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Is being evil about intentions/thoughts or actions?

Körïnthïän 2009/05/08 13:36:11
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Some people go about life being nice to everyone, but they hate everyone secretly. Others mean well, but everything they do seem to hurt people.

Inspired by this poll by Geezertalk: http://www.sodahead.com/question/366273/are-some-people-just-...

Feel free to include a definition of evil.
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Top Opinion

  • Rusty Shackelford 2009/05/08 15:38:45
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Rusty Shackelford
    +5
    What is considered evil changes according to the time and culture. I think the concept of evil is extrapolated from what will aid in the survival of the species.

    Evil is dependent on both thought and action. Harming another without the intent to do so is not an evil act just as harboring thoughts of murder is not evil if not acted upon. To claim otherwise would be policing thought.

    We are a society of context and that is vital in determining the morality of actions. Murder is considered evil except when placed in the context of war. The act may not have changed, but the justification for it has. Society has decided that war is an abnormality and certain acts usually considered evil are acceptable. War has been determined a necessity to human survival (or cultural survival) so an exception has been made to the communal instinct that keeps us from killing whatever we feel like killing. I don't agree with this reasoning. I think we should be strong enough and honest enough to see war for the evil it is, but that is not something most people are prepared to do.

    As for a definition. I believe evil is the thoughts and deeds that run contrary to civilization.

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  • xFenikkusux 2009/08/23 01:54:26
    I don't think anyone can really say what is evil.
    xFenikkusux
    Murder, genocide, or any other form of killing or physically harming another person by malicious intent is evil. Period.
    But I think every human on the planet walks a thin line in this aspect. Everyone has negative thoughts sometimes. Don't lie people. Sometimes there are people you just can't stand. Does not liking them make a person evil? Maybe not. But it makes a person mean-spirited if they strike out against such a person either verbally or physically. In this case, only the actions are what you could call evil.
    But if a person goes far enough to think about killing someone or starting a war because of some really unjust grudge, then it's evil, whether they act on it or not. In my opinion, thoughts that malicious shouldn't ever cross a good person's mind.
  • anonymousperson-san 2009/08/23 00:04:15
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    anonymousperson-san
    really evil can be a combination of all of the three you mentioned above, but mostly it is action and thought.
    But someone can have think and have intentions that are evil that they then decide to do, that is what I meant by evil as those three.
    Anyway, evil in a way is something we cannot comprehend, it is like many things, a theory. People have their own ideas of what evil is, you can't go by just one meaning.
  • i812 2009/06/04 12:31:53
    If the action/outcome is evil, then that is what matters.
    i812
    i think it is the over all out come. it kind of depends on what you did or do. now i certainly would like to kick the crap out of my wifes dog sometimes, but i know she would just take it all wrong. you see, it depends on who is judging what you did or do. now i would think kicking the dogs ass as being a learning curve for the dog. but my wife would just think i was being mean. and you all know i would never be mean to the dog. right?
  • Kaysha 2009/06/03 03:43:05
    None of these things have anything to do with evil.
    Kaysha
    Evil is a state of mind.
  • Thomas 2009/05/27 14:25:13
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Thomas
    Albeit evil has taken many forms over the many centuries, whatever form it has taken has been an active one. Thoughts alone prove nothing, save that we are humans, complex and dichotomous by nature. Actions alone do not prove intention. Accidents happen, and so a "combination of thoughts and action" is a well rounded answer.
  • Fe'e 2009/05/20 21:20:23
    Evil thoughts will always lead to a certain "leakage" which will result in ev...
    Fe'e
    the action really is commited in the mind weather u carry it out or not...................so if ur in ur room whole dy just think evil-sht, then ur evil.................ur thinking says alot of who u r..............
  • DemonKiTTiE ♥ In MUSE I Tru... 2009/05/18 00:54:22
    I don't think anyone can really say what is evil.
    DemonKiTTiE ♥ In MUSE I Trust ♥
    Yup.
  • that0neguy 2009/05/16 05:14:13
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    that0neguy
    I believe in order to be evil, you have to be actively bad. You _try_ to be evil. Evil thoughts to evil actions.
  • anon90 2009/05/15 02:00:50
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    anon90
    Everyone is tempted by "evil thoughts", but their only evil if acted upon. I don't think any "leakage" will occur.

    I don't think Society determines our views on what is "wrong" or "right". I think, with the exception of people suffering from an antisocial personality disorder, most people inherently know that it's wrong to kill another person.

