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No such thing as evil - top trumped

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http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1989083_2137368,00.html

 

Browse the photos of the horrible prisons! OOooooOOOooooOOOoooOO!

 

 

Geez, if I'm going to commit a crime, I need to do it in Norway.  I've stayed at hotels worse than that.

 

 

As someone who's been to Norway, i can tell that compared to norwegian standards, that place is a dump.

 

You guys probably haven't understand how incredibly rich that country is, i mean i've seen fishermen live in houses that looks like mansions compared to other scandinavian standards.


"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Not semantics, just poking holes in the absurdity of "its wrong to kill people, no matter what". I bet you would also kill if someone was pistol whipping dear old mum, or trying to snatch your kids, or any number of reasons that suddenly become "justifiable instinct" in your head. Its all exactly the same as willfully killing someone.

 

You're not even really engaging in a discussion at this point, you're just ridiculing my point of view. Well, you'll excuse me if I don't really feel like wasting my time talking to you, then.

 

Don't you think its more likely that you don't want to face yourself? I mean, Im just some disembodied voice on the interweb trying to understand your point. Just a few posts ago you stated that you believe it is wrong to kill "no matter what". Now we have established that you would in fact kill someone to take their life preserver to save yourself (while feeling terrible about it of course). This can be reasonably extrapolated to; you would kill someone else to save yourself in any situation where your life depended on it. All Im trying to figure out is where your "morals" really kick in.

 

 

I don't think  Jadedwolf said anything like that and you aren't looking at what he said in context, this discussion is about a countries legal system and the death sentence that can be imposed. Anyone with a semblance of intelligence is aware that there are other reasons where you or others would take a life. Examples like war, in self-defense and that irrelevant example to this discussion about the lifeboat. But most people would still feel guilty. But once again we aren't discussing why people would take a life, we are discussing the death penalty and should countries enforce it. I morally object  to it but I don't morally object to soldiers who kill people in war, I am not sure why you guys are battling to grasp this view?


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Um, yeah, I had read the previous 101 posts but thanks for the summary on what this thread topic is about.

 

Meanwhile, sometimes thread topics drift. Im curious as to where a person that feels killing is wrong "no matter what" except when their life depends on in, really draws the line.


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Um, yeah, I had read the previous 101 posts but thanks for the summary on what this thread topic is about.

 

Meanwhile, sometimes thread topics drift. Im curious as to where a person that feels killing is wrong "no matter what" except when their life depends on in, really draws the line.

 

JadedWolf didn't say "killing a person is wrong no matter what". He said this is context of the death penalty and this discussion so I'm not sure why you think anyone is saying "killing a person is wrong, unless there life depends on it"

 

 

I may be missing something?


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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JadedWolf didn't say "killing a person is wrong no matter what". He said this is context of the death penalty and this discussion so I'm not sure why you think anyone is saying "killing a person is wrong, unless there life depends on it"

 

 

I may be missing something?

My point with this example is: my opposition to the death penalty does not have to mean that I think that it's a worse penalty than a life sentence, I just don't think it is an appropriate penalty for a civilized society. It is not because I feel merciful towards murderers and child rapists, but because I do not want our collective conscience to be burdened by something which I consider to be immoral.

 

If you still want to ask why... Well, simply because I feel it is morally wrong. I don't have a holy book I can point at where it says it is wrong, I don't have a belief in some higher justice. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have a moral code that guides me, and one of the things I believe is that it is wrong to kill people, no matter what.

As for your example:

 

"For example if you ship goes down and you and another man are stuggling in the water and showing eachother for that one life jacket - and he dies because you took it or showed him underwater during the stuggle. This isn't consider murder."

 

It is not murder, but if that happened to me, I would feel very, very guilty for the rest of my life.

 

Have you bothered to read the thread? This is all just one page back.


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JadedWolf didn't say "killing a person is wrong no matter what". He said this is context of the death penalty and this discussion so I'm not sure why you think anyone is saying "killing a person is wrong, unless there life depends on it"

 

 

I may be missing something?

My point with this example is: my opposition to the death penalty does not have to mean that I think that it's a worse penalty than a life sentence, I just don't think it is an appropriate penalty for a civilized society. It is not because I feel merciful towards murderers and child rapists, but because I do not want our collective conscience to be burdened by something which I consider to be immoral.

 

If you still want to ask why... Well, simply because I feel it is morally wrong. I don't have a holy book I can point at where it says it is wrong, I don't have a belief in some higher justice. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have a moral code that guides me, and one of the things I believe is that it is wrong to kill people, no matter what.

