Is there no such thing, as many on this board suggest?

asked 13 Nov '09, 18:44

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 14 Nov '09, 08:02

I suspect that I am one of the chief targets of your "many on this board suggest" statement in your question above. So I wouldn't like to disappoint you by not providing an answer, Vesuvius. :)

In response to What is Good and Evil?, I'll present my definition as follows (and I am assuming you are referring to good people and evil people rather than expecting a God/Devil discussion).

Here is my simple definition

Good people are those who do what you want. Evil people are those who don't.

Examples of good people are:

  • Those who behave the way you think they should behave
  • Those who follow the rules you (or society) thinks they should follow
  • Those who follow the rules of your particular religion or belief system
  • Those who do not upset the status quo
  • Those who do what they are told
  • Those who do things that please you

...and so on.

For examples of evil people, just reverse the above statements.

I'm going to requote perhaps the most important quote on good and evil I have ever come across, which I previously mentioned here...

One may say that evil does not exist for subjective man at all, that there exist only different conceptions of good. Nobody ever does anything deliberately in the interests of evil, for the sake of evil. Everybody acts in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it in a different way. Consequently men drown, slay, and kill one another in the interests of good.

G I Gurdjieff

One of the major moral objections I have come across over the years to my good/evil definition is that of murdering people. I am usually told that murdering other people is a moral absolute and is always something evil.

And I respond to that objection like this...if murdering people is definitely evil, then war is definitely evil, because it is simply legalized murder.

And if war is definitely evil then most of the governments on this planet are definitely evil.

And if most of the governments on this planet are definitely evil then most of the people who voted them there are definitely evil (which accounts for most of the people on this planet outside China).

And then if most of the people on this planet outside China are definitely evil, then we have a big problem...

...or alternatively, we just don't understand what evil is. :)


answered 13 Nov '09, 21:37

Stingray's gravatar image


I think you have provided a good answer which reflects what I think as well.

(13 Nov '09, 22:37) Pink Diamond

I think you got the definition of murder wrong, but OK. Your objection to the concepts of good and evil are that they are moral absolutes? I never said that they were. I only said that they are useful in order to maintain a free and stable society.

(13 Nov '09, 22:43) Vesuvius

The thing I can't quite understand is why the very concepts of good and evil (the radical notion that members of our society should be held to some minimum standards of behavior) would be so offensive to some people that they would seek to deny them completely.

(13 Nov '09, 22:59) Vesuvius

Vesuvius, there's been a tendency for a while now for some people to ask multipart questions. While that makes it easier for the questioner, it makes it more difficult for the answerer because you basically have to write long essays to do justice to those several embedded questions. So these days I just pick one particular part (in your case, the title) and answer that. There is a principle in metaphysics that the more focused the question, the more focused the answer.

(14 Nov '09, 07:11) Stingray

Stingray, I have seen you quote Gurdjieff twice. I am now reading Reality of Being. Do you understand "The Fourth Way"?

(23 Dec '10, 03:45) jim 10

@Dude - When I was much younger, the idea of "The Fourth Way" resonated with me alot. Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous opened my eyes to many new ideas. I wouldn't say I was ever a definite devotee of The Fourth Way though. I think I just needed a nudge from within into that direction to clarify some of my thinking at the time

(23 Dec '10, 09:37) Stingray

Yes, I am now giving The Reality of Being a run, and enjoying a "taste" of this philosophy. As it may seem I am grabbing a bit of something from all of these different teachings (for lack of better words). LIke I am living a virtual esoteric buffet. You know :) Looks like "Search of the Miraculous" will be going on my plate. Never knew Huxley was also a the synchronicity picks up pace in my life.

(23 Dec '10, 13:58) jim 10
showing 2 of 7 show 5 more comments

'There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so'. Hamlet.


answered 13 Nov '09, 21:48

Paul%20I%201's gravatar image

Paul I 1

Ah, yes. Hamlet, the paragon of virtue.

(14 Nov '09, 01:43) Vesuvius


(14 Nov '09, 20:23) Paul I 1

Yes everyone knows my views there is an search things as good and evil. When Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden they ate from the tree of knowledge that had knowledge of both good and evil which the old serpant said would make Eve be like an god which made her in the first place decide to eat of the fruit for she had all of the other fruit trees to eat of including the tree of life to make you live as an human being always.

Now yes there are perceptions of different people beliefs of what is good and what is evil or that there is no search thing.

Evil exist and good rather you believe in it or not. You have an right to your thoughts.

There are some really terriable things being done on this earth that is really evil and sadistic, cruel, hateful, spiteful and some done without any feeling at all for the other person.

Now, you may say well, they were allowing the negative to come to them because of their way of thinking. To this I say if you know of someone that bad things are happening to them because they do not know how to guard their thought and think postive happy thoughts than I say to you than you if you can and know manifest good things for them for we all contribute to this gene pool of life and create the larger reality as well as own personal reality.

I just believe in God and that you should treat one another right if you don't like them than just don't deal with them don't go over there and do bad things to them.

Everyone is born with both good and evil in them from Adam and Eve sin against God but it is rather you choose to act upon it or not. No I am not saying evil is within you but you have knowledge of good and evil from the Garden of Eden days. Yes, you can have evil spirits dwell within you and your aura as well. I choose to try an manifest an better world while people love and care about each other instead of murdering someone.

God loves us why can't we love and care about others.

The God/Jesus that is within you knows that you have to choose between good and evil that is why he gave you the choose he could have created you to not have free will but he gave you free will to choose to serve him as God or who ever or no one. We must want to be an better person the soul within us if we ask will tell us we are spiritual beings and there is an God so there is an devil. It is all about us making choices that it what it was created for.


answered 14 Nov '09, 05:40

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 14 Nov '09, 05:45

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Asked: 13 Nov '09, 18:44

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Last updated: 14 Nov '09, 08:02

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