(Part One can be seen here.)
So is “evil” an acceptable term to use when discussing morality? I’m frequently told that it is not.
Sure, just keep in mind that it’s an adjective, not a noun.
From what I understand, we shouldn’t use the term at all in any serious sense, since it seems to denote a more conscious, living entity, whether noun or adjective. Instead we’re encouraged to use terms such as “immoral” or “moral” (which are still problematic) or describe things as “less inclined to human desires/needs/happiness” or “more inclined to human desires/needs/happiness,” etc, etc, you get the idea.
I’m frequently told that it is not.
People on this blog, and people at “unreasonable faith.”
Huh. Well, not from me, anyway, even though I frequent both locations.
So is the idea of “evil” being an inane, outdated and inaccurate way of categorizing things which displease humans an unfamiliar concept to you? If so…what do you think about it?
It’s not new to me, but I think it is problematic to attempt to exclude “evil” as a descriptor. It seems useful to me in a manner much like Rich Wilson indicated below. It works well when it is indicating intentional malfeasance on behalf of a conscious entity, to distinguish it from undirected misfortune with no malevolence behind it. Hitler was evil. A hurricane cannot be evil, though it can do bad things.
I have a problem whenever people use Hitler as an example of “evil”. So far as I know Hitler never killed anyone, he simply pandered to the murderous instincts of his followers. Imo if anyone should be considered “evil” it’s the people who actually committed the atrocities. Blaming Hitler is exactly like the scapegoat principle cited in Edward’s video.
I tend to think of moral responsibility as non-rivalrous. If a series of events can be conceived in terms of but-fors, e.g. but for this order being given, those people would not have been killed; but for this order being followed, those people would not have been killed; the responsibility fully falls upon each agent in the chain that provided the but-for action. Both Hitler and anyone following his orders (directly or indirectly) shoulder full, severable, individual responsibility for what transpired.
ya, that’s new to me. I think ‘sin’ is a religious construct, and as such only exists within the framework of religion. But the phrase “Hitler was evil” doesn’t sound odd to me.
Well if you mean capital E “Evil”, like having to do with dark forces, satan or demonic influences, then I agree. But to use evil as a descriptive word, I don’t see a problem.
Evil is a real thing, there’s nothing wrong with using the term or discussing the concept. “Evil” fails when people try to define it based on some sort of absolute standard of the Universe (or a god). There’s no such thing. But as humans, we define what is and is not moral, and we reserve the term “evil” for that which we consider the most immoral- just as we use “good” for what we do consider moral.
You’d think worship and faith would be enough, but in addition to “friendship” there’s also the required “intimate”, “personal”, “meaningful”, “loving” relationships; I’ve even heard “in love”; all imagined and one way. All seem to apply to God as well, but fear is added.
Go Edward! Befriending a bloke who may or may not have ever existed is not a sign of sanity. Eating tasty bits and drinking a beverage of the same dead jew can’t be healthy either. We all need and appreciate friends. Dead ones from long ago don’t qualify as real friends. To proclaim a long dead jew from the first century, who is probably a total fiction anyway is probably the silliest thing about christian belief amongst others. Do the friends of the dead jew have any concept of just how stupid it all is? If not, there’s a problem.
Dear Edward, thanks for your 2 part videos on ” Jesus and I are Friends. You make reference in part one to the popular christian hymne “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” Here in Port Hope Ontario Canada a guy by the name of Joseph Scriven lived here and wrote the words to that around 1855. He was a bit of a loon as he would wonder the streets at that time warning people of the perils of hell and the sactity of heaven. Well wouldn’t you know that in 2009, the Town Council of Port Hope declared be resolution that What A friend of We Have in Jesus become the Official Hymn of the Municipality of Port Hope. I took on the dubious task of objecting on several points, however, lost to the Council and their gods better judgement. I only hope that Jews, Islamist, Polytheist, and atheist, and almost all reasonable people, forgive them for they no not what they do. I enjoyed your videos.
Gustave Dekking, Port Hope, On Canada