The reverse Weinberg

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Willum
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The reverse Weinberg

Post #1

Post by Willum »

As famously quoted:
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.�
Can anyone think of a way akin to religion, to get evil people to do good things?

There must be a way.

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Post #11

Post by PeterPan »

Capitalism?

There is a large field of study dedicated to the problem of getting selfish people to do good things. It's called economics.

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Re: The reverse Weinberg

Post #12

Post by mgb »

Willum wrote: As famously quoted:
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.�
Can anyone think of a way akin to religion, to get evil people to do good things?

There must be a way.
Weinberg's quote is catchy but not true. There are many things that make good people do evil. Capitalism for example corrupts people. Power corrupts. There are many ways to corrupt the good. As for the evil doing good. Yes, this happens all the time. eg often an evil politician must do good by the people if s/he is to stay in power.

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Re: The reverse Weinberg

Post #13

Post by Divine Insight »

mgb wrote: Weinberg's quote is catchy but not true. There are many things that make good people do evil. Capitalism for example corrupts people. Power corrupts. There are many ways to corrupt the good.
The problem I see here is that you are talking about people who were once good people who have become corrupted to become evil people.

Would that really qualify as good people doing evil things? I don't think so. That would simply be good people becoming evil people.

Weinberg's point is that people who are doing bad things in the name of their God believe that they are still "good" people. In other words, their "intention" is to be good. And they also believe that what they are doing is "good".

Consider the following two scenarios:

Person A truly believes that God wants them to become a suicide bomber and kill "heathens". So they strap on a bomb and go to a place where they believe heathen exist, and blow themselves up killing the people they believe to be heathens.

That is a "Good Person" doing evil things while believing that they are actually doing "Good Things" for God.

So this qualifies as a "Good Person" doing "Evil Things"

But now we have a scenario more in harmony with your point:

Person B is told that if they strap on a bomb and go out and blow up a public place and kill a specific group of people their family will receive a huge amount of money and be able to take care of themselves for the rest of their lives,

Person B accepts. However, Person B knows that they are about to do an "Evil Thing" for money. So it can't be said that they are a good person doing evil things. They have become an evil person by accepting this temptation to make a lot of money for their family that will be left behind.

That's NOT a good person doing evil things. That's a person who might have previously been a good person, but who has chosen to knowingly do an evil thing. So how can it be said that they are still a "good person"?

So people who are corrupted by money or power, are NOT good people. They have chosen to become evil people.

This would not be the case for Person A who believes the entire time that they are doing the will of God.

So only religion can cause good people to do evil things just as Weinberg had suggested.

Although, mental illness can also cause good people to do evil things.

For example, in the case of Person B, they might be thinking that by killing themselves an a bunch of strangers they are still doing what best for their family and thus doing a "good thing". But we all know that such thinking is wrong. Thus for them to think like that requires that they aren't thinking clearly. So we can truly say that if they think that killing other people to make their own family rich is mentally inferior thinking. (i.e. mentally ill).

In fact, think about that.

The only other thing that is as dangerous as religion is mental illness!

I don't think that helps the argument for religion.
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Re: The reverse Weinberg

Post #14

Post by mgb »

Divine Insight wrote: The problem I see here is that you are talking about people who were once good people who have become corrupted to become evil people.

Would that really qualify as good people doing evil things? I don't think so. That would simply be good people becoming evil people.
Many capitalists think they are doing good but are doing evil because capitalism is destructive. People in the cia and intelligence services may think they are doing good but may be doing evil. There are many systems in the world that seem to be doing good but are destructive. The invention of DDT, asbestos etc might have seemed like good things at the time. Likewise with Glysphosate/roundup etc. Politicians make 'good' decisions all the time that turn out to be bad. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is not confined to religion, as Weinberg seems to think.

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Post #15

Post by William »

PeterPan wrote: Capitalism?

There is a large field of study dedicated to the problem of getting selfish people to do good things. It's called economics.

Who can stand in the face of an economy designed to be served by, rather than to serve humans?

We even are willing to sacrifice ourselves/each other, for the sake of the said economy.

Should good people desire Parity....they need to think on how this might be achieved.

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