The Misconception of Good and Evil

good-evil

“Under what conditions did Man invent for himself those judgements of values, “Good” and “Evil”? And what intrinsic value do they possess in themselves?”  

                                                                                                  -Friedrich Nietzsche

With this thought I shall rant! In today’s latent society, humans tend to continuously generate misconceptions on MANY things… I will speak of two (Good & Evil). When we speak of those who are “Good”, we picture the high society, wealthy, priests, and so on. We imagine the English aristocracy of the past, for it is they who coined the term. We surely do not automatically think of the poor, the suffering, the lost. NO! Those are the “Evil”, the less successful, the ones who in retrospect, are the bottom of the human hierarchy… slaves. 

Here is where I will challenge you to view things vise versa. Who initially created these so called values of Good and Evil? Were they created in fact by those who claim to be Good?! Yes! In fact they were, those of royal status imposed the crooked idea that they were the Good, the righteous, the noble, the truth. In fact, this is completely malapropos; how can one be Good and at the same time categorize others as Evil?! Surely one who is Good could not possess the ability to label others in a negative connotation. Yet, so easily is this done, even in today’s time.

In all actuality, it is the low-minded, the vulgar, the plebeian who are fit to be Good! For they are not the ones who took it upon themselves to create such values. They are good because they are Morally True. Those who possess hidden pretenses will try to masquerade as the Good, but one should not be fooled… yet so many in today’s time still are. It is almost a death that we are experiencing in our generation, a death of realization and knowledge. It is almost like we know we are too incapable to challenge and question, we do not even see the problem at hand, so we keep living complacently & never shaking the solitude so many of us are placed in. Now, I can not blame one for ending up in this unfortunate state of neurasthenia, for the world we live in is a definite trap. We are continuously mislead and brainwashed into the lies we believe to be truths. I can blame you though for not going with that tugging feeling in your stomach, the feeling that this life you have been living does not seem what it should; emptiness.

Now that you have been able to see things as I (hopefully), it is quite reasonable to still feel flabbergasted and questionable. Please, do not ever hesitate with your questions for I believe them to be the truest form of knowledge. The idea of the priest for example, he who claims to be the worthy and the true, the Good; I beg to differ. Being strongly tied to the aristocratic society, he is actually the weakest, clamoring for any type of shield he can create; the shield of the “Good”. I am Good because I preach the word… I say NO! You are Evil because you speak lies, not the word. You speak what you think wants to be heard, not what needs to be heard. He who has no courage will always be Evil. From the era of the great Erasmus and Martin Luther, the church was considered to be the government. They ruled, you followed. It was not until beings began to rebel, to question, to act against it… that changes were actualized and generated.

It is interesting to consider though, that man is the only thing with the ability to actually be “Evil”. Why? Because he is the creator! The plant nor the animal brought these values upon us, we did. We are quick to only see two sides of the world, the Good and the Evil. How disheartened that we only have two ways of seeing… why do we as humans sell ourselves so short? In all instances… besides those that consist of rising up against the “Evil” (who pretend to be Good). Moments of riots and wars against the true Evil doers are moments that should be taught in schools in order to instill that fire in the young’s souls that they too, if one day need be, can rise up against the Evil and create an anomaly!

Contemplating on the terms “Good” and “Evil”, are they now still how they have always been viewed (wrongly); or did they now loose value and seem empty? One must begin to question the true etymological value of these two words… because at the end of it all they are just words. Created by aristocratic Evil humans to classify beings, wrongly. I have the will to change this act of misunderstanding and imposing unnecessary lies onto individual truths.

-Truth Seeker

Photo credit to Curtis Verdun

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80 thoughts on “The Misconception of Good and Evil

  1. It would seem to be a simple enough answer, it’s the influence of perception which drives us to the reaffirmation of these. However good men have stolen bread, and evil men have surely helped others at least once. The absence of absolutes however doesn’t constitute confusion, nor imply grey area. Regardless of caste, those who truly care about people will endeavor not to disturb other lives while those who are purpose driven will invariably weigh their own concerns or their perception of the “greater good” to make someone else valueless. It’s also a component of society, but it isn’t caste specific in my opinion. You do raise a valid discussion here though.

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    • See my “THE ICONOCLAST” available on Nook or KIndle for 3.00. My name is Santo La Russa I am the author. I think you will find much original and definitive thought in this work. This missive is not an appeal for generating pecuniary results. It’s a desire on my part to continue the ideological conversation your cogent opinion has voiced.

