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On Good and Evil...

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Old
10-30-2012, 01:55 PM
  #1
xX Hot Fuss
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On Good and Evil...

I just watched a good documentary on Netflix called "The Science of Evil". Its a few years old and i'm sure atleast some of you have seen it already. In the documentary, it focused on 3 major points...

1) Stanford Prison Experiement: This experiment, done in the 70's, was done to see how how 18 volunteers (9 prisoners and 9 guards) would act in a simulated prison environment. The Guards, in less than 5 days, turned to sadist acts and in some cases, ruthlessley exercised their power over the prisoners to make them do humilating things and treat them terribly. The experiment was supposed to be 14 days long, but was cut short to 5 days when the Experiment Originator (Professor at Stanford) realized that he too was being evil for watching these acts occur and not doing anything to stop it.

2) Republic of Congo: This wasn't an experiment, it followed the real life effects of War and extreme poverty in Congo. Most of the scenarios and horrible things that happen in that part of the country are well known so i wont delve into them. Point being, a UN Worker ended up talking to a Captain of the Congo army and she asked him why he was so willing to relocate hundreds of thousands of people. His response was [paraphrase] "We have a chain of command. We get orders and we obey them". Which could suggest that all of the genocide and **** and forced starvation in Africa can in some ways stem from people turning off the emotional/moral parts of their brain when "Following Orders"

3) Situational LMRI Scans: This was done at Princeton. It placed volunteers in an MRI machine and had them read various scenarios where they had to make moral decisions and then the machine tracked their brain activity. The results were interesting because they were not all the same. Some people's emotional responses would override the "logical" part of the brain and sometimes it was the opposite. The scientist behind the experiment also used this data to suggest that there may not be a soul. That all of our actions and thoughts are strictly based on neural impulses.

After watching this i'm still undecided on many things. Is "Evil" even a real thing? Are people born "Evil"? Born "Good"? If there is no soul does the battle between "Good and Evil" even exist?

Discuss...

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Old
10-30-2012, 01:58 PM
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Beyond Good and Evil is one of the best books I've ever read. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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10-30-2012, 02:04 PM
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After watching this i'm still undecided on many things. Is "Evil" even a real thing? Are people born "Evil"? Born "Good"? If there is no soul does the battle between "Good and Evil" even exist?
Doth this be the oldest can of worms?

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10-30-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by xX Hot Fuss View Post
I just watched a good documentary on Netflix called "The Science of Evil". Its a few years old and i'm sure atleast some of you have seen it already. In the documentary, it focused on 3 major points...

1) Stanford Prison Experiement: This experiment, done in the 70's, was done to see how how 18 volunteers (9 prisoners and 9 guards) would act in a simulated prison environment. The Guards, in less than 5 days, turned to sadist acts and in some cases, ruthlessley exercised their power over the prisoners to make them do humilating things and treat them terribly. The experiment was supposed to be 14 days long, but was cut short to 5 days when the Experiment Originator (Professor at Stanford) realized that he too was being evil for watching these acts occur and not doing anything to stop it.

2) Republic of Congo: This wasn't an experiment, it followed the real life effects of War and extreme poverty in Congo. Most of the scenarios and horrible things that happen in that part of the country are well known so i wont delve into them. Point being, a UN Worker ended up talking to a Captain of the Congo army and she asked him why he was so willing to relocate hundreds of thousands of people. His response was [paraphrase] "We have a chain of command. We get orders and we obey them". Which could suggest that all of the genocide and **** and forced starvation in Africa can in some ways stem from people turning off the emotional/moral parts of their brain when "Following Orders"

3) Situational LMRI Scans: This was done at Princeton. It placed volunteers in an MRI machine and had them read various scenarios where they had to make moral decisions and then the machine tracked their brain activity. The results were interesting because they were not all the same. Some people's emotional responses would override the "logical" part of the brain and sometimes it was the opposite. The scientist behind the experiment also used this data to suggest that there may not be a soul. That all of our actions and thoughts are strictly based on neural impulses.

