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The "goal" of evil

 
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:49 pm    Post subject: The "goal" of evil Reply with quote

I have this idea that moral memes pseudo-coordinate the activities of people over space and time, and that if the "evil" meme were a person, so to say, it would have a "goal" of some kind. So the flow of history as inspired by these memes and their work would form a sort of story...

Now, the subsets of the "goal" are corruption and destruction. That is, the motive of evil is to either change an object from good to evil, or to destroy good objects altogether. This is not to say that there is a being out there, a Satan, trying to do this, but rather that whenever individual people do evil, they operate on some level off one of these motives. Anyway, though, mental corruption is the basic form of the problem, and assuming that these problems involve priorities (as with Rawls' lexical order or Kant's inverted maxims), let's suppose the essential error is to put the concepts of the good and the right out of order. That is, this is the first step in one's ethical reasoning that one can take, and if one takes the wrong step...

Let us suppose further, however, that making the concept of good depend on the concept of evil, or using the concept of evil first in one's moral logic, or whatever along this line, would represent a sort of abstract victory on the part of the meme-personification of evil. To keep making what might seem to be otherwise unmotivated assumptions: let's say then that you tried to define a kind of hedonism where an object's having value (the good) depends on whether and how much we are willing to suffer in exchange for it. That is, the concept of suffering is used to define moral value in opposition thereto. But since the concept of the right in this case has been subjected to the concept of the good, and the good defined negatively, in this case evil would have achieved its "mental" "goal," in whosoever believed such a thing. That is, the "goal of evil" is to get people to invert the priority of the right over the good, and then to invert the priority of good over evil, as concepts (which secondary inversion, or perversity, is not possible without the prior malignment).
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy

Ok this might be completely beyond my capability to understand .. do we not first need to have a common understanding of what good right and evil are?

And memes? Are you talking about actual memes (pics with titles) or are you referring to something else?

I apologise in advance for my questions ..

And intent? Are we assigning intent to a thing? i.e. wants to corrupt, or are we assigning intent to the creator of the meme .. which ok

So intent because we have introduced the "goal" or objective of the 'meme'?

I must admit I am a more black and white thinker - not great with abstract ..

"Moral memes psuedo-coordinate the activities of people over space and time" the internet? somewhere else?

"If the meme is a person" ... losing me a bit - so looking for help here... "it would have a goal" .. wouldn't it be simpler to look at the creator of the meme?



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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A meme is a postulated unit of information, like a gene. Memes on the Internet are when these units "go viral" and propagate their "RNA" if you will. However, memes are firstly cognitive things, in theory, so they primarily exist as special information loops in people's minds. Someone communicates the loop to someone else, whose mind replicates the loop, and so on and on.

So, if ethical information can also form these loops, and since these loops regularly refer to personal scenarios and situations, things having to do with intentions and desires, the memes sometimes "look like" intentional persons themselves. Evil (or wrongness or whatever) can then be represented as if it were a person, and on the assumption that the "meme of evil in itself" influences the course of history, then each person in each era who is influenced, to the extent that they know of this influence overall, will conduct themselves (if only subconsciously or implicitly) according to the historical coordination of all such agents' participation in evil. For example, let us suppose that one of the reasons utilitarianism became influential in America to the extent that it did (and it did!) was because a utilitarian-style argument was often used to defend a certain terrible historical act of the American government's. But inasmuch as utilitarianism is incomplete or misguided, especially in a negative hedonistic form, people in the post-argument period would feel a subtle mental pressure to develop this theory further away from the truth, so that the meme would "evolve" from its quasi-utilitarian state to a worse one, and so on and on.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If any meme has a goal, surely that goal is the same for all memes. Mere propagation. Like a virus, an idea (or thought) is surely amoral. It's only in the application that it comes to develop a moral or ethical gradient.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The evil-meme doesn't need to propagate in general, though. If it comes from concepts preloaded in the mind, then only the particulars of its expression (individual "evil" events/acts in history) need to be "reimagined" as part of the "goal," that is the precursor concepts are already there, and when certain people at certain times learn of prior expressions of the precursors, those expressions assume a mimetic form, as something to motivate further expressions along the same line. (That is, the meme of evil evolves, and as it does so it incorporates more and more historical contingency into its "goal," to "trick" people into thinking that it has a special goal that is more than a retroactive summation of what has already taken place, maybe.)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a meme is a gene, all genes "need" to propagate in the sense that it's their only purpose and function.

Pre-loaded? By whom?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one,* it's more like it's just in the form or structure of the mind. The universe writes and executes a code of some sophistication, but this is nothing more purposive than the automatic workings of a celestial algebra, I might suppose...

