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No such thing as evil - top trumped

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Humans are social creatures with a penchant for categorization and because we tend to look to ourselves as the ultimate guiding principle; morally speaking that we are good, then evil arises from a necessity to separate ourselves from some external element. If you simplify all human motives as derivatives from our survival instinct and their clashing with social constructs then it becomes easier to understand fringe elements such as cases of extreme evil. 

As such you can look at evil as merely a rejection of philosophies which are incompatible with existing schema.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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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.

 

 

Yeah it's pretty gross. It's also, in my opinion, pretty important that we try to understand such perverse desires, so that we can identify and treat people who harbour them. Now, it may be the case that the job of psychoanalysing would be pedophile cannibals is just not for you, and I think that's all right.

 

If it is found that his desire to kill, rape and eat children (in whatever order he'd planned to do it, I wasn't really clear on that) is the result of a mental disorder (which seems likely to me but I'm no psych either so I guess we'll let them do their thing and we'll find out for sure) then he is, to a degree, not responsible for harbouring those thoughts.

 

For deciding to act on them, absolutely responsible (although maybe the psychs will find something else I dunno. I tend towards thinking there's always a choice.)

 

I mean it's easy for us to judge this guy because, let's face it, the thing he was planning to do doesn't appeal to us. It's not the thing that tempts us.

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When I was a kid, having 'sound judgement' wasn't something to be abhorred. Which is what I take as your meaning.

 

I don't want to be an arse about this, so perhaps you could be more clear before I kick off. Are you honestly suggesting that having a judgemental reaction to this crime is wrong? because I literally can't imagine anything worse.

 

If so, to what end is this magnificent degree of empathetic understanding dedicated?


"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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Delayed reaction because I really have to psych myself into feeling like talking about why pedophile cannibals just need a bit of love and understanding, man, let's all hold hands...

I remember observing a discussion a while ago regarding a gent in the UK (I think it was UK, anyway) who'd been caught with child porn on his PC. Not a little bit of child porn, a whole bunch. Like, 250 individual files or something. Dude got hit with something like 250 life sentences, back to back to back to... you get the picture. Anyway, the point was raised that, had he, instead of downloading child pornography, simply obtained a child and raped them, his sentence would've been lighter.

 

Conversation then explored the following: if you're in the shoes of that guy, (like, before he decided child porn was the best solution) it might seem like your options are relatively limited. Perhaps a bit speculative here, but I doubt that someone can simply make a conscious decision to not be sexually attracted to children, any more than heterosexual or homosexual people can consciously decide they're not gonna find the opposite or the same sex attractive. Obviously most of us in society agree that having sex with kids is the wrong thing to do. We all agree that you should not have sex with kids.

 

But that's way, way easier for you or I to hold to. We don't fancy them, why would we want to shag them? It's a somewhat more tricky decision for someone who, either as a result of their genetic make up or (so the statistics seem to suggest) as a result of abuse they themselves have suffered, but not through any fault of their own whatsoever, is attracted to the idea of having sex with a child. None of that would excuse any pedophile who decided to act on their urges and abuse a child. At the same time, though, we can't necessarily say that we would never do what they have done in their position. We have no idea what it is like to live with those desires. I think everyone has actions in their past they are not proud of, that if they had their time again they would do differently. I have definitely had times when I have acted selfishly to the detriment of others because I cared more about myself than I did about them. Fortunately none of my actions have been anywhere near as damaging as child abuse, but the main reason for that is that's not something that appeals to me. If I was a pedophile, I'd like to think that I would still, nonetheless, have the self control and the moral courage to forgo my own selfish desires in that area for the good of those around me. But without ever being in that position, I will never find out for sure.

Now we don't know this would be cannibal's psychological situation, or whether there's any abuse in his background or whatever. And I'm not saying any of that would excuse what he planned to do, but it may help us understand it.

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Delayed reaction because I really have to psych myself into feeling like talking about why pedophile cannibals just need a bit of love and understanding, man, let's all hold hands...

