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Iago Candidate | joined 29 July 2006 | 21 posts


War in Lebanon posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWar in Lebanon by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Entropic_existence":r6ys6mac

Of course my opinions are far more complicated but thats it in a nutshell.[/quote:r6ys6mac]

Of course of course... view post


The problem of evil posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

you are all wrong!

just kidding.

go to borders books and start with 'The Problem of Evil.' It's a collection of essays. It won't answer your question (at least it didn't for me), but it will help bring you up to speed on what the "problems" are if you need a refresher.

then,

pick up a copy of Mary Midgley's "Wickedness" and spend a little time with it. the motivations of "evil" beings are not all the same, and perhaps she can help you identifiy which type you are. Something worth noting, to me at least, is that her analysis of Mephistopheles kind of pokes a hole in the notion that even "evil" beings think they are doing "good" in some personal fashion.

and when you are done with that book, pick up a copy of Buber's "Good and Evil." Some of us who have worked hard to reach what he calls "the 2nd stage" might find his description of our hypertension a bit offensive, but the good news is he is dead now, so there is no need to go eliminate him because of his insight into our nature. just kidding!

after you are all done with that, you can look up the correct way to write "Dregvant" in Avestan (it's not that hard, there are dictionaries online), and go get it tatooed somewhere on your body. That way if you ever get dropped on your head or struck by lightning and lose your memory, you can see the tatoo and be reminded of why you bother to get out of bed in the morning.

tada!

hope that helps! and have a great day!

p.s. if you don't want to get some creepy word from a long dead language tatooed on you, try just getting a picture of a lightbulb removed from the socket, but still lit. It might take your amnesiac self a little longer to figure it out, but if you got there once... view post


Drugs posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionDrugs by Iago, Candidate

I <3 drugs!

actually, i saw that carved into a desk when I was in middle or high school, some long long years ago.

As someone who has had more than a passing familiarity with pot, alcohol, lsd, cocaine (in all it's variants), tobacco, mdma, heroin, and mushrooms (you could probably lump that in with lsd if you wanted to, but the experience isn't the same), I can tell you that it all depends on the person.

i can't actually speak to artistic creativity, because I renounced my own ability in my youth, and now only see things in how they unravel, not how they are put together. I can say that in my own experience, that when on mushrooms I am able to catch the nuances of other peoples facial expressions much better. Is that my mind just telling me I know whats up with people when I am shrooming, or is it an actual hightened perception, who knows? I can also say, that when I want a vacation from being me, that mdma is great for that. I'm able to feel empathy, a connection with people around me, "goodwill" (which is almost unheard of in my universe), and so that substance has a high psychic value to me. I have also seen personalities completely disintegrate from extended coke and heroin use. I have met "casual" coke users, although I suspect they are just further up the slide and haven't realized it's a one way trip down, but I have never met a casual junk user. In some of my more fantastic reveries I picture myself a malevolent monk (almost "sith-like"), and even with that kind of idealized willpower, I was almost undone by some of the harder stuff.

Should people have the right to privacy and to recreationally use whatever they want? sure, i guess (i'm not that concerned with individual rights). but the kicker is that people lose to ability to regulate themselves on some of the harder drugs, and just like in that movie (rfad) they will steal their mothers t.v. to get some gear and whack up.

whats the answer? who knows? from an infernal viewpoint, i guess we should just let everyone do what they want as they flush themselves down the toilet. but the dream of turnbull (see chesterton) has it's appeal also.


personal note: i never did anything shady no matter how much i was using, other than selling rock to a borderline retard once... my mother's t.v. is where it has alway been. oh yeah, i also tried selling junk outside a methadone clinic in holland. good times! view post


who should determine what is "right"? posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy Discussionwho should determine what is "right"? by Iago, Candidate

the opposite of "wrong"?

it seems a sterile, academic, and in my view, pointless question. A more important question is: what do I want? is that consistant with what I currently view as the greatest good for me? are there obstacles/risks associated in getting what I want? is the percieved benefit/gratification of getting what I want worth taking on the risks I have identified?