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      • I think about it more as a color scale, the way white light breaks down through a prism into it’s blended shades that combine to make it ‘absolute’ to the naked eye. We all make choices every day, and we do this using the naked eye of our perception. What you percieve as evil or good someone else may percieve as necessary or foolish depending on the context of their life.

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      • Insofar as circumstance is different for all people, yes. I judge actions more along the lines of greed versus survival when it comes down to it. After all Darwinian natural selection has nothing to do with defining right and wrong choices, it comes down to making the right choices for survival. You can’t attach moral value to those choices when the alternative is extinction. It’s very easy to say a choice is morally wrong when you aren’t faced with it.

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      • For a more practical example; in the midst of the bubonic plague it was considered morally wrong to lance the boil. Millions of people died in that piety. That’s the danger of imposing moral values, where the ideal of piety became more important than survival. Don’t get me wrong; i think people who pull the wings off flies are evil but not because of that action but because of why they chose to do it for their own personal pleasure. To me that’s where you can find the measure of good and evil.

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      • I would certainly agree that mere judgment of a choice is easier than facing a difficult or complex decision. However, I would argue that morality still plays a role in situations of survival, even in circumstances wherein extinction is a possibility. To illustrate my point, imagine that you find yourself in a dangerous situation along with a friend. The events surrounding you both have become so precarious that one of you has to kill the other in order to survive. (Some reading this may think of The Hunger Games.) Let’s say that one of you is stronger than the other. That person would be “the fittest,” according to Darwin, correct? Therefore, since that person has greater survival traits, they wouldn’t be making an immoral choice to kill the weaker friend since survival is on the line, according to your logic, if I am following you correctly. While I do not deny the discomfort of this situation, it seems to me very selfish and dishonorable to take the life of someone else who has done you no wrong simply because your alternative is death.

        In response to your example of the boil lancing, I would agree that human beings can be sorely mistaken about what is right and what is wrong. Your unfortunate example is a testament to the possibility of human error, and I think we should all be evaluating our choices – even those in the context of religious views – to see if they are sound. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote from Alexander Pope, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Regardless of one’s religious views – or lack thereof – I think any sensible person would agree that it is part of human nature to make errors in life. We cannot avoid them entirely, but we can offer forgiveness to ourselves and to each other when errors are made, regardless of how great the sin is.

        If the measure of good and evil depends upon moral motives at the end of the day, then how could you have a problem with those who were trying to please God without any ill will towards their fellow man? Yes, they were mistaken about what He actually required from them, but they had no immoral motives. The fact that many died as a result of unintentional human error in thinking makes it clear that there are consequences for our actions regardless of motive. Don’t get me wrong, I believe motive certainly plays a part in how severe those consequences should be, but it still doesn’t mean that punishment should be waived when a crime is done without immoral motivation or perhaps even in complete ignorance.

        What are your thoughts? I’m very much enjoying this conversation.

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      • That is a very compelling reply Indeed, after all being faced with a situation such as that presented where there can be only one survivor would change the dynamic of such a question, but that is and has been the rub for me from the start of the conversation. Would I be morally wrong to choose my life over that of someone else? Think then of the Titanic, where the stronger men bullied their ways into positions of survival allowing (causing) women and children to die. Imagine you’re on that boat? Would you step aside, take your chances with the frozen Atlantic ocean to allow a Woman and Child a chance at survival? In such a case, this didn’t happen and the narcissism ruled the day and it became every man for himself. even more recently the boat off the Italian coast had much the same fate where those in power conspired to free and prepare themselves for a dire situation before allowing the general public to know they were in danger.

        Morals and crime to me are two different things entirely. Law should have no conscience. it should be concerned fully with the actions involved, and the ensuing consequence. Law is meant to be blind, without the bias of particular ideology or morality. Crime is black and white.

        Strangely enough, if you were to scrutinize law enough you would find that the largest component of conviction is intention; this would seem the most abstract of ideals, but really it’s quite simple to divine intention is given enough evidence.

        should there have been a law against Doctarine, impugning the belief system of the church in the dark ages? Should the surviving been have been prosecuted for letting women and children die by choosing to take escape away from them?

        Morality is a highly personal thing, and I would guess guilt ate those trespassers alive, those who sacrificed people purely for themselves, for the rest of their lives.

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      • The basis of law is morality. How else could crimes be legitimately punished? Law reveals where people go wrong. Now, I fully acknowledge that various law codes are not always totally in harmony with each other in every respect, for what is legal in one nation may be illegal in another. (On a side note, the legality of something does not make it moral, but rather simply permissible in that society. It may be moral, but it may not be.) People can have a skewed perception of morality, but the majority of people throughout history have always understood that there is such a thing as morality that is binding upon humanity. Some have a clear picture of morality while others have a cloudy picture; however, in both cases, each group of viewers believe they are looking at morality, even if they don’t fully understand it.

