creating their own definition for a commonly used word with a commonly understood definition? And why would one find it necessary to invent their own definition of something already well defined?

If you don't want to admit that there is no such thing as objective morality, which if there was, then by definition there would be objective evil since evil is just something "profoundly immoral", then why not make your own word up that means "objective morality" that you can redefine anyway you want. If "objective morality" exists as already defined, then so does objective evil. I submit that neither exist without some external arbiter of morality.

If there was only one sentient life form in the universe, would the intent behind its actions be considered "good" or "evil" regardless of what it was doing without some other outside perspective to measure it against? The only reason humans have any concept of morality is because there are billions of other humans judging their actions or at least setting a standard even if they don't even know you exist.

Attempting to understand good and evil requires more than the ability to read a dictionary's subjective definitions.

While I agree up to a point, the ability to read, understand and use the definitions we have set down for words is the only way to properly express that understanding or even begin to debate it. If you refuse to accept standard definitions for words, then trying to have any constructive debate is pointless as you're not only likely to move the goal posts when you become cornered by logic, you'll just claim a word doesn't mean what the dictionary says it means which is the ultimate cop-out.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.12  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.11    3 months ago
But I thought you said evil was objective?

No.  My contention has been that evil arose from the subjective necessity to nourish ourselves.  It's a small evolutionary step to go from causing necessary harm to obtain a subjective benefit of nourishment toward causing harm to obtain any subjective benefit.  We cause harm to live becomes we cause harm to live better.  It's not that large a leap.

We must kill to feed ourselves and continue living.  The evolutionary progression would result in killing to live as we wish to live.  The epistemological argument would be an evolutionary progression from doing bad to doing evil.  My contention is that epistemological argument is disingenuous; good has always been good, evil has always been evil. 

In theological language, we are all sinners.  In epistemological language, we are all capable of doing evil because we are required to do bad.  My contention is that bad does not progress to evil; evil has always been evil. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.13  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.12    3 months ago
My contention is that epistemological argument is disingenuous; good has always been good, evil has always been evil. 

Poppycock. You say you do not contend that evil is objective, then you immediately claim "evil has always been evil" implying that indeed, there is some form of objective evil.

In theological language, we are all sinners.

In theological language we only became "sinners" when Adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of 'good and bad' (apparently when Eve ate first it didn't really mean anything because she was just a woman, God only got upset when Adam ate of it). So not even the bible claims humans, by their very nature being animals that consume other things for survival, were "sinners" before they ate of a very specific "forbidden" fruit.

This of course opens the door to a whole other debate about whether there is objective "good and evil" because if there is, and its defined by the Hebrew God described in the bible, it would seem to be only if you had knowledge of something being sinful does it then make it a sin. It implies that if Adam and Eve never ate of the forbidden fruit then they wouldn't even know what good and bad was. However, this creates a bit of a contradiction because God forbidding them from eating of the fruit was in of itself a command that defined good and bad actions and giving the supposed first humans that choice, to sin and eat of the fruit or to not.

 My contention is that bad does not progress to evil; evil has always been evil. 

How is saying "evil has always been evil" not implying that evil is somehow 'objective"? You admit that evil is subjective, yet you keep circling around to some bizarre stance that evil is objective. You say 'No." to the question of whether evil is objective, but then you go on to essentially define it as being what you just claimed it wasn't. Obviously you enjoy walking in circles, but I've already become bored of what can only be considered as pointless (s)trolling. No where in any of your comments do you provide a single logical hair of evidence to support objective morality or "evil" always having existed or whatever it is you're now trying to claim after moving the goal posts so many times.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.14  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.11    3 months ago
Oh, that's right, you said "evil" is subjective but morality can be objective. Please give an example of something that is objectively immoral that isn't subjectively considered "evil".

I am not black.  The institution of black slavery cannot be subjectively immoral because I am not black; I would never be condemned to the institution of black slavery because of my skin color or ancestry.  Black slavery is something I cannot subjectively experience.  I could only accept that black slavery is immoral by objectively empathizing with black slaves.  For me, the immorality of black slavery can only be objectively immoral.

Here's one for you:  Someone commits suicide to alleviate a mental anguish.  The individual has harmed themselves to obtain a benefit for themselves.  Is that suicide evil?  Is that suicide immoral?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
14.3.15  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.3.13    3 months ago
Poppycock. You say you do not contend that evil is objective, then you immediately claim "evil has always been evil" implying that indeed, there is some form of objective evil.

Subjectivity has always been subjectivity.  That doesn't make subjectivity objective.  Objective subjectivity would be an oxymoron, wouldn't it?  An objective truth does not confer objectivity onto the subject of that truth.  Your argument fails.

The logical failure of the premise that an objective truth that "evil has always been evil" confers objectivity onto evil makes the rest of your assertions equally illogical.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.3.16  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @14.3.15    3 months ago
Your argument fails.

Yeah, you believe what you want. Like I said, I'm not into taking long pointless (s)trolls in the park with someone who demands I accept their redefined word salads. I have no need to cross your bridge to nowhere.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
15  Freedom Warrior    3 months ago

Here is the question that I would pose do you think belief in God or the lack of belief in God either increases or decreases the amount of evil in the world.

I recently observed a comment here online indicating that the world would be better off without people believing in God or religiosity or whatever you wanna call it.

personally I find that absurd but clearly others do not.

 
 
 
Enoch
15.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Freedom Warrior @15    3 months ago

Dear Friend Freedom Warrior: I have lived my live best I could and can trying to do good for others.

Never forcing myself on them.

Being there for them when and if they need and want.

I do that precisely because I am a Rabbi and a Chaplain.

My take on all this is that the world is better off for having good people doing good things.

If that happens because they embrace, practice reject or don't care about religion or its alternatives that is all fine with me.

It is the sanctions that count for me.

If they believe and practice something, we will see it turn up in their actions.

If not, the question is did they really believe it or just identify with it?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You and Yours Dear Friend and Brother in Spirit.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Enoch
15.1.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Enoch @15.1    3 months ago

Correction: Actions, not sanctions.

E.

 
 
 
evilgenius
16  evilgenius    3 months ago
The problem of evil is one of the most difficult of all challenges with which theologians and theological philosophers grapple.

I didn't know I was that popular.

There is unnecessary evil in the world.

That's just rude!

It causes suffering and harm.

I really try not to. Really!

Why does not G-d use His powers to eliminate evil from occurring?

We have an understanding. I do my thing and He does his. We don't bother each other and the Universe keeps spinning. For now...

/s Yes this is all in jest. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza, fun Festivus and yummy National Fruitcake Day!

 
 
 
Enoch
16.1  author  Enoch  replied to  evilgenius @16    3 months ago

Dear Friend Evilgenius: Love the post.

Great fun.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2020.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
evilgenius
16.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  Enoch @16.1    3 months ago

Thank you, Enoch. My warmest wishes for you and yours too during the new year!

 
 
 
Enoch
16.1.2  author  Enoch  replied to  evilgenius @16.1.1    3 months ago

Dear Friend Evilgenius: Many thanks.

Means a lot.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Enoch
17  author  Enoch    3 months ago

I wish to express my thanks to all who participated in this spirited discussion.

This is an important topic.

We had well reasoned clearly presented variety of views expressed.

We are grateful.

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Enoch.

 
 
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