I'm sure there are more questions I should be associating with "What do I want? (i.e. what is right?), but I just got back from lunch, and I think I have to go put my toilet into therapy.

so......... wait for it.........

right now, it's the right time for me to go drop a duece! and if I were a betting man, i would bet that I am going to feel al-right when I am done....

sweet. view post


ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy Discussionignorance or enlightenment ? by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "gierra":325xgylf


my thoughts are that, is it not possible to be concious of all the suffering of man in the world, and still be content?

or am i just a deranged sicko who takes pleasure in bad things?[/quote:325xgylf]


it sure is possible! remember, our nature determines how we percieve fulfillment. if you are one of those rare few who achieve contentedness or even happiness from the suffering of others, then rock-on sister! solid!

it sounds like all you ever need to do, if you are feeling down in the dumps, is log on to Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) or corpwatch.org and read all about what a great time it is to be alive on planet earth.

a minor suggestion, if I may: you might want to dump the negative label that THEY foisted upon you (deranged sicko) and just take pleasure in (whatever you like or amuses you) things. drop the "bad" label too, that also comes from them. didn't the Bard mention something about the "mind making it so"? perhaps knot...

the next step, of course, is contributing. unless you went to business school and are working a trading desk in a tier 1 bank, there probably isn't a deep impact you can make, but like the wise Jacko once crooned, it all starts with the "man in the mirror" or in your case, woman.

buying World Bank Bonds is a good place to start. Those SAPs are killers! if you are serious, feel free to email me for more ideas. i probably won't respond, but you never know, i just might!

and whatever you do, have a great day! view post


Human Hunger posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionHuman Hunger by Iago, Candidate

human hunger?

let them eat cake? nah, that's too easy.

in a literal sense (here I mean food), perhaps the Thorne corporation from Omen II had the right idea? of course, the worthless eaters (an affectionate term for sub-saharan africans) and others like them probably have no way to actually PAY for the food.... hmm.... since people on the verge of death by starvation are really just on a prolonged involuntary fast, perhaps around their 40th day they will get a lucky visitor who might offer to make bread from the stones around them. hey, don't rule it out, it happened at least once before. not exactly like i said it, but pretty close...

but you didn't mean hunger to just be a biological need for food, did you? technology is a wonderful thing, and in the not too distant future it just might be that we find ouselves with all our basic needs so readily met that we have heaps of extra time to try to gratify our other hungers. what will we do then? perhaps we will follow the lead of dear old uncle Tiberious and "hunger" for the flesh of children, haha! oops! did I confuse jaded, hedonistic hunger with biological hunger again? damnit!

although the modern troubador, Glenn Danzing, ran out of insightful things to say about his spiritual condition long ago, in his youth he penned a catchy little tune titled, "The Hungry End" that might be a preview of what we have to look forward to. or we can always look back to the serpent of the world, eating his tail (yummy!), which pretty much hints at the same thing. Or for those of you familiar with the initial fate of Raistlin (don't pretend like you don't know who I am talking about, you are friendless fantasy geeks, remember?) before his brother went back and meddled, maybe that condition is what we have to all look forward to, carrying our hells around with us everywhere....


so.....

gorge yourselves now kiddos! it gets awfully empty, dark, and cold when it's all gone. most of you won't know you have passed the event horizon until it's too late for you.

i hear that herman hesse wrote a story about a guy who found a way out though.... but sitting by the river fishing just doesn't seem like my style... view post


Ayn Rand posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Sovin Nai":e8qo6lq1
I know very little about AR's philosophy, but I have read the Fountainhead and can certainly say that I really enjoyed it. I believe her idea is one of being true to yourself regardless of others, but like I said I'n not really sure.[/quote:e8qo6lq1]