        I would agree that in many cases it is possible to infer the most probable intention of a criminal. However, try explaining your ideology on the purpose of law to a highway patrol officer when you’re pulled over. That officer may let you off the hook if feelings of mercy are flowing within, but you couldn’t reasonably expect to not get a ticket just because you say you never intended to be going 85 mph on a 55 mph highway.

        If morality is a highly personal thing, then citizens should be allowed to behave in whatever way they desire without any negative consequences. You wouldn’t really advocate for that, would you?

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      • That isn’t my bottom line: and honestly? If you have an objection to a traffic ticket? Take it, then take it to court. However; as morality goes it’s not about going 10mph above the speed limit or texting while driving (which should be an issue).

        I made it clear; Intention is at the core of evil. You are simply refusing to make a judgement on my hypothetical. However, to say, I believe you and I would have made way for women and children. However, Narcissism is rampant in our continent, and many men would push a woman and her baby over the side to get a seat in the lifeboat. nationalism has been reduced to an argument between individual rights and what is lawful in society. Moral choice remains with the individual, whether enforced or not it will always be the choice of the person on the day. Another good example will be that most people with Guns never elect to shoot them at other people; however restraint and wisdom should be found to find a way to isolate those who might elect to see that as their choice. Black and white. Their intention should be clear, far before they leave the house with their legally purchased gun. Anyone who could elect to shoot another human being for no good reason is definitely morally corrupt, and the law should make a definite red flag for this.

        however, 85 in a 55 zone usually only risks the driver, and to me should be harshly enforced if there are other people at stake on the road.

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      • To be clear, I agree that it was morally wrong for those men to dishonorably push women and children aside to make a spot for themselves on a lifeboat.

        I would also agree that morality and law are two different entities. In regards to things that are prohibited by law, I see two categories: a) those things that are intrinsically immoral, and b) those things that are not intrinsically immoral, but are simply things that the lawmakers decided they did not want to be legalized in society. Now, to clarify my statement that law is based on morality, I still believe that this is true fundamentally; however, governments sometimes make laws that the populace could happily go about their business without. For example, a government may imprison people who hold certain religious views, dictate how many children families are allowed to have, and place heavy taxation burdens on hard-working people while giving handouts to lazy citizens. Governmental law is very complicated and often adulterated and corrupt.

        Still, I think all people deep down understand that there is a difference between right and wrong because they have a conscience with which they were born. Since people have a natural tendency to be selfish and to be rebellious – even at a very young age – governmental lawmakers put something in place to help keep this negative side of human nature at bay which, if left unchecked, would result in societal chaos. I think we would both agree that murder is morally wrong, and I believe a legal prohibition of this is based on that idea; however, there are other legal prohibitions that are not based on an idea of morality at all, or perhaps are even based on the corruption of leaders.

        Does that make sense? I wonder if perhaps we are partly debating semantics. My bottom line argument in this conversation is that I believe in an absolute standard of right and wrong that can guide our choices in life, and that I believe this absolute standard was given by the sovereign God of the universe because He has our best interests at heart, rather than dictating a list of rules simply because He could and wanted to put us into bondage. Some see this standard as a prison, but I believe it is a blessing to us, similar to a guardrail on a narrow mountain pass or a great wall designed to keep out enemies so that we could enjoy our lives in peace. Humans do not always agree on what that standard actually looks like, and even debate among themselves if it exists at all; however, I believe it is there and that it can be found by those who are open to it. The fact that there is disagreement and debate on this issue does not mean that absolute truth does not exist. Confusion merely means that people do not have a clear picture of reality.

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      • I think that you believe in a utopia: wherein everyone can pull their own weight in this current incarnation of Capitalism. It is a mantra just as deadly as that moral decree by the church during the Bubonic Plague, where people afflicted by the lack of money at the bottom are forced to whither and die, while those above are left largely untouched by such dilemmas.

        I have also noted your unwillingness do discuss gun related deaths, which are currently 300 times higher than terrorism related deaths in North America.

        Personally- I believe the next grand master of chess will be found in a slum in India. Slumdog Millionaire.

        I believe that G-d put us here for a purpose, to reach him. How could we reach Him without reaching him with our fellow humans? I could not believe a God benevolent enough to grant humans water would not want all humans to survive, thrive, in the gift.

        perhaps take some time with this, look through this thoroughly, and reply?

