If you had to design a test that determined if something was EVIL what would it look like?

Makalakumu

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If you had to design a test for something that was evil, what would it look like? Once you design your Evil Test, what kinds of things would it classify as Evil?
 

Buka

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Sounds interesting, but I'm not quite sure what you mean.

You mean like, passing the Bar Exam? :) (couldn't resist)
 

Cyriacus

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I really dont find anything to be Evil.
Despicable? Sure.
Senseless? Sure.
Disgusting? Sure.
Appalling? Sure.
Evil? Not so much, since Good and Evil are subject to the individual.

I can make one fun reference here.
WW2.
*Were the Civilians who supported the Wehrmacht Soldiers and such on parades of Their own free will Evil, for supporting the Faction?
No, because Germany was under alot of pressure at the time, and discontent with other Nations was already breeding a bit amongst the Commoners. Of course Theyd support something contrary to that.
*Were the Wehrmacht Soldiers they were supporting evil, though? No, because They were fighting for Their Country, by order of Officers.
Therefore, is it still even potentially Evil, for the already-found-to-be Not-Evil Civilians to support the Not-Evil Soldiers?
*So were the Officers Evil?
No. The Officers were directed by Commanders.
*Were the Commanders Evil?
No. Even if They ordered Atrocities, They didnt order the Atrocities. They were given the freedom to conduct Them in the interests of Victory. Permitted by the Hierarchy of the Government.
*Was the Nazi Government Evil?
One might then say, the Nazi Government answered to Their Fuhrer. But...
*Was Hitler Evil?
The most Evil thing Hitler did, was allow His Heirarchs and Generals the Freedom to use Unnecessary Force.
*So WAS the Nazi Government Evil?
Some of the Acts ordered by some of the Generals/Commanders and Politicians surely were.
But, They believed They were acting Righteously. It is only others who may call Them evil, as well as those who dared to agree with Them at the time, or support them.
But apparently, Stalin isnt Evil for slaughtering and destroying His way through Germany later on.

Its all subject to the beholder.
So I prefer to use any word that isnt Evil, to describe someones deeds.
 

Dirty Dog

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"Does this cause avoidable harm to others?"

I believe it was Robert Heinlein who said "The only sin is hurting another. Hurting yourself isn't a sin. It's just stupid."
 

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If I don't get my coffee in the morning, I'm evil. Otherwise, everything's OK.
 

Jenna

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If you had to design a test for something that was evil, what would it look like? Once you design your Evil Test, what kinds of things would it classify as Evil?
Another provoking question. Thank you.

My test for evil would be based on catching any action that had the intention of causing deliberate harm or damage, that action being in the absence of the perception of, or desire for, any long term mitigation upon the subject of that harm or damage.

It would catch almost everything except chocolate.
 

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It would catch almost everything except chocolate.

No no no....chocolate is not evil! Chocolate is the Root of Earthly Goodness.

Or as my wife says... "Step away from the chocolate and nobody has to get hurt..."
 

Tez3

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I really dont find anything to be Evil.
Despicable? Sure.
Senseless? Sure.
Disgusting? Sure.
Appalling? Sure.
Evil? Not so much, since Good and Evil are subject to the individual.

I can make one fun reference here.
WW2.
*Were the Civilians who supported the Wehrmacht Soldiers and such on parades of Their own free will Evil, for supporting the Faction?
No, because Germany was under alot of pressure at the time, and discontent with other Nations was already breeding a bit amongst the Commoners. Of course Theyd support something contrary to that.
*Were the Wehrmacht Soldiers they were supporting evil, though? No, because They were fighting for Their Country, by order of Officers.
Therefore, is it still even potentially Evil, for the already-found-to-be Not-Evil Civilians to support the Not-Evil Soldiers?
*So were the Officers Evil?
No. The Officers were directed by Commanders.
*Were the Commanders Evil?
No. Even if They ordered Atrocities, They didnt order the Atrocities. They were given the freedom to conduct Them in the interests of Victory. Permitted by the Hierarchy of the Government.
*Was the Nazi Government Evil?
One might then say, the Nazi Government answered to Their Fuhrer. But...
*Was Hitler Evil?
The most Evil thing Hitler did, was allow His Heirarchs and Generals the Freedom to use Unnecessary Force.
*So WAS the Nazi Government Evil?
Some of the Acts ordered by some of the Generals/Commanders and Politicians surely were.
But, They believed They were acting Righteously. It is only others who may call Them evil, as well as those who dared to agree with Them at the time, or support them.
But apparently, Stalin isnt Evil for slaughtering and destroying His way through Germany later on.

