Talk:Good and evil

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Freud's contribution[edit]

There should be a major section on Freud's contribution to the idea of the superego (force of destruction) and id (force of renewal and life). It is the closest thing we have of scientific confirmation of the ancient religious doctrines of the struggle between good and evil.67.168.58.103 (talk) 16:51, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

DELETED: Anti-goodness theories[edit]

Choice of lesser goods theories[edit]

Sometimes more thorough attempts will also be made to describe the origin of evil and how it might tend to come into existence as well. Those attempts will sometimes fall under the category of describing as false various forms of goodness. Among some schools of thought,[citation needed] the idea is put forth that all evil comes from the excessive pursuit of goods of lesser value, at the expense of goods of greater value. For instance, greed derives from the pursuit of gain for one's self, generally a good thing, at the expense of others, generally a bad thing. Overeating may result from the exchange of momentary pleasure derived from the eating of food, for the greater good of long-term health. In psychology similar processes might occur in the formation of various types of addictions. No particular thing is thus considered to be intrinsically bad automatically, but rather evil will come from the pursuit of various goods in excess, to the expense or the neglect of other more important ones. Narssarssuaq (talk) 12:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Does this article need a severe haircut?Timpo (talk) 15:56, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[edit]

Like Topsy, this article just grows and grows - Time for the shears perhaps? Much of it seems to be uncited, unverifiable (at least by me) and IMHO, claptrap.This should be about the distinction between positive and negative forces since there is already a clutch of better articles about the forces themselves, such as

Any comments - add below this with indents ('edit this section and start line with a colon: I think, although there may perhaps be a more elegant way?) Timpo (talk) 15:56, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is a lack of a consensus on the definition of Good and Evil to begin with: You refer to them as 'forces', which would then indeed have already enough said about them individually in separate articles, and then the primary focus should of course be their relationship. Opposing? Benignly interacting? Chaotically interacting, etc. But the article starts with a presumably horizontal model: EVIL<---->GOOD, and defines both somewhat vaguely as both the direction and the location on the linear model. If that is the true definition, then there need be no more Relationship between Good and Evil than there is between Hot and Cold, which are but two different names for the same object; but labeled according to their place on a scale. The rest of the article can then be only about their historical interpretations and observations, as we should expect to see in an article entitled Hot and Cold. Then the whole article could be trimmed and added to the articles about the 'states' of being themselves. Furthermore, the definition could be decidedly Absolute, which would require a longer, more philosophical article whose only references could be historical philosophers and the bias be necessarily that of one particular philosophy. The alternative would be no philosophy at all, and would hardly be an article on Good and Evil as much as Good and Evil Not Actually Being Talked About But Getting Very Close to the Topic While Skirting Anything Anyone Actually Believes. 89.211.104.73 (talk) .C 8:36 AM Sunday, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

Absolute Good vs. Variant Evil[edit]

In the first paragraph of the article, Good and Evil are defined as a philosophical imaginary location or direction on a linear spectrum of morality. This, as I shall attempt to prove hereafter, is both an inadequate definition and a fallacious one.

In the article entitled 'Evil', evil is defined as Profound Immorality; an extreme lack of adherence to a moral or ethical code. This second definition would suggest the spectrum is vertical, like temperature or degree of light, a measure not of simple direction or location, but a theoretical value on an indifferent scale; suggesting evil is the absence of or deviation from Good. Good being necessarily both proper and infinite in its theoretical value but not in actual testable value, again a parallel to heat(I have not proved this yet; see Plato's Form of the Good, as well as second paragraph for evidence). Any measure of evil, then, would and must be deviant, changing, and imprecise in its character, being anything that is not Good, while Evil itself in Absolute form could be correctly defined as a direction on a vertical linear scale; the direction which is not Good. But Good may not be described as a direction on the vertical scale or as any value measurable on such a scale. It must be defined only as Absolute, just as Truth is absolute. Either you are Right, and have One Conclusion, that will be congruous to All Right conclusions of the same matter and scale, or you are Wrong, and may have any number of the infinite possible mistakes, as anything that is not the right answer is wrong, and though some conclusions seem to be 'more wrong' than others, all those which are Not Actually Completely True. Anything that is not Good is evil.