As for your example:

 

"For example if you ship goes down and you and another man are stuggling in the water and showing eachother for that one life jacket - and he dies because you took it or showed him underwater during the stuggle. This isn't consider murder."

 

It is not murder, but if that happened to me, I would feel very, very guilty for the rest of my life.

 

Have you bothered to read the thread? This is all just one page back.

 

 

Once again thats not I think he meant, but he needs to comment if he wants to clear this up


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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 Examples like war, in self-defense and that irrelevant example to this discussion about the lifeboat. But most people would still feel guilty. But once again we aren't discussing why people would take a life, we are discussing the death penalty and should countries enforce it. I morally object  to it but I don't morally object to soldiers who kill people in war, I am not sure why you guys are battling to grasp this view?

 

 

Really?

 

Doesn't any soldier who willingly goes to war KNOW he will shoot other human beings?

Doesn't that make him guilty? Following orders is IMHO not an excuse.

 

I'm sure both sides of the conflict justify shooting at eachother, but you just KNOW they can't both be right.

Most of the time is the "if I don't shoot him he will shoot me first" way of thinking, however it realies on what you've been told/think the other guy will do, nto what  he's actually done yet. In some way isn't not that much different from shootign a burglar - after all you thought he would kill you.

 

This was going a bit off a tanget, but humans beings can justfy ANYTHING. With enough mental gymnastics it's farely easy actually. Every single thing that was done or wasn't done in human history has been justified.

Which is kinda funny when you think about it....or not.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Once again thats not I think he meant, but he needs to comment if he wants to clear this up

 

So you feel JadedWolf meant: Only in matters of capital punishment, its uncivilized and they feel its wrong to kill people no matter what, but in matters of self preservation its totally ok but they would feel bad? I guess that's as good an explanation as were going to get with statements like that. :shrugz:


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Once again thats not I think he meant, but he needs to comment if he wants to clear this up

 

So you feel JadedWolf meant: Only in matters of capital punishment, its uncivilized and they feel its wrong to kill people no matter what, but in matters of self preservation its totally ok but they would feel bad? I guess that's as good an explanation as were going to get with statements like that. :shrugz:

 

 

 

Yes thats what I think he was saying :)


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Interestingly enough...why is X civilized and Y is not?

I've never seen a goo enough definition or explanation, and historicly, it basicly boiled down to "Y is how people used to do it before, but we re far better because we arne't doing it".

Ya know..the same traing of thought hte white men used when subjugating and destroying other cultures.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Okay, right. And this is the last thing I'll say on the matter.

 

Of course I do feel people have the right to defend themselves and other people from harm, and if that requires lethal force, so be it. That is something completely different though from putting an unarmed man in a chair and pulling a switch. Or whatever method of capital punishment you prefer.

 

As for the "no matter what", you have to see this in context.

 

"Let me try to explain it using other kind of sentence.

 

"No longer used in most Western countries, flogging or whipping is still a common punishment in some parts of the world, particularly in many former British territories and in Islamic countries under shariah law. Medically supervised caning is routinely ordered by the courts as a penalty for some categories of crime in Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and elsewhere."

 

Now, I am against flogging. I think it is barbaric, and has no place in a civilized justice system. However... Given the choice between a flogging and a life sentence, which would you choose? The pain from the flogging will only last a few months, and you might still suffer from the scars afterwards, but you'll still be free. My point with this example is: my opposition to the death penalty does not have to mean that I think that it's a worse penalty than a life sentence, I just don't think it is an appropriate penalty for a civilized society. It is not because I feel merciful towards murderers and child rapists, but because I do not want our collective conscience to be burdened by something which I consider to be immoral.

 

If you still want to ask why... Well, simply because I feel it is morally wrong. I don't have a holy book I can point at where it says it is wrong, I don't have a belief in some higher justice. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have a moral code that guides me, and one of the things I believe is that it is wrong to kill people, no matter what."

 

My answer was specifically aimed towards the question of why I am against the death penalty. If you want to pull it out of context and claim I meant something else with it, be my guest. Just don't expect me to go along with it.

 

Interestingly enough...why is X civilized and Y is not?

I've never seen a goo enough definition or explanation, and historicly, it basicly boiled down to "Y is how people used to do it before, but we re far better because we arne't doing it".

Ya know..the same traing of thought hte white men used when subjugating and destroying other cultures.