After watching this i'm still undecided on many things. Is "Evil" even a real thing? Are people born "Evil"? Born "Good"? If there is no soul does the battle between "Good and Evil" even exist?

Discuss...
Good and evil are social constructs of morality. Morality is an evolutionary diversion from instinct that accompanied the evolutionary transition of human beings from animals to persons.

I'm also one to believe there is no such thing as true free will, and free will is merely a social construct that encompasses a host of other, more precise variables.

At any rate this thread is probably going into the political forum as it's prone to ideological arguments.

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10-30-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xX Hot Fuss View Post
I just watched a good documentary on Netflix called "The Science of Evil". Its a few years old and i'm sure atleast some of you have seen it already. In the documentary, it focused on 3 major points...

1) Stanford Prison Experiement: This experiment, done in the 70's, was done to see how how 18 volunteers (9 prisoners and 9 guards) would act in a simulated prison environment. The Guards, in less than 5 days, turned to sadist acts and in some cases, ruthlessley exercised their power over the prisoners to make them do humilating things and treat them terribly. The experiment was supposed to be 14 days long, but was cut short to 5 days when the Experiment Originator (Professor at Stanford) realized that he too was being evil for watching these acts occur and not doing anything to stop it.

2) Republic of Congo: This wasn't an experiment, it followed the real life effects of War and extreme poverty in Congo. Most of the scenarios and horrible things that happen in that part of the country are well known so i wont delve into them. Point being, a UN Worker ended up talking to a Captain of the Congo army and she asked him why he was so willing to relocate hundreds of thousands of people. His response was [paraphrase] "We have a chain of command. We get orders and we obey them". Which could suggest that all of the genocide and **** and forced starvation in Africa can in some ways stem from people turning off the emotional/moral parts of their brain when "Following Orders"

3) Situational LMRI Scans: This was done at Princeton. It placed volunteers in an MRI machine and had them read various scenarios where they had to make moral decisions and then the machine tracked their brain activity. The results were interesting because they were not all the same. Some people's emotional responses would override the "logical" part of the brain and sometimes it was the opposite. The scientist behind the experiment also used this data to suggest that there may not be a soul. That all of our actions and thoughts are strictly based on neural impulses.

After watching this i'm still undecided on many things. Is "Evil" even a real thing? Are people born "Evil"? Born "Good"? If there is no soul does the battle between "Good and Evil" even exist?

Discuss...

Evil is absolutely a real thing in that it is a man mad concept to explain certain decisions and actions. I think the better question to ask is whether acts of evil are made under free will or under a determinism point of view, something that CanadianHockey brought up.

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Old
10-30-2012, 04:00 PM
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Define "Good" and define "evil"

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10-30-2012, 08:42 PM
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Social constructs.

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10-30-2012, 09:52 PM
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Evil is Christian-ese for really bad. Sort of based on that and on what I feel is true in practice, I think it's following one's instincts to the degree that the welfare of another individual becomes either meaningless or a negative thing. Also, life is geared to consume other life / itself. I think there is no clear point where evil stops, and okay or good begins.

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10-30-2012, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by xX Hot Fuss View Post
2) Republic of Congo: This wasn't an experiment, it followed the real life effects of War and extreme poverty in Congo. Most of the scenarios and horrible things that happen in that part of the country are well known so i wont delve into them. Point being, a UN Worker ended up talking to a Captain of the Congo army and she asked him why he was so willing to relocate hundreds of thousands of people. His response was [paraphrase] "We have a chain of command. We get orders and we obey them". Which could suggest that all of the genocide and **** and forced starvation in Africa can in some ways stem from people turning off the emotional/moral parts of their brain when "Following Orders"
Without seeing the exact interview you're referencing I've seen others that leave the answer of "following chain of command" quite lacking. You basically can't take anything an African warlord has to say at face value, especially not in Republic of Congo. At some point personal responsibility comes into play and you realize that you're using rape as a tool of war and that that is wrong.

Also, so many of the fighting forces roaming the bush in these countries don't see or hear from their commanders for weeks or months at a time sometimes. At some point in your quiet moments there is time for introspection about the acts you're committing.