Its all subject to the beholder.
So I prefer to use any word that isnt Evil, to describe someones deeds.



I think to be honest you are being very naive in your thinking here, the everyday atrocities committed by the ordinary 'man in the street' were many and they were evil. The stoning of Jews and others in the street, the looting of their shops, the beatings, the informing on neighbours, the endless horrors committed by people who could just have easily not done it shouldn't be overlooked. To imagine that an 'innocent' people were led by monsters is incorrect.
 

Cyriacus

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I think to be honest you are being very naive in your thinking here, the everyday atrocities committed by the ordinary 'man in the street' were many and they were evil. The stoning of Jews and others in the street, the looting of their shops, the beatings, the informing on neighbours, the endless horrors committed by people who could just have easily not done it shouldn't be overlooked. To imagine that an 'innocent' people were led by monsters is incorrect.
I never said Their actions werent wrong.
Im saying that to Them, They were working to an end that They believed in. If I called them Evil, They are only Evil to Me.
And again, what about the Soviets? What about everything They did?

As for Innocent People being led by Monsters, if that was interprited out of something I said, it certainly isnt what I meant.

Ultimately, Im saying call it what it is.
Atrocities.
Criminal.
Senseless.
Misdirected.
Despicable.
But its only from Our Perspective, that those deeds were Evil.
"No, because Germany was under alot of pressure at the time, and discontent with other Nations was already breeding a bit amongst the Commoners. Of course Theyd support something contrary to that."
So now, hows about those Riots in Egypt? Since there were stonings, and burnings, are They all now Evil as well? Or is it just that because the German People were provoked by the results of the Treaty of Versailles, among other things... Oh, wait. Thats perhaps an even better reason to be angry with the state of national affairs. Of course They were angry. And when that anger could be pointed at other Europeon Countries, and the Jews, of course They became Violent. Im not saying its justified, Im saying that to THEM, THEY justified it to themselves, clearly. Since those were very regular occurances.

Ill leave You with that for now, I dont want to play every card right away.
 

Tez3

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I'm sorry but whitewashing what the 'everyday' German people did and blaming it on their leaders is being ignorant of history. Informing on your neighbours so you could get your hands on their house and/or belongings isn't being driven by any political beliefs. Germany wasn't under any pressure that any other coutnry wasn't at the time, America was going through a huge recession but didn't go down this road. I think also you undersestimate the level of anti semitism that has always been in Germany. You are taking the view that many who haven't been affected by the Holocaust take, that of oh dear, the German people aren't responisble for their evil but it was all that nasty man's fault. Sorry it doesn't wash.
 

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I'm sorry but whitewashing what the 'everyday' German people did and blaming it on their leaders is being ignorant of history.

Slow down. Im not doing that at all. I trailed off about why the People were acceptant of the Conflict. I wasnt trying to shift blame.*

Informing on your neighbours so you could get your hands on their house and/or belongings isn't being driven by any political beliefs.

Nope. It isnt. Its exploiting the fact that You can, which is self righteous and rather appalling.

Germany wasn't under any pressure that any other coutnry wasn't at the time, America was going through a huge recession but didn't go down this road.

The main terms of the Treaty of Versailles were:
War Guilt Clause - Germany should accept the blame for starting World War One
Reparations - Germany had to pay 瞿6,600 million for the damage caused by the war
Disarmament - Germany was only allowed to have a small army and six naval ships. No tanks, no airforce and no submarines were allowed. The Rhineland area was to be de-militarised.
Territorial Clauses - Land was taken away from Germany and given to other countries. Anschluss (union with Austria) was forbidden.
Other Countries had all that, did They?


I think also you undersestimate the level of anti semitism that has always been in Germany.

No, I dont. That Anti Semitism is a part of the point Im trying to make.**

You are taking the view that many who haven't been affected by the Holocaust take, that of oh dear, the German people aren't responisble for their evil but it was all that nasty man's fault.

Im sorry, but at NO POINT did I even begin to imply that. How many times have I said that I am simply not using the word Evil, because it would only be Evil from MY Perspective? To them, were WE not Their Enemy? Or did They look at Us as the Good Guys? And I also CLEARLY said earlier...***

Sorry it doesn't wash.

*"And when that anger could be pointed at other Europeon Countries, and the Jews, of course They became Violent. Im not saying its justified, Im saying that to THEM, THEY justified it to themselves, clearly. Since those were very regular occurances." - Was in regards to Civilians. Not Governments.

**"
Of course They were angry. And when that anger could be pointed at other Europeon Countries, and the Jews," - Notice how I said, and the Jews? How else do You figure I concluded that Jews would be in the spectrum to begin with, other than the Anti Semitism already present?