 

I remember observing a discussion a while ago regarding a gent in the UK (I think it was UK, anyway) who'd been caught with child porn on his PC. Not a little bit of child porn, a whole bunch. Like, 250 individual files or something. Dude got hit with something like 250 life sentences, back to back to back to... you get the picture. Anyway, the point was raised that, had he, instead of downloading child pornography, simply obtained a child and raped them, his sentence would've been lighter.

 

Conversation then explored the following: if you're in the shoes of that guy, (like, before he decided child porn was the best solution) it might seem like your options are relatively limited. Perhaps a bit speculative here, but I doubt that someone can simply make a conscious decision to not be sexually attracted to children, any more than heterosexual or homosexual people can consciously decide they're not gonna find the opposite or the same sex attractive. Obviously most of us in society agree that having sex with kids is the wrong thing to do. We all agree that you should not have sex with kids.

 

But that's way, way easier for you or I to hold to. We don't fancy them, why would we want to shag them? It's a somewhat more tricky decision for someone who, either as a result of their genetic make up or (so the statistics seem to suggest) as a result of abuse they themselves have suffered, but not through any fault of their own whatsoever, is attracted to the idea of having sex with a child. None of that would excuse any pedophile who decided to act on their urges and abuse a child. At the same time, though, we can't necessarily say that we would never do what they have done in their position. We have no idea what it is like to live with those desires. I think everyone has actions in their past they are not proud of, that if they had their time again they would do differently. I have definitely had times when I have acted selfishly to the detriment of others because I cared more about myself than I did about them. Fortunately none of my actions have been anywhere near as damaging as child abuse, but the main reason for that is that's not something that appeals to me. If I was a pedophile, I'd like to think that I would still, nonetheless, have the self control and the moral courage to forgo my own selfish desires in that area for the good of those around me. But without ever being in that position, I will never find out for sure.

 

Now we don't know this would be cannibal's psychological situation, or whether there's any abuse in his background or whatever. And I'm not saying any of that would excuse what he planned to do, but it may help us understand it.

 

Wow after our last discussion around rape and the reasons for it I had lost hope that any point from you in the future would resonate with me intellectually but you do make some good and interesting points now :geek:


"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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If so, to what end is this magnificent degree of empathetic understanding dedicated?

 

In tagent to Chairchukcer's answer - it far too easy to slap an "evil" sticker on something and then move along.. and it'll get us nowhere. It's like saying "believing in X is silly", but never elaborating why it is. I don't really believe in evil as an actual thing, I believe in bad, but I refuse to believe that a normal person can be inherently evil. Which is what evil is you know, evil is being you and me and doing this with my or your reasoning. Having a normal outlook on life and then, with a normal moral compass, deciding to kidnap, murder and rape a child.. just because.. But that never happens, it's only people like this, who really come off as "not right", there something very off about them.. and spending more than a minute with people like that will put a normal person ill at ease - for a reason.

 

I worked in rehab and psych ward with guys that had been abused all their lives, some had actual physical deformities because they were beaten so badly when they were infants.. Now these guys had done some horrible things, but they were not normal, they had no way of knowing what normals was until they were taught that - in their world view everyone was evil and would hurt them eventually, so that's how they treated others.. We could just call them "evil" and be done with it, but then we turn a blind eye to the very real suffering they've endured and why they project on to the world.

 

This guy is obviously not right in the head and calling him evil accomplishes nothing - figure out why, treat if possible, lock up forever if not and learn what you can.


Fortune favors the bald.

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I can and do respect your honesty n saying that you _hope_ you would have the integrity to resist your urges, if you had gone down that road (however that happens).

 

If I may draw an analogy without being too crass, we used to talk about courage and cowardice in barracks when I was training. Obviously all the young lads were full of beans and claimed to be fearless heroes. Most of the older gents like me were more circumspect. Our consensus was that you just didn't know how you'd swing when push came to shove.

 

The same perspective as yours? Not at all.

 

Neither group would have been any more forgiving than the other if someone had showed a yellow streak. If anything the understand old geezers would probably have been harsher.

 

Does that makes sense, or should I elaborate?


"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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Playing devils advocate for a second.

