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  So, You're Evil?
General Thelema Posted by Nexist on February 04, 2001 @ 04:43 PM
from the assume-the-perdition dept.

This article appeared originally in The Gnostic Times, the official Journal of the Queen of Heaven Lodge, OTO in Portland Oregon.

It happens every so often. Some neo-goth, death metal, modern primitive wannabe begins to go off on just how he is so gosh darn evil. How quaint -- or it would be, if it weren't so common.

In and of itself, "Evil" is quite the quaint concept. Now I understand that the artificial, and at times arbitrary, division of actions into beneficent and malefic is a perfectly natural and understandable phenomenon. The extrapolation of these divisions onto the social unit is the next logical step, and if they are suitably expansive, they prove beneficial to the furtherance of the human species, or at least that group of humans. Please note that we have not yet encountered "Evil," although we are getting very close. It is only when these socially convenient classifications are ascribed some sort of cosmic mythological authority does "Evil" truly begin to exist.


Let us come back to our little poseur friend. The thing I notice the most about his infliction upon my presence is the copious amount of oxygen that he is wasting by virtue of his lengthy, yet ultimately trite and boring, exposition on just how evil he really is. I am especially fond of the frequent assertions that he liberally interjects into the monologue. "I am so evil," he repeats, as if the reiteration would make it so -- just as it was promised in that book he found in the discounted New Age book bin. Far from convincing, this babbling fool forcibly brings to mind the phrase "He protesteth too much." His self-doubt and uncertainty are shining forth from beneath his bravado, reminiscent of the works of the Marquis de Sade. If the good Marquis truly believed in his inalienable right to engage in acts of sadism, why are we subjected ad nauseam to his endless intellectual justifications over and over? Who is he trying to convince, his reader (of whom he would be unsure even existed) or himself, who -- if not for his novel and titillating predilections -- would have been the only reader of his rather uninteresting prose.

"Evil" (I am going to drop the quotes from this point on) came into being during the prehistory of our species. Back then it was very simple. Those acts that placed into jeopardy the social unit (be it family, tribe, what-have-you) were evil. As the unit took precedence over the individual, evil was dealt with in a very straightforward and pragmatic manner. The offending party was removed, either by ostracization or (considered preferable to the mindset of the time) extinction.

As society developed, its customs and mores became more intricate. As many of these customs were built around sympathetic magical practices designed to promote the welfare of the group, they too assumed the same mantle of prohibition as did direct acts against the welfare of the unit. To offend the spirits being propagated by the custom, or appeased by the more, became synonymous with directly sabotaging the activity governed by that spirit -- i.e., to offend the corn goddess was equated with trampling the fields, and to anger the fire god was equal to burning down the village. As the social unit is formed to protect its members from vagaries and predation, the preservation of the unit is more important than the welfare of one of the members in that unit, so long as the other members are protected or otherwise benefit. Over time, the first priority -- to which all were either in service or a distant second -- became the preservation of the social unit1. To violate the customs or mores of the social unit was rightly perceived as an attack upon the social unit as a whole, and thus "Evil". It is important to note the change from the social unit serving its members into the members existing solely to preserve the social unit2.

So, where does the above model leave us Thelemites, burdened by the dead weight of irrelevant moralisms heralding back to a far different sociopolitical environment, and heroically struggling to erect the framework from which a Thelemicly-oriented Society can develop3? What is Evil, and how does it relate to the Thelemite or to Thelema in general? Since Thelema recognizes the individual as the primary component unit (rather than the Isisian Tribe or Osirian Hierarchy), Evil is not even a relevant term to a Thelemite. In order to be evil, one must work against the Social unit to which one belongs. Until a Thelemite joins a social group, that Thelemite is incapable of committing true evil. Maintenance of this pre-fall consciousness is no more complicated than the total eschewment of any other being & an adamant refusal to interact with society.

