Author Topic: Can Good Defeat Bad?  (Read 406 times)

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Offline Nam

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Can Good Defeat Bad?
« on: May 27, 2012, 03:30:55 AM »
It has always been my philosophy that what is "good"can not defeat what is "bad". There are many good examples I could use to explain this but I'm going to go with the Death Penalty:

A person commits a heinous crime, and is sentenced to death. The jury, the prosecutor, the judge, the state, etc., are killing a person because that person commited a heinous crime. How is that good defeating bad? You have a group of people commiting a similar act--whether justifiable is irrelevant, whether deserving is also irrelevant--yet a similar act, that by their law makes it good, or "okay".

We know, by historical accounts, and by present accounts, that it is not a detterent yet an excuse given by many. Also, an excuse given is "an eye for an eye", yet it seems when that phrase is used it only adheres to the act of murder, and no other crime. At least in the "civilized" parts of the world.

Committing the same bad thing that one is punishing the other for, doesn't make those who are committing such acts as being "good", nor does it mean they are still good afterward.

I guess all those religions out there that state: all you have to do is repent, and you will be forgiven, and be a good person is there solely to comfort those who believe they are good when in effect they are far from it.

Good is pure in its form and meaning, and can't be imperfected. Therefore the word, itself, really has no meaning. No one is good, especially if they seek forgiveness, or justification for everything they do.

Only thing, in my opinion, that can defeat bad, is those that which are, or who are, bad themselves.

A somewhat similar example is that character in Serenity (the black guy, can't spell his name off the top of my head, and I am doing this over the phone) where he wasn't of the illusion that a person like himself would live in such a "good world", though, by the end of Serenity, we saw those who slated themselves as being good actually were not.

My apologies if I am coming off a bit incoherent, as stated: I am doing this over the phone, and it is a bit much in way of posting by this manner.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 03:53:21 AM »
Taking your death penalty example...

I generally see the two excuses usually proffered that are used to defend the death penalty, that you cited above, as being flawed. 

I would propose that the death penalty be reserved for crime that exceeds simple murder.   It should not be a murder for a murder.  It should be reserved for egregious examples of murder, where premeditation, torture, and or multiple instances can be proved.  The DP then becomes a measured response to an excessive crime.  So applied, it is less revenge or deterrent, and more a decisive effort to put a final end to a very very bad thing. 

Is it a 'good'?  Maybe not, but I see it as a 'not bad'.  I think that 'not bad' can certainly be used to dispatch 'bad'

Offline Nam

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 04:20:33 AM »
^I disagree on it being a "not bad". It's like that saying: you can't have it, and the cake, too...or however that goes. Either, it or it isn't. Killing someone, in society's eyes is a bad thing. Making it justifiable with a law doesn't make it not bad. It's still bad. Good can only be used for acts of good, not for anything less.

On a side note: no person or imaginary being can be good, and punish others. By punishing someone, even to a lesser degree or a minimal one, it takes away from the "good" even in the slightest way, it corrupts it. Therefore, as stated: good has no meaning.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline One Above All

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 04:22:14 AM »
"Good" and "Bad" are subjective terms. Whether one "defeats" the other or not depends on your perspective. I think that it can and will, eventually, or we'll all die.
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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 05:01:42 AM »
^I disagree on it being a "not bad". It's like that saying: you can't have it, and the cake, too...or however that goes. Either, it or it isn't. Killing someone, in society's eyes is a bad thing. Making it justifiable with a law doesn't make it not bad. It's still bad. Good can only be used for acts of good, not for anything less.[snipped]

I'm not sure I agree with you on this.  I do not consider the taking of life to be an absolute 'bad'.  It's usually bad, but there are, to my mind, some exceptions:  Someone is suffering from terminal illness.  Ending their life can be seen as an act of selflessness and compassion.  A gunman has a automatic weapon, has used it against several people in an office, and has just put in another clip and walked into the next room where there are more people.  Shooting him before he can kill again seems like a good thing to me.

I should confess that I do not own a gun, and am personally against taking life, but because I am against it does not mean that it is an absolute.