*the following does not represent my beliefs, but rather is a thought experiment. Keep that in mind*

 

Well, you dont decide to be a pedophile any more than you decide to be gay or lesbian. Sexual prefference seems to be hard-wired.

And as far as nature is concerned - old anough to have babies? No problem.

 

We humans operate a bit differently, but let's face it - pedophiles in nature would not be considered abusive or wrong.


* 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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Playing devils advocate for a second.

*the following does not represent my beliefs, but rather is a thought experiment. Keep that in mind*

 

Well, you dont decide to be a pedophile any more than you decide to be gay or lesbian. Sexual prefference seems to be hard-wired.

And as far as nature is concerned - old anough to have babies? No problem.

 

We humans operate a bit differently, but let's face it - pedophiles in nature would not be considered abusive or wrong.

 

Paedophilia, by definition, is not consensual. Using your analogy  - which is nonetheless interesting - a gay rapist is still just a rapist.

Edited by Walsingham
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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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Playing devils advocate for a second.

*the following does not represent my beliefs, but rather is a thought experiment. Keep that in mind*

 

Well, you dont decide to be a pedophile any more than you decide to be gay or lesbian. Sexual prefference seems to be hard-wired.

And as far as nature is concerned - old anough to have babies? No problem.

 

We humans operate a bit differently, but let's face it - pedophiles in nature would not be considered abusive or wrong.

 

Paedophilia, by definition, is not consensual. Using your analogy  - which is nonetheless interesting - a gay rapist is still just a rapist.

 

By legal definition even if it is consensual it is not recognized by the court, children are not able to make informed decisions since their concept of sexuality is still a work in progress. But statutory rape is a different matter since teenagers do have a concept of what sex is and have practiced, they're even allowed with the consent of their caretaker to marry. I'm kind of inclined to split hairs here and make sure we distinguish hebephilia from pedophilia.

As far as it being a sexual inclination, I believe it to be so in the same way that bestiality and biastophilia are sexual inclinations that disregard consent and are therefore immoral and illegal.

 

@Rosbjerg: One way that I rationalized some of the behavior that comes out from abuse is that its a self fulling prophecy on the part of the abuser. But often times the cognitive model in a mind damaged from either biological or environmental factors (excluding abuse) rationalizes in ways that are so far removed from what the norm is that to act on them would be considered evil.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Odd thought occurs. I hope it's not too far off topic.

 

If we are moving towards a notion that persons can be perpetrators of evil, without having sought to commit evil...

 

...Isn't this the essence of some interpretations of Satan? A sort of 'sods law' which causes people to be corrupted? Without excusing the perpetrators?


"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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Odd thought occurs. I hope it's not too far off topic.

 

If we are moving towards a notion that persons can be perpetrators of evil, without having sought to commit evil...

 

...Isn't this the essence of some interpretations of Satan? A sort of 'sods law' which causes people to be corrupted? Without excusing the perpetrators?

You can judge morality by intent, actions, or ideology. Any of those only matter if you think it matters because morality is a social construct, what matters in the story of Satan is his intent because angels have no apparent free will. 


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Am not comfortable with notion that 'social construct' means irrelevant. Please confirm this is your intent.


"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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Am not comfortable with notion that 'social construct' means irrelevant. Please confirm this is your intent.

Social constructs are irrelevant outside of systems that operate outside those constructs, I think that's unlikely that morality can directly affect reality as far as we know.

To anyone operating outside morality they are irrelevant.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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But society is awesome.


"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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I think the death penalty is one of those things you have to leave behind if you want to head towards a better society. Humans shouldn't have the lawful right to kill other humans. However I suppose it's easy to be naive about these sort of things, when you live in relatively peaceful Norway.

 

 

I am glad, and heartened a great deal, that this thread is full of people who have never had some seriously horrible **** happen to a loved one.

After the Breivik-massacre the mantra in the country, including the people who lost their friends and family was "more humanity, more democracy, more love" etc, rather than "off with his head". So it's definitely possible to be anti-death penalty even if you've lost loved ones.