Unfortunately, Homo Sapiens Sapiens has evolved from animals which preferred the security of forming packs4. This evolutionary path is a biological component of our genetic makeup, driving us -- except when sublimated -- into forming associations with others of our species for propagation, protection and sustenance. Also, we seem to crave interaction on an intellectual level as well. Being the only species capable of cognition5, we are driven to find and interact with those capable of stimulating our cognitive abilities, a need stimulated perhaps by our affinity for speech. Further, it is most probable that we seek communion with others on a spiritual level, demonstrated by the banding together of people to form spiritual associations such as churches, fellowships, temples, cults, magickal orders and spiritual communes; or forming pseudo-spiritual associations based on things such as Communism, Fascism, or any of the various Philosophies purporting to address the spiritual nature (or lack thereof) of man. With all of these factors, is it any surprise that human beings are fairly driven to form social units, and thus open themselves up to the possibility of evil?

"Not me!" some of you no doubt cry. I empathize, truly I do. Our society is not without its flaws, nor are we ever asked whether we wish to join or not, nor are we provided with any alternatives to the system in which we were born. However, unless one does as Theodore Kaczynski6 one is a member of society. If one is reading this article, it is a safe bet that one is a member of this society, flawed that it is.

"How did this happen?" seems the next logical question to our idealistic non-conformist outsider. There are two types of assent, tacit and implicit. Few of us tacitly chose to enter the society in which we find ourselves immersed for a majority of our existence. We have implicitly assented, as we partake of the benefits which society provides us. Things such as electricity, running water, sewage and trash disposal, clothing and foodstuffs; or the services such as paved roads, healthcare, public transit, haircuts, schools, libraries, the Internet and magazine publishing companies. Once given, it can only be severed via an act of evil. Small evils will result in an ostracization that aids in the maintenance of one's position outside of society7, greater evils result in correspondingly greater punishments8. Now some of us, and I would guess a large percentage of the readers of this magazine, concurrently belong to another social unit, one which they tacitly assented to join, and thus placed themselves under the customs and mores of said unit9. Fortunately, the new crop of organizations available tends to be imbued with the 93 Current, and thus respect the sanctity of the individual.

Once we enter a social group, we become subject, of our own free accord, to its definitions of what comprises "Good" and what constitutes "Evil" preexistent within the social unit. In this instance, and, as best I can tell, only in this instance where a Thelemite enters into social unit, does the concept of evil become relevant. Fortunately, the implicit social order to which we belong is large, slow and unwieldy. They may be everywhere, but they aren't quite sure where that is. Typically, it is too busy keeping itself moving in a semi-viable manner to concern itself with punishing any but the most severe or blatant digressions into those areas considered evil by our implicit social order but are either condoned or dismissed by our chosen social unit (Thelemic or Thelemite Groups). Thus we can work to modify or abolish the implicit unit so that it might be supplanted by the new model10. We can engage in the ultimate good of our chosen and preferred, all the while committing the most heinous acts in the eyes of the old order, eyes which are closed unless some fumble raises it from its stupor. This is what I consider the Ultimate Evil within the Thelemic context, though by Thelemic standards, it is the Ultimate Good. Old Æonic institutions may use the Devil or "lack of patriotism" to explain why they call us evil, but these are mere covers for the real reason. We have the ability to subvert or destroy the social system on which they feel provides for their survival.

"Seek now those motions which sow for humanity the seeds of death as they harvest for you the bounty of life"11

