Quote on evil

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  • #32807
    s-m-r
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    All you baddies, take note:

    “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good… Ideology – that is what gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.”
    — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    #55293
    Monty
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    Exactly – Most evil-doers feel like they are right in their own eyes… Many times it is a matter of “I know what is right, and your opinion just doesn’t matter” kind of thinking. Of course their “right” way is the one that benefits themselves, but hey what can ya do?
    Even the serial killers think this way – I once saw an interview with Eileen Woernos (I think that’s how her name was spelled) – she would hitch rides with motorists, and them murder them….Strangely, every one of them “tried to rape her”, even though she was as ugly as a dumptruck, so she killed them “in self defense”.
    That’s part of the reason that to me, the Lawful/Evil type is in some way the worst kind of evil, because they know that what they’re doing is wrong, but they do it anyway out of greed or selfishness, but are smart enough to stay within the law, so as to have no consequences against themselves.
    A good I/G description of this is to claim that someone you dislike or want to destroy is a witch, or a bad guy/girl of some sort, and get the legal authorities to do your dirty work for you, keeping your hands relatively clean. Interesting how fanatical priests, etc. happen to pick others that disagree with them as the “purveyors of evil” and have them murdered in the name of whatever.
    I can just imagine how innocent the priests were during the inquisition, hehe……

    M3C

    #55294
    Aelswith
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Well . . . perhaps Mr. Solzhenitsyn might have had Mr. Lenin or Stalin or even Hitler in mind when he said that? They all had ideologies; they all thought they were doing the right thing. I suppose they all expected praise and honor etc.

    But . . . Mr. Ted Bundy, (30 victims), Mr. John W. Gracy, (33 victims) and Mr. Jeffery Dahmer, ( 15 victims, and he liked to eat them!), had no ideology, and I’m sure didn’t expect a pat on the back for their accomplishments.

    On the other hand . . . someone who wraps explosives around themselves and blows up a market full of shoppers, including children, does have an ideology and thinks their deed a good one, and even expects a reward when they get to heaven.

    So . . . his quote would only apply in certain situations. It can’t be generalized in the way I think it was intended.

    Evil is safe! It is still evil!

    “Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end they always fail – – think of it, ALWAYS.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    #55295
    Thrym
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar

    Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder

    As with any discussion about right or wrong it’s the witness of an action that judges the action.

    IF the witness finds the action to be harmful to their concept of good then it must be inherently evil.

    Perception.

    So, I agree with Mr. Snit. Any evil action perceived by someone must be perceived as good or necessary to their good by the one committing the action or they would not perform the action.

    That’s why I like the Law vs. Chaos concept of Markshire. The actions of a Lawful person and a Chaotic person can be defined much more readily as Lawful or Chaotic by any audience.

    As to the list of serial killers above…

    They didn’t need pats on the back. Their own social outlook defined the process for them. They deemed the killing of their victims to be something of worth. Did they consider themselves to be evil? Perhaps. More likely they considered themselves simply misunderstood and their actions were intended to sort themselves into a world of majority defined morality.

    Had these infamous men been found prior to their “evil” actions by our very own government it might be they would be heroes in our eyes for doing what they were inclined to do.

    Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder.

    #55296
    BeyondThePale
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Thrym wrote:

    Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder

    As with any discussion about right or wrong it’s the witness of an action that judges the action.

    IF the witness finds the action to be harmful to their concept of good then it must be inherently evil.

    Perception.

    I agree here.

    If a character walks around the corner and finds a man in full plate thrashing a young, unarmed man with his fists, the initial response might be that the armored fellow is a bully. And evil.

    What isn’t known is that the youth had just beat up three young men for their lunch money and injured them all, thus deserving his own thrashing.

    #55297
    G_kinkaid
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Thrym wrote:

    Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder

    Lawful Evil vs Chaotic Evil is in the eye of the beholder, I’ll agree with that.

    #55298
    Aelswith
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    *Spinning around really fast in the den, getting dizzy now from spinning, and also from all of the above, and falling down! But laughing all the while!*

    Was only addressing the use of the quote, is all.
    That it ought not to be taken as a generalization about what evil could be, or might become in another’s eyes.
    *Shrugs*

    #55299
    Aelswith
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Mister Thrym wrote:”Had these infamous men been found prior to their “evil” actions by our very own government it might be they would be heroes in our eyes for doing what they were inclined to do.”