Whether or not the standard of Good is Fixed Eternally is a subject for another debate, but it is logically necessary that it be 'fixed' in a specific iota of hypothetically motionless time(or no-time), according to the definition of time(extremely simplified, if anything is happening, time is passing). Therefore, in a state of no-time the nature of good is fixed and necessarily(whether temporarily or no)Absolute. Even if the nature of Good is determined by social mores it must be absolute in any given time frame.

But Good, like Truth, is not, and must not be variant. If the concept of Good were Really and Actually to Change, according to the mores of Society or any other temporal standard, the problem this author has in conflict with the definition of Good is one of pure semantics. It comes to this: If one talks of ethics, or any moral philosophy, in reference to the concept of Good one must either be talking of that which is Ultimately desirable, efficient, superior, excellent, correct, true, et cetera, or talking of another concept. If the latter is the case and one takes the term 'good' and applies it variably, then one must come up with a new term for the Ultimately Ethically Proper, or be hopelessly lost in describing It.

Thus, in the definition of Good and Evil, Good must needs be defined as an Absolute, while Evil must needs be defined as variant. Such that a person may be 'slightly evil' or 'very evil' according to their few or many incongruities with the Absolute Standard of Good, Whatever that may Actually be, but a person cannot be 'slightly good' or 'very good' insomuch as they cannot conform any More to a fixed standard.

The nomenclature, then should be characterized as follows, according to syntactical norms. Good, when talking of Good vs Evil, must be at all times capitalized, to oppose from the layman's term 'good' which could be used to describe a 'good meal' or 'good time at the mall'. Whereas evil should at most times be lowercase, as it denotes usually a variant, inexact value; as does the lowercase good. Evil then, with a capital 'E' should only be used when referring to the Philosophical Direction on a moral or ethical scale. Exempli Gratia: Person A has become more Evil everyday. vs. Person A is evil. This form of distinction shall be used hereafter.

Perhaps it has been proven so far the Necessity of the Existence of Infinite Good. This author has defined Infinite Good, as it relates to its necessary Existence and the philosophy of Ethics. This author has not defined Infinite Good as it defines the Natural World.

Except in religious philosophies of Dualism, where Evil and Good are seen to be Equal and Opposite forces, the concept of Evil should not be a part of the natural world, whereas the concept of Good drives its existence. However, instances of evil should persist prolifically in the natural world, as the natural world continues to either strive for or fall from but regardless not meet the Standard of Good. Herein lies the empirically testable part of my hypothesis: If this hypothesis of Infinite Good and finite evil is correct, we should expect to see in nature an abundance of flaws, deficiencies, inefficiencies where nature does not meet the Standard of Good. The reader may argue that this is in of itself circular; if we see a bad thing we label it bad; if we see a good thing we label it good; if we see evil we label it evil: an awful tautology that has only one solution: The clear and Separate definition of Infinite Good, as perceived by an Infinite Being.

Logically, a being capable of holding in its mind a clear definition of Infinite Good as it defines all of finite matter and time, must be Infinite. This arrives the author at an unexpected conclusion. Either Infinite Good exists, as proven by earlier paragraphs, and therefore an Infinite Being to define it, and hold the form of its standard, or Infinite Good is an illusion, a mirage in a water-less desert, and so therefore is the concept of all things Good a mirage. Either Truth exists or it doesn't. Either these words are the incoherent ramblings of a piece of sentient matter, or they are the incoherent ramblings of a piece of sentient matter that matters.

It is interesting to note that as my hypothesis suggests Reality, wikipedia has so applied it. Evil, being measurable on a scale, and prolifically present and variant, contains an article of the same description.

