|Absolute Good vs. Absolute Evil.|
(Satan before the Lord,
Back to the original question, since the dawn of time philosophers have been trying to find a meaningful answer to this pivotal issue.
According to Plato the eternal verities, the Ideas or Ideals, are comprehended by dialectic in the light of the Idea of the Good.
|Plato and Aristotle,|
(Palazzo Altemps, Rome)
To sum up,
Intuitivism: Moral concepts can’t be defined through experience and reason, they are conceived intuitively as self-evident verities (intuitive awareness of value that our ethical knowledge is based on).
'A plant, an animal, the regular order of nature — probably also the disposition of the whole universe — give manifest evidence that they are possible only by means of and according to Ideas; that, indeed, no one creature, under the individual conditions of its existence, perfectly harmonizes with the idea of the most perfect of its kind — just as little as man with the idea of humanity, which nevertheless he bears in his soul as the archetypal standard of his actions; that, notwithstanding, these ideas are in the highest sense individually, unchangeably, and completely determined, and are the original causes of things; and that the totality of connected objects in the universe is alone fully adequate to that Idea.'
Why indeed do we age, get ill and die?
Why can crocodiles (apart from their obvious superiority to us in physical qualities), parrots and tortoises live more than 100 years without showing any visible signs of aging, and sequoias up to 4000 years bordering on immortality, while humans take forever to grow up and start to wither shortly afterwards at about 25? Isn’t it humiliating?
Why do most of our inventions contaminate the environment and ultimately prove harmful to ourselves?
Man is designed to be mortal — a sort of glass seiling that, no matter what we do, will never let us be anything other than vulnerable animals. And we haven't found the Tree of Life so far.
Although difficult to categorise some concepts are universal truths — granted, sometimes the boundaries between right and wrong are blurred — nevertheless, while in essence something may be considered absolute evil, in practice individual cases can be justifiable, inevitable, forgivable or lesser evil. For example, burglary, mugging, larceny, embezzlement and the like can be arguably justified, if a person commits them out of hunger or similar circumstances, but should be regarded as iniquitous when perpetrated out of pure greed. However, that doesn't change the (negative in this case) nature of the deed in itself. Note that "absolute" doesn't mean the extreme degree, but rather positivity of the quality of being good or evil.
Absolute Good and Evil is a point of reference for each individual case, a moral being’s lodestar, an ideal mathematical abstraction of the real world.
Still, individual cases should be judged by approximations of absolutes, rather than by absolutes themselves.
Absolute verities aren’t conceived, but perceived ideas – the hidden essence of the universe. Precisely the belief in absolute truths should make us question conventionalities, societal norms and laws.
As a matter of fact it’s comforting to believe there is no such thing as absolute good and evil — deep down, those who profess this belief feel they can't live up to such high standards and instead seek to get rid of or abolish the Damoclean sword of the sense or concept of guilt and retaliation in kind. That’s what made Communism so attractive to the uncultured masses:
Far be it from me “to set myself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge” — my “absolutes” might well prove to be mere illusion someday — but that’s what I make of this world.
In the realm of relative morality all values are relative as well, there’s no justice or injustice, but different viewpoints. Anyway, what use is morality? After all, animals have survived without it for millions of years and will probably outlive us.
Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949)
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