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      • To be abundantly clear: Capitalism has gone way too far. It is that crazy person that believes that doing the same thing over and over will eventually give a good result. Right now? they have insulated themselves against a negative result. G-d would have no part of that, Darwinism is a goal wherein all creatures find harmony by balancing their abilities versus their environment: we are cheating by raising the bar when it suits us.

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      • I am not unwilling to discuss the points you have brought up; however, if we go all over the place, regardless of how legitimate the points are, we can easily lose sight of the main theme of the conversation, the theme that I would argue makes debating a situation’s morality even possible.

        My first question in this conversation was, “If there are no absolutes, then how can we know that the statement ‘There are no absolutes’ is true?” If we truly live in a world bereft of an absolute standard of truth and morality, then how can we be sure of the veracity of our worldview or anyone’s worldview? We can debate the morality of a given topic all day, but the very fact that we would debate whether something is right or wrong suggests that there is an absolute standard of morality. In other words, if we say, “That’s wrong!” it means we somehow understand that there a concept called “right” and that it differs from an equally existing concept called “wrong.”

        Here’s another way to explain this: If everyone in the world put something into practice, what would be the result? Would it benefit humanity or harm humanity? If it would harm humanity, then how could it possibly be that morality is subjective?

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      • Because it depends whose gun is to your head, figuratively or literally depending on which part of the world you are in.

        becaus4e it depends on the amount of pressure that is required for your particular self to survive in the face of a society which may not compromise with your needs.
        any streetcorner holds a psycho, a religious zealot, or someone who just has a bad attitude. should we just arrest everyone?

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      • “Crimes” as an “absolute standard” to my mind constitute harm to society or your fellow human, and many are already covered under the breadth of law (and we know too many, so far, are not). However, as a society, we are perhaps at the pubescence stage of our self awareness, and the process of law is the process of language and society itself always in evolution. As society, unfortunately, we are still behind the curve, and many laws are what you might call ‘reactionary’ as a reaction to some unprecedented tragedy or human villany. It is natural to seek the ultimate goal in one’s lifetime; we’re built to do this. This is an unattainable goal. Yet, however, we construct the base that allows others to reach higher from it, to allow the law due benevolence in the right circumstances and pre-emptive . You’re asking me “when will the law be allowed to act preemptively” and I must answer “when it allowed to develop a completely neutral conscience of it’s own that holds no prejudgement of good or evil but weighs the consequence of a prosecuted action on people”.

        In a truly free society, no person or religious institution or corporation has a right to impose their will using law as a tool, and that is the ideal that should be worked for; not one where we isolate segments of society.

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      • If we say that absolutes do not exist, we are making a self-refuting statement. It would make about as much sense to say, “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I cannot know anything.” If absolutes do not exist, then there is no point in any of us confidently claiming that anything is true or false.

        This ideal that should be worked for, which you speak of…how can you be certain that it should even be worked towards, if you believe there are no absolutes?

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      • Trying to enshrine “Good and Evil” without allowing for changes of circumstance. For example; killing people in the context of war isn’t considered as Evil. However, if it is our children or relatives killed in the aforementioned war, it can be nothing if not evil, wouldn’t you agree?

        We cannot define good and evil, in any absolute sense, while history (and indeed the current state of media) is constantly in change. Many people believed that the holocaust was evil, however during the holocaust other people believed they were undoing a great evil from their country. Not to diminish the deaths of millions of people, but basically that evil stemmed from a perversion of the truth the majority of people could believe. 90% of the population of Germany during those years were not inherently evil, just deluded.

        As people, countries, races, factions, religious groups we all give license to our use of the word evil. As a matter of fact the spectre of ‘evil’ is raised against those we consider enemies – and as such it’s definition becomes nothing more than another tool of suppression against those who might dissent to a fundament or belief or depiction of an enemy. A mantra used to deceive, to carry forward a zealous fanatical perversion of the facts (In the case of Nazi Germany, that Jews first and foremost were human too).

        The Holocaust was one of the most evil acts perpetrated on mankind by itself, but it isn’t the only one. It was also in the interests of a few fanatical people allowed control of the situation – and in general had anyone asked “should I kill this person?” 9 out of 10 times the answer would have been “no”. The message was controlled, to brinv the fervor of the public to enough ire that they were willing to accept the removal of the ‘evil’ from their society.

        The problem I have with “good and evil” is the fact it often sets the stage for one group to oppress another. No doubt there were reasons why the public of Germany were so ready to accept the Nazi message, but perhaps things mightn’t have reached such a horrible zenith if people weren’t so ready to accept a ‘black and white’ terminology of evil. And this isn’t a condition confined to post industrial Germany, it is just as true today.

