Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well, I think I'm gonna have to make use of what I have.

I have been dying for a new computer, and I want a brand new one, something nice and cool, but money is always an issue, since I got a roommate, turns out he has a piece of shit OLD computer, but it happens to work, well, that was after we actually opened it up and figured out there was something disconnected, and we plugged it back to where it is suppose to be plugged into.
Anyway, I can use that, ans I will have to, just 'cause I have a really good idea in my head for a very interesting novel, and long hand is out of the question, so now, research, I need examples of good and bad people, and of good and bad situations, what is your criteria as far as what makes a good person good, and what makes a person deserve Hell ( my book has to do with religion, but no preaching though, just need layers of complexity ). So, I can use some help finding where the scale tips over, in both directions, help please.


sare said...

Hmmm... intriguing!
One of the things I hate the most is when people are 'closet' evil - you know, if you are gonna be bad, be bad - don't sugar coat it.

Negative qualities..
being 'fake'
using people for personal gain

Positive qualities...
openess (non-judgemental)
understanding - compassion


vbt said...

the really scary people are the ones that believe that they are acting for the good of humanity yet don't realize that their choices are as selfish as they can be - so they are bringing "evil" into this world believing tha they are bringing wholeness...

I had a cheeseburger today... so good... no need to puke it out - I leave that to Ann Coulter and her stupidity... See, case in point of people that are really scary: I'm sure she believes wholeheartedly she's doing America a favor, yet in reality she is a fucking idiot!!

Borrego said...

I totally agree, Anne Coulter is of no benefit to humanity, other than a reference point of how stupid and damaging a skinny white chick can be.

Mr. E said...

Hey, Ann Coulter has a nice pair o' legs, but she looks like she stole her face from a man.

Anyway, on the whole heaven and hell thing: many religions teach that "evil" persons will receive punishment at the end of their life, or even during their life. So, the definition for "hell" seems to be: "a place or state of being, where evil people are punished".

So, now, we have to define "evil". Evil, as far as I can tell, is the word you use to describe anyone who wishes to cause other people pain, or harm them, without cause (i.e., not in self-defense). Since that's a pretty broad definition, an evil person could be not just a murderer, kidnapper, torturer or rapist (or a dictator who does all four of those things), but someone who takes someone else's liberty, or someone who steals something that is valuable to another person. (Those actions "harm" other people without cause, right?) Since THOSE ideas are also broad, we have countries that chop off people's hands for stealing, to punish their definition of 'evil'. Of course, we CIVILIZED people call that 'barbarian'...or, you guessed it, "evil".

This begs the question: are there degrees of "evil"? I dunno. I sort of doubt it. I tend to think that most people who commit actions that fall within the broad definition of "evil" are misguided by the truly "evil" people in the world. Think of it this way: the world has (and has had) so many TRULY evil people, we should come up with a benchmark, and a sliding scale, maybe:

Hitler: the most evil person to ever live (or one of them).
Stalin: No. 2 on the evil list.
Lenin: pretty bad. He influenced both Nos. 1 and 2 (Hitler's Nazi party was sort of a response to Communist ideas), so, maybe, that could make him even evil-er?
Ann Coulter: an annoying blow-hard (not truly evil, just influenced by evil).

So, there's our benchmark for true evil. Now, if we want to build a scale from 1 to 10... do we need a benchmark for "least evil", or "most virtuous"? You know, the person who you could be a "1" on the scale. If we go with "least evil" at the "1" spot, we'd have to choose Ann Coulter, because, as far as I know, she hasn't killed, raped, tortured, kidnapped, or imprisoned anyone -- even indirectly.

I dunno the answer to that, as the whole idea of evil, for the most part, is completely subjective. Heck, I'm beginning to think that all that crap I just wrote IS 'evil' -- it's giving me a huge headache!

jomiel said...

One of the best qualities about fiction is its blurriness between good and bad.

A couple of perspectives if you haven't already considered them:
(1) The person views himself as well-meaning and good, but it doesn't match up to how other people see him. This could be general (Crime and Punishment comes to mind) or only in a specific instance (generous to community but beats his wife).
(2) Everyone has good and bad qualities, quirks, habits, and histories. Each person also has different criteria for good and bad. To a Buddhist--no kill. To some Christian sects--believe in Christ and everything will follow.

I'd love to hear more about your writing project :D

jomiel said...

(3) Conflicting interests and perspectives. Consider the following people in the situation: (a) the man who steals bread to feed his family, (b) the baker who sells bread to feed his family, (c) the policeman who maintains public order, (d) the king who must see justice and greater good. Or even just the simple interactions between adults and children. Kids have a very different approach to life and reasoning.
(4) Blurry situation for morals. Best intentions, worst possible outcomes. A witty remark and the person being ridiculed doesn't even have the understanding to know he's the butt of the joke. Decisions made in necessity or ignorance (maiden delivered as sacrifice to appease the gods, German living in WWII times, a man holding his brother's murderer at gunpoint). Or maybe a completely hard decision--like the end of Flowers for Algernon--the main character decided he'd rather accept stupidity in peace than grasping to fleeting intelligence and the accompanying cynicisms.