    I think the "Golden Rule" is inherent-- some people just choose not to treat others respectfully.
  • Aysohmay 2009/05/11 17:01:17
    I don't think anyone can really say what is evil.
    Aysohmay
    "Evil" is based on your perception of wrong. Since everyone's perception is different, there are things one might think is evil, but to another person it may not be. Aside from that, everybody has their fair share of thoughts others might think is evil Does that mean you're being evil? Not necessarily. And some people do things others would think is evil (e.g. terrorists attacks) but believe they're doing good. So really evil is a perception, not a thought or act. Its almost more dependent on the person judging rather than the person being judged as to whether something is evil or not.
  • GOD 2009/05/10 07:11:59 (edited)
    *Splutter*
    GOD
    +1
    evil is evil Evil thoughts evil deeds = EVIL LOL say that 10 times fast
  • Frank 2009/05/09 22:56:58
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Frank
    +1
    Everyone has an evil thought once in a while, although I believe that some won't admit it. The suppression of that thought is where morality comes in. It is the intention, and then committing the act, knowing that it is wrong, that makes something evil.
  • E.G. 2009/05/09 21:07:33
    Evil thoughts will always lead to a certain "leakage" which will result in ev...
    E.G.
    +2
    evil lead leakage result evil action

    "HA HAHAHA HA HA... YOU SAID 'LEAKAGE' HA HAHAHA"

    Evil is in the act, if evil was in the thought then we'd all be in trouble. This is where self-control and will power come into play. Of course... if you think about it long enough your subconscious may set you up for evil...

    Ever hear the idiom "it's like riding a bycycle..."? When you ride a bike you look in the direction you want to travel. If you look straight you travel straight. Look to the side and you will turn. Look down... and you will soon be covered in road rashes. *grin*

    Keep your life straight, and you will avoid evil.
  • Robynita© 2009/05/09 17:10:08
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Robynita©
  • 168290 2009/05/09 07:10:16
  • Snaps mom 2009/05/09 07:06:47
    *Splutter*
    Snaps mom
    I suppose that would depend on what one describes as evil. Personally you cannot judge someones thoughts (unless they reveal them to you), but evil actions can be seen and judged. The dictionary says...morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life. 2. harmful; injurious: evil laws. 3.characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days. 4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation. 5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
  • NickName his Dudeness 2009/05/08 20:03:31
    I don't think anyone can really say what is evil.
    NickName his Dudeness
    +3
    Seems to me evil is a human construct so it is whatever we define it to be.

    But if you pinned me down on it, I'd say a combination of the two. Maybe the best example to illustrate, homicide is not good to begin with, but it's even worse when someone intentionally kills somebody else. The intent is purely about what's going on in the person's mind.
  • Jon 2009/05/08 18:39:54
    Evil thoughts will always lead to a certain "leakage" which will result in ev...
    Jon
  • SPAZ is Back 2009/05/08 17:15:43
    *Splutter*
    SPAZ is Back
    +1
    It's hard to really pin point I just don't understand it to be honest......Maybe they lack empathy? Like my daughter.........dang she is the spawn of evil....... and didn't get it from us.......I just can't wrap my head around this.......
  • <--That guy 2009/05/08 16:20:55
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    <--That guy
    +3
    Thoughts guide your actions, so both should taken into consideration, even though thoughts are more difficult to ascertain.
  • webmaven 2009/05/08 16:20:18
    If the action/outcome is evil, then that is what matters.
    webmaven
    +2
    We all have emotions. The mark of a civilized person is being able to control childish impulses such as rage.

    Unless an outcome is entirely accidental, evil results are to be judged as evil. For example, the people of the Inquisition sincerely thought they were saving souls when they burned people at the stake. They were, nevertheless, not nice.
  • Rusty Shackelford 2009/05/08 15:38:45
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Rusty Shackelford
    +5
    What is considered evil changes according to the time and culture. I think the concept of evil is extrapolated from what will aid in the survival of the species.

    Evil is dependent on both thought and action. Harming another without the intent to do so is not an evil act just as harboring thoughts of murder is not evil if not acted upon. To claim otherwise would be policing thought.

    We are a society of context and that is vital in determining the morality of actions. Murder is considered evil except when placed in the context of war. The act may not have changed, but the justification for it has. Society has decided that war is an abnormality and certain acts usually considered evil are acceptable. War has been determined a necessity to human survival (or cultural survival) so an exception has been made to the communal instinct that keeps us from killing whatever we feel like killing. I don't agree with this reasoning. I think we should be strong enough and honest enough to see war for the evil it is, but that is not something most people are prepared to do.