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      • The ideal is to be informed at all times, to make informed decisions not from popular opinion but from your own ideals, in possession of all the facts. Allowing for an ‘absolute’ definition of evil (or for that matter good) precludes individual decision (or may set unattainable heights given the circumstances of someone’s life).

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      • The very fact that people throughout history have disagreed on what is good and what is evil would suggest that all people seem to understand that there is an absolute standard of morality. Just because there is a difference in opinion doesn’t mean we are correct in saying that an absolute standard of morality doesn’t exist.

        On one hand, you say that the Holocaust was a terrible evil. On the other hand, you say that an action cannot be absolutely evil. If absolutes don’t exist, then how can you confidently say that the Holocaust was evil? We both agree that it was, of course, but I don’t see how it is consistent for you to say that something is evil while saying that absolutes don’t exist.

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      • It is ‘An’ evil, not ‘Absolute’ evil. Creating an ‘Absolute’ evil diminishes ‘An’ evil by virtue of degree. ‘Absolute zero’ for example is simply a term to describe a temperature wherein liquid freezes instantly. Is that ‘Absolute’? or just the ultimate degree.

        I re-iterate; people understand an ‘absolute’ code of morality only given the environment which their natural surroundings has granted them. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as a sociopath if the conditions weren’t right to create such a pathology.

        Let’s say for example we apply this to the Israel – Palestine conflict. On one side you have mothers who fear their children will be bombed by rocket attack, on the other side you have mothers who fear their children will be knifed in the street randomly.

        Israel believes in it’s right to exist, as does Palestine.

        So who sent the rockets and who used the knives on children, both in the name of their respective belief in the right to self determination? Who is evil, who is good?

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      • I see what you’re saying in your Middle Eastern example; however, my argument is that there is a standard of morality that transcends any human understanding or misunderstanding of it. The concept of morality would exist regardless of human existence. God, who created the universe and everything in it, possesses the attribute of perfect holiness; therefore, the concept of morality is found in the very nature of God.

        Just because the Israelis and the Palestinians disagree on what is moral doesn’t negate the fact that absolute morality exists, but rather supports it.

        In your analogy with “absolute zero,” you are comparing apples to oranges. Temperature and morality are two very different things. Absolute evil does not diminish evil, but rather gives us a standard by which to judge something as good or evil. No, humans do not always have a perfect understanding of this standard, and they do not always reach the standard of perfect holiness either. But that doesn’t mean that there is a Moral Law that we cannot seem to get away from. I think if you reflect upon your own reactions to things you perceive to be wrong, this may make more sense to you.

        Be honest with yourself. Do you really believe in the depths of your soul that there are no actions that are always evil? Here’s an example: During a time of peace, not war, do you think it would ever be moral to take the life of an innocent child?

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      • I should clarify something. Humans NEVER reach the standard of perfect holiness in this life. Only God is absolutely holy and without fault. Every person has committed sin against God and therefore deserves punishment in Hell; however, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us so that we wouldn’t have to take that punishment. It’s a beautiful love story.

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      • This begs the question why any sentient being with such omnipotence would bother to create something that can only fail. If this deity created the heavens and the earth in seven days, and managed to build everything into perfect balance; why would that deity create humans so imperfect, and without an inherent perfection? What purpose would it serve to any greater plan?

        While some of believe that there is a greater power to serve, others believe that there is a greater ideal to be striven for by every individual. One cannot put pen to paper without believing in this inherent ‘universal mind’ whether they pursue it through religion or philosophy.

        There is a huge difference that Humans will never achieve a true ‘holiness’ because it is within every individual’s grasp to do so, and depends heavily on how they choose their choices. Believing in an unattainable greater power (to be served) often allows for those choices to be made by that greater power, as interpreted by an intermediary, which works against an individual’s self development in favor of creating a consensus.

        The answer to your question is that under no circumstances should any sentient child who has tasted the air be killed, whether in war or peace.

        However if your next question is abortion, let me offer you this: in the primary stages (0 to 6 weeks) of formation, a fetus is only as human as cancer is. Food for thought.

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      • I knew we’d find the core of your arguement. More likely it calls into question what my definition of “absolute” is. Or perhaps you should believe that cancer should be allowed to kill people, because it has been introduced to the body.

        So what do you believe “absolute” is.

        This has been the purpose of the exchange, to exchange ideas to learn what others may be thinking.

        Mine I would like to believe reflects the will of at least 7 out of 10 here in Canada (I work in public service, namely as a Bartender, and have done so for 20 years, and have had these conversations before.)

        However, if you would raise abortion, that number would increase, as it is commonly believed to be the choice of the woman who’s body is host to the ‘potential’ human.