Appointing a Muslin m as minister of culture was a pretty big middle finger to that guy. If he had been executed he never would have seen it happen.


The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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Playing devils advocate for a second.

*the following does not represent my beliefs, but rather is a thought experiment. Keep that in mind*

 

Well, you dont decide to be a pedophile any more than you decide to be gay or lesbian. Sexual prefference seems to be hard-wired.

And as far as nature is concerned - old anough to have babies? No problem.

 

We humans operate a bit differently, but let's face it - pedophiles in nature would not be considered abusive or wrong.

 

Paedophilia, by definition, is not consensual. Using your analogy  - which is nonetheless interesting - a gay rapist is still just a rapist.

 

 

Sure, but there are many things that are illegal that many people will nonetheless justify within their own mind. Semi recently, an 18 year old woman was charged with statutory rape for having sex with her 15 year old girlfriend, and a fairly large number of people, despite the fact that the 15 year old is legally not able to consent, said of this situation that it was unfair, and that the only reason anyone cares is that it's a same sex relationship. They were quite easily able to justify to themselves that, despite the fact that the sexual relationship was illegal, that it should be all right. There is, according to the story I quickly Googled just then, a Facebook group with over 50,000 members who all agree that this illegal act shouldn't be legally punished, and a petition with over 300,000 signatures saying the same.

 

Now, these 300,000 people aren't even the person who is motivated by their own sexual desires in wanting to justify what they've done. If you can find 300,000 people who all agree that, legal age of consent be damned, a person who the law states cannot consent actually can, can it really surprise us that a bunch of people who find themselves attracted to under age people might somehow be able to convince themselves that, law be damned, age is just a number, etc?

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I wonder, if someone is born with the desire to kill people in brutal ways, would we consider that person to be inherently evil?


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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I wonder, if someone is born with the desire to kill people in brutal ways, would we consider that person to be inherently evil?

 

No they would be mentally unbalanced and would be need to be placed in an asylum


"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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I wonder, if someone is born with the desire to kill people in brutal ways, would we consider that person to be inherently evil?

 

No they would be mentally unbalanced and would be need to be placed in an asylum

 

Or they could go into the army and become heroes.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Paedophilia, by definition, is not consensual. Using your analogy  - which is nonetheless interesting - a gay rapist is still just a rapist.

 

 

*Still playing devils advocate*

 

1) consent only matters to our society, here and now.

 

2) We have decided that unless someone is of this and that age, he cannot consent. A decision that could be argued against.

 

 

 

By legal definition even if it is consensual it is not recognized by the court, children are not able to make informed decisions since their concept of sexuality is still a work in progress.

 

Generally speaking, poeple make informed decisions their whole lives and some grown-ups struggle with various concpets. It could be we're selling kids short and forgetting they don't all learn and mature at the same rate.

It's also the question of "how much must you know to make a deicison"?

 

 

 

..  I can't believe I'm actually agruing this....


* 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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Trashman, I think your argument would work better if you went with cases of statutory rape.  There is a very large difference between that and pedophilia.      

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..  I can't believe I'm actually agruing this....

 

 

It's a common enough argument to be worth tackling, I'd say.

 

1) Consent is a defining factor sex, as distinct from rape. If you assume that rape is OK then frankly whatever culture that is can **** off.

 

I am reminded inevitably of Charles Napier's comment when administrator of India [am obliged to wikiquote]:

 

You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.

  • S. M. Stirling, Island in the Sea of Time. New York: Penguin (1998); pg. 526

 

 

2) The debate over the age of consent is exactly that, but then so is there a debate on what constitutes murder. The fact that the dividing line can be and often is debated does not mean there is no line. I would say that if anything it makes the prohibition meaningful.

 

3) The law is a blunt instrument. The age of consent in the UK is 16. It may be that some 15 year olds are capable of making informed consent. Frankly it's scientifically implausible that the transition occurs arbitrarily on their birthday. But the line is drawn so that those who have not yet matured are protected.

 

As an aside, I knew some 19 year olds who went doolali over sex because they still weren't ready. But you can't protect everyone with the law.

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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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