Offline Nam

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 05:44:19 AM »
^I disagree on it being a "not bad". It's like that saying: you can't have it, and the cake, too...or however that goes. Either, it or it isn't. Killing someone, in society's eyes is a bad thing. Making it justifiable with a law doesn't make it not bad. It's still bad. Good can only be used for acts of good, not for anything less.[snipped]

I'm not sure I agree with you on this.  I do not consider the taking of life to be an absolute 'bad'.  It's usually bad, but there are, to my mind, some exceptions:  Someone is suffering from terminal illness.  Ending their life can be seen as an act of selflessness and compassion.  A gunman has a automatic weapon, has used it against several people in an office, and has just put in another clip and walked into the next room where there are more people.  Shooting him before he can kill again seems like a good thing to me.

I should confess that I do not own a gun, and am personally against taking life, but because I am against it does not mean that it is an absolute.

You're justifying. I explained about those who "justify", as a means to delude themselves in thinking what they are doing for the "greater good of society" on the death penalty issue. There is no justification. Is it horrible that someone is suffering? Sure. Would it help them if you helped them end their suffering? Maybe. Is it good? No. Is it "not bad", by definition? No. It is still bad.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 06:20:29 AM »

You're justifying. I explained about those who "justify", as a means to delude themselves in thinking what they are doing for the "greater good of society" on the death penalty issue. There is no justification. Is it horrible that someone is suffering? Sure. Would it help them if you helped them end their suffering? Maybe. Is it good? No. Is it "not bad", by definition? No. It is still bad.

-Nam

Why?
"would it help them if you helped them end their suffering? Maybe. Is it good? No. Is it"not bad" by definition? No.  It is still bad"

How is this "not bad"?  How is ending someone's suffering 'bad'. ?  Please explain this to me because I just don't see it.

(just so we're clear, the sufferer has requested the aid of someone to end their suffering (dr kavorkian style, presumably)  I was not suggesting for a moment that someone should take it into his own hands to end someone's suffering without their consent.  If that was unclear, I apologize)

And the other example:  killing a killer to prevent more killing?  How again is this not a good thing?

NOTE: I will be leaving work shortly.  I'd like to talk about this further.  If you respond, I'll answer tomorrow AM.  Thanks for your patience.  -BoF
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 06:27:49 AM by Bereft_of_Faith »

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 08:06:21 AM »
It has always been my philosophy that what is "good"can not defeat what is "bad".
-Nam
You probably were too much handicapped by having to post on a phone.

Much depends on what you mean by "defeat" and what you mean by "good" and "bad"

If by defeat you mean eradicate, then, "no" because good and bad exist (simultaneously) and can be brought into existence by anyone or anything.

If by defeat you mean, atone for/compensate for a material object then that again is subjective; nothing much compensates for an absolute loss but other things may compensate for a partial loss.

If by defeat you mean "provide a solution for" then, being as both good and bad are intangible emotions then solutions are not really possible because the result of the bad will still exist/have existed even if good is done thereafter.

good and bad are themselves subjective and are judged subjectively against a set of subjective morals. To the criminal, it was bad that he was caught, to society it was good that he was caught.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 08:07:57 AM by Graybeard »
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Offline Nam

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 09:38:37 PM »

Why?
"would it help them if you helped them end their suffering? Maybe. Is it good? No. Is it"not bad" by definition? No.  It is still bad"

How is this "not bad"?  How is ending someone's suffering 'bad'. ?  Please explain this to me because I just don't see it.

(just so we're clear, the sufferer has requested the aid of someone to end their suffering (dr kavorkian style, presumably)  I was not suggesting for a moment that someone should take it into his own hands to end someone's suffering without their consent.  If that was unclear, I apologize)

And the other example:  killing a killer to prevent more killing?  How again is this not a good thing?

NOTE: I will be leaving work shortly.  I'd like to talk about this further.  If you respond, I'll answer tomorrow AM.  Thanks for your patience.  -BoF

Let's take a specific group of people: atheists.  If a consensus of atheists agree that it is wrong to kill, then killing even if the person wishes to die, is still wrong 'cause though a few disagree and feel it is okay, the majority find that it isn't okay.[1]

Now take that on a larger scale: if the world as a whole, whether religious or not, feels that killing someone is wrong, then it is wrong all the time, not some of the time.