Perhaps it is just me, but in light of all this, our "evil friend" is incredibly boring, verging on insignificance. His assertions of his evil, justified by tales of sexual escapades and drug use, merely serve to strengthen the existing system and its oppressive mores by reinforcing them and granting them validity through their carefully choreographed violation. The Fundie cheating on his tax returns is more evil than he, for the Fundie has harmed the system by withholding funds needed for its functioning. Death poser probably would space on paying taxes if he worked enough to owe any, thus providing the system with his refund to utilize in our oppression. Even if our 'lil evil dude' weren't validating the system through his posturing, I do not find anything intrinsically evil about sexual activity or drug use12. Some aberrations, such as pedophilia, I find repellent. Rather than being evil, these acts are utilized to justify the system, to lend credence to its statements that it must impose its laws and regulations upon us in order to protect us from such dangerous elements. Then again, I do not subscribe to the notion that these entities are purposely engaging in their acts; rather they are like rabid dogs. A rabid dog is not evil, it is sick. For our safety and out of compassion for the diseased animal, it is put down. Here we broach a few common, but nevertheless important ideas on the nature of evil: the subjective nature of evil, and whether someone who is insane can rightly be considered evil.

First, let us tackle the easier of the two. Easier not because of the concepts being addressed are inconsequential, but easier because most have had the pleasure of being introduced to the argument, often many times13. In a nutshell, we have two social groups, the wolves and the sheep. There is also an implicit order imposed by the wolves based upon their predation of the sheep. The argument discusses one act, the killing of a sheep by a wolf that then brings it to his pack. From the wolves' perspective, the wolf is a hero who has provided sustenance for the unit, thus helping to ensure its survival. From the perspective of the sheep, the wolf is a villain striking the poor sheep and carrying him off, thus endangering (to some extent) the survivability of the group. Now if this were two human groups rather than anthropomorphized examples erroneously ascribed the concepts of 'good' or 'evil,' the sheep group would desire to inflict punishment upon the first group for its evil act. Unfortunately, the sheep are on the wrong end of this typical implicit order14, though it would be rather interesting to see a bunch of armed sheep "making those damn wolves pay."

By virtue of repetitious exposure, we have pretty much accepted or rejected this illustration based upon our feelings regarding the existence of "something" which stands as an absolute guide on Good & Evil, our convictions on the nature of the universe vis-à-vis chaos & order, bias due to the misuse common presenters of this example engage, or just a rejection of anthropomorphizing animals to explain difficult and complex human issues. The last one probably carries the most weight, as animals are intrinsically amoral15 and are incapable of evil. If an animal deviates from the good of the group, it is typically due to biological or psychological impairment. This segues nicely into the next topic.

If a person is truly insane they are incapable of being evil, for they are not consciously choosing to engage in evil acts. To their deranged minds, they are acting properly. This is not meant to stand as an excuse or justification for the actions of the dangerously insane. The main priority of any social unit is to protect & preserve its members16. If a being poses a danger to the well being of the unit, in part or whole, then the unit is required to act in such a way as to eliminate the threat17.

No discussion of evil would be complete without touching upon the Thelemic baddies, the Black Brotherhood18. As illustrated above, and based upon Crowley's writings on the subject, the Black Brotherhood is truly evil in a Thelemic context.

A Black Brother starts out as does any other aspirant on the path of knowledge. They seek to gain control of their subtle bodies, and the subtle energies related thereto. They prepare for the confrontation with the guardian of the Abyss, Choronzon, whereby they will cross the Abyss and achieve union with their Holy Guardian Angel. The difference is that a black brother, after facing Choronzon, balks in surrendering their perishable ego as a sacrifice to the Abyss. Rather than accept the new perfect bodies of light19, they reject the eternal embrace of the divine and the fulfillment of their True Will. In essence they reject the very fiber of their being. They "sin" against themselves, against their divine nature20, and thus doom themselves to mortality & death.

Having rejected the resurrection, the new black brother attempts to replace his loss with his old imperfect self. The torment21 of the black brother is rooted in their rejection of the quintessence of their being. Their "sin against the Holy Ghost" has set them against themselves, "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."22 To revitalize their decaying selves, and to stave off the inevitable for a few minutes longer, the black brother, devoid of his natural sustenance23, turns to predation. It is at this point that the black brother moves from an object of pity and contempt into a force of evil.