    Mister Dahmer is off to the war!
    Tis thing no one thought of before . . .
    A few Al Queda he’ll eat, oh my what a treat!
    Then they’ll pin on him medals galore!

    #55300
    Remus
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    Evil in the real world is crazy and undefinable. Evil in mythical settings is black. I prefer mythical evil.

    #55301
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    I think Aelswith and Thrym hit it on the head. There are many types of evil from those that perceive themselves as doing good to those that understand they are evil and don’t care.

    Many serial killers know what they do is evil but simply have urges they must fulfill and give into. That’s where the myth of the serial killer leaving clues and wanting to be caught comes from.

    Ghak is of the former. He doesn’t think he does evil, he’s simply Ghak living within his societies constraints. It just happens that his society considers the weaker beings as lesser and eating them for food is of no consequence. Further, their enchroachment upon the world is an insult and should be wiped out. Ya know, it’s about perception.

    OF course I think their is just plain evil, those who do bad things and relish them and never have a regret about it, not even on their final day. If they do have a regret it’s only that it’s their final day.

    – mule

    #55302
    Opinvu
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    I just think Mule is wrong. He is always wrong. Always.

    But pure evil knows good from evil by looking to what is socially unaccepted and doing them to see others scomplain about it over it. Somone that takes pleasure in seeing others suffer and does it while admitting it’s evil, that is evil.

    What you all said was just metally retarded or psychopathic illnesses. Though still correct, also in the grey area of the black & white. Evil is in the eyes for inatament objects, like dragon figurines aren’t evil like 1 Church lady might say. Evil deeds done by the ignorant or delusional of mind state and conciousness is another thing. (more food for evil in the eye of the observer as well)

    And yeah I agree with T on MS’s lean toward Law vs. Chaos.

    #55303
    Remus
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Opinvu wrote:

    I just think Mule is wrong. He is always wrong. Always.

    But pure evil knows good from evil by looking to what is socially unaccepted and doing them to see others scomplain about it over it. Somone that takes pleasure in seeing others suffer and does it while admitting it’s evil, that is evil.

    What you all said was just metally retarded or psychopathic illnesses. Though still correct, also in the grey area of the black & white. Evil is in the eyes for inatament objects, like dragon figurines aren’t evil like 1 Church lady might say. Evil deeds done by the ignorant or delusional of mind state and conciousness is another thing. (more food for evil in the eye of the observer as well)

    And yeah I agree with T on MS’s lean toward Law vs. Chaos.

    Stupid people can be evil too

    #55304
    domf
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    i completely agree with remus

    #55305
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    I would think stupid people and unwise people are more likely to be evil. It takes someone knowledgable and farsighted to see the reasons why evil in of itself is detrimental to society and in the long run harmful to themselves too. Of course some people who are perfectly capable of seeing that still don’t care and do evil anyway.

    – mule

    #55306
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    I think the concept of evil simply cannot be discussed without first setting up a definition of what “evil” is in the first place. I’ll make the assumption that we’re looking at this from the perspective of “modern western civilization” on what evil is… but really, like was said before, “evil is in the eye of the beholder”. Arguments of “evil is detrimental to society” and “killing people is evil” is pretty simplistic when placed outside the frames of a already established moral code – and those moral codes vary by the millions. I mean, if you look at the human body as nothing more than a biological machine hooked up to an overclocked biological computer, killing a person could be just as “evil” as crashing a car. What is more evil, killing a chimpanzee who is more capable of thought, logic, and emotion than somebody who is braindead, or killing the person in the coma? Is it evil to cause pain and systematic shock to a human baby for a procedure that boasts no proven medical benefit and is mostly done for sake of appearance? Our responses to those questions are nothing more than what our past experiences have shaped our current outlook to be, spiced with religion and salted with upbringing… not to mention the stir-fry of psychological “disorders”. Disbanding slavery in a lot of past cultures could have very well seen at the time as “detrimental to society”. Our modern, westernized mind, however, would see it as an act of benevolence.
    Good, bad, law, chaos… they’re all perceptions of an already established system of morals.
    “If 6 billion people had a bad idea, it would still be a bad idea.”
    What is a “bad” idea anyways?