***"
*Was the Nazi Government Evil?
One might then say, the Nazi Government answered to Their Fuhrer. But...
*Was Hitler Evil?
The most Evil thing Hitler did, was allow His Heirarchs and Generals the Freedom to use Unnecessary Force.
*So WAS the Nazi Government Evil?
Some of the Acts ordered by some of the Generals/Commanders and Politicians surely were."
- So perhaps I should also need mention that the Civilian Populace were allowed the same Freedoms? Did I seriously need to capitulate on that? In the first post I was mostly going for the causes of the hostility within the Country to begin with.
EDIT: Also, I was trying, but apparently failing, to make it clear here that no one party was wholly to blame, outside of the fact that noone was stopping them. And that isnt meant to be the focus, its just Me daring to mention that They werent trying to knuckle down on these violent occurances. And I wonder why that would be.

So what is this? A "How Dare I Condemn Them But Not Condemn Them With The Word Evil" situation here?
 
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Tez3

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Your history is way off actually the causes of the Second World War go way back to wars that happened in Europe long before, the cause of the First World War was far more than just a squabble between Royalty. You need to take a good look at European history and then realise that the Germans weren't under any pressure that other countries weren't under. Nothing that happens in Europe is unconnected, it's a long game of consquences. The Germans didn't sudenly up and decide to have the First World War which then lead onto the second. Look deeper into the history rather than just glossing over with cliches.
 

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Years ago I conceived of the perfect weapon...an "A"-bomb...that only kills A...well...you know. ;)
The problem with it is I realized that I might use it and what if the person I was talking to dropped dead? All that time, my friend had been an 'A', maybe to someone else, and I'd not realized it.

Got me to thinking, 'What was the difference between us? What if I'M an "A" and don't realize it?' LOL!
 

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Your history is way off actually the causes of the Second World War go way back to wars that happened in Europe long before,

Oh, Ok. I guess I made a mistake by isolating one part of the cause, and not writing a full historical recount of the Causes of the War. Would You like Me to copypaste as many complete articles about it as I can, so that Im not missing anything? Becuase if itll appease You, I will. Also, at what point was something I said not Historically Correct? How is My History way off, when it seems to be pretty much the same as Yours? The main difference is that You seem to be discussing the causes and effects of WW2 and Race Crimes, whilst I was using it as a reference point for why I dont like calling anything Evil?

the cause of the First World War was far more than just a squabble between Royalty.

Aha.

You need to take a good look at European history and then realise that the Germans weren't under any pressure that other countries weren't under.

So there were other Countries that were forced to practically Demilitarize Themselves and give away Territory? Im genuinely asking for examples of other Countries at the time, I am curious.

Nothing that happens in Europe is unconnected, it's a long game of consquences. The Germans didn't sudenly up and decide to have the First World War which then lead onto the second.

Again with My offer to copypaste Articles.
And I never, ever said that it did that.


Look deeper into the history rather than just glossing over with cliches.

And at what point did I do that? At what point have I not acknowledged, and on a couple of points even gone on to show that I acknowledged Them before You brought them up, what Youre saying here? Im sitting here trying to explain why Im using words to describe their actions other than Evil. I was originally using WW2 as an example of how to Them, They werent the Enemy. To Us, They were the Enemy. It was an example of how similar reasoning can be applied to Good and Evil.

I await Your Response.
 

Tez3

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Sometimes evil is just that ...evil, there is no other word.

The Germans Allies in the First World War also lost territories, were demilitarised etc but much of what was in the Treaty of Versailles was at the instigation of the French who had lost the previous war to the Germans who had imposed the same hard conditions on the French when they surrendered.

I think your reasoing that the Germans were just the enemy to us and therefore not evil, doesn't stand up. We've had plenty of wars where the enemy is just that - the enemy, the acts of the majority of people in the Axis were actually evil though. It was a war unlike the others we have had. There was tremendous acts of cruelty and yes evil.
 

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Evil is subjective and highly dependant on the society in which you are trying to define evil and it is also highly dependant on the time period in which you are trying to define it.

And of course as tez has already said

Sometimes evil is just that ...evil

Other than that all I got is
:yinyang:
 

Cyriacus

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Sometimes evil is just that ...evil, there is no other word.

The Germans Allies in the First World War also lost territories, were demilitarised etc but much of what was in the Treaty of Versailles was at the instigation of the French who had lost the previous war to the Germans who had imposed the same hard conditions on the French when they surrendered.

