Good and evil

Question of Day February 29, 2012 – Good and Evil

Do you believe that it’s possible for ‘good’ to ultimately overcome ‘evil’ or will there always be the necessity of conflict?

That’s cheating OM 😉

You wanna get first place – then to the work ;<))

As OM hints, the question assumes that good and evil have any real meaning.

In my understanding, the terms have no real meaning, in and of themselves, and they hint at a multidimensional set of distinctions, relating to survival and freedom and empowerment and education and an infinitude of other dimensions.

The idea that there is any sort of "good" independent of consideration of the particulars of a set of circumstances makes no sense to me.

In my world, good and evil are like light and dark – simple distinctions that a child must make as they start their journey of exploring the world of morality (or of the electromagnetic spectrum).

The simplest possible distinction anyone can make is a binary – thing or not thing – survival or death (at some level).

As we grow in knowledge of how thing actually seem to work in this reality in which we find ourselves, then we become aware of the impossibility of any universal notion of good or evil, and it becomes clear that the impacts and influences of our choices spread and have all sorts of consequences that no-one could possibly have predicted ahead of time. Thus we find ourselves in a continual cosmic dance of choice and consequence, and often things started with the best of intentions end up having consequences we would much rather that they did not.

At one level, it seems to me that all humans come pre-configured with a large number of chemical and subconscious processes that pre-dispose them to be cooperative entities in larger groups. However, for many the "in group" is quite small, and everyone else is simple resource to be exploited. This seems to me to be a failure of education, rather than anything "evil".

And there is no doubt that there are many pathological individuals out there, who have had their neural networks configured by their life experience into enjoying causing pain and suffering for others.

At some level they have responsibility for their choices, and at some other levels, they are simply the products of their environment. Probability functions are like that – no certainties anywhere.

So, on the biggest level, it seems that we will all need to be aware of, and responsible for our own security at every level – freedom, survival, ….. There do not appear to be any absolute guarantees of anything in this universe in which we find ourselves.

And it seems to me, that working for the highest level of cooperation that we can is the most powerful way to enhance our lives (in all dimensions).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s