how do you define good and bad

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:55 pm

Rombom and Anarkandi, how do you define evil?

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:58 pm

anarkandi wrote:
rombomb wrote:The Nature of Man


You should read Steven Pinker, a psychologist that concludes that the reason we are evil is because we perceive the consequences of evil to be low, and if the consequences were higher, less evil would be committed.

There is such a thing as deliberate evil, and your point doesn't touch on it, you only touch on one form. And such a day won't come. We will never know "enough" - there will always be more down the rabbit hole. In fact, what we know can trap us - if we hold onto old beliefs and things we may hurt ourselves or restrain ourselves so much we loose out on good opportunities.

The future I'm referring to is far far far in the future -- long after I'm dead (unless I live forever because of some cool technology).

I agree with you that new problems are inevitable (aka "there will always be more down the rabbit hole"), but that doesn't imply that any specific class of problems is insoluble.

One day, the only problems anybody has will be good problems, like "I want to learn physics" or "I want to learn how to make pot brownies".

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:49 pm

anarkandi wrote:
There is such a thing as deliberate evil, and your point doesn't touch on it, you only touch on one form.

My hypotheticals didn't touch on it but my explanation did -- and it says that deliberate evil wouldn't happen if the evildoer had better knowledge, e.g. a better way to live.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:50 pm

anarkandi wrote:
You should read Steven Pinker, a psychologist that concludes that the reason we are evil is because we perceive the consequences of evil to be low, and if the consequences were higher, less evil would be committed.
That raises the question: Why do we perceive the consequences the way we do? What way is that?

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:28 pm

rombomb wrote:
anarkandi wrote:
You should read Steven Pinker, a psychologist that concludes that the reason we are evil is because we perceive the consequences of evil to be low, and if the consequences were higher, less evil would be committed.
That raises the question: Why do we perceive the consequences the way we do? What way is that?
We don't "perceive" expected consequences. Perception does not involve reason. Perception is related to sensory data.

What we do is reason. We think about what an action might cause. These are interpretations (not perceptions). Sometimes people have emotions as a result of their interpretations. For example, a parent might fear that his kid will say to him in the future "Its your fault you didn't raise me better." With sufficient knowledge, this parent will no longer believe that this is a possible consequence and will no longer fear it.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:43 am

melodiccolor wrote:Rombom and Anarkandi, how do you define evil?
I use the words bad/evil/immoral interchangeably.

I don't know of any reasons to do otherwise. What do you think? For what reasons should I not use these words interchangeably?

An act is a-mistake/is-bad/is-evil/is-immoral if it causes harm on himself or others.

Here's some situations:

(1) The actor is not aware that his act causes harm.

(2) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better.

(3) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better, AND he doesn't try to figure out a better way.

All of these are mistakes/bad/evil/immoral.

(1) is the least bad. (2) is worse. (3) is the worst.

What other types of situations are there?

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Reamsie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:23 pm

Good topic Mel, it seems like lots of good thoughts and points have been made.

I share the good=helps, bad=hurts school of thought, but I do believe that there will always be situations that perhaps are the exception but are most definitely not the rule. I also share Mel's thought that intent plays a very big part in whether an act can be viewed as good or bad or to what degree it may be good or bad. I also don't believe that a bad act automatically makes a person bad nor does a good act necessarily make a person a good person.

I also feel that bad and evil are not interchangeable terms. The definition of evil=morally reprehensible. Well there are quite a few things I would consider morally reprehensible that I wouldn't consider evil. Someone evil causes hurt/harm/destruction with deliberate intent on a much deeper or larger scale i.e. dictators such as Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, serial killers John Wayne Gacy, Gary Ridgeway, Wayne Williams. I am not saying that dictators and serial killers are the only ones that qualify, just two obvious examples.




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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:43 pm

rombomb wrote:
melodiccolor wrote:Rombom and Anarkandi, how do you define evil?
I use the words bad/evil/immoral interchangeably.

I don't know of any reasons to do otherwise. What do you think? For what reasons should I not use these words interchangeably?

An act is a-mistake/is-bad/is-evil/is-immoral if it causes harm on himself or others.

Here's some situations:

(1) The actor is not aware that his act causes harm.

(2) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better.

(3) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better, AND he doesn't try to figure out a better way.

All of these are mistakes/bad/evil/immoral.

(1) is the least bad. (2) is worse. (3) is the worst.

What other types of situations are there?

Let me get this straight, any mistake that causes a problem for anyone is evil? One can conclude that not being perfect is evil by this definition, and since no one is perfect, everyone must then be evil...except for you of course. This is going by your definition.