    #55307
    Monty
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    Heehee! This is FUN! I love the philosophical arguments that get everyone fired up…..
    Ok, on the Dahmer loony issue – They had a reason to do what they did that made sense to them. That was my basic point. Evil is definitely in the eye of the beholder – it is amazing what people can talk themselves into what is “right”, especially when it’s what they want to do in the first place, no matter how insane or violent, or selfish it may appear to others.
    Ok, how about this for a good/evil description?

    Good is placing the welfare of others ahead of yourself, in the extreme, even unto your own demise (dying to save a child, etc..).

    Evil is placing your OWN wants and welfare ahead of everyone else, to the point of senseless murder because you don’t care at all what anyone else wants or thinks.

    “Good” is usually manifested as having a “conscience”, which is realizing that others have wants and needs above and beyond yourself.

    Sounds good, anyway. 😉

    M3C

    #55308
    Shanara
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    There is no good or evil, merely action and consequences. 😈

    #55309
    SpymasterGend
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    Agree with T and BTP–all perception. Actions can be and must be evaluated through any number of goggles–these goggles the values and morals systems noted by Rasbedian. Same for consequences.

    Most fun, of course, when actions perceived one way have consequences perceived another. Rescue drowning child–grows into the antichrist (or other personification of not-good). That makes you start to clean your goggles.

    Gend

    #55310
    Opinvu
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    This is all why animals can’t be evil. They don’t ‘decide’ to do anything. To break it down to the roots, it is as T said, Order vs. Chaos, matter vs. anti-matter.

    But Spana is more right. There is really only cause and effect. Action and reaction, or what she said.

    EDIT: Looking down at Sar’s post, I might as well say what I do beleive, and that is this.
    Be there a God or not there is still no Good or evil. There is a right way and a wrong way, life/death cause effect all the same thing, but good and evil is just a verb or pronoun describing an action in terms of an emotion.

    #55311
    Sarkhan
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    I personally agree with Spana and Opinvu there is no evil and there is no good. There have are examples of this in our history

    One example

    In WW2 Winston Churchill (I believe) of the Allied forces allowed the Germans to bomb a town. He had prior knowledge of this weeks before the attack, but had they evacuated the town it would have alerted the Germans that code was no longer secure so instead they allowed the deaths of many innocent lives due to his inaction (Sounds like an evil act to some) But in doing so Important intelligence was gathered and save a great many more lives in the process. (the irrational transaction one or few lives for many)

    Perhaps this was a good example of what I’m trying to say and then again maybe not

    #55312
    G_kinkaid
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    That’s a pretty groovy example of 2 different types of evil all wrapped into one event. Churchill committed an evil act of omission by not doing anything, but it was the Germans that actually committed the deed.

    But is it really fair to say for certain that Churchill could have stopped it? Is it solely his fault for those people living in a threatened area? Were his air units and ground to air defense going to be compromised in a mighty way by moving to defend the town? I’m going to guess that the town was targeted because of manufacturing/commerce reasons. I’m not grilling ya dude, it was a thought provoking example and I don’t know the story. Being in the know might make me /perceive/ it differently.

    not that perception = truth 😉

    Opi, right/wrong and good/evil are pretty much interchangeable. I realize of course that good/evil are increasingly becoming naughty words though and make folk uncomfortable.

    #55313
    Thrym
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar

    Irregardless of the actions and consequences, the perception of Evil as stated in the initial post by SMR … *throttles him for starting a morality debate* … and as reiterated by myself and BTP is based SOLELY on the perception of the witness.

    Evil as a concept is the perception of evil intent as defined by the person who witnessed it.

    In a society that allows and upholds slavery is it evil to punish a slave? In the pursuit of racial perfection is it considered evil to kill an entire subrace of humans?

    We, today, consider these to be Evil. To beat a man to death for the simple purpose of showing the hundreds of others you have that escape is not worth trying or to kill as many Jews as you can get your hands on because you believe them to be Evil.