The article for 'Good' has disappeared altogether, and the link redirects to 'Value Theory', which was initially the investigation of the natural laws of Good and Evil, also known as ethics, which has since evolved to other more empirical pursuits. I also suggest in this forum that the link for 'good' be redirected to Form of the Good, an article on Plato's theory.

89.211.104.73 (talk) .C 8:36 AM Sunday, February 24, 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.211.104.73 (talk) 07:53, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Evil be merged into Good and evil. Either we create one article for good and another for evil, or keep both under the same article, otherwise it doesn't make sense. I vote for the latter and it fits under the conceptual scheme of the Unity of opposites Lbertolotti (talk) 19:24, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Merging, as no objection has been raised, per guidelines Lbertolotti (talk) 14:51, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

The seven goods and evils[edit]

This article needs to say something about the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. I think this should be mentioned in point 3.4.7 Christianity. Lbertolotti (talk) 15:08, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Undiscussed 'merger' of two Wikipedia pages into one without consensus, propose to return back[edit]

During the week-end I started reading a book on ethics and decided to look up some key terms on Wikipedia for comparison's sake when I discovered that there is no Wikipedia page for "Evil" nor is there one for "Good" as key terms in ethics and philosophy. When I looked closer, I found that another editor last June here [1], had apparently decided to delete both of those pages in his or her preference for a single merged page called "Good and evil". The "merger" was apparently done after a tiny Talk page announcement which no-one seems to have taken seriously, but that editor decided that a no-response to his Talk page proposal could be interpreted by him or her as non-opposition and therefor endorsement to do the merger, which was done last June with no-one noticing it. This merger makes no sense from the standpoint of the study of ethics and philosophy. Philosophy pages should not be merged together because they represent polar opposites of meaning. The two pages should be returned to their original state from last June and the current "Good and evil" page can just be left there as its own limited discussion of this polarity in philosophy. The single topic pages deserve to remain as single topic pages for "Good" and "Evil" separately and without merger. I do not think that the editor that did this had any ill intentions, only that the background of that editor appears to be in economics and mathematics and not in philosophy or ethics. I have notified their page anyway for fair notice practices at Wikipedia. Can somewhat restore the single purpose pages to their state last June before they were apparently inappropriately merged. ManKnowsInfinity (talk) 16:56, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

  • I agree that we should revert this merger. Andrew D. (talk) 17:00, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

This issue is similar to the cause and effect redirect. I said "Either we create one article for good and another for evil, or keep both under the same article". To do the former you need to split this article in a Good article and a Evil article, by separating the contents, reverting the merger won't solve anything. That is precisely were the problem begins: can you discuss good without referring to evil, and vice-versa? You said the book you are reading discusses both evil and good. Separating War from Peace, or Love from Hate is easier than separating Good from Evil or Cause from Effect. Lbertolotti (talk) 18:28, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

No. it's more like "poison" and whatever the opposite of poison is. The etymology section is all about "evil", where's the etymology of good? We don't have an article about "good", because that is, well just ordinary and normal (i.e. not particularly notable). Wikipedia is not a dictionary. I just restored our former article about "good", which was deleted with the rationale essay, original research, no independent sources. We shouldn't merge evil into good, because, like poison, there's a lot of encyclopedic content about evil, but, not so much about good. We have an unbalanced-weight article now, which tilts too heavily to "evil". wbm1058 (talk) 20:51, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
At 16:07, 12 June 2006, now blocked and indefinitely banned user Stevertigo moved Goodness and value theory to Goodness and evil. At the time, the word "evil" was not even used once in the article. Their next edit, which ostensibly per their edit summary just "made some changes - spelling, etc.", created an entirely new lead section (these are supposed to be summaries of the article body) which introduced the concept of "evil", relegating the former lead section to become the first section of the article body titled "Theory". I would argue that edits of this nature are highly disruptive and "evil". Now, somehow this article, which originally was about "goodness" and "value" has scope-crept to become mostly about evil. Note that we have forks at Value theory and Conflict between good and evil. wbm1058 (talk) 22:21, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Evil: "evil is usually perceived as the dualistic antagonistic opposite of good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeate", "no direct analogue to the way good and evil are opposed", "1. By good, I understand that which we certainly know is useful to us. 2. By evil, on the contrary I understand that which we certainly know hinders us from possessing anything that is good" ""According to the guidance of reason, of two things which are good, we shall follow the greater good, and of two evils, follow the less." "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil" "evil is non-existent and that it is a concept for the lacking of good" "Are they good or evil, for they are existing beings?" " Since God is good, and upon creating creation he confirmed it by saying it is Good" "the good vs. evil splitting has no direct analogue in it" "clearly divides the world into good and evil" "This division of good and evil is of major importance" " the balance of good and evil" "good and evil may seem neatly separated" " evil does not have a positive existence in itself and is merely the lack of good" "non-Jews have the free will to choose good" "evil arises from a misunderstanding of the goodness of nature" "final resolution of the struggle between good and evil", goes on...

