A response on Good and Evil

Sarong Party Girl (SPG), who ironically does very little blogging about parties, wrote this hasty article, tackling an issue she talks about a lot – relativism and good & evil. The key point of her post, which has been a theme in some of her other posts is:

At the end, whatever we do, there will never be more good than evil, and good can never triumph, because from someone else’s point of view, what is good for you might not be good for him. We sympathize with the victors as history is written by them.

I won’t argue with SPG that there are many, many times where relativism is important. The Bible tells us not to steal, but would any reasonable person say that someone is evil for stealing food to feed their family? Everyone always focuses on these, the Ten Commandments as though they were the only commands God gave to Moses at the time. However, a large portion of Exodus involves God’s prescriptions for the Jewish Society as his Chosen People. In this society they were to always care for the poor and ensure that the poor were provided for. So, if they created the environment they were supposed to, the question of stealing to feed ones’ family would be moot. However, this society does not exist, so we are able to view an act of theft for the purpose of feeding a starving family as an ok thing to do. In fact, in the US, we often cheer for this character in a movie.

However, where I depart from her thinking is when SPG suggests that there are no absolutes, that what is good for one can be bad for another. I can certainly think of quite a few situations where evil truly exists. Take, for example, the raping of someone. I cannot think of any possible justification for a rape. How could a rape be good for the rapist (in the sense of good vs evil – not in terms of pleasure) or for society at large? Another example of a purely evil situation would be the murder of someone else when the murder serves no purpose. Say, for example, a murder for the pleasure of murdering. This cannot possibly be justified either.

As far as

In nature, no one calls the predator evil; the lioness hunts out of necessity, but not all the deer are caught. The lioness is never evil though, and we don’t say good has triumph because the majority of the prey manage to escape and the casualties are few.

this is obvious because animals do not have a conscious. A concept of good an evil, as I understand it, involves for the individuals involved to understand the concept of good an evil.

Author: Eric Mesa

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