In the shame of their failure, in the pain of their hunger, and in the desolation of their isolation from the divine they prolong their inevitable destruction by rending the fabric of the society they once embraced. Generating pain and failure to cover their own, they select their prey and sabotage the proper working of its mind-body-soul complex so as to ease their predation. In this way too, the Black Brotherhood sets itself doubly against one of the primary principles of Thelema24 "So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will" AL I:42. First by denying their only right: to do their will. Second by actively interfering with another's right to do their will, by doing that which no other shall do, saying "nay". The joke is on them, for in this battle the Thelemites have god on their side. "I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them." AL III:3.


Footnotes

  1. This tendency warrants an essay of its own. An excellent, if dated, book on the topic is "The Greening of America" by Charles A. Reich (ISBN: 0517886367).
  2. Now, I am the first to admit that I am not a professional anthropologist, so I feel that I should take this moment to elaborate on the model presented above. First and foremost, it is a hypothesis that condenses the entire sociopolitical evolution of Homo Sapiens Sapiens into two paragraphs. There are bound to be elements missing, as well as a possibility for error. However, the lack of Historical validity (it is just far too short) does not impair the Mythic validity inherent in the model presented, nor does it detract from its usability as a backdrop for fleshing out the "why" of modern conditions -- much in the same manner that some valid analysis has arisen from the Mythic story of the Matriarchy in Neo-Pagan/Feminist circles. I shall endeavor to only provide useful correlations and not pander to my own sociopolitical agenda, a problem confounding those same circles. Anyhow, this model is still under development, and as time allows and interest remains, it shall be expanded upon until either it is proven incorrect, unwieldy or un-useful.
  3. Ideas about precisely what the phrase "Thelemicly-oriented society" means has fueled many a debate and could conceivably fill several articles. Fortunately, such is beyond the scope of the current article.
  4. I realize it is shorthand, but I refer to any group of carnivores or omnivores as a pack, and a group of herbivores as a herd.
  5. Though I concede that it may be that other species just do not want to talk to us.
  6. Sans the mail bombs, of course (you do remember the Unibomber, right?). Though it could be argued that Ted wasn't totally divorced, as he utilized his social contract to enable him to mail his bombs and thus commit evil acts.
  7. One has no choice. One cannot rejoin, short of some convincing and supplicative plea for forgiveness.
  8. Though seldom does such punishment result in death anymore. It is a far crueler punishment to rob someone of their dignity and freedom so as to cause them to yearn for a death that is forbidden by years of conditioning (suicide).
  9. E.g., the Rules & Regulations of the Order, the Laws of the Coven, etc.
  10. Which in turn will be replaced in the future by another model so as to further the socio-spiritual evolution of the human species.
  11. From the song "After Tomorrow" on "Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God" by Current 93.
  12. I will grant that these activities can lead to subversion, especially Psychedelics and non-standard sexual activities.
  13. Unfortunately, our evil friend, or a clone, typically introduces the argument to justify his or her own jerkish behavior.
  14. Typically, implicit orders are based upon, or facilitate, predation in some form.
  15. One could also argue that animals are intrinsically good, as they automatically engage in the right action for the preservation of their social unit.
  16. Old Æonic social units protect their members in order to preserve its viability. A unit without any members ceases to exist. New units, even if susceptible to this corruption, tend to not have fallen prey to this problem.
  17. Death is more humane than lengthy incarceration (even if on psychotropic drugs), far more inexpensive and guaranteed to be permanent. The dangerously insane should not be supported at the expense of society. However this is not an article on proposed modifications to the penal code.
  18. I honestly despise the antiquated color based naming scheme utilized here, but an easily recognizable alternative escapes me.
  19. This brings to mind Revelations 20:6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
  20. Is it not said in Matthew 12:31, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
  21. Revelations 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
  22. Mark 3:25, but it should be read with verses 23-26, "And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end."
  23. Their Soul.
  24. Normal caveats apply vis-à-vis doctrinal interpretation of verses.