        For a woman to make a conscious choice NOT to have a baby, before it’s sentience, because of her circumstances, is not an evil thing. Not by any means.

        Men for one thing have no place to judge such a thing, but I would support a woman if she felt this was a case. I would also support her if she carried to term, and chose birth, as best as I could. I am Pro Choice.

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      • Do you really think the core of my argument was hidden all this time? My very first question in this conversation was, “If there are no absolutes, then how can we know that the statement ‘There are no absolutes’ is true?” At different times, I reintroduced this question to you.

        If you google the word “absolute,” you will find its definition in several contexts. First of all, it means, “not qualified or diminished in any way; total.” Secondly, it means, “viewed or existing independently and not in relation to other things; not relative or comparative.” Finally, in the context of philosophy, it means, “a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things.”

        How you or I personally wish to define “absolute” has nothing to do with what it means, unless we can each create our own reality in which absolutes do not exist. Logically, that makes no sense, however, because if you say that it is universally true that absolutes do not exist and everyone is free to construct their own subjective reality, then you’re making two contradictory statements. Does that make sense to you?

        I’m not going to debate the morality of abortion with you at this point. However, if you believe that morality is truly subjective, then you are not being consistent to say that abortion is “not by any means an evil thing.” It is perfectly consistent to say that abortion is evil and that morality is not subjective, though. Does that make sense?

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  2. As all words are man-made labels, used to explain and interpret our conscious reality, we must deconstruct and strip away their meaning, imposed on us by others, to reveal the purity and truth revealed within us through perception untainted by an accumulation of self-imposed labels and societal conditioning. We are conceived as pure life-forms and from day one, we proceed to drape ourselves in ever-increasing layers of confusion, it is our task from birth to death to endeavour to see through the fog of deception.

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    • I would argue that humans learn by being taught, whether it is from instruction and information presented to them by more knowledgeable individuals; by conclusions drawn from personal observation and experience; and, perhaps, by coming to a fuller understanding of their innate conscience that somehow makes them aware at an early age that they are acting rightly or wrongly.

      Information that is presented to us for the purpose of teaching is not necessarily true or false. Rather, the accuracy of that information depends upon how it relates to reality. The same is true for conclusions that we draw from our own observations and experiences. While our conscience can certainly be shaped along a broad spectrum ranging from hyper-sensitive at one pole to completely seared at the other, it is my belief that all humans are born with an innate sense of fundamental morality.

      It is quite doubtful that you came out of the womb with the knowledge, reasoning abilities, and linguistic skills necessary to craft such a beautifully worded statement as you have made above. Rather, it is more likely that you were educated on the philosophical views that you presented, matured to the point of being able to process through them intellectually, and developed your natural ability as a wordsmith to clearly articulate your beliefs. Moreover, if words really are simply man-made labels that have no significant meaning in reality, and if they have only deceived us in our search for truth, then everything you just said is 1) at best, skewed and unreliable, or 2) at worst, utterly false and totally pointless.

      Please understand I am endeavoring to apply my perception of your own logic to your statement. It seems as though you are saying that words are deceptive and cannot accurately convey truth. If that is true, then how can you make a reasonable argument for your beliefs which are communicated through words? The way you used the words was impressively artistic; however, I would argue that your statement is self-refuting, if I am correctly understanding your meaning. If truth can never be discovered at all – if truth is some unreachable, mysterious treasure chest of knowledge about reality that none of us can ever seem to find regardless of how open-minded we allow ourselves to be – then what is the point of searching at all?

      I trust that you will accept my respect of you as a person and of your right to believe whatever you desire to believe even though I have expressed my disagreement with your views just as you probably would disagree with mine. 🙂

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      • I refer to words as man-made concepts that we acquire through life and utilize as navigational tools to orientate and locate our physical position in space and time, to communicate our perceptions and conscious awareness of our experience of being and nowness. I use photography and word paintings as mechanisms to draw attention to ambiguities, contradictions and paradoxes in an attempt to deconstruct conceptual realities and present alternative viewing perspectives with the hope of shaking the viewer out of their existential comfort bubble. I am working to represent word concepts through a lens of apparently naive innocence as a way of shedding fresh light on complacent acceptance of concrete meanings of our communication codes. I enjoy the potential perceptual and intellectual provocation offered through photographing overlooked, everyday spectacles and the opportunities on offer to turn perception on it’s head and confront the viewer so they have to question or reconstruct the meanings of the visual information they are processing, likewise with the word paintings and their perception as constructs under the heading of ‘art’. Hopefully that helps to make my position somewhat clearer, in answer to your queries. 😉

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      • I am suspicious of anything that is presented as a truth because it is an attempt to reign in the free will of the individual. All authority or truth is open to interpretation and debate and I am prepared to allow for ‘anarchy’, to observe how the gradual release of the controlling forces of truth, authority, government, religion over society and the void is slowly reoccupied with trust, empathy, mutual respect, generosity etc., especially when this winding down of governed control also works alongside the crumbling capitalist/consumerist economic system, to be replaced by self-sufficiency, voluntary association (as opposed to organised collectivisation). All ‘truths’ should be subjected to scrutiny and debate, in order to expose their liquid concrete flaws.

