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A question may be posed: what evidence do a person look for in order to qualify either a statement or a deed to be deemed ‘good or evil’? Such critical thought has often eluded even the most regarded minds in a society! Of course it is not criminal offence to dig into such petty questions, but it may prove prudent to be well versed with some of these insignificant issues. Through them, definitions and solutions have been found. What I mean in this argument is that majority of people are certainly not aware of the meanings of the subject matter. They can only come up with techniques of measuring good and evil.
The definition can be broadly anchored on several perspectives. It can be looked on religious grounds, ethical ways and intellectual dimensions. Both the religious and ethical perspectives dwelt on the mere morals and personal behavior. The intellectuals such as philosophers define them with sophisticated scientific terms. They refer to it as the object spectrum located on linear path which entails behaviors or desires. This group goes ahead to confirm that the concept of the word ‘good’ is broad, but specifically is associated with life. The events they associate with good include: charity, love, happiness and prosperity.
Evil is being connected to undesirable thought; which may be implemented with the sole intention of causing harm mentally, physically or even spiritually to the targeted victim. Acts of insubordination, destructive behavior and abusive languages are associated with this vice. Philosophers define evil as an ingredient causing disorder in any social set-up. Religious and ethical perspectives see it as unacceptable morals and behaviors in a community. Close scrutiny of the three perceptions show no wide difference; only the intellectual view tends to go further. This is because philosophers tend to give an academic approach in an attempt to define the words. They have studied Meta-Ethics and went ahead with advanced normative approaches.
The primary objective of religion emergence such as Christianity; was to cultivate and inculcate acceptable morals in a society. The behavior of any individual in a community is expected to be ‘good’. Religious and ethical perspectives are deemed to have simply looked at the end product whilst dealing with these words. Intellectual perspective is viewed to have made attempt in defining the word by observing both the results and the origin. This is a very deep scenario, which mainly involves thorough research!
The definition of the two words takes a twist in trying to classify them as either subjective or objective items. Surely when observed from such perspective then identity becomes the most challenging issue to deal with. One wonders where on earth‘good or evil’ exist. The only way to answer such a question is to try associating the two adjectives with their physical features, but they are non-visual! They are intangible and therefore cannot be seen as objects. The reference of being subjective was an attempt by philosophers and other intellectuals to get to the origin of the words.
Let’s look at the word ‘good’ and its distinct meanings. ‘Good’ is used as an adjective. It is subjective in nature. The same word is used as an object; for example, ‘business commodity’. It takes this reference despite being intangible item! These are some of the views that make understanding of the meanings quite challenging and untenable. On the other hand, the word ‘bad’ don’t have twin meanings, but could be identified with sound to mean the ‘flying creature’, ‘bird’.
Theories regarding ‘good and evil’ were started with an interest to explain the true identity, origin and purpose of the used terms. Some of these examples include: perfectionism, transcendental realism and theory of welfare others are subjective and objective theory of well being. There are also mid-range and agent-centered theories. The Lesser goods and agent-external theories forms part of the stories developed with a view to explain the term ‘good’.
Originality of this concept is traced from the ancient people of Greek and Latinos. The term ‘good’ was first pronounced to mean desirable values or quality in terms of human nature. This was to mean upright morals and ethics. The intellects further divided this into two meanings, the descriptive and the normative ways of identifying things. The descriptive mainly involve research; trying to evaluate how people respond to what they have come across. It also details the actual view of what people consider to be ‘good or evil’. The normative one is like culture which is anchored in principle. It abhors evil, but has a soft-landing for things exhibiting desirable out-comes.
In Christianity, the supreme creator, God is regarded as ‘good’, while his perceived nemesis, Satan is seen as ‘evil’. Why? The explanation here can be seen to be associated with their presumed characters. God ‘created’ the Universe, put life in it and cared for his creation. Likewise, Satan is perceived as the cause of all misfortunes bedeviling human life; hence an enemy. The latter is therefore evil.
Just a minute, how did the term ‘evil’ come to be known as ‘bad’? If so, who coined such a name and why? Such are some of the intriguing questions that come across the minds of thinkers in a society. The so called intellectuals (philosophers) could have started in this manner while trying to come up with their view-point versions.
Finally, after being keen on the two definitions and characteristics, it can be concluded that, the identity and usage of the term ‘good and evil’ has a wide range of view. It’s therefore not conclusively expounded as per the expectations, though the few items gathered helped a lot in trying to give the definition of the topic.