F4F: Evil

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Tagaziel, Jan 20, 2009.

Killing off humanity...

  1. As evil as it can be

  2. Cannot be rated as evil without humans

    0 vote(s)
  3. Doing a service to the universe

    0 vote(s)
  4. I beg to differ... (other)

    0 vote(s)
  1. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I was wondering (inspired by Mass Effect's Reapers), since the good/evil dichotomy is an entirely human invention, would an action that kills the entire humanity in one swift shot be considered evil?

    After all, there'd be no human present to perceive the action as evil, therefore it'd not be evil. Or would it be evil regardless of context (humans present to rate it)?
  2. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    depends on who does it and why. it's all about intentions. if a human created a device to kill all humans, including themselves, it'd be evil. they'd wipe out an entire species on purpose. maybe it'd be for the greater good though...

    if an alien race wiped us out it'd still be an evil act in our eyes, but then it depends totally on their philosophies and intentions. maybe it'd be the best thing that'd ever happened to the universe. maybe they did us a favor out of mercy. maybe the know there's more to the universe than our pathetic lives.
  3. Really? Episodes of Star Trek had better examples of pesticide than Mass Effect, but the idea of exterminating a species would suggest evolutionary favor to the violators. Usually evolutionary favor is dictated by need or progression, so pesticide of the Human race for the growth of a more evolved race would be just Darwinism. Also, to hold and grudge against it would be hypocritical for our use of animals and other lower life-forms.

    Also, if we do not resist, we would be missing the point of evolution.


    *Edit* Also be reminded that violence is just one catalyst for evolution. If the Reapers had any intelligence "Or BIOWARE had any writing skills to create conflict without plot-holes", they would have merged ala Deus Ex with organics. But instead, we have non-organic nihilistic terminators who sit and wait in the void for your destruction. OOOOOO scary bioware, but very stupid. Someone in the writing department was listening to Meshuggah and interpreting it like a highschool student.
  4. Daimyo

    Daimyo Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 26, 2007
    I recommend Orson Scott Card's Ender books for people who are interested in this particular discussion.

    Be sure to read atleast the three first books. (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide)
  5. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    Naturally I voted for the "doing a service to the universe" option.

    'Cause that's what it would be.

    Nuff said.
  6. SimpleMinded

    SimpleMinded Vault Fossil

    Jun 17, 2003
    Good call Daimyo, a great exploration by Card on the meaning behind wiping out an entire species.

    Otherwise, I can't really comment.
  7. Dracon M'Alkir

    Dracon M'Alkir Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 19, 2004
    I'd say it's evil. For despite all of humanity's shortcomings, they still managed to produce a game called Fallout; and the entire post-apocalyptic universe.

  8. Dead Guy

    Dead Guy Senate Board Director oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Nov 9, 2008
    I'd say it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Everything dies sooner or later, the matter that makes you up will make up other things until it eventually becomes energy. It seems there's a high probability that the human race and all traces of it will sooner or later disappear, due to Big Crunch, Freeze or whatever it might be.

    I'd be pissed off, but if I wasn't alive to see it myself, I couldn't give a shit (Literally? ;). I guess the end might justify the means? Is evil in the eye of the beholder?
  9. Ashmo

    Ashmo Half-way Through My Half-life

    Jul 2, 2004
    "Evil" is a silly concept. Of course it'd be evil.

    The question is whether it would be harmful.

    Killing people isn't bad because it's evil, it's bad because it's harmful. That's part of the reason military action is pretty much okay: killing people who want to harm you can be justified, but if your own citizens start killing each other, all kinds of shit could hit the fan.

    Absolutes are for religion. Real life needs case-by-case analysis.

    Of course we can still make generalisations: killing off mankind would need a pretty watertight justification.
  10. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    I voted "other".

    Killing off humanity... is a topic highly likely to make people hold forth using bad logic, bad philosophy, bad science, undefined and misused terminology.

    Like many other grand topics, of course.
  11. generalissimofurioso

    generalissimofurioso The Hole Time Orderite

    Jun 17, 2007
    Per and I think alike.

  12. iridium_ionizer

    iridium_ionizer Mildly Dipped

    Jul 24, 2007
    Killing off humanity in its entirety would be an evil act for any truly sentient species to accomplish (whether human or alien). You might be able to justify paring down the human race if they were too reckless or warmongering to other species. You might be able to justify erasing some of humanity's culture and putting them through a selective breeding program to pacify the species. Even these two options would have to be somewhat of last resort.