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      • “Never” is about as concrete and absolute as you can get. For someone who doesn’t believe truth to be objective, you just made a very objective statement. How can you even be confident in anything you say if you think that truth is bereft of any definitive qualities whatsoever?

        If truth is actually relative, then it follows for one to say, “That may be true for you, but it’s not true for me,” when looking at the exact same item of debate. However, that kind of reasoning simply doesn’t make sense in the real world.

        To illustrate this, picture a Christian and a Hindu talking about their religious beliefs over Chai. The Christian is a monotheist who believes there is one true God, whereas the Hindu is a polytheist who believes there are many, many gods in the universe. It makes no sense whatsoever to say that if the Christian believes there is one God, then that is truth for him or her, and if the Hindu believes there are many gods, then that is truth for him or her. Sure, they have every right to believe whatever they want to, but it doesn’t mean that they are both correct because two opposites cannot be true at the same time. If there is only one true God, then many cannot exist, and if there are many, then one true God cannot exist. One is right and one is wrong…or, let’s suppose they’re both wrong and the Atheist is correct in saying there is no such thing as the supernatural realm. Well, either it’s there or it isn’t. Something cannot be and not be at the same time.

        We could go on and on with examples like these. It’s not a matter of saying that someone cannot believe whatever they want to. It’s simply saying that some of us are thinking correctly and some of us are thinking incorrectly, since we believe things that are opposite from each other. This, of course, leads to an entirely different discussion, for when you acknowledge that everyone cannot be correct when their beliefs are on completely contrasting poles, you’re faced with the situation of deciding what is correct. However, let me return to my main points…

        If truth is merely whatever someone wants to be true, then why bother seeking after it? Why not decide what you want to be the guidepost of your life and quit expending your energies pursuing something that you’ll never find? After all, if truth is subjective and individualistic, it cannot really be larger than you. In other words, absolute truth is binding upon all people and is not whatever an individual wants it to be. Truth is truth whether you like it or not. The way I see it, if everyone lived their life as if truth was subjective, then you would eventually have total anarchy on your hands and society would eventually self-destruct unless this was prevented from happening by some power outside and independent of society. If everyone does what is right in their own eyes, following whatever is “true for them,” then what happens when someone decides that it’s morally acceptable for them to steal from their weaker neighbors in the middle of a famine? Is this the “survival of the fittest” or is it an immoral deed?

        To summarize, I do not see how the concept of truth as a non-universal law squares with common sense and logic, nor do I see how it is even profitable to spend one’s time seeking this subjective entity that, while supposedly is greater than oneself, may very likely never be found. If found, the results are quite disappointing, for this truth is only relatable to the person finding it and cannot be shared with anyone else, since their truth may be entirely different.

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      • Truth represents a prison to those fighting to maintain an open, questioning mind if those fighting to enforce a truth doggedly believe it to be a absolutely unquestionable truth.

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      • Believing in absolute truth in no way necessitates a commitment to refuse to question it. As a matter of fact, it is through questioning a held belief that the understanding of said belief is further clarified and one’s confidence in said belief’s veracity is either strengthened or weakened. I believe that truth’s absolute nature squares with pure logic and is therefore able to withstand questioning.

        I do not believe that truth can be different for individual people. Is that what you believe? If so, then your definition of truth forces you to admit that my definition of truth is just as accurate as yours is even though they are opposite, if you want to remain consistent with yourself. My definition of truth frees me to be consistent when I say that I don’t think your definition of truth is correct.

        Have you ever considered what are the implications of you being wrong about truth being subjective? What if we are bound by an objective moral law that will judge us one day for our actions? What if there is a God who will eventually look us in the eye and say, “You knew I was real and that I was trying to help you find the right way to live for your entire life, yet you denied me and did your own thing?” What if everyone in society decided to do what was right in their own eyes, living as if they are their own rulers, treating others however they wanted to treat them?