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    Re: Union with HGA?
    by Tau Aleph on Monday February 05, @10:23AM
    93 Nexist,

    I don't have much to say about the article in general, but in the first paragraph about the "Black Brothers", you state:

    They prepare for the confrontation with the guardian of the Abyss, Choronzon, whereby they will cross the Abyss and achieve union with their Holy Guardian Angel.

    This shows a serious misunderstanding with respect to the nature of the K&C of the HGA, and also the nature of the event known as the Crossing of the Abyss.

    The K&C of the HGA is an event which is associated with Tipharah. It is not the equivalent of "Enlightenment", but simply the establishment of a communication channel with one's "Holy Guardian Angel" (whatever that actually is).

    In One Star in Site, Crowley states that the Adeptus (without) "Is expected to perform the Great Work and to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel." which marks the attainment of the Grade of Adeptus (within).

    I do not believe that Crowley anywhere makes reference to "Union with the Holy Guardian Angel". In any case, such an event could not possibly associated with the Crossing of the Abyss, as Crowley's description of the work of the Adeptus (Exemptus) makes clear:

    "Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either (a) becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, (b) is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a Babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother." (emphasis added).

    My understanding is that one must willingly and voluntarily give up one's HGA to sucessfully cross the Abyss. YMMV.

    93 93/93
    Tau Aleph
    Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis

    • Re: Union with HGA?
      by Atensutmose on Monday February 05, @03:57PM
      Indeed, in the Adventure of the Abyss, the face of the Holy Guardian Angel can be nothing but the most appetizing mask of the Mighty Devil Choronzon.


      • Re: Union with HGA?
        by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @12:04PM
        Only if it remains distinct.


    • Re: Union with HGA?
      by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @12:03PM
      Unfortunately, I haven't found the source for the following, but it is my understanding that the HGA is nothing more than a projection of the True Self, and in order to cross the Abyss one is stripped of this illusion & thus the recognition of the HGA with the self which means its loss as a distinct entity, its sacrifice.

      That is my interp & it really doesn't contradict what you reference.


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Xnoubis on Monday February 05, @01:30PM
    To start with: I'm happy to report that I, at least, very rarely run into people who match the "evil poseur" role you describe.

    As far as evil itself, I think that there are two opposite perspectives, both of which need to be kept in mind. On one level, everything is part of the cosmic dance, and so can be accepted as "that which is." On another level, beings suffer, and since it is part of our nature to wish to diminish suffering (on the part of others as well as on our own behalf), that which unnecessarily increases suffering is evil. One can overemphasize detachment, and cut oneself off from a part of one's humanity, or one can overemphasize the suffering, and cut oneself off from one's innate perfection.

    So I would put the source of the idea of evil in the realm of compassion rather than of anthropology. One can see that the term "evil" has most often been used in a misguided way, by those mistaking the shadows of their childhood for forces operative in the real world. But that doesn't necessarily discredit the entire concept.

    > Evil is not even a relevant term to a
    > Thelemite. In order to be evil, one must work
    > against the Social unit to which one belongs.
    > Until a Thelemite joins a social group, that
    > Thelemite is incapable of committing true evil.

    So can a Thelemite opt out of being a star in the body of Nuit?

    I also find it interesting that you provide a list of reasons why we "unfortunately" wish to associate with others: propagation, protection, sustenance, intellectual stimulation, and some kind of communion on a spiritual level. But what about simply love?

    By the way, "tacit" means "understood without being expressed directly." That doesn't sound like what you're saying when you contrast "tacit" and "implicit" assent; the two words are more nearly synonyms than antonyms. Would "explicit" and "implicit" suffice?

    > Fortunately, the new crop of organizations
    > available tends to be imbued with the 93
    > Current, and thus respect the sanctity of the
    > individual.

    This passage must be eliciting howls from some of the more jaded amongst us. I'll only remark that it seems to me that social units sometimes respect the individual and sometimes don't, whether they're nominally Thelemic or not.