If you enjoyed it, try picking up Atlas Shrugged. In her own words, Atlas Shrugged was her masterpiece that mostly fully expressed her philosophy, objectivism. It's a lengthy read, and once you get the idea that Ayn is just writing a bed-hopping rape fantasy, it gets increasingly difficult to turn each page. My suggestion is to just flip ahead to the section where John Galt makes his radio speech and be done with it, or better yet, in the 35th anniversary edition you can just flip to the end and read the tenents of objectivism as spelled out by one of her adoring toadies. That way, you won't have to make statements like, "I know very little about AR's philosophy" and then suffer though people attempting to explain their version of "being true to yourself regardless of others" (which is a good way to think, providing you don't get caught "being true to yourself" or held responsible for whatever you did "regardless of others"). De Sade might have mentioned something about laws: never using them as a brake, but only as a shield, but I can't remember. close enough. Anyway, read Atlas Shrugged, take what you like out of it and disgard the rest (as in all things).

hope that helped! view post


NLP posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionNLP by Iago, Candidate

howdy folks!

i know i'll get what i deserve by even asking this question, but you never know, there might be a pearl in this pig-pen!

so, here goes:

have any of you done a study of neuro-linguistic programming? if so, did you notice a marked increase in your ability to manipulate people? i just picked up an introductory book on the subject, but it's not something you can just read once and incorporate into your toolbox. For someone of my limited intellect, I am going to have to treat it as a serious course of study that requires lot of practice before I "get the hang" of making people think what I want them to. Nobody said that becoming a magician of rational thought was going to be easy, but before I commit the time and energy I just wanted to know if somebody here had seen results.

i'm thinking of scouring the internet for "slight of mouth" before cracking open my book, but only because like all dark-side-of-the-force adherents I would prefer the quick and easy path. If I can't find it soon I'm going to actually have to study instead of learning tricks! damnit!

anyway, your thoughts on and experience with the subject might be interesting to me, even if you used NLP for "self-development" instead of influencing others (shudder, did it just get cold in here?...) view post


NLP posted 29 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionNLP by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Primal":3hqjrge4
I'm not familiar with neuro-linguistic programming but I am familiar with newbie syndrome. Once, when I was a relatively new forumnist not too long ago, it didn't occur to me to check the dates of some topics on discussion. Of course, nothing really wrong with reviving the dead.
=][/quote:3hqjrge4]

newbie syndrome? is that kind of like the guys in mmorpgs who get off running around calling people newbs? such fond memories of world of warcraft, isn't the expansion coming out soon!? i guess i could have just not contributed at all, or even better, created a new post that was already covered in a previous thread, so some other guy just as clever as you (newb! haha! that was sooo good!) could come along and reply with a link to the thread and probably call me a........

wait for it......

NEWB! oh ho ho! that was so clever [snicker snicker]!


and for all the value of your sagely calling me a newb, i didn't recall anything from your post about NLP (other than your ignorance).

of course, nothing really wrong with lame off-topic posts. or is there... view post


NLP posted 30 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionNLP by Iago, Candidate

i actually found dilts' "slight of mouth" and am working on it, but i'm going to read the intro to nlp book i got anyway, if for no other reason than I already paid for it.

i would have thought PoN fans would take an interest in NLP also. maybe when more of them find out what it is they will give it a try. you just have to get past all that self-development/modeling excellence crap and stick to the meat and potatoes (influencing people).

i'm more of a conphas fan myself, but on my current job (i'm a defense contractor) I don't have access to MTV and E! Television (before you laugh, ask yourself if there is a better way to see our equivilant of jnan in use), so NLP will have to do. It's probably better for use in a professional enviornment anyway, while manipulating our language MTV/E! style would get more use in social situations. view post


War in Lebanon posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWar in Lebanon by Iago, Candidate

one of the reasons the JAG officers are included in TST (time sensitive targetting) cells is because we are encumbered by too many restrictions on what is an acceptable target. You guys would not believe the list of all the restricted and no fire targets we have in the databases for every country (including our own, curiously...). The problem is that non-conventional military organizations don't fight by the same rules we (and our allies, mostly) do, but are aware of the restrictions we place upon ourselves, so they intentionally do not wear uniforms and fire from restricted/no fire areas like mosques, schools, hospitals, etc... The bottom line though, is they HAVE to die or be neutralized, so in the end there is no real way of getting around collatoral damage. When lebanese kids stop looking up to hezbollah as heroes and freedom fighters, and middle class neighborhoods start reporting hezbollah activity as the terrorist activity that it is (vice not agreeing with but not reporting), then the climate will be right for normalized relations between israel and lebanon.

i think. view post


The problem of evil posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Randal":ix6py7vj
her analysis of Mephistopheles kind of pokes a hole in the notion that even "evil" beings think they are doing "good" in some personal fashion.