And how many Countries then proceeded to join Germany for their second go at Warfare?
Namely, Germany Japan and Italy. Italy got a bad deal out of it as well, from the Treaty of Versailles, and then proceeded to sign the Tripartite Pact. Based on a similar Anger at the other Nations.

I guess I also have to add this: Did France have the opportunity that Italy did? And this is about WW2; WW1 is a whole other topic. With the exception of the elements which lead to WW2.

I think your reasoing that the Germans were just the enemy to us and therefore not evil, doesn't stand up.

Ill present it another way: When the Soviets made Their way to Berlin, They were progressively slaughtering German Soldiers, and people. There were Rapes, Shootings, Burnt Buildings, and so forth. Are They Good, just because They were Fighting Evil? Im inclined to say Yes, if I were forced to call the Germans Evil. But to Them, They, who believed Themselves to be the good guys, were facing vicious retribution. The Italians and Japanese, and Russians had best join in with being Evil.

We've had plenty of wars where the enemy is just that - the enemy, the acts of the majority of people in the Axis were actually evil though.

And this is what I was trying to say, as well. They had the Freedom to commit Atrocities, with no consequence. And They had some anger to point at something. So, They point it at the things They were already inclined to Hate, and the things They were told to Hate. To Us, to our perhaps sounder minds, this is evil. To them, it was Retribution. Much like the Soviet Retributions against Germany.

It was a war unlike the others we have had. There was tremendous acts of cruelty

Ive acknowledged that many times now.

and yes evil.

Evil as it is viewed by us - Viewing them as Our Enemy, and as the wrongdoers. Where to them, they were the ones who started the conflict. They started it because They felt that They were doing what They believed was... Right is not the correct word. But like You Yourself said: They didnt just up and start WW2. And the People werent exactly opposed to it.

Im still trying to work out how exactly Ive "being very naive" in My Thinking, when We seem to agree, in all but the fact that I stated that in My personal opinion, I prefer to attribute these acts of Cruelty and Atrocity, to words like, well, Cruelty and Atrocity. Where You clearly prefer evil.
Somehow this lead straight onto...
"I'm sorry but whitewashing what the 'everyday' German people did and blaming it on their leaders is being ignorant of history."
"You are taking the view that many who haven't been affected by the Holocaust take, that of oh dear, the German people aren't responisble for their evil but it was all that nasty man's fault. Sorry it doesn't wash."
"Your history is way off actually the causes of the Second World War go way back to wars that happened in Europe long before, the cause of the First World War was far more than just a squabble between Royalty. "
"Look deeper into the history rather than just glossing over with cliches."

Hence why in My second Reply, I suggested slowing down. Because clearly there was some kind of misconception which only now seems to be dieing down. We have yet to disagree on any aspect of History. This, really, has all been over You being willing to just call it Evil, which I could then go on to say is using a blanket term by Your own definitions, and Im not doing that, because its as well founded as Me choosing to use specific terms, instead of a blanket term, so as to avoid naming Myself as being so very right, where They were clearly all just wrong about quite alot of things, especially from My Perspective.
 

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Evil is subjective and highly dependant on the society in which you are trying to define evil and it is also highly dependant on the time period in which you are trying to define it.

And of course as tez has already said



Other than that all I got is
:yinyang:

...since Good and Evil are subject to the individual.
Its all subject to the beholder.
So I prefer to use any word that isnt Evil, to describe someones deeds.

I used an Analogy.
You didnt.
Perhaps Your Statement will come across better.
 

Tez3

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Perhaps I call it evil because the Germans killed all my mother's family? Perhaps too because I've heard so many people's first hand histories of the acts of evil that were committed in Germany and the countries they occupied. Call me biased of course if you like...
 

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Perhaps I call it evil because the Germans killed all my mother's family?

My Grandmothers Parents were killed in an Air Raid, and My Grandfather was a POW. Youre not the only person here with a European Family. She became a Refugee, and doesnt know what happened to the rest of Her Family.

Perhaps too because I've heard so many people's first hand histories of the acts of evil that were committed in Germany and the countries they occupied.

Im only bringing up that one could also seek out German Families accounts of Soviet Soldiers slaughtering Germans. And that We can then call it Less Evil, because it was done to Evil.

Call me biased of course if you like...

Notice how I have done little but criticize Their actions, and call them Atrocious? For the last time, Were agreeing on everything here but how We choose to use one word. Youre using it as a blanket term, where Im preferring to use more specific terms. Theres nothing wrong with that, and our reasoning is pretty much aligned. I brought up every criticism You made, because Id like to know where it call came from. Because while I didnt mind that You disagreed, I couldnt quite see what We were disagreeing upon, other than how We choose to use one word.

I await Your Reply.
 
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