    Your argument that the Thelemic good is the evil of the old aeon seems to me to be particularly misleading. It smacks of the reputed Islamic doctrine that a sin committed against an infidel is no sin. A blow struck against another is a blow, no matter what aeon we might think the other lives in.

    > Then again, I do not subscribe to the notion
    > that these entities are purposely engaging in
    > their acts; rather they are like rabid dogs. A
    > rabid dog is not evil, it is sick. For our
    > safety and out of compassion for the diseased
    > animal, it is put down.

    I'm surprised at the turn your thought takes here. First of all, who are the entities that are like rabid dogs? Those who perform acts such as pedophilia that you find repellent? Or was it those who indulge in sexual activity and drug use? Neither would seem to make sense in the larger context of your theme. But we'd better understand what you mean quickly because, whoever they are, you seem to suggest that we're better off putting them to death!

    A rabid dog has a clinically testable condition. If you want to say that there are acts that make people without such a clinical condition equivalent to rabid dogs, and that this justifies killing them, you are using the idea of evil in its sharpest, most absolute sense, only substituting the word "sick" instead of "evil."

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @12:57PM
      To start with: I'm happy to report that I, at least, very rarely run into people who match the "evil poseur" role you describe

      You are so fortunate. When I was homeless & when I dealt drugs, I was surrounded by them.

      So I would put the source of the idea of evil in the realm of compassion rather than of anthropology.

      I purposely avoided this due to the dissent surrounding whether Thelemites should or should not practice compassion. It would beg the question & render the resulting argument invalid. Btw, I do intend on addressing that point in a later article. By basing it in fairly accepted "scientific principles (ie. most agree that Socio-Political Evolution occured) I am bypassing this -- or so I hope.

      everything is part of the cosmic dance ... So can a Thelemite opt out of being a star in the body of Nuit?

      I believe so, but just as any devience within human history (say a murder) becomes lost and eventually insignificant in the course of human history, so too does a single stars rebellion against the body of Nuit eventually fade into insignificance. In the short term, yes, from the perspective of eternity, no.

      Your argument that the Thelemic good is the evil of the old aeon seems to me to be particularly misleading. It smacks of the reputed Islamic doctrine that a sin committed against an infidel is no sin. A blow struck against another is a blow, no matter what aeon we might think the other lives in.

      But we are at war with the oppressive, ossified structures of the old Aeon, they are trying to oppress us, which they feel is 'Good', thus our resistance to oppression is necessarily 'Evil'. I do believe in a form of the 'War in Heaven'.

      I'm surprised at the turn your thought takes here.

      Unfortunately, I feel that I should have broken this up into more than one essay, (1) The Nature of Evil; (2) Relativism & Evil vs. Insanity; and, (3) The Black Brotherhood. I was afraid the transits were too abrupt at times.

      First of all, who are the entities that are like rabid dogs?

      The Pedophile, Rapist, Mass Murdere, &c. I explicitly state that I don't find Drug Use or Sexual Activity (except that with Children & Animals) "evil".

      But we'd better understand what you mean quickly because, whoever they are, you seem to suggest that we're better off putting them to death!

      Correct on both counts, but I do not wich to address that issue with this article, as it is tangential to the 'Nature of Evil' in a Thelemic Context. My justification is from the point of 'protecting society from further predation by that individual', a topic worthy of its own article.

      By the way, "tacit" means "understood without being expressed directly." That doesn't sound like what you're saying when you contrast "tacit" and "implicit" assent; the two words are more nearly synonyms than antonyms. Would "explicit" and "implicit" suffice?

      You are correct. Evidently my proofreaders mentally replaced the word based upon context. I beg of the reader to present me with the same courtesy for this essay -- & I apologize for the confusion this may present.


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Xnoubis on Monday February 12, @12:25PM
        >> First of all, who are the entities that are
        >> like rabid dogs?
        >
        > The Pedophile, Rapist, Mass Murdere, &c.