I suggest you read the entire thread, how others are using these terms. The way you're using them is strange, in a way no one else does. They do not mean the same thing, are not interchangeable. It may clear up a lot of confusion.


Last edited by melodiccolor on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:45 pm

Reamsie wrote:Good topic Mel, it seems like lots of good thoughts and points have been made.

I share the good=helps, bad=hurts school of thought, but I do believe that there will always be situations that perhaps are the exception but are most definitely not the rule. I also share Mel's thought that intent plays a very big part in whether an act can be viewed as good or bad or to what degree it may be good or bad. I also don't believe that a bad act automatically makes a person bad nor does a good act necessarily make a person a good person.

I also feel that bad and evil are not interchangeable terms. The definition of evil=morally reprehensible. Well there are quite a few things I would consider morally reprehensible that I wouldn't consider evil. Someone evil causes hurt/harm/destruction with deliberate intent on a much deeper or larger scale i.e. dictators such as Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, serial killers John Wayne Gacy, Gary Ridgeway, Wayne Williams. I am not saying that dictators and serial killers are the only ones that qualify, just two obvious examples.



I've been thinking more about how to define evil myself, and came to the startling realisation that it is startling hard to do for everything I could think of as evil is based on cultural perspective and a shift in it changed things. I'll post more on this later. That is not to say there isn't evil...just that it is hard to be definitive about it.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Alethia on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:38 pm

rombomb wrote:
melodiccolor wrote:Rombom and Anarkandi, how do you define evil?
I use the words bad/evil/immoral interchangeably.

I don't know of any reasons to do otherwise. What do you think? For what reasons should I not use these words interchangeably?

An act is a-mistake/is-bad/is-evil/is-immoral if it causes harm on himself or others.

Here's some situations:

(1) The actor is not aware that his act causes harm.

(2) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better.

(3) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better, AND he doesn't try to figure out a better way.

All of these are mistakes/bad/evil/immoral.

(1) is the least bad. (2) is worse. (3) is the worst.

What other types of situations are there?

the actor is simply not aware...
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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by rombomb on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:24 pm

melodiccolor wrote:
rombomb wrote:
melodiccolor wrote:Rombom and Anarkandi, how do you define evil?
I use the words bad/evil/immoral interchangeably.

I don't know of any reasons to do otherwise. What do you think? For what reasons should I not use these words interchangeably?

An act is a-mistake/is-bad/is-evil/is-immoral if it causes harm on himself or others.

Here's some situations:

(1) The actor is not aware that his act causes harm.

(2) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better.

(3) The actor is aware that his act causes harm, BUT he doesn't know how to do anything better, AND he doesn't try to figure out a better way.

All of these are mistakes/bad/evil/immoral.

(1) is the least bad. (2) is worse. (3) is the worst.

What other types of situations are there?

Let me get this straight, any mistake that causes a problem for anyone is evil?
By mistake I mean one that is related to a mistaken idea -- not things like accidental turning of a steering wheel, causing a crash, putting people in hospitals.

And by problem, I'm speaking of hurtful ones.

melodiccolor wrote:
One can conclude that not being perfect is evil by this definition, and since no one is perfect, everyone must then be evil...
My post was about whether an act is good or bad. I said nothing about whether the actor is labeled good or bad. That is more complicated. I haven't figured out a good way to approach that.

I can say these are evil people: Hitler, Saddam, Terrorists, Serial killers, Rapists, Child molesters, Wife beaters, Children beaters, etc.

melodiccolor wrote:
except for you of course.
Why except me? I'm not perfect and I don't believe that I've said anything that implies that. What led you to that idea?

melodiccolor wrote:
This is going by your definition.
I explained how to label an act as good or bad, not the actor as good or bad.

melodiccolor wrote:
I suggest you read the entire thread, how others are using these terms. The way you're using them is strange, in a way no one else does. They do not mean the same thing, are not interchangeable. It may clear up a lot of confusion.
K, I'll read it.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:38 pm

With such a wide range of views on good and bad, how would any of you define trolling?

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Zen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:39 pm

Intentional malicious attack on a group audience for the sake of provoking a negative reaction.
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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:44 pm

Zen wrote:Intentional malicious attack on a group audience for the sake of provoking a negative reaction.
What if it is passive agressive and the troll is taking victim mode? What if it is a concerted campaign against other members done slyly or in PMs? How would you identify a troll in such situations? Not all trolling is overt or clear....

