There is good in all of us

in philosophy •  2 years ago

I made a post recently about evil and how it is an illusion to separate people. https://steemit.com/philosophy/@ungratefulchump/evil-is-an-illusion

I would like this article to be a rebuttal towards @stan 's arguments about Evil. I specifically want to point this topic towards his comment, "God is saying there IS evil. I'm going with His opinion. :)"

I believe that there isn't evil unless we believe there to be evil. Everyone grows up in different environment. Every parents has different beliefs. Do we blame children for believing those beliefs? Do we blame the parents from learning it from their parents? Where does this cycle end? If God is with us, do you picture him telling people who is evil? Do you picture him spreading this evil and pushing people away?

We distance ourselves from the people we consider to be evil. We call them evil and ostracize a group of them for thinking the way they do. We are all humans trying to make sense of this world we have ended up on. Do you really think it is beneficial to tell ourselves that a certain group of people who have been told who is good or bad all their lives is our enemy? I believe that we all misunderstand each other if we think anyone is the root of evil.

Evil is created by our lives. By our politics, by our regions, by our cultures, by our religions. Politicians tell us that Isis is destroying our values, that mexico is the root of our issues, that Trump really is the worst human being alive. But do you think any of that means evil? We all have emotional responses to these topics, and I am not saying I am on any side. I just want to make clear that we use Evil as a tool. We point our issues at someone. We say that they are the cause and we must change them to make us comfortable.

Evil has been used as a tool to spread fear and unite people against others time and time again. Some more blunt like the holocaust and their blaming the problems on a group (s) of people. But anyone who wants a rise of power must seek change, it seems to often to blame someone for the change not taking place and lashing out against them.

Even the worst crimes have a reason. And usually it is due to people being outside of the "Norm". People are born serial killers, they aren't born criminals, they aren't born hated by society. But we create that. We create a world where we judge people. We create a world where we tell people that you are wrong and this is right. We create a world where we remove these evil people from our society because they don't fit into our puzzle. But something isn't right, these people weren't born evil, they were born within the Norm. But they change into this so called evil we define. And instead of addressing the issue that made them fit outside of our Norm, we move them even farther and tell them they are wrong.

I put this picture, because I believe this is how some people want to treat evil. "But you can't counsel them to not be broken." Instead of even trying to help these people who we consider sick and evil, we instead believe the best way to handle them is not even bother trying and remove them from our world. It seems people forgot, there is logic in these situations. People don't just break down and ruin society. There are reasons, shouldn't we remove the reasons and try to move towards a world with less broken people?

I believe that we should try and picture a world that doesn't have these preconceived notions that there are evil people all around us. If there is a differing opinion we can learn from those people, and make positive change so that everyone can live better together. It is impossible today with our current politics and religions, and other barriers. But if we all try to work together, I believe even just a few lives can be changed. And if we ever do achieve this, I believe we can break huge walls and move everyone further without wars, fights, and separations between each other. We are humans, all of us. Everyone is evil to some standard out there.

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A better position would be to recognize that we are ALL evil and need help to overcome that problem.

That means reaching out to those who have accepted evil as a way of life and helping them find their way back. No one is advocating separating from those who are evil - we would all have to live alone!

But that approach is very different than saying that it is ok for each of us to be evil in our own way.

The Bible makes it clear that there is no one who is good enough to meet God's perfect standards. That's why He had to take on human form as Jesus and pay the price for us. All we need to do is say "thanks" and accept it.

But if we follow your philosophy, then we will never even recognize that we all don't measure up, so we will never seek God's help or take Jesus up on His offer.

That's why it is VERY damaging to make the point you are making.

The first step at an AA meeting is to admit that you are an alcoholic, and accept help.
The first step in this life is to admit that you are evil, and accept help.

We never tell an alcoholic there is no such thing as alcoholism. How will that help her?
And we should not tell any human there is no such thing as evil.

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And instead of addressing the issue that made them fit outside of our Norm, we move them even farther and tell them they are wrong.

I am calling attention to addressing the issues instead of labeling them damned. I am not saying, we need to change how we view evil, but instead how we handle evil. We believe people are evil with a snap of the fingers instead of trying to understand the reason we label them evil. Sometimes the best solution is the change our standard, others are to help change the other.

Also look at: "We are humans, all of us. Everyone is evil to some standard out there." I admit, we are evil to some standard out there. In actuality I know that we are all evil to tons of standard out there. There are also standards that we do fit.

If you believe God defines the evil people in the world, then of course there are evil people to your standards. I cannot argue with your fundamental beliefs with how the world runs. I would think you would agree with my approach to address issues instead of your so called, "Ok for each of us to be evil". I don't believe I said that and if I did I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I mean that there is a reason they are labeled, "Evil" by us or our society. Maybe we should address the issues instead of address the person by removing them from our society.

It seems like you are making two different points here. 1) that evil is a social construct that people use to label and expel others that they either disagree with, fear, or otherwise hate. I think this is pretty clearly true.

It does not follow that evil isn't real, or that all its usage in social language is bullshit. Society needs ways to protect itself, and social ostrisation is one of those. How many people would impulsively do great harm if there was no threat of being branded and removed from society? In many ways it is the greatest deterrent we have.

I agree that the modern world has a hang up on "the other" that should be closely examined, but that doesn't mean that evil doesn't exist or is useless.

Anyhow, good posts. I enjoyed reading.

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Thank you! You summed up the point very succinctly.
I gather that @ungratfulchump would agree with that from the latest post which clarifies the original post: Evil does exist, but that doesn't mean we should cast out evil people - or we would all be cast out.

As Paul put it:

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but enjoy the company of the lowly. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.…
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. -- Romans 12:17-21

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Evil exists due to our standards. And that shouldn't mean we need to cast them out to resolve the issue. But one thing I think you and I will have different views is that we can also change the standards as well as how we understand people to help everyone. I assume you will not believe in this since you apparently gather your morals from god. But if nothing else, hopefully we can all understand that everyone gets to one point or another over time. They are not evil from the start. They build up that evil for reasons, and we should address them. Thanks for still talking with me and my craziness. :D

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Great, thanks for commenting! I really appreciate your opinions!

I agree that society and our personal lives need tools to protect ourselves. We use tons of different ways to protect ourselves such as, labeling others, putting faith into powers stronger than ourselves, physical barriers, and other tools. I agree that there are people who do not fit within these norms. I agree that they need evil to protect their beliefs and ways of life. And this isn't a swift change. We have always used these tool in conjunction with evil or creating another group of people to make more people move towards these tools.

But we have the power to change our society, help change other's and to be more encompassing of everyone. I believe there is a solution, but I don't feel that labeling others is the ultimate goal. We should just perhaps understand that there isn't such thing as pure evil or people who spontaneously turn evil. There are mental disabilities, there are cultures that tell people different things, there are parents who are misinformed. We should address these issues instead of moving further away from these issues and pretending that they are no longer affecting us.