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A Game of Words

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Dániel Boros

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A scale with 5 pounds of gold on one side and 5 pounds of silver on the other would balance out, but they wouldn't be the same.

Very good. You need to apply that scrutiny to developing your grasp of evil/wrong, infliction of force against others/infliction of harm to self, determining when restoration is merited (in the case of others) and not (when self-inflicted), instead of trying to sweep it aside within sloppy linguistic games.

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Is the concept of value, of "good or evil"an arbitrary human invention, unrelated to, underived from an unsupportedby any facts of relality--or is it based on metaphysical fact, on an unalterable condition of man's existence?" (Virtue of Selfishness, p.14)

You need to go to the root of O ethics. O ethics isn't based on "thou shall nots..." , its not a list of rules. It is based on the value of man's own life.

Self sacrifice and hurting others are contradictory to valuing a man's own life. The act of knowingly, blatently contradicting or the act of blatently refusing to think and consider ones actions is wrong, and probably evil.

The valuing of man's own life must be the basis from which to judge morality. Altruism is the devaluation of an individuals own life. The choice to practice altruism or the practice of altruism out of chosen ignorance, does not hurt others per se. However, the practice of altruism, by its nature, requires the altruist to affect other members of society. The altruist cannot act altruistically in a vacuum, they must give the mouse a cookie. And if you give a mouse a cookie, he usually asks for a glass of milk. This makes the practioner of altruism (given the conditions above) evil.

Teaching children to believe in altruism is the advocation of the unethical. Teaching children to act against their own self interest is evil, pure and simple. This does hurt children, it impairs their ability to grow up into mature, self valuing adults.

Edited by Nigel
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  • Self sacrifice is wrong (or bad)
  • Hurting others is evil (i.e. violating someone's rights)

Of course everything that is evil is also wrong (or bad), but not everything that is wrong is evil.

I also think this is why we have two separate words to describe the same thing. Almost the same...

Fact-value dichotomy.

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Fact-value dichotomy.

2+2=5 or belief in Santa Klaus is wrong. But is it evil? i don't think so. It all depends what facts pertain to which values.

Edited by Leonid
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