Skip to main content

Know What Good and Evil Are



Good and evil are simple enough. But it makes sense to clear up one huge misconception. Good is values not virtues. The word virtue crops up 253 times in Aristotle's Ethics. Values are barely mentioned.

The highest goods and the most egregious evils are related to the achievement of freedom, truth and beauty at the top and the avoidance of the ascending levels of harm at the bottom. We human beings are a spectrum of good and evil. Just look at the following hierarchies to become aware of the incredible mix of good and evil we are.   


Hierarchy of Good

1. Being loving and free

2. Acting and expressing for truth and beauty

3. Valuing Non-idolatry

4. Valuing Democracy

5. Valuing Helpfulness

6. Valuing Tolerance

7. Contributing to the community

8. Being responsible

9. Critical thinking

10. Self-respect



Hierarchy of Evil

10. Thoughtlessness

9. Selfishness

8. Judging others

7. Ganging Up

6. Excluding

5. Intolerance

4. Opposing democracy

3. Unhelpfulness

2. Causing injury

1. Killing


Whatever adjustments you might make in these hierarchies, I trust you would agree that they evoke the actual values that lead to the actual behavior indicated. Some gang up and exclude, some oppose democracy. Some kill. Some pay taxes whose effects cause harm.  Some support businesses that do the same.  Some accept practices that are proved to be harmful. That's merely a fraction of the downside. On the upside, positive values have been instrumental in generating historical progress over the centuries. Particularly those which form the ethical index of triadic philosophy: tolerance, helpfulness, democracy and non-idolatry.

How much more progress there would be if these positive values were accepted universally. They are a true and apt measure of what does good.


Popular posts from this blog

Etc.

"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Obama Ads Should Be Grass Roots Cinema Verite

ShortFormContent at Blogger: How President Obama Can Win Christian Conservatives:

'via Blog this'

To counter the invidious efforts of Karl Rove and the Brothers Koch, simple videos of everyday people expressing gratitude for specific results from specific things that the President has achieved will create a signature response that will turn the tables on the Super PACs.

There could be an intro that flags lies distortions and anonymous attacks as unreal and even criminal and a cut to what is real, recognizable and not anonymous I am (name). I have lived here in (name) for (time). Thanks to (President Obama's (name) Act ... and so forth for ten seconds. Close with a continuation of the story narrated over evocative images and simple acoustic music.

This would be a fantastic way to counter the attacks on the President. For every specific attack, a video that shows the truth. And grass roots people who intend to vote for the President.




Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Three…