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← What is evil?

Philosophisches Kopfkino - short lecture on philosophy

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Showing Revision 22 created 03/20/2021 by ifb Kempten.

  1. Forget about "good as gold".
    Today it's going to get evil.
  2. But who or what is evil at all?
  3. The devil?
  4. The Illuminati?
  5. The mother-in-law?
  6. Usually evil stands for
    morally wrong decisions,
  7. a basic power influencing
    the history of the world
  8. and being the opponent of good.
  9. Meaning: where there is light,
    there is also shadow.
  10. Of course! God against the devil,
    the West against the terrorists,
  11. Aspirin against a headache ...
  12. But let's go back to
    the individual human being.
  13. Who actually defines
    what is “morally wrong”?
  14. Depending on one's ethic position,
    definitons differ significantly.
  15. According to Bible critic
    Benedict de Spinoza, evil is everything
  16. that blocks the self-assertion
    of an individual.
  17. So it's a force from outside
  18. that prevents us humans
    from developing freely.
  19. According to Kant, evil is
    an essential part of human nature,
  20. since humans are not only
    equipped with reason,
  21. but also with "empirical",
    entirely worldly needs.
  22. So the inclination to the "dark side"-
  23. has always been a part of us?
  24. His fellow Enlightenment thinker
    Rousseau sees things differently.
  25. For him, humans are born good.
  26. Only living in the community is what
    poisons them, makes them evil.
  27. So, are we actually born evil,
    or is it society that makes us evil?
  28. Nietzsche threw all of this overboard,
  29. declared "good" to be "bad",
  30. and "evil" simply to be a construct
    of Christian "slave morality.”
  31. Leibniz thoroughly examined evil.
  32. He separated it into three categories.
  33. First the malum physicum:
  34. pain, loss, loneliness, poverty...
  35. things you wouldn’t even
    wish on your worst enemy.
  36. Then Leibniz described
    the malum metaphysicum:
  37. small imperfections, breaking points
    built in by a divine hand.
  38. According to Leibniz, man himself
    can only be evil in one way -
  39. through the malum morale, the moral evil.
  40. The sin which you commit,
    when you turn away from God.
  41. In the 20th century,
    existential philosopher Karl Jaspers
  42. also divided evil within man
    into three categories.
  43. First: urges of any kind.
  44. Second: lacking will to do good.
  45. And third: the will to do evil.
  46. That is indeed interesting!
  47. Haven’t we always been
    more fascinated by Darth Vader
  48. than by Luke Skywalker
    clad in shabby eco-linen?!
  49. Regardless of your religious or
    ideological point of view -
  50. "pure" evil: killing, stealing, lying
  51. is what is bad for
    the individual and society.
  52. Yet it seems that we need evil.
  53. Good and evil are
    in a dualistic relationship.
  54. One cannot exist without the other.
  55. Otherwise, Ozzy Osborne
    would just be a doddering father,
  56. and every Hollywood film
    would begin with the happy-end
  57. and plod along without antagonists.
  58. We need evil as an antithesis
  59. in order to find our way
    in the world of ethics.