 

Well, I can assure you that I have no plans of subjugating or destroying anyone's culture. I also already live in a country that doesn't have a death penalty, so I'm a happy camper. You're free to democratically decide what you do in yours.

 

I didn't come here to force my views upon anyone, I just came here to share my point of view. If you don't like that point of view, that's fine, and it won't ruffle my feathers.

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Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

 

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Interestingly enough...why is X civilized and Y is not?

Of course the answer to that question is, it depends on which end of the gun you are standing. If its "someone else" getting killed its very easy to climb upon a pedestal and make sweeping generalizations about civilized behavior and morality. When the barrel is pointed at your head all those grand thoughts go out the window and all of a sudden its ok to kill someone else to save yourself. Human nature.


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It is wrong to kill someone, no matter what.

 

That doesn't mean that it shouldn't happen at all though, sometimes bad things are also necessary things, and sometimes there are worse alternatives- but that is a choice between bad and worse, not bad and good. It was necessary to fight Hitler, doesn't make all the killing in WW2 right though. It's also not the case for capital punishment, where my primary concern in a 'practical' sense is that it is irreversible and you cannot unexecute if you find out you were wrong, but you can unprison and compensate from a prison sentence. I have few to no illusions that if it came down a situation where it was me or Someone Else for the last lifejacket that while I might like to think I'd be all 'women and children first' it'd likely be me and only me if it came right down to it. But I'd also have no illusions that it'd be Wrong to save myself in preference to another in those circumstances- it might be understandable, it might be necessary to survive, but it'd still wouldn't be Right to do so.

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I will concede that Jadedwolf is fighting his corner well.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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It's also not the case for capital punishment, where my primary concern in a 'practical' sense is that it is irreversible and you cannot unexecute if you find out you were wrong, but you can unprison and compensate from a prison sentence. I have few to no illusions that if it came down a situation where it was me or Someone Else for the last lifejacket that while I might like to think I'd be all 'women and children first' it'd likely be me and only me if it came right down to it. But I'd also have no illusions that it'd be Wrong to save myself in preference to another in those circumstances- it might be understandable, it might be necessary to survive, but it'd still wouldn't be Right to do so.

 

 

It's a matter of value of human life, life in general and the WHY behind it.

 

In the cosmic scale of thing, the universe doens't care. Life of person A or person B...the universe don't care. In which case, if all life is equal, then it DOESN'T MATTER who dies and who lives really.

We do assign some value there.

 

When it comes to the sentance itself. Execution cannot be reversed, true - which is why guilt has to be decisevly proven.

But years lost cannot be given back either. Even worse if the person has spent decades in prison. He's old, frail, and cannot adjust to the outside world anymore.

 

Of course, the question is - is the person objectively better off dead? Is death really that horrible? Can we even objectively answer that question, given how emotional attachment to death? Is 100000% certanty really necessary? You can never be 100% sure of anything really.

 

One could write entire tomes on the subject matter and not move 1 inch closer to an answer.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Portway sentenced to 27 years:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24135360

 

Various computers and digital devices containing Portway's child pornography collection were seized during that raid.

A forensic examination of the material revealed more than 4,500 pieces of child pornography traded with others online - including images and videos which appeared to depict dead children and cannibalism.

 

 

Meaning that there are at least some more out there just like him.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Bored so weighing in on various aspects of this topic.

My view of evil is that it is more a verb than an adjective.

Hmmm that's pretty wishy washy and not really what I meant so I'll start again.

What I mean is that I believe that evil is a way to describe something someone does (am including thinking as a thing someone does) and not a way to describe the person themselves. For example, although I do not consider myself to be an evil person, I would say that when I intentionally act to the detriment of others out of selfishness or spite or whatever, I am doing evil. If I intentionally say something to hurt someone else and make myself feel better, that's an evil act. If I kill and eat another human being, (except in self defence or whatever else we've come up with) that's an evil act. None of these isolated incidents make me an evil person, however. Brief aside: an aspects of my view on this is also that everyone, at some time or other, does evil. Barring examples like people who die as a baby or whatever.

My view of the justice system is that it's there to reduce crime and for no other purpose.

Hmmm, perhaps I should rephrase that.

My view of the justice system is that, ideally, it should be in place to reduce crime. Oh and to ensure justice for those who have been unfairly disadvantaged, but I don't see "Ensuring that bastard gets what's coming to him" as having any part of that.