    Do the Amal consider themselves Evil in the pursuit of their goals (whatever they may truly be)? No, but they suffer penalty to attack you if you have the right spell on because you believe they are.

    Perception is how we define Evil.

    #55314
    Aelswith
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Holy cow!!! No evil! All good! *Runs off to tell her dad and three brothers to stop calling her an evil witch all the time!* 😀

    #55315
    G_kinkaid
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Thrym wrote:

    Irregardless of the actions and consequences, the perception of Evil as stated in the initial post by SMR … *throttles him for starting a morality debate*

    Throttling him because you get pleasure from it sir or because such discussions + the interwebs = chaos?

    /perceptiongoggles on

    *edit* I’m just kiddin man, and I know that you know I’m kidding, and I know that you know that I know that.

    this thread delivers

    #55316
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    Well Ras, as I said before Ghak’s perception of himself is societal based. He doesn’t see himself as evil because his perception of evil is different. I agree, what is evil totally based on your society and upbringing. However, there are still those that were brought up within the same societal reference and perform acts that are considered evil by that society. Some have mental deficiencies (arguably all) and some are selfish or self interested to the point of not caring about what they do.

    Oh yeah, and I agree with G:

    [img][650:500]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v672/edg_mule/awesome.jpg[/img]

    – mule

    #55317
    s-m-r
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    Hey, I’m all for throttling. 😉

    Seriously, I had no idea such an excellent discussion would have started from such an innocuous little post of mine…!

    And no ad hominem attacks on anyone…it’s like you all can have rational discussions like adults! Such a rarity here on the Internet. 🙂

    #55318
    Remus
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    I think evil people doing good deeds is underrated. It does happen. Like in the churchill example. Someone told me this, it may or may not be true, but I heard Churchill ordered the RAF to bomb the bejeesus out of civilians in Germany. While most people label this as evil, that meant Hitler got rather miffed, stopped bombing our factories, and started to bomb our civilians instead. Militarily a sound move, but very dubious on the moral front. But, people can churn out these examples all day, I like trying to think the other way round, and it works best with fictional characters. If an evil character falls in love/lust with a buxom wench, and that wenches family is then about to be murdered by the evil fellows associates, would the act of stopping it make him eviler? I like to think that even if accidental or selfish, good deeds still count as good deeds. Then of course that evil fellow is very likely to undo his work in another despicable way.

    In that vain of thought, it is much harder to undo bad deeds than undo good ones. A paladin kills someone, outrage and exile. A blackguard saves someone, no one gives a hoot. Interesting thought to sleep on.

    #55319
    Opinvu
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    It is getting a bit off topic though. The quote really IMO is best for the topic, “When acting the role of evil….” as in RP/acting.

    The churchill scenario would put all the people of Markshire as evil for not stopping the destruction of the Gate. Some new it could happen and let it. Strategy can be miscunstrude/misslabled. Some times the best plans are sitting back and wait. It may sound evil but it’s what gets the kid to ride the bike on their own…. etc..

    *sets out a gas can full of gas, leaves the cap off*

    #55320
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    /threadjack Yes, actually I think it was the bombing of Berlin by the RAF that infuriated Hitler and caused him to order the luftwaffa (sp?) to change focus from military/industrial targets to civilian targets. Whether or not Churchill knew this would happen is debatable though he was wily and he just might have. Subsequently this allowed the RAF and the British industrial complex to rebuild and get their Radar stations in place. This is a major turning point in the war because without this happening the UK would have fallen, and probably before the US got into the war. Thus the entire war may have had a different outcome. /end threadjack

    That being said, is Churchill’s order evil even though its outcome was for the greater good?

    Also, I believe the reason people don’t notice the good as much as the evil because it’s expected. Doing good is the status quo, doing evil goes against society and therefore would lead to more outrage and become a more indelible memory. I think it’s also why such bad news is prominent in the local newscasts. If it bleeds it leads has been a gold rule of local news for a long time. It gets them more ratings, is this because of people macabre fascination with things or because it gets a stronger reaction from them? Or maybe both…

    – mule

    #55321
    Sarkhan
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    *sets out a book of matches*

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