        So let me see if I've got this straight: we may legitimately kill those who undermine the social fabric, not because there's anything wrong with what they do, but because they act against our interests, and we outnumber them?


        • Re: So, You're Evil?
          by Nexist on Monday February 12, @10:35PM
          You sound shocked. What other reason has there ever been? Though if you prefer, the case can be made that these acts are against the social fabric because they are also detrimental to the species.

          This is the reason why one should work for the creation of a truly benificent society.


          • Re: So, You're Evil?
            by Xnoubis on Tuesday February 13, @09:23AM
            There is a substantial difference between killing those who oppose our interests and killing those who are detrimental to the species. To begin with, a Christian community could justify the mass-murder of Jews, or all non-Christians, on the basis of preserving their interests.

            Once we shift the emphasis to preservation of the species, we have to consider the preservation of the environment of the species, since the two are interconnected. Once we have established a commitment to the species and its environment, then we have for most intents and purposes established an ethical system based upon compassion. Given that, I'm satisfied. You may not want to call that which is counter to this commitment "evil," but to me, that's a small detail.


            • Re: So, You're Evil?
              by Nexist on Wednesday February 14, @10:18AM
              First, I should point out that the operative word in your first paragraph should not be "could" but rather "has been". Initially, punishable "evil" consisted of those elements detrimental to the pack/species (murder & the like), however the two have been conflated such that anything that threatens the Status Quo is perceived as "Evil" & deemed punishable. There is no simple solution or absolute standard (a main point of the article) thus we must draw the line, each for ourselves. We should endeavor to be expansive & just but ultimately, we may be as biased as those we condemn. I am sure you have met Thelemites who in their righteous fury come across as illogical and stupid as fundamentalist Xtians. However, we must risk this for the alternative is paralysis. To not act is "unbalanced mercy...which would allow and abet Evil". I highly recommend Librae, Duty & Little Essays in the construction of personal Morals & Ethics.

              The rest I agree with, but are you aware that Environmentalism, as we know it today, has roots in National Socialism? Evil is as Evil does I suppose.


              • Re: So, You're Evil?
                by Xnoubis on Wednesday February 14, @02:58PM
                > There is no [...] absolute standard (a main
                > point of the article)

                And it's the main point that I have a difference with.

                The standard is compassion. Or to try to work with some of your terminology: our "social contract" is with the whole of consciousness. No, it isn't always simple to determine what the course of action is that will best diminish suffering (Mordecai's post further down the page nicely illustrates some of the complexities, I think). Yes, it's something that's best determined by each person for themselves. And yes, paying lip-service to the ideal is not the same as acting in accordance with it. But we can evaluate lapses from the standard by the standard itself: an attempt to force compassion isn't compassion at all.

                > We should endeavor to be expansive & just

                That's it exactly! And we don't have to simply accept barriers to our expansiveness. We can transcend those barriers. That's where the war is: the Way of the Peaceful Warrior, to adopt Dan Millman's phrase.

                > are you aware that Environmentalism, as we know
                > it today, has roots in National Socialism?

                There was a strong back-to-nature movement in turn-of-the-century Germany, from which European environmentalism and the Nazis can claim ancestry. But American environmentalism can be traced back at least to Transcendentalism, and so predates the Nazis substantially. Why would you want to assert something like that?



                • Re: So, You're Evil?
                  by Nexist on Wednesday February 14, @05:57PM
                  > There is no [...] absolute standard (a main
                  > point of the article)

                  And it's the main point that I have a difference with.


                  Funny, because "Yes, it's something that's best determined by each person for themselves" indicates that there isn't an ABSOLUTE standard. An absolute standard is not relative, & thus is not dependent upon the individual. One is as compassionate as one is, otherwise it is false. You seem determined to pretend that a highly subjective interpretation (i.e. the obligations of the social contracts one is enmeshed in) is somehow objective. The "standard" is an evershifting set of beliefs which we attempt to nail in place each time we use it. To pretend otherwise is to delude oneself, as is to pretend that it isn't an arbitrary/useful deliniation between "good" and "evil".