Good (religion): "good and evil is first mentioned as ‘God said it was good.'" "He does not mention anything about evil until the fall of mankind in Genesis 3. In Exodus 20, God set out laws to try and separate god from evil"

The poison article doesn't goes on making differences between poison and non poisonous substances. Also, since poisoning may cause death, it is very difficult to redefine a poisonous substance as a non poisonous one. I don't think you would a find a section like:

   *Moral absolutism holds that good and evil are fixed concepts established by a deity or deities, nature, morality, common sense, or some other source.
   *Amoralism claims that good and evil are meaningless, that there is no moral ingredient in nature.
   *Moral relativism holds that standards of good and evil are only products of local culture, custom, or prejudice.
   *Moral universalism is the attempt to find a compromise between the absolutist sense of morality, and the relativist view; universalism claims that morality is only flexible to a degree, and that what is truly good or evil can be determined by examining what is commonly considered to be evil amongst all humans.

Value theory is ok: the aim is to a present a list of different value theories, not a description of antagonistic concepts

Conflict between good and evil: this article is better defined, as it concerns actual examples of good vs evil, not a general description of trying to explain what is good and what is evil.

"... where's the etymology of good?" Well, that dictionary entry has not just one, but five etymologies for good. Lbertolotti (talk) 11:39, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. Now this article has both an "Etymology" section and an "Origin of the concept" section, so it strikes me as a fork of itself, or disorganized or of amateurish construction. Without arguing the merits of the merge, this merge has been awkwardly performed. I don't know how much time I want to put into this, as I feel that topics like this are difficult to do well in an encyclopedia, and, in Wikipedia by its nature, kind of like building sandcastles on a beach. That's my thoughts for you, for what they're worth. wbm1058 (talk) 18:20, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

This article has many problems, see if you agree with the layout for the first section.Lbertolotti (talk) 12:45, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

@Lbertolotti: This discussion of returning the Wikipedia article for "Good" and the article for "Evil" back to their original form appears to have the agreement of all three responding editors that the original separated version of the two pages should be returned. On the basis of all three editors agreeing (@Wbm1058 and Andrew Davidson: and this editor), is it possible for you to return the merged version of the page you introduced to its previous original form as two separate articles. This appears to be one of the options you had originally offered and it seems that all three editors here are in agreement that the article should return to the original two articles. Since the discussion has been open for over thirty days could you return the articles to their previous format. You can also retain the current version of your article for separate development if needed, and the original two separate articles for "Good" and "Evil" separately should be returned by you with any updates you might add. ManKnowsInfinity (talk) 19:36, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
OK after discussion I have moved Good to Good (disambiguation), recovered the version of this article from 3 June 2016 and placed it together with earlier revisions at Good. The remainder of the revisions of this article are retained here for you to cover the topic of Good and evil. I have also left the talk page here - it can be split if required. Drop me a note if this is required. It may not be ideal as there were database timeouts during the process so I have just deleted the merge tag rather than not getting those versions. Keith D (talk) 19:02, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

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