1. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    05 Jan '07 21:25
    If the existence of evil is in fact justified, because it is necessary to achieve a greater good, might it be a justifiable to commit evil, in order to help achieve it?

    For example, if a child tragically suffering and dying makes it possible for other people to develop the virtues of kindness, patience, and hope--virtues which are sufficient to justify that child suffering and dying--might I be justified in making a child tragically suffer and die, so that others can develop these virtues?
  2. Standard memberKurtHoegh
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    06 Jan '07 22:25
    No.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    06 Jan '07 22:33
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    If the existence of evil is in fact justified, because it is necessary to achieve a greater good, might it be a justifiable to commit evil, in order to help achieve it?

    For example, if a child tragically suffering and dying makes it possible for other people to develop the virtues of kindness, patience, and hope--virtues which are sufficient to justi ...[text shortened]... justified in making a child tragically suffer and die, so that others can develop these virtues?
    One thing we would call evil but neccessary would be if some superdude came along and wiped out say, 90% of the human race. We would probably not like that too much but I daresay ten generations down the road, they would deify the dude because if something doesn't, the way we are presently treating the planet, it will do the job for us.
  4. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    07 Jan '07 00:13
    Originally posted by KurtHoegh
    No.
    Eloquently put.

    So, why?
  5. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    07 Jan '07 00:20
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    One thing we would call evil but neccessary would be if some superdude came along and wiped out say, 90% of the human race. We would probably not like that too much but I daresay ten generations down the road, they would deify the dude because if something doesn't, the way we are presently treating the planet, it will do the job for us.
    So, if I had in my possession a deadly virus, which could wipe out 90% of the human race--and so wielded the power of exalted superdude whereof you speak--I would then, in your view, be doing humanity a service in the long run? And this would be precisely the sort of evil which it would be moral to commit because it led to a good which more than counterbalanced it?
  6. Felicific Forest
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    07 Jan '07 00:51
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    If the existence of evil is in fact justified, because it is necessary to achieve a greater good, might it be a justifiable to commit evil, in order to help achieve it?

    For example, if a child tragically suffering and dying makes it possible for other people to develop the virtues of kindness, patience, and hope--virtues which are sufficient to justi ...[text shortened]... justified in making a child tragically suffer and die, so that others can develop these virtues?
    No.
  7. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    07 Jan '07 00:58
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    No.
    Okay: I don't think so either.

    However, it seems to be that a theist who believes that the existence of evil in the world is justified because it leads to some greater good in the world, is also committed to believing that it might also be a moral thing to commit some evils, in order to bring about greater goods.
  8. Felicific Forest
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    07 Jan '07 01:55
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    Okay: I don't think so either.

    However, it seems to be that a theist who believes that the existence of evil in the world is justified because it leads to some greater good in the world, is also committed to believing that it might also be a moral thing to commit some evils, in order to bring about greater goods.
    I'm not sure that I believe that the existence of evil is justified because it leads to a greater good.
  9. Felicific Forest
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    07 Jan '07 02:01
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    If the existence of evil is in fact justified, because it is necessary to achieve a greater good, might it be a justifiable to commit evil, in order to help achieve it?

    For example, if a child tragically suffering and dying makes it possible for other people to develop the virtues of kindness, patience, and hope--virtues which are sufficient to justi ...[text shortened]... justified in making a child tragically suffer and die, so that others can develop these virtues?
    The above case cannot be justified in any way since the human person should always be treated as an end and never as a means.
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    07 Jan '07 07:39
    I’m new to this site, and before I reply to this question, I have to first say I hold a huge level of disappointment for this forum. Most of these questions are poorly thought out and are used to provoke others, but then again I would say the same for many of the answers I have seen, but I digress, onto the question! 

    The answer is “no”. The reason why, is that a person is not all knowing of the present nor the future, so it is imposable for a human to work for the greater good.

    Doing evil for a short term good (which would have to be defined of course and would only be subjective) is possible but the long term effects are only determinable by God since he is all knowing.

    If you have anymore questions about this please ask.

    Elliott
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    07 Jan '07 07:56
    Originally posted by ryunix
    I’m new to this site, and before I reply to this question, I have to first say I hold a huge level of disappointment for this forum. Most of these questions are poorly thought out and are used to provoke others, but then again I would say the same for many of the answers I have seen, but I digress, onto the question! 

    The answer is “no”. The reason ...[text shortened]... God since he is all knowing.

    If you have anymore questions about this please ask.

    Elliott
    So Iraq shouldnt have been invaded?
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    07 Jan '07 08:10
    Actually what I said was that we as humans can not act in accordance of “The Greater Good” and because of that none of us know if it was better to invade then not to, we can only measure the “now”.

    If you would like me to venture an opinion I would, but I do not wish to pull this post off track.

    Elliott
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    07 Jan '07 08:34
    Originally posted by ryunix
    Actually what I said was that we as humans can not act in accordance of “The Greater Good” and because of that none of us know if it was better to invade then not to, we can only measure the “now”.

    If you would like me to venture an opinion I would, but I do not wish to pull this post off track.

    Elliott
    Go on, do one. Don't worry about those tossers.
  14. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    08 Jan '07 22:21
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    I'm not sure that I believe that the existence of evil is justified because it leads to a greater good.
    How else can it be justified? Are starving children guilty of some heinous crime?
  15. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    08 Jan '07 22:41
    Originally posted by ryunix
    I’m new to this site, and before I reply to this question, I have to first say I hold a huge level of disappointment for this forum. Most of these questions are poorly thought out and are used to provoke others, but then again I would say the same for many of the answers I have seen, but I digress, onto the question! 

    The answer is “no”. The reason ...[text shortened]... God since he is all knowing.

    If you have anymore questions about this please ask.

    Elliott
    But surely a human, even if not omniscient, might still made an educated guess about which evils ought to be committed to bring about a greater good, at least if their justification is not wholly inscrutable and extramundane. "Not omniscient" does *not* mean "completely in the dark". And even if a human being *were* completely in the dark, he or she might get lucky, and inadvertently bring about a greater good by committing an evil.

    Theists seem to be suffering from a severe mental block here. If God can be justified in committing an evil to bring about the greater good, then--rather frightingly I think--some other agent, including a human, can be also justified in committing the same evil for the same greater good.

    So, on this view, maybe Hitler was an unwitting agent of the Lord, moving in mysterious ways, to bring about a greater good.
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