Does she claim that not all "evil" people think of themselves as doing mostly good? If so, that's rather obvious, I'd say. Obviously there are people who think what they do is wrong but do not care.

Or does she claim that no "evil" person thinks of him/herself as being a "good" person? If so, that's quite the claim to make, and one that seems to be rather obviously wrong, whatever Faustus may have said to Mephistopheles. Many people set out to improve the world only to start a reign of terror. "The road to hell..." and all.[/quote:ix6py7vj]

***begin rational communication***

at first i was reluctant to reply, because i didn't think i could do it without being an ass. not that it is a reason to not reply, i actually enjoy writing asshole(ish) things and giggling like a retard in a room full of red ballons while I am doing it. but, unfortunately, i think this concept is too important to let my auto-pilot assholishness (did I just make a new word!?) respond to. So, I will quote first from Mephistopheles:

The spirit I, that endlessly denies
And rightly too; for all that comes to birth
Is fit for overthrow, as nothing worth;
Wherefore the world were better sterilized;
Thus all that's here is Evil recognized
Is gain to me, and downfall, ruin, sin,
The very element I prosper in.

So here we have Mephistopheles saying that he ruins for the sake of ruining. The is no "positive" goal or objective that he works towards. He lives to deny, to always say "no." Could you make the arguement that it is somehow "good" for him to do this? Maybe, but the only way I could think of to do it would be (mis)quoting from milton (because I don't have the book with me, sorry [look it up yourself if you are bothered...])

So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear.
Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost;
Evil, be though my good:

But that really doesn't work out either, because Satan isn't really saying that he has somehow switched good with evil in his mind, he is acknowledging that he and his host have nothing, and can hope for nothing, but that one option is left to them:

To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary of his high will
Whom we resist.

So we see that in their own way, the fallen host has taken the only thing not God's, being opposed to God, and made it their sole task. It is reactionary, parasitic, and doomed, but it is still a "positive" goal in their mind, if pathetic, taking into consideration that they feel themselves a conquered host in a war against an oppressive tyrant.

Mephistopheles, in Faust, has no such "positive" objective. He is conscious if the pure "negativity" of his aims. There is no personal "good" or positive point to his activity, unlike Satan and his host who resist a tyrant, he is purely a ruining spirit with no point to his activity.

So, i guess i stand by my original reply and I hope I have cleared things up for you a bit. If you are still having trouble, try to think of any fictional antagonist or even real person who you regard as evil, then think about their motives (as you understand them). I think you will find that in a personal sense they were all working toward some outcome they regarded "good" or "right" for them in their own sense. It is possible for them to be aware of how the outside world regarded their aims, even labelling them "evil", and still think they are working towards a positive/good objective. The only character I am aware of with no such desired outcome is Mephistopheles.

***end rational communication***

SLAM.... DUNK..... BABY!!!! YOU KNOW IT!!!! YES!!! I am right, as (almost) always [not really....]!!!!

SWEEEEEEEET!!!!! view post


ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy Discussionignorance or enlightenment ? by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Randal":3lce68gg
I hope that was sarcastic. But even if it was, it's quite the misreading of Gierra's statement.