And it does go back to how one sees good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable actions.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Nucky on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:51 pm

I think that an action has to have malicious intent to be considered trolling. As unpleasant as people who behave inappropriately because of emotional problems can be, they are not always malicious and do not always intend to hurt or control others. Some of them just feel stuck and lost.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by melodiccolor on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Nucky wrote:I think that an action has to have malicious intent to be considered trolling. As unpleasant as people who behave inappropriately because of emotional problems can be, they are not always malicious and do not always intend to hurt or control others. Some of them just feel stuck and lost.
I had earth maiden in mind as she employed all those tactics and more as did our other trolls.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Zen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:10 pm

melodiccolor wrote:
Zen wrote:Intentional malicious attack on a group audience for the sake of provoking a negative reaction.
What if it is passive agressive and the troll is taking victim mode? What if it is a concerted campaign against other members done slyly or in PMs? How would you identify a troll in such situations? Not all trolling is overt or clear....

And it does go back to how one sees good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable actions.

it takes kind of empathness to a degree.

For instance, hijacking group chat is intentional and arguably malicious. It's like holding them a captive audience.
Even if the exact words are victim mode, the underlying intention is something else. Passive aggressive is still malicious just in a more "acceptable" form than blatantly coming out with it.

Pms is flaming or harassment. Flaming is basically one on one abuse. There is some like, overlap here if someone is flaming using racist stuff as then it's offensive to more than just the person it's aimed at.
Harassment is basically repeated abusive incidents on one person.

Some of this is judgment call stuff though and depends on the site standard how blatant it has to be.


Last edited by Zen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by RBM on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:48 pm

Alethia wrote:the actor is simply not aware...

In that case the actor's intent is not informed (not capable), or from math set theory, his status is a 'null set', as in not aware of 'harm' as a possibility, at all.

Getting how this is the most useful analysis to make is a lot of work as I found out in reading hours of MBTf.
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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by RBM on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:53 pm

melodiccolor wrote:With such a wide range of views on good and bad, how would any of you define trolling?

Since trolling is a specific medium of communication, there are additional issues to be considered specific to the medium.

Jumping to conclusions is easy to do. For one who's a passive-aggressive in real life:

Passive-aggressive behavior is a category of interpersonal interactions characterised by an obstructionist or hostile manner that indicates aggression, or, in more general terms, expressing aggression in non-assertive, subtle (that is, passive or indirect) ways. It can be seen in some cases as a personality trait or disorder marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and passive, usually disavowed, resistance in interpersonal or occupational situations.


It may take a lot of words, which are at best are metaphors, to make a accurate analysis.
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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Zen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:52 pm

I don't think it's that hard to identify once you have an eye for it, just hard to get a consistent judgment because every site is different and it's very site-specific.
The nature of trolling is finding creative ways to annoy and attack others, so this means they're going to do it based on the site's culture and features.

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default Re: how do you define good and bad

Post by Patwidge on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:39 am

I am struggling with this. I agree with Mel that it would be a good idea to write here...

To sum up in one sentence; what everyone can agree upon universally as beneficial regardless of cultural rules is "good"; and what everyone can agree upon universally as being "harmful" is bad. I think a good indicator would be to ask a small child about it.

However, there are several nuances to be made. There are "bad" actions and "good" actions, which, alone, cannot reflect on a person's character because it is mainly a matter of opinion. Everyone has a different definition of "good" and "bad". Sometimes it is because people will add intent in the equation and some others won't; it also depends on our own experiences. So if one refers as an action as "good" or "bad", it actually holds very little meaning and isn't, in my opinion, enough to define these terms. After all, everyone makes mistakes.

Which brings me back to my first statement. "Good" and "bad" are already extreme words, so they can only refer to extreme actions, actions that affect someone's humanity and core values. This is why I am saying that everyone should be able to agree on this. Even if a rapist probably won't have remorse and Hitler thought that what he was doing was right. They are crazy people out there, and so they are exceptions. This is why I believe that those people lost their own humanity, because they put people in situations where their core values and humanity loses its meaning and is suppressed.

Sure, negative extremeness reflects a person's hurt and pain. But this does not excuse anything. We all carry some amount of hurt, and not every one becomes a mass murderer. In the end, it is one person's call to decide to act so as to create a situation in which a victim's humanity will be deliberately suppressed*. This is what makes a person bad. It is the difference between achieving a morally "bad" action to serve YOUR self and achieving a morally bad action to destroy someone's sense of self.


anarkandi wrote:The reason they do all the bad things they do, is because they don't reflect on the moral implication of what they are doing. They assume that the ability to exploit or control is good in itself because the ability is there.


This is very important. However, no one can ignore the moral implications of extreme acts. They choose to ignore them, and this is another choice that bad people make.

*Note: I formulated that sentence this way because, as a very dear friend of mine explained, no one has the power to actually take another's core values or humanity away from them.
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