    However, for a civilization to actively decide to completely exterminate a species on purpose is evil. Yes, humans killing off the dodo through irresponsible hunting was evil - it would be more evil to hunt them to extinction with the knowledge of their impending extinction. The only possibility of the annihilation of all humankind not being an evil act, would be if every last human was fixed and determined to destroy another species and could not be reasoned with or halted in any manner.

    The bottom line is that we hope that all civilizations and thinking species (whether Earthly or extraterrestrial) share some common values. Valuing the happiness and lives of others (very few animal kill in the wild for fun - hunger, self-preservation, and preservation of living and future offspring are the usually motivations). Valuing knowledge and culture. Valuing the uniqueness of life (aka biodiversity).

    We may all have differences in how we prioritize those values, but we hope that these are universal and that by appealing to the cause of the greater good and applying the golden rule we can make the universe better. Of course, even if we do find an alien civilization that does share our values that doesn't make them universal. Just like you cannot disprove the existence of God, you wouldn't prove universal values by finding them elsewhere. And I suppose you might not even disprove them by not finding them in a intelligent civilization.
  13. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Just try it first out on yourself, just to be sure.

    Oh, and don't put the machine on automatic, it doesn't count if the machine does it automatically.
  14. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    One of the oldest rules in the book: Never Bet Against a Pessimist. :P

    I think it would seriously kick ass if some alien race came over here to eradicate us. And if they would tell us that it was for the good of the universe, I would help them by coming after you and you and you and you.

    And you.
  15. iridium_ionizer

    iridium_ionizer Mildly Dipped

    Jul 24, 2007
    Thanks a lot alec. You're now on my "Possible Alien Corroborator List." Yeah, in a movie that would be cool. How would that be cool if it were real life? How would that not be evil (at least from a human perspective)? And if humanity was truly such a threat to the universe and they had the technology to come all the way over here and eradicate every last one of us, why couldn't they have the technology to contain us as a threat? Or to tame us as a species?

    Just because I made mention of valuing life in my previous post doesn't mean that I wouldn't want to be prepared to defend humanity in case some "evil" alien race shows up. If we ever figure out world peace then I will be one of the people who will want to keep the nukes and reaim them into space.
  16. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Klaatu Barada Nikto.
  17. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    the act itself is unlikely to be good or evil.
    the motivations might be.

    you should add the consequences to the mix too. maybe it prevents us from totally fucking up the galaxy in the future. :)

    anyhow, does it matter? we'd all be dead anyway! ;)
  18. Kahgan

    Kahgan Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 25, 2003
    There is no such thing as "evil", it's just an abstract word created by religions to controll other humans.

    If an alien race were to eradicate humans for the good of the universe it would be neither more nor less evil than if humans were to eradicate say wolves to make the planet a safer place for alot of other spiecies.

    When we eradicate a dangerous virus, is that evil? Is it good?

    Neither, it's pretty basic survival. But humans are supplied with a sense of moral, wich makes (most of) us think twice before eradicating another spiecies.
    Plus, chances are that the said alien race are having a certain impact on the universe as well. The universe is ever-changing, nothing will ever change that fact.

    So the closest would be "cannot be rated as evil without humans", but then again, an alien spiecies is likely to have developed the term too.
  19. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    I personally believe it would be a shame myself, certainly I don't want to see humanity scoured from the universe, but good and evil are perspective.

    There are many things that were considered 'evil' in the past that aren't today simply due to perspective, whether it's evil to them is entirely up to them.

    It'd just be a shame in the end.
  20. iridium_ionizer

    iridium_ionizer Mildly Dipped

    Jul 24, 2007
    If "evil" isn't universal, then it was sure invented as a concept well before religion. You want proof. Watch more nature documentaries especially those with mammals that have a live and survive as groups. There are most definitely things that some of the animals may do that are considered unacceptable by the group. Essentially they would define evil as any action that if permitted to go on would be terribly bad for the group.

    I saw a documentary on baboons, and the males would fight each other for dominance in the group. One of the males decided that he could defend himself better if he grabbed one of the toddler baboons so that the baboon challenging him wouldn't be able to attack him (essential a child baboon shield). Now once the females of the group saw this they ganged up on this male until he let the toddler baboon down and chased him away. Note that it wasn't just the toddler's mother, but other females as well. Animals that rely on each other in social groups usually have evolved a sense of empathy, and this leads to some sort of moral code (not necessarily an absolute one) more than just a hierarchy.