For your scenario of the gunman on a killing spree: it still would be bad for someone to kill that person, even to save lives. A person, who is good, that decides killing anyone to justify their own conscience of what they feel is wrong, when they carry out such an action, there is no "good" being represented. Just bad defeating bad.

-Nam
 1. I want it noted: I am not speaking as if such a consensus has been done nor stating that is the likely turn out of said consensus. In actuality, I think it would be the opposite, in most parts.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 09:41:34 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline jeremy0

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 11:21:47 PM »
"Good" and "Bad" are subjective terms. Whether one "defeats" the other or not depends on your perspective. I think that it can and will, eventually, or we'll all die.
Good can succeed over bad with a common understanding.  If everyone has knowledge and understanding of the importance of the former, it can defeat the latter as a society.  However, I would also assume that at least a form of 'good' is indeed overcoming the 'bad' - just look at the progress in society since 1000BC...

But, it isn't enough or fast enough.  To relate back to the OP, certain societies justify killing in the name of thinking they got 'revenge'.  As revenge is 'bad' in nature, and I would take it as for the weak unless absolutely necessary, then yes - we are still 'bad'.  There is bad shit all around us - still.  There are bad people all around us, still.  It takes a societal effort and a lot of education on the matter in order for a common understanding to be reached.  None of us are perfect - that is why there will always be 'bad' things.  But, we can improve as a society to minimize the negative things into things that aren't too bad to have around...  That's basically what I have done - minimized the negative stuff about me in order to cause the least amount of societal damage.

Oh - and also, how is killing someone justifiable when they later find out that person was innocent?  Do those that put the person to death then get the death penalty as well?  No.  Even though they killed somebody... ...
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 11:40:07 PM »
Let's take a specific group of people: atheists.  If a consensus of atheists agree that it is wrong to kill, then killing even if the person wishes to die, is still wrong 'cause though a few disagree and feel it is okay, the majority find that it isn't okay.[1]

Now take that on a larger scale: if the world as a whole, whether religious or not, feels that killing someone is wrong, then it is wrong all the time, not some of the time.

For your scenario of the gunman on a killing spree: it still would be bad for someone to kill that person, even to save lives. A person, who is good, that decides killing anyone to justify their own conscience of what they feel is wrong, when they carry out such an action, there is no "good" being represented. Just bad defeating bad.

-Nam
 1. I want it noted: I am not speaking as if such a consensus has been done nor stating that is the likely turn out of said consensus. In actuality, I think it would be the opposite, in most parts.

Nam, I think you should re-read this post.

I'm not sure I agree with you on this.  I do not consider the taking of life to be an absolute 'bad'.  It's usually bad, but there are, to my mind, some exceptions:  Someone is suffering from terminal illness.  Ending their life can be seen as an act of selflessness and compassion.  A gunman has a automatic weapon, has used it against several people in an office, and has just put in another clip and walked into the next room where there are more people.  Shooting him before he can kill again seems like a good thing to me.

I should confess that I do not own a gun, and am personally against taking life, but because I am against it does not mean that it is an absolute.

Nam, I think you are missing the point that you are talking about an absolute right or wrong. When most people use critical thinking to determine such things in case by case scenario. You also can't accuse[2] someone of "justifying" bad when they never claimed to agree with your original claim that murder was always[3] bad.

I hope you also see this post. And reply a little more rationally. I really don't see how this conversation will be able to continue until you reevaluate the meanings of absolute and subjectivity.