        There’s enough evidence out there for God’s existence and for an absolute standard of morality to convince anyone if they are open enough to it. However, if they see the idea of God and absolutes as a prison, then they probably won’t be open to the evidence. I dare you to explore this instead of pushing back from what you perceive to be an intellectual prison, for I find it incredibly freeing.

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      • My openness to the interpretation of a truth proposition leaves me free to live my life unhitched to a psychological security blanket of religious or political ideology, some may chose uo pigeonhole this outlook as Individualist Anarchism but I prefer ‘free will’. xx

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  3. In one sense I am an anarchist. I trust nobody’s rules. There are no rules. I make my own. My definition of good is things that alleviate suffering, creates positive vibes, causes enjoyment, appreciation and fulfilment. Bad is the cause of misery, poverty, environmental destruction, pain and anguish. Creativity good pointlessness bad. It’s all subjective. I’m the sole arbiter but I believe in empathy, compassion and the zeitgeist. Cheers Opher

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  4. Good is the over-idealized positive and bad is the distorted negative – positive-negative tensions paradoxically allow things to expand while holding them together, while good and bad creates self-perpetuating, yet self-devouring,
    ever-dwindling cycles.. Evil is merely a manifestation of treatable illnesses( ignorance, poverty, discrimination, etc.) that have coalesced into un-diagnosable form.

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    • I agree with your statements… Thank you for taking the time to read and comment my blog. Being able to define good &evil is only our first step… Now we must change the views of others and their definitions which are wrong half the time.
      Your thoughts are always welcomed here

      -Truth Seeker

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      • Good and evil is merely judgement. Judgement is a tool of separation. I cannot change your views, I relish your opinion, and appreciate your thoughtful expression.

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  5. You not only have an interesting post here, but you have interesting readers, commenting. As I was reading through, you remind me of Alan Watts. If you have not read him, you might enjoy following along as he plows through these big metaphysical and philosophical and even psychological issues of consciousness and living fully balanced, at least less delusional, lives. “The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” might be a good choice; fairly short and resonates with your themes of interest.

    The other thought about Good v. Evil often takes me back to the book of Genesis, in which the mythic voice of God says that the Tree of Life [and presumably also of Death, as one makes no sense without the other] is not forbidden, but the Tree of Good and Evil is forbidden. To me, this points to ancient wisdom that Life and Death have to do with natural experience, while “Good” and “Evil” are our correlated labels for these experiences, human artifacts of culture, that keep us distant and afraid of sharing interdependent nature with the rest of the cosmos.

    Gerald Oliver

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    • Thank you for your kind comment! I appreciate and am glad that my post can provide you with some insight. No, I have not heard of Alan Watts but I am surly going to look him up! I am always excited for a new and enlightening read. Thank you for your advice and suggestions.
      I like the points you pose about good and evil/ life and death.. Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed here.

      -Truth Seeker

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      • I see what you’re saying about life not making sense apart from death, as they are opposites. However, the Bible actually makes no mention of a Tree of Death. Genesis 2:8-9 (New Living Translation) says, “Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground – trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

        I do not believe this passage is saying that death does not exist. Quite the contrary, actually. Before the forbidden fruit was eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, death had never occurred in the world. The possibility of death was there, but humans and animals had not experienced it until that time. Romans 6:12 explains this as follows: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

        Does my explanation of the text make sense? If I misunderstood your point, please let me know.

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  6. Hello, thank you very much for the likes on the buddhameditation.wordpress.

    I am a little bit busy at present but I took little time to read this post. I read Nietzsche and I found it interesting at that time because it can break a too strong and artificial distinction between good and bad. But I think we should not go to far on this direction. The distinction between good or bad seems in a way fundamental to me but we really need to define what is good and what is not. For example Hitler and nazism were good ? Environmental destructions are good ? Psycho_active substances are bad ? Free sexual relationships are bad ? I think that we have to redefine rather than annihilate the difference between good and bad.

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    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I have to completely agree with your opinion. We, as a society, need to redefine these differences between good and bad. Or, we can continue having our own definition of the two, and never be able to see eye to eye..
      Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.

      -Truth Seeker

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  7. Add this to the fact that the History we know is the Story told by those who conquered. They got to set the rules. What is Good in a certain put situation isn’t necessarily Good in another time, another society, a different way of life. All these laws engraved in Stone have to evolve for times they are changing…. Simply put…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have relegated class values as a criteria for Good and Evil but there are other categories too, the Biblical conception of Sin; crimes done in a civil society. Here good and evil poses the serious conception of Ethics. I appreciate Nietzsche’s view of Being Good and Evil. Nietzsche slips ethics into an ontological relativism. What is good for me need not be good for others. Anand Bose from Kerala

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