Inception

OK, so this is what I’ve been thinking about all morning.

Hypothetically, let’s say that there is absolute good, and absolute evil.

If everyone in the world except one person does  evil, and just one person does good, the good is still there. But if that one good person dies, and everyone who is left is still evil, would the evil become redefined as good?  Or would there still be the idea of good, even with nobody actually doing it?

So, this is my question today. Please leave me a comment to say your opinion.

Thank you!

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5 thoughts on “Inception

  1. Hi Daniel, my answer to this question is that we only have an idea of absolute good because God is absolutely good, so even if the only good person in the world died, there would still be God, so there would still be good. And God can’t die.
    Also, practically speaking, most people do a combination of bad and good things, so it’s unlikely you’d get a single moment when everyone happened to be doing a bad thing.

  2. Oh Daniel, you are doing my head in!!! I’m not sure that absolute evil exists (and I only believe that absolute good resides in God). If there was only absolute evil, humankind would turn on itself and anialate itself. So I think that even in the darkest of dark things, there is always a glimmer of good which, because I believe God exists and cannot not exist. But that is still doing my head in.
    Mary

  3. The abstract idea of “good and evil” comes out of a psychological need to differentiate between one kind of action and another. The comparisons do not necessarily have to be opposites: e.g. if eating baby’s brains is evil then not eating them might be a good thing, but, if eating baby’s brains were to be considered a good thing, not eating them would not necessarily have to be an evil thing.
    However, if there is no comparison at all, “good and evil” makes no sense. If everyone does the same thing without any conception that it could be done in any other way, then that activity would, quite simply be, the normal thing to do. For example, waking up in the morning has no good or evil connotation attached to it, it is simply the thing that everyone does regardless. Nevertheless, it could be conceived that one day it is considered that all of humanity should suicide in a mass way in order to save the planet or to meet some god, and so, waking up would be considered evil.
    But really, the difference between good and evil is an abstract psychological one that is decided on by societies, civilisations, ideologies, dogmas, logic, individual feelings etc.; and is simply a way of determining between the moral value of one action against other possible actions. Nothing more.

  4. Everyone tries to say that morality is subject. They just don’t understand morality. Morality is two, or more, people behaving objectively – otherwise, they can’t be fair. Therefore, morality is based on the objective rules of reality.

    Therefore, there is only morality, and bias. There is no such thing as subjective morality – only people with bad ideas.

  5. When I was at Uni reading Law (in the trendy 70’s) there was this idea that good and evil are simply places on a spectrum of actions viewed from whatever place you are in relation to the event in question. So if you take my pen, I might regard your action as evil, but you might decide that you need my pen for an emergency, and that your action is good. But as you get towards the extreme ends of the spectrum (you kill me to take my pen) we are approaching something which we might think of as absolute evil, because we are conditioned by society to understand that killing people for their pen is just….evil. We were also taught that society is like an organism that grows its own rules so that people gel together and cooperate so that they can live better lives (a bit like natural selection and evolution). They also taught us that societies also ‘need’ bad people in order to define what is good even if they have to invent ‘bad people’ (‘witches’?) But that doesn’t explain why some societies go crazy (Nazism, Stalinism, religious extremism). When I became a Christian I began to think differently, and that there is somehow an absolute good (which I would understand as God, who explained about himself by making himself known to us in Jesus and the Holy Spirit). But just because there is an absolute good doesn’t mean there has to be an absolute bad. Its like light. You can switch on a light to get rid of the dark, but you can’t switch on the dark to get rid of the light. Darkness is simply an absence of light. Evil is an absence of good – absolute evil is where no good at all can be found. So to answer your question, if the last good person died and everyone else was evil, there would be no good left there, just like you were in a coal-mine and put out the last candle. But ‘light’ would still exist, because God always gives us the opportunity to be good – we have choice – that is part of what it means to have been ‘created in the image of God’. So as the last good person died, one of the ‘absolutely evil’ people might have a change of heart (just as when Jesus died, people changed their mind about him). Standing in the coal-mine in the pitch black you can always light the candle again – provided you still have some matches…..!

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