Thinking some more about it, I suspect what she says is true of everyone with some knowledge of world affairs who's not chronically depressed. Does reading about war and deaths of innocents in Libanon spoil your day? Or does it make you shake your head, reflect on the sorry state of the world for half a minute, and move on with your day/life, like I do? And if so, does it have anything to do with lack of empathy, or is it just a matter of setting your priorities straight?[/quote:3lce68gg]

Oops! I seem to have misread a statement! crap, I hate it when I do that... Lets look at it again just to make sure:

Quote: "Gierra":3lce68gg
my thoughts are that, is it not possible to be concious of all the suffering of man in the world, and still be content?

or am i just a deranged sicko who takes pleasure in bad things?[/quote:3lce68gg]

if it weren't for the second part of the statement, I might be inclined to agree that it was "quite the misreading", but since the implication was that there was actual pleasure to be had from an awareness of suffering, I think that my interpretation (given the available info at the time) was....

SPOT.... ON.....BABY!!!!!

now, Gierra has since "clarified" the meaning of her post, but that (unfortunately for you) came AFTER you and I had posted.

I guess it's possible that you have been active on the board for a while, and have read other Gierra posts enough to be able to have an insight above and beyond the literal text, but to just come right out and claim an incident of "quite the misreading", well, thats just downright mean, man. mean. (and.... well, wrong)

later gator view post


NLP posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionNLP by Iago, Candidate

alhana,

i don't believe many of the claims of NLP either, and as far as it just being good psychology, even being aware of that doesn't negate it's potential usefulness. A cursory reading of some basic NLP material I have has already pointed out some forms of verbal communication that are not effective for what is presumed the speakers desired outcome. THAT is the real essence of what I am after, the exact use of language ABOVE AND BEYOND what an average-above-average-intelligence-person (i love that label) could do just armed with natural wit and sensitivity to the other person. I'm looking for an arsenal, a toolbox, and I think (so far) that NLP might be able to deliver. view post


The problem of evil posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

attention to detail is important. i don't always do it myself, but i think here it bears making a point of it.

Neither I, nor Mary Midgley, claimed that every "so called evil person" at some level believes themselves "good." That was kind of the whole point of bringing up mephistopheles...

And, if you are willing to concede that everybody works towards some goal he sees as positive, you are nicely summing up the point of my quoting Milton's Satan. The obvious exception to the rule being Mephistopheles.

So, from what I can make of what you wrote (feel free to correct me if I am not paying attention to detail...), you neither understand what I, nor Midgley, said about Mephistopheles, so you're disagreeing with it makes no sense. And, you then agreed with people all working towards some positive goal, only to follow on with hypothetical examples in support of the idea of people working towards a personally positive goal but still being evil, then claiming they were just the same as Mehpistopheles that has no positive goals. Very confusing. But, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, instead of crapping on your head, and understand your post to mean something along the following:

You believe in an objective "good", and that people can work towards something "positive" to them while being aware of where it falls along the objective "good" and "evil" spectrum, and not care. If I have you right, and feel free to correct me if I don't, then you are taking an awfully brave stance in support of the idea of an objective definition of "good." I personally wouldn't take that stance myself, since I think it is indefensible, but you are free to. If THAT is our point of contention, then you are right, we will have to just disagree. If it isn't, then it's back to the drawing board for you, sorry man.

and to the other guy, using second-hand anecdotes from daddy doesn't really cut the mustard in a discussion of this type. At least Randal tried... view post


ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy Discussionignorance or enlightenment ? by Iago, Candidate

since she is no longer even sure of the precise meaning of her post, claiming that we bot hit a part of it, labelling my interpretation as severely wrong, is..... wait fot it.....


wrong


and as far as the mean thing goes, I would have hoped by my posts up to date that you all could have guessed how much I care about how "mean" something is. I doubt I would even notice it at all in that regard. If you pulled off a clever burn on me that I somehow didn't deserve, I would think that is more funny than anything else. It probably would get stored in my mental database for future use. Mean = funny, even when directed againt me. The REAL reason I used mean, and I probably shouldn't have, is in reference to the movie "Payback" when mel gibson is shooting holes in the guys alligator luggage. He said that was just downright mean. Get it? shooting holes in my interpretation, me saying later gator, blah blah blah you get it now.

