Good and Evil

Good And Evil

In religion, ethics, and philosophy, the dichotomy "good and evil" refers to the location on a linear spectrum of objects, desires, or behaviors, the good direction being morally positive, and the evil direction morally negative. Good is a broad concept but it typically deals with an association with life, charity, continuity, happiness, love, prosperity and justice. Evil is typically associated with conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological needs and dignity, destructiveness, and acts of unnecessary and/or indiscriminate violence. In medieval philosophy, Augustine of Hippo and Aquinas understand evil simply as a lack of or privation of good. The good and evil of a context represents a personal or subjective judgment, a societal norm, or either's claim to an absolute value related to the human nature or transcendent religious standard for that context. It is commonly used when describing the dilemma of the human condition and humans' capacity for acts of both good and evil.

The nature of goodness has been given many treatments; one is that the good is based on the natural love, bonding, and affection that begins at the earliest stages of personal development; another is that goodness is a product of knowing truth. Differing views also exist as to why evil might arise. Many religious and philosophical traditions claim that evil behavior is an aberration that results from the imperfect human condition (e.g. "The Fall of Man"). Sometimes, evil is attributed to the existence of free will and human agency. Some argue that evil itself is ultimately based in an ignorance of truth (i.e., human value, sanctity, divinity). A variety of Enlightenment thinkers have alleged the opposite, by suggesting that evil is learned as a consequence of tyrannical social structures.

''Theories of moral goodness inquire into what sorts of things are good, and what the word "good" really means in the abstract. As a philosophical concept, goodness might represent a hope that natural love be continuous, expansive, and all-inclusive. In a monotheistic religious context, it is by this hope that an important concept of God is derived —as an infinite projection of love, manifest as goodness in the lives of people. In other contexts, the good is viewed to be whatever produces the best consequences upon the lives of people, especially with regard to their states of well being.

Read more about Good And Evil:  Origin of The Concept, Descriptive, Meta-ethical, and Normative Fields, Theories of The Intrinsically Good, Goodness and Morality in Biology

Famous quotes containing the word evil:

    Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
    Eric Hoffer (1902–1983)