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First, my apologies for drawing this so far off the initial subject of “Evil”.
I appreciate Scott Mayers’ clarifications and generous assumptions about my intended meaning? Not sure yet if it is deserved.
Lois, “Intuition is a supernatural concept.”!?
When I use Intuition it is as a counterbalance to Reason. I am usually thinking in terms of my admittedly laymen’s understanding of Left and Right brain functions. Very broadly speaking: Linear, sequencial, time based, rational processing from the left. holistic, integrated, creative, metaphorical, intuitive, non-time based processing on the right.
The above is influenced by the very informed testimony of Jill Bolte Taylor, (http://blog.ted.com/2008/03/12/jill_bolte_tayl/).
Lois – “…It’s intuition that’s probably false. Intuition is a supernatural concept. It has no use except as a possible beginning of scientific research if it happens to make sense. Without objective evidence behind it it has no more worth than a mere guess or daydream. We’d all like to think our ideas are the result of some inexplicable mix of knowledge we are unaware of that has a magical validity. There is nothing magical or valid about it. It is no more valid than a dream. And it probably makes no more sense. Intuition is usually claimed after the fact, when something appears to be valid. Nobody claims intuition or a failed idea.”
You sound exactly like a fundamentalist Baptist. The only way to truth is Science? Sorry, doesn’t fly. You can learn about things, and systems, map out relationships etc. But, your dismissal of all things “intuitive”, as having no use if it doesn’t lead to scientific research? This by proxy rules out metaphor, art, poetry, and yes even religious contemplation. All things subjective. The more adamant you get about this “dogma’ the more “evil” it seems to me.
I’m using “evil” here in the sense of leading away from an increased fidelity of comprehension.
Thevillageatheist – “Everyone who is a product of higher education, I.e. able to draw conclusions based on reason rather than intuition, is aware of stratification as our knowledge is a product of same. And yes there are those who attempt to reconcile their earlier held beliefs with the knowledge that religion, i.e. the supernatural element, isn’t fact based. And that these concepts of good and evil must be used to communicate with someone not well versed in the emperical method. I view them as nothing more than a method of communication, good and evil , angelic, satanic etc.as most Americans still believe these concepts are part of their “truth”. And no, I don’t believe that the function of science is to align in anyway with those self truths as you call them, but to dispell them as myths. As for truths, everyone forms their own regardless of the amount of or lack of knowledge gained via research or intuition. And in this instance, you’re right; your ‘truth’ and mine will be unknowable.”
I’m curious what the rationale might be for dismissing “intuition” as a valid means of inquiry. To do so means you’re not playing with a complete deck.
What I said about “science” was that it is a discipline. Not truth. When I say “align with truth”, I mean improve the fidelity of our working model of Truth.
Not different from a Zen monk, sitting in zazen, or an orchestra tuning it’s instruments.
The multiplicity of personal “truths” that you refer to are relative to each other. The stuff that dreams are made of. Not what I’m talking about.
The undivided singularity of “This”.
But to study “This”, we have to keep our right hemisphere in the game.
mid atlantic – “Evil just means ‘really bad’. I agree that so called evil behavior is a result of biology, like all behavior is.
However, it’s in our nature to perceive things to be good, evil, etc. and that is what matters.”
Lois – “If ‘really bad’ is all it means, why not call it ‘really bad’ instead of using a term that has supernatural connotations and is so easily misunderstood? I doubt that anyone translates ‘really bad’ into a supernatural force.”
I’ve always used “Evil” when I want to emphasized the extreme or archetypal quality of some behaviour or situation. Thats what four letter words are for.
Scott Mayers – “This way of understanding reality doesn’t require a God.”
I’m amazed at how hard it is for even very smart people to get free of this “neolithic” notion of “a God”.
Using this phrase, indicates an inability to contemplate absolute, undivided totality.
When arguing for the non-existence of “a God”, what are you arguing against?
If you are really, but ingenuously, arguing against the existence of “God”, you are really arguing against the “existence” of absolute, undivided totality?
One can not say that “God” does not exist or that “God” exists. Existence and non-Existence are relative terms. “God” as absolute, undivided totality, existence and the potential to exist, is Undivided, Eternal, Singular, Now.
I would suggest acknowledgement of this from both sides of the politic. The debate could then move into new territory or disappear altogether. Who knows what wonders we would behold?
brmckay – “But saying this, like using terms such as ‘sociopathy and psychopathy’, just replaces the term ‘satan’ with more modern terminology and reference points.
A thousand or ten thousand years from now, it will all make us chuckle. Perhaps, having then completed the previously alluded to ‘tunnel'”
Thevillageatheist – “If that’s true then I’ll opt for the science rather than representations of the supernatural, and these are more than just ‘terms’ of identification, they’re based on emperical knowledge. And ten thousand years from now, providing we don’t blow ourselves up or destroy the ozone layer we may find a way to control or prevent aberrant behavior. but as an optimist I always see light at the end of the tunnel.”
I would suggest that we all become more aware of the stratification factor. There are more than 7 billion people in the world. A certain percentage of them lack the kind of education that you and I are privy to. The nature of their “practical wisdom” will be a little fuzzier in the area of reason than yours or mine. It will rely more or less on intuition, myth, conditioned reflex. The expression of this in their daily lives, the survival of their selves and their culture, empirically proves the validity of their belief structures.
Modern specialization in reason, scientific method, etc. is a discipline. It is not it’s self truth. It’s function is to aid in alignment with truth. The Buddhist/Yogic disciplines of meditation, mindfulness, etc. serve the same purpose. Even Christianity has it’s deeper traditions and techniques that rise to these levels of validity.
Our interests should not be what methods are used, but what intention is expressed. How honest is the enquiry.
As for what is the Truth we hope to align with? That must remain open ended and ever new. If we think we have found it, we have been fooled. It is unknowable. It is All….
Mid Atlantic – “Evil just means ‘really bad’. … it’s in our nature to perceive things to be good, evil, etc. and that is what matters.”
Yes evil exists in our experience. As humans in relationship to other humans. The counterpoint to good.
Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon – “Evil exists. That’s not a supernatural precept.”
Yes, and what doesn’t exist is “supernatural”. This is impossible. there can only be ‘natural’. But we are still ‘Babes in the Woods’ when it comes to knowing the scope of that.
Mid Atlantic – “…so called evil behavior is a result of biology, like all behavior is.”
But saying this, like using terms such as “sociopathy and psychopathy”, just replaces the term “satan” with more modern terminology and reference points.
A thousand or ten thousand years from now, it will all make us chuckle. Perhaps, having then completed the previously alluded to tunnel…
… and achieved ‘evolutionary superconductivity’. (Just threw that in for fun.)
Micro and Macro viewpoints, may each in turn be more accurate than the other.
Building a tunnel from both ends toward the center. Some adjustments required to complete.
Building in opposite directions is just crazy. Maybe even evil.
What is the scientific name for “Fear of Metaphor”?