But anyway as genes evolve, they do not propagate their prior identity but an evolutionary one. This is transpecies in nature, then, maybe. Likewise, moral memes fluctuate in response to the emotions and choices of history but there is a core range of functions on (for) these memes. This flux, juxtaposed with that fixture Razz gives us a "storyline" for events that occur in/over time, one with "characters" who "change." But the story comes from inside us at least as much as it in any way comes from outside also.

*EDIT: Even supposing that there is a Creator, it does not follow that God is the intrinsic author of the story alone. He is (would be), let us suppose, the ultimate protagonist (and antagonist...?) of the universal narrative. However, God could not arbitrarily obligate people to do this or that, but could only create them as beings with the power of obligation in themselves as well. Accordingly, Although God would hereof be said to be "the one" Who programmed moral concepts into us, this would be no different to say than that God programmed all other programmable things besides. This assertion, however pious, would not serve to explain what the programming in question is and, moreover, since it is amenable to a simultaneous evolutionary explanation (to some extent), would not even provide a scientifically useful description of the programming's origins. That is, if we wanted to know what natural process God used to program these things, we would still end up explaining the process in an evolutionary context (at the very least).

EDIT 2: Part of the problem has to do with the logic of action, the nature of collective action, etc. The occurrent suggestion is that individuals are jointly acting if and only if they are acting on the basis of a shared meme (with a relevant role in behavior). If these memes harken back to a meta-meme abstracted into the neurochemistry of the mind, then sometimes people subconsciously participate in this metanarrative constructed inside the ethical perspective. This causes them to frame their activity as expressive of some kind of continuity with others across history, as when many European regions tried to legitimate their emergent nationalism by appealing to legends of being founded by survivors of the Trojan War or otherwise tied to the inheritance of Rome (the translatio imperii). So from the abstract perspective, the behavior of people that is based on these subconscious continuities, looks like the enacted will of the "characters" in the "story," that is the "characters" act through us, if you will. (So ethical logic would be like the logic of a game, a game where we are playing as characters who are defined to be playing as us also.)

EDIT 3:

But the further idea, then, is that in every generation, the archetype/hypermeme of evil "knows" the events of history that are known to each generation that has yet come, so when the program "boots up" inside future generations' minds, it automatically collates all the information about history that it has as such, and frames it in terms of the evolution and enaction of the memes in question. Supposing that the hypermeme has a complex enough structure, there will presumably be a set of particularly complex functions on it, such that some abstract instances of the concept of evil will embody the motivational paradigm of this concept (that is, the forms of motivation generally produced by the application of this concept to experience) and thus resemble a "goal" or "end-state" for the application of the mimetic concept and its offspring ideas. Any progress towards this "goal" will be incorporated into the hypermeme's historical collation, thus subconsciously giving rise to possible roles for people throughout history, to contribute in some way or other (as per their station in life or whatever) to the progress or regress, such as it may be.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think "evil" exists only in the sense of actions which unnecessarily harm others, and as such, arise more from the selfishness / greed / etc. of individuals than from anything else.

So, while morality per se is a meme, I'm not sure that "evil" is, except perhaps in the sense that we are conditioned to think of specific things as evil or good.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the goal of evil is to make us do harmful stuff to other or just to be mean.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LadyAndrea wrote:
I believe the goal of evil is to make us do harmful stuff to other or just to be mean.


Due to the complexity of moral psychology, it is not always easy for people to readily do the worst. They have to make specific cognitive mistakes that affect their motivation, emotional mistakes that affect their cognition, and so on, there are many abstract variables involved---so if the abstract motive of evil is to have concrete expressions, it needs to mediate itself (so to speak) with a concrete form of representation. A peculiar variant of hedonism (though not all forms) seems, in my eyes, to my relevant to this process.

Now, when we think of overly selfish or narcissistically tyrannical people or whatever, we often think of their attitude as evil/wrong/foolish(ish)/etc. If we also have a tendency to personify/anthropomorphize abstractions, then we might naturally (enough) do this to "evil in itself," which we would then be open to describe as also "self-absorbed," seeking to exalt itself over all other concepts. But since the concept of good is metaphysically/substantially prior to that of evil, defining "thou shalt" after "thou shalt not" would be a sort of abstract "victory" for the personification of evil (in our minds). However, to achieve this victory, "evil in itself" has to pair itself, and good, with two other opposed concepts, in my theory pleasure/happiness and pain/sadness, and then "convince us" that suffering is more fundamental than satisfaction.
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