So essentially I think that 'punishments' for crimes should exist for only two reasons.
Reason the first: so that people who are thinking of committing a crime will look at the possible repercussions and think to themselves 'nope, think I'll just stay at home not murdering people.'
Reason the second: so that people who have committed a crime will, after the 'punishment', think to themselves "hmmm, might not murder any more people then I guess."

I'm not interested in the death penalty as a 'punishment' because it seems to play more to a 'that bastard getting theirs' school of thought which I don't see as a positive.

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If I can draw you out a bit...

 

What's your view on this specific instance?


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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If I can draw you out a bit...

 

What's your view on this specific instance?

 

Dude had evil thoughts, and actions inasmuch as he actually kinda tried to procure a kid but is not himself inherently evil. (Is probably horribly broken.) Justice system should stick him in a psych ward and try to fix him. Maybe he can't be fixed in which case leave him there, but hey, maybe he can.

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If I can draw you out a bit...

 

What's your view on this specific instance?

 

Dude had evil thoughts, and actions inasmuch as he actually kinda tried to procure a kid but is not himself inherently evil. (Is probably horribly broken.) Justice system should stick him in a psych ward and try to fix him. Maybe he can't be fixed in which case leave him there, but hey, maybe he can.

 

 

A tin opener with solder stuck in the gears is horribly broken.

 

A man who wants to abduct, rape, and eat children is evil.

 

The distinction is not merely semantic. Evil implies a reaction far beyond broken.

 

My question to you is what you would have done if he maintained it was only one child he wanted to do it to, and having done so his curiosity was satisfied.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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See what I'm saying is that if someone has mental issues that cause them to think that killing and eating a kid is an idea worth pursuing, then probably what's needed is therapy. Also expanding on my previous thoughts about evil, people we can categorise as 'monsters' are convenient in that they allow us to pretend that we can completely externalise 'evil', and that there is no evil in our own thoughts.

 

If he 'maintained' that, I imagine there are people who are, professionally, employed specifically to determine whether someone is still a danger to society. Personally I don't believe the hypothetical situation you've proposed can arise, that a person can out of 'curiosity' decide to kill and eat someone, and thereafter, curiosity sated, not be a danger. In the made up situation that he can, then prison for whatever the determined period may be, (was it 27 years or something?) to fulfill the societal requirement of some kind of disincentive to other people to sate such curiosity.

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See what I'm saying is that if someone has mental issues that cause them to think that killing and eating a kid is an idea worth pursuing, then probably what's needed is therapy. Also expanding on my previous thoughts about evil, people we can categorise as 'monsters' are convenient in that they allow us to pretend that we can completely externalise 'evil', and that there is no evil in our own thoughts.

 

If he 'maintained' that, I imagine there are people who are, professionally, employed specifically to determine whether someone is still a danger to society. Personally I don't believe the hypothetical situation you've proposed can arise, that a person can out of 'curiosity' decide to kill and eat someone, and thereafter, curiosity sated, not be a danger. In the made up situation that he can, then prison for whatever the determined period may be, (was it 27 years or something?) to fulfill the societal requirement of some kind of disincentive to other people to sate such curiosity.

 

I tend to agree with Chair on this one. I don't believe in this mysterious force called evil that influences us . I believe people make depraved and abhorrent decisions for a number of reasons but they make these decisions themselves. And mental stability is a huge contributing factor when we ask "how can a person do that to another person ", like the example in this thread and what the paedophile wanted to do.


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Chair makes an interesting point about partly wanting to talk about evil so we can externalise it. I also liked his point about it being a fictionalised scenario.

 

However, I'm struggling to understand how this drive to grapple with reality meshes with what I feel is an overly academic view of the criminal acts at issue.

 

I look at this criminal and despite being trained to take an analytical perspective I am not analytical. I am revolted. I fear, despise, and hate that anyone would want to treat an innocent in the way he planned to do. I am still more revolted by the thought that such crimes actually are committed and recorded for the enjoyment of other people like this. Yes I externalise it. I reject it utterly. I want to expunge it from creation.

 

I might care to understand why he did this. I might listen carefully and attentively to him. But the only reason I would do so would be to expunge it more speedily and thoroughly.

 

I view the overly 'understanding' man as one plummeting to his doom from a rooftop, studying the patterns of the cobblestones below.

 

No doubt you feel that this is an overly emotional reaction. But I think we all can see how public policy is dominated by a bureaucratic indifference to real suffering, and an obsession with minutiae. We don't do nearly enough to tackle evil, and far too much fiddle-faddling with trivia.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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