flame wars? isn't that a passtime of slashdot-reading 14-year-olds? Years ago me and my current GF at the time both took an online EQ test. I scored somewhere in the toddler range, and she scored marginally higher. I guess that means I have the emotional make-up to get into a "flame war" but I am done with this thread unless something more substantial then my interpretation of a post gets brought up. view post


ignorance or enlightenment ? posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy Discussionignorance or enlightenment ? by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "gierra":1779d6cr
seriously tho.. i get mad when i see old people standing on the subway and no one will offer them their seat.. but when i see informercials with starving children, i think 'ya, whatever. there's more where they came from.' am i just desensitized, is that normal, or am i cruel?[/quote:1779d6cr]

crap, didn't see this while I was bragging about how emotionally immature I am.

without knowing you, my guess is desensitized. A birds-eye (or t.v. screen) view of human suffering is easy to "get used to" for a lot of people. Were you to be brought up close and personal with their suffering, and the causes behind it, I suspect you might have a more pronounced reaction.

my HOPE though, is you are cruel. It is a lovely word, and I am as fond of it as Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons. Great movie if you haven't seen it.

and finally, you are right, there ARE lots more worthless eaters. You can't swing a cattle-prod in sub-saharan africa without shocking one of them. view post


The problem of evil posted 04 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Harrol":mf4yo2vu
Harrol wrote:
God is not whimsical at all.

are you kidding me?!? have you even seen an elephant or a sloth or a penis???


O.K. I hate saying this but what I meant was God does not make sudden rash decisions that go against everything he ever said.[/quote:mf4yo2vu]

you mean, he (god) doesn't do things like make it lawful to stone to death an adulturess, then years later in another incarnation of himself then stop people from doing what he previous told them by saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone? good point!


nah, man. I'm just messing with you. this post is a humor/joke post on my part. don't bother making an intelligent response, unless you feel the need to. I probably am not up to the task of going blow-for-blow with you regarding the whimsical nature (or not) of god, without me having to crack open the good book, which I really don't want to do.

so, if you bother to reply at all: You win. view post


The problem of evil posted 05 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

Quote: "Harrol":36tiskix
Sorry for over reacting. Next time I will tone down my response with a full scale invasion of Iago and Gierra instead of a forum response. Gierra, Iago and Barney the Dinosaur are now the axis of evil.[/quote:36tiskix]

Look, Mom, I made it! Nothing to do now but go to Disneyworld.

my spiritual benefactors will be so proud! (before they devour me, of course....) view post


The problem of evil posted 07 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Iago, Candidate

It is possible, but not very likely that I will moderate my tone a bit. I would have to look over my previous posts to be sure, but I don't think I ever claimed to be civil. I am what I am.

you wrote:

Anyway, on Mephistopeles, Lucifer, evil, good, the lot. I readily concede I do not understand what you are saying, Iago. And therefore it's entirely possible I was disagreeing with something you never said. In fact, the point of my previous two posts was to find out what you did mean. You give some interesting examples, but what is your point?


my point is what I have been saying all along. Not on Mephistopheles, Lucifer, evil, good, the lot, JUST MEPHISTOPHELES. Midgley's analysis of him is as a purely negative being, with no positive motivation towards his activities. I agree with her analysis of him, and to help others see it I included his own description of himself (as given in faust) as an "interesting example", so THAT was my point. I don't know how many times I have to say it for you to get it. You either concur with this analysis of him or you don't. Obviously you don't, so please, cite some interesting examples of your own (not hypothetical serial killers, try sticking to the source material please...) to support your view that Mephistopheles has a positive goal, if that is in fact your stance.


Next, you wrote:

For the record, my thought was that even Mephistopheles would have some sort of positive personal goal in pursuing the destruction of Doctor Faustus, otherwise the whole story wouldn't make any sense. Okay, so the story doesn't really care about Meph's motivation, and you could argue a devil WOULD pursue negativity for its own sake, but in that case it becomes rather irrellevant in a discussion about the nature of good and evil because humans aren't devils and always have some motivation, even such a simple one such as enjoying doing "evil" things. Hence my assumption in my previous post that Meph's motivation was precisely that, and therefore him being comparable to the mad serial killer who kills for the joy of killing.