When I saw your OP in my unread threads list I was really excited to jump in and discuss this topic. I hope you can address those posters more objectively so this conversation can continue. It's a really interesting OP.
 2. 
You're justifying. I explained about those who "justify", as a means to delude themselves in thinking what they are doing for the "greater good of society" on the death penalty issue. There is no justification. Is it horrible that someone is suffering? Sure. Would it help them if you helped them end their suffering? Maybe. Is it good? No. Is it "not bad", by definition? No. It is still bad.
 3. Re:Absolute
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 11:43:38 PM by Kimberly »
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 12:07:49 AM »
Let's take a specific group of people: atheists.  If a consensus of atheists agree that it is wrong to kill, then killing even if the person wishes to die, is still wrong 'cause though a few disagree and feel it is okay, the majority find that it isn't okay.[1]

Now take that on a larger scale: if the world as a whole, whether religious or not, feels that killing someone is wrong, then it is wrong all the time, not some of the time.
 1. I want it noted: I am not speaking as if such a consensus has been done nor stating that is the likely turn out of said consensus. In actuality, I think it would be the opposite, in most parts.

So your contention is that if a majority of people agree something is absolutely and in all cases wrong, and a minority of people disagree, that the absolute morality should be determined by the larger number of people?  This cannot possibly be the case, since majorities have upheld some very bad things in the past, and it was the minorities in these cases that reshaped our prevailing morality.

Quote
For your scenario of the gunman on a killing spree: it still would be bad for someone to kill that person, even to save lives. A person, who is good, that decides killing anyone to justify their own conscience of what they feel is wrong, when they carry out such an action, there is no "good" being represented. Just bad defeating bad.
-Nam

I'm having some difficulty parsing the above.  Can you reword this a bit to help me out?

Offline sun_king

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 12:19:01 AM »
No matter what they believe in, the strong[1] always defeats the weak.

Till "good" and "bad" are convincingly defined it would be pointless to discuss this topic. It would be of help to point out a person or an entity and classify it as "good" or "bad". Death sentence is not a great analogy in the context. In the same context "right" and "wrong" wouldn't always relate to "good" and "bad" respectively.
 1. Physically strong, tactically/strategically superior etc

Offline Nam

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2012, 04:16:37 AM »
I never spoke of "right" and "wrong", though I understand the correlation of the words, and how they can be synonymous with each other.

To me, by everything I've ever read, watched, heard, or seen "good" is defined as moral superiority (sp?) Over everything that is the opposite of that, which to my understanding is "bad". So, let's say, for argument sake, that "good" is the same as "perfection". Though I know they are not the same thing, let's just use it as an example.. For one to be good, and never falter away from such a standpoint, they can never do anything to corrode such perception. If a person shoots and kills another person who is on a killing spree some could view that as a "good" thing 'cause lives were saved but whether the man deserved to die or not, or to be shot at in return I find to be irrelevant based on the fact that if he was bad, was it good that killed him or was it just another person like him, to a lesser degree? He certainly wasn't good, 'cause if he was, he would have found a way to stop him without compromising himself in the process. If at all possible.

Was it really the majority who had the radical ideals, or was it those who lead them? I mean, let's take Christianity: do you believe, individually: every Christian, who is a Christian, believes that those who are not Christian will burn in Hell? Forget what their leaders tell them. Forget what the Bible so-called teaches them but them individually, does one actually believe that all who do not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will burn in an ever-lasting Hell?

Collectively, and by what the Bible states, and their "leaders" state, "yes" may be the correct answer but that's not their words, that's their churches words. As we all know: most of all those in a religion, are born into it. They say there is choice but we all know there isn't; too many factors that make those be in a religion, stay in the religion.

The Bible stated slavery was okay, and so to Christians it was okay but did non-Christians end slavery in the U.S.? Don't think so. Sometimes it takes awhile for the goose to catch up to the gander.

Also as many of us know: most Christians haven't even read the Bible they praise so often, and even less have read it straight through. Which I think the church loves 'cause if more people read, they'd lose more people.

My fingers are numb, i'l have to come back. Again: on the phone, sorry I couldn't quote or bold/name each of you individually but I am sure you can find your answers here, if not partially.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline sun_king

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Re: Can Good Defeat Bad?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2012, 05:20:51 AM »
Nam, the trouble is that the words "good" and "bad" still remains undefined by you. Bringing in morals doesnt help at all, what is moral for you need not be moral for me. The OP is about a potential conflict/combat situation, we will need a little more details about both sides to have a meaningful discussions. As of now it is like asking "Who will win in a fight between Ladan and Reredef?"