    As for a definition. I believe evil is the thoughts and deeds that run contrary to civilization.
  • Körïnthïän Rusty S... 2009/05/08 15:41:13
    Körïnthïän
    +2
    Well said.
  • Rusty S... Körïnthïän 2009/05/08 15:46:14
    Rusty Shackelford
    +3
    Thank you. This question is a noodle-scratcher.
  • tierney 2009/05/08 14:56:24
    Evil thoughts will always lead to a certain "leakage" which will result in ev...
    tierney
    +1
    I believe this to be true to a large extent. How large is what I'm not sure of.
  • Constance*sick to death of ... 2009/05/08 14:33:23
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Constance*sick to death of idiots*
    +2
    A sociopath is capable of doing evil things, but isn't capable of evil intentions.
    a child is capable of doing evil thing, but can't always comprehend why or what they have done (three year olds killing their infant siblings for example)
    You need some intent...

    Or, maybe you just need to believe God is on your side.
  • NickNam... Constan... 2009/05/08 20:06:13
    NickName his Dudeness
    +1
    "A sociopath is capable of doing evil things, but isn't capable of evil intentions."

    I doubt that argument would fly in a First-Degree Murder trial.
  • Constan... NickNam... 2009/05/08 20:25:33
    Constance*sick to death of idiots*
    +2
    Actually, that is exactly why most places don't consider sociopathy an insanity defense. A psychopath knows murder is wrong- they just don't care.
  • NickNam... Constan... 2009/05/08 20:37:36
    NickName his Dudeness
    +1
    I guess it depends on how you define malice...

    1. desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness: the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
    2. Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.

    I'd say that "just don't care" would qualify as deep-seated meanness.
  • Constan... NickNam... 2009/05/08 20:44:59
    Constance*sick to death of idiots*
    +2
    I don't care isn't a defense, it's a slight misinterpretation of reality. A sociopath is completely incapable of caring. They can mimic emotions, but they can't feel them.

    That doesn't remove their legal responsibility to live within societal norms. Sociopathy isn't all that uncommon, however the majority of them live well within society. The Ruthless Businessman, the Doctor who does research because he actually scares patients...

    It doesn't remove the ability to understand the difference, just the ability to have any emotional response. This is why it is no longer accepted as a legal diminished capacity defense.

    Malice is an emotion.
  • BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust" 2009/05/08 14:30:11
    It's all about what you intend, even if the outcome is good.
    BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust"
    +2
    The word "evil" has a biblical connotation to it that doesn't really aply to my comment, but I think that if a person's intent is to do harm, they are still "evil" even if the intent never comes to fruition.
  • webmaven BH1701 ... 2009/05/08 16:21:39
    webmaven
    +1
    I agree. I don't like the word evil. Nevertheless, I can't agree that a moment's dark thought, if reined in, is a mark of evil, just humanity.
  • BH1701 ... webmaven 2009/05/08 17:33:58
    BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust"
    +1
    I'm not really talking about just thinking about something. I mean, if a person does something with the intent to do harm, they are guilty even if the harm they intended doesn't happen.
  • webmaven BH1701 ... 2009/05/08 22:25:52
    webmaven
    +1
    good point.
  • Chico 2009/05/08 14:16:09
    Evil must be a combination of thought and action.
    Chico
    +2
    Thoughts alone (that don't translate into action) are not TRUE evil.

    No one is really harmed (until action manifests)
  • nails Chico 2009/06/03 03:40:43
    nails
    Except the thinker of such thought.
  • graveshifter666 2009/05/08 14:07:20
    *Splutter*
    graveshifter666
    +1
    it has to be the combintaion of all three.. splutter combintaion
  • noopinion 2009/05/08 13:46:57
    *Splutter*
    noopinion
    +3
    Too early for such depth here in the states. I believe you have choices in life. I hate the world "evil" first of all. I think honesty is what counts in the long run. We all get pissed and want to choke someone at some point in our lives but few act on it. When are honest with yourself and others you can say what you feel then let it go. Trying to be nice with secret hate inside is sure not being very honest. Chit, I'm startin to ramble so I'm just gonna go get more coffee!
  • webmaven noopinion 2009/05/08 16:23:02
    webmaven
    +1
    I don't agree about the trying to be nice. It's better to be cordial to your enemies than to do things that are unworthy of a good person. A soft answer turneth away wrath...
  • noopinion webmaven 2009/05/08 19:16:31
    noopinion
    +1
    That sounds pretty phony to me. Pretending to be nice may be in the babble but no way can I incorporate that into my life. When you live a life of honesty, you don't have many enemies. And if you are honest you wouldn't do anything that was unworthy of a good person.

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