Where to begin? OK, your thought that even Meph. would have some sort of positive goal in pursuing the destruction of Doctor faustus, leads me to think you have never actually read it. You are aware that Faust summoned Meph, right? If I held a rattlesnake up to my arm and it bit me, did the snake actually pursue the poisoning of me? A minor point, so let move on (don't forget you need to address the part about pursuing Neg. for it's own sake). Then you claimed that even analyzing Meph. was irrevelant in a discussion of good and evil because "humans aren't devils and always have some motivation", are you serious? Am I taking crazy pills? The other fictional devils I referenced actually DID have a positive motivation, and their purpose was something we, as humans, could at least relate to on an intellectual/academic level, if not on a personal one (not so with Meph.) And as to your reference to that favorite hypothetical serial killer of yours (please use something from the material in question, I can't keep carrying you along), even THEY are getting something positive out of the deal. The look in the eyes of the victim as they slide the knife in, or the helpless cries of their victim and resulting feeling of power over them as they violate them. Those are all positive, good things in the eyes of your serial killer. He REJECTS any view to the contrary, even though he is aware of those views. He doesn't fall short, he actually HITS THE MARK on his personal definition of good.

you wrote (attempting to "clarify" my point):


"Not every person who does evil believes himself to be good, but every person who does evil does work towards some goal he sees as positive for himself, and doesn't simply indulge in "evil" acts for their own sakes."


1. Not every person who does evil believes himself to be good (correct, mephistopheles being the only exception I am aware of)
2. but every person who does evil work towards some goal he sees as positive for himself (correct, with the exception of Meph)
3. and doesn't simply indulge in "evil" acts for their own sakes (they are NOT evil acts in his view, they are positive, good acts, even with the awareness of others labelling them evil. to HIM THEY ARE GOOD)


you wrote:


As for my point, your analysis is more or less correct. Note that I need not accept the existence of an absolute "good versus evil" axis for it to work, though. Only the person committing the "evil" act and not caring has to believe in it, and acknowledge he falls short. Whilst not caring.


If there is no absolute definition of good, then it is relative. Don't think so? then please substantiate (preferably without hypothetical serial killers...). Please keep in mind the meanings of objective and subjective while you are trying. A better way to describe the "evil" persons awareness of his actions would be to call them anti-social. He may be aware that his actions are a breach of the social contract, but not care. Again, he does not "fall short" of the "good" while doing what he does, he actually hits the mark dead on.

I'm not really cut out for teaching (or being civil), but it is beginning to feel like that is what I am doing. I am not getting anything back from you in the way of a meaningful contribution. Please make sure you understand what you are reading and aren't just replying for the hell of it. The way I see it, you have a few options: agree or not with the analysis of Meph. agree or not with the analysis of milton's satan and finally, construct a convincing arguement of the definition of an absolute moral good (making exceptions for culture is a slippery slide). Have some literary examples? great! i'd love to see them instead of having to revisit the tired old serial killer. view post


What introduced you to philosophy? posted 10 August 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat introduced you to philosophy? by Iago, Candidate

When I was young(er) my parents hadn't yet accepted that I was unparentable and were still trying to find me the "help" I needed to be well adjusted. After all the IQ testing and other bullshit, the first shrink they sent me to realized that the only way to distract me from my mean-sprited-mischief was to have me read books and then talk about them. One of the first books that I had to read (from his sessions) was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and that pretty much switched me on. Of course, he betrayed me in the end, and I had to undergo a long period of fooling a lot of smart, skeptical people about me (think Sauron and the time he spent in Numenor...), but I still credit him with turning the lightbulb on in my head.

Someday, when my hunger for money subsides a bit (so I can stop working dangerous jobs overseas), I plan on paying him a little visit. People with my specific brand of bad wiring are never really "cured", and we have long memories. view post


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