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10-30-2012, 10:12 PM
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I'm picking up some cool new .gifs for the next puckgenius thread.

On a related note there's a great book written by the architect of the Stanford Prison Experiment called "The Lucifer Effect" that diagnoses exactly what you're proposing.

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10-30-2012, 10:13 PM
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Beyond Good and Evil is one of the best books I've ever read. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
**** you nietsche. If god is dead, then why did he exist? If he doesn't exist, why is he dead?

Dumbass.

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10-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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Without seeing the exact interview you're referencing I've seen others that leave the answer of "following chain of command" quite lacking. You basically can't take anything an African warlord has to say at face value, especially not in Republic of Congo. At some point personal responsibility comes into play and you realize that you're using rape as a tool of war and that that is wrong.

Also, so many of the fighting forces roaming the bush in these countries don't see or hear from their commanders for weeks or months at a time sometimes. At some point in your quiet moments there is time for introspection about the acts you're committing.
Many of these soldiers have grown up knowing little to nothing else, especially those who began 'training' for these factions as children. Their concepts of morality might therefore be radically different than ours. Furthermore, I'd imagine that after you've seen or even participated in those atrocities a few times, your mind begins to ignore your conscience as a coping mechanism to preserve your sanity.

At any rate, yes, a self-survey of those soldiers is probably not going to be reliable.

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10-30-2012, 10:49 PM
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Many of these soldiers have grown up knowing little to nothing else, especially those who began 'training' for these factions as children. Their concepts of morality might therefore be radically different than ours. Furthermore, I'd imagine that after you've seen or even participated in those atrocities a few times, your mind begins to ignore your conscience as a coping mechanism to preserve your sanity.

At any rate, yes, a self-survey of those soldiers is probably not going to be reliable.
In the interviews I've seen most confessed to knowing it was wrong while they were doing it.

Y'know, I can fathom certain things being considered on a different moral scale in different areas of the world but when you're talking about rape of toddlers it's a whole other ballgame.

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10-30-2012, 11:03 PM
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**** you nietsche. If god is dead, then why did he exist? If he doesn't exist, why is he dead?

Dumbass.
Um... Yeah. That's not how it goes, like at all.

God is dead is a metaphor for how we need to reevaluate our morals based on the "death" of God. If you remove the foundation of our morals, then you must reform the morals itself.

For Nietzsche it was Christianity itself that killed God. Passages like "Know thyself" led people to a search for truth and other scientific developments that contradicted what it was that was held as true in the bible and stuff. People began to see contradictions between reason and what they were led to believe.

So, the whole structure of morality ought to be reformed.

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10-30-2012, 11:54 PM
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Many years ago (about 20) there was a rash of assaults on females in Edmonton between 10pm and 2am. Police did a crack down and were doing their best to prevent any more from happening. An undercover detective (who was dressed like a thug) saw a woman walk in a back alley, he decided to follow her to make sure she would be alright. About half way down the alley he got knocked out cold. He woke up with has hands bound. But there were two ambulance people there as well as well as a few uniformed cops. Two guys, well known to the police has seen the guy follow the woman into the alley and then followed him and thought he was the guy causing all the trouble. They knocked the guy out and called 911. There had been such a crack down on "their" activities that they then started looking for the guy who was attacking the woman hoping to catch him, turn him over to the police and then the police would lift the crackdown would end and they could go back to "their" usual business which was nasty in its self. Even in the ZOO there are rules to keep things balanced

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10-30-2012, 11:58 PM
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**** you nietsche. If god is dead, then why did he exist? If he doesn't exist, why is he dead?

Dumbass.
The problem with Nietsche is the fact that a certain german group and in many cases rewrote what he had written and those writings were then put into mass circulation. A few years ago in London there was a conference held on his writings and the different books. In about 1910 most of his books had been published in different languages, but because his writing are now in public domain some time book companies release a version of his book that in fact has been altered. The rewrites were done by his sister and her husband

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10-31-2012, 12:07 AM
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Was interesting. Would read again.

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