Reading a bit about Hannah Arendt's article/report on Adolph Eichmann makes me wonder, not only can one do evil without being evil, but does the opposite hold true: can one do good without being good?
Additionally to that, are people inherently good, evil or neutral?
Does this change over time?
If so, is it only when view through the lens of history or through societal changes?
For the love of the pursuit of knowledge
Thanks for the feedback
Interesting ideasPurple Knight wrote:I would say those who are moral are good, and those who are good are moral. So I think they're the same.Menotu wrote:Is morality the same as good?
Or are they different?
There's a slight difference in that moral more often describes actions, and good describes a person's (for lack of a better word) alignment.
But I'm pretty convinced that a good person's actions are moral specifically because a good person is doing them, just as an evil person's actions are immoral because an evil person is doing them.
The idea of alignment comes from Dungeons and Dragons. If your character is good, but you choose for your character to go around raping and murdering people (immoral actions) you will shift to evil.
This fails to describe the real world because the character's alignment and the player's alignment may be different. The player is capable of immoral acts perhaps because he himself is not pure good. So if he plays out his own desires and motivations, his character's alignment will become like his own.
In the real world, however, each person is singular and it's not possible for him to have motivations that are completely external to him. It could seem that way, if someone else has control over him somehow, but it will never be that way.
Thus, if a pure good person rapes and murders, there will be some purely good motivation for that (religious doctrine for example), and the action won't be immoral. The action will change in the hands of the pure to a righteous one.
This is exactly what gives people trouble who are trying to be good, because they assume that they can become good by imitating moral actions. They may see a person punching a Nazi or shouting down a heretic (moral actions if done by a good person) and imitate, only to discover that the action, in evil hands, becomes sullied and evil. So the person never becomes good, despite often trying harder than those who are naturally good, and they become frustrated.
This is why the world has two schools of thought about bullying evil. The PC school of thought says that evil people are evil and must be punched. The conservative school of thought generally holds that people should be allowed to be evil.
Both schools of thought are wrong. But it is necessary to have both so that the evil person can be judged by whichever school of thought has his action as immoral. Basically, the duplicity maintains a lie that holds society together: Do right, and you will be righteous. Without this lie, evil people would stop trying and the world would be a much worse place.
Thanks for the feedback