                  I have a set of behaviors I believe are good & just. I insist that those I associate with on any intimate level adhere to them, it is a price for my friendship. However, to pretend that there is anything more to them than my belief that they are useful & ultimately conducive to a better society would be to set them up for failure. What has happened to the moralisms of the church now that consumerist culture has usurped the authority of the church?

                  Why would you want to assert something like that

                  Because I find it hilarious.


                  • Re: So, You're Evil?
                    by Xnoubis on Thursday February 15, @06:59AM
                    We're getting scrunched by the left margin, so I'll continue this thread flush left, further down the page.



                  • Re: So, You're Evil?
                    by Mordecai Shapiro on Thursday February 15, @10:56AM
                    >>Why would you want to assert something like that

                    >Because I find it hilarious

                    Far more hilarious would be to note that the Nazis built an extensive system of freeways. Talk about evil!


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Rev. Michael S. Margolin on Tuesday February 06, @02:18PM
    93,
    Like I could resist posting a reply to this.
    Evil is a propaganda tool nothing more.
    Evil and good are mere concepts used to seperate those that agree and those that disagree.
    Those that agree with the common populus are known as good. Those that disagree are labled evil. In the war between the settelers and the indians, who was evil and who was good?
    Folks lableing in a negative manner is a very very old control trick, ask the Templars and the Catholic church. Hell ask the Jews who slaughtered the Asyrrians in the name of God's cammands. Folks its time mankind grew out of its enslavement ways. The old Aeon is dead. Hail the Aeon of the crowned and conquering Child!
    Hail Freedom and the end of enslavement through belief. Stay awake! Stay Free!
    93/93/93
    ISN
    Baphomet Rex 666

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Xnoubis on Wednesday February 07, @11:39AM
      I think we're discussing two different subjects under the same heading.

      On the one hand, there is the unfortunate human tendency to project one's childhood traumas onto the world, blaming one's isolation from the universe onto an objectified "evil," and likewise creating an objectified "good" out of memories of the union with one's mother. The evil caused mother's nipple to be withheld, the good brought it back. As we grow up, we get criticized for some actions and praised for others, and so we internalize these criticisms (or rebellion from these criticisms), keeping the duality alive within ourselves and expressing it in the world as judgements. In society, individuals who can inspire judgementalism in large groups of people can ascend to pinnacles of power, and so collective views of evil become institutionalized within a culture.

      We have all suffered from this. We can look back at the historical record and see it as a leading source of unnecessary conflict. Christianity, for instance, has contributed enormously to this problem.

      Thelema is set squarely against this. It is the essence of restriction; of tyranny and oppression; of everything we oppose.

      That being said...

      I believe that there is still a basis for ethics within Thelema, once we move beyond the false judgementalism of ego. It has to do with love. Ra Hoor Khuit results from the marriage of both Nuit and Hadit, not Hadit alone. Our being, on one level, encompasses all the stars in Nuit's body. Mars, or the struggle between star and star, is part of the fabric of Nuit, which is something not generally understood in Christianity. But the purposeless magnification of violence is dis-ease within the body of Nuit (as are other imbalances), and as sentient beings we work to abate that. It's a natural part of sentience.

      By my reading of most Satanic philosophy, autonomy is valued above love. If circumstances arise where love would contradict autonomy, autonomy takes precedence. It's simple enough to dismiss feelings of connection to others as "fuzzy thinking." Not only that, but it's an unassailable stance. If one chooses not to feel the connection, no argument can have the power to demonstrate it.

      The value of the Satanic critique of ethics has value for Thelemites, I think, in that the connection to others has to be genuinely felt in order for it to be authentic. Otherwise, it's just another ideology, or manifestation of the judgementalism of ego.


    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @12:58PM
      Perhaps reading the article prior to posting would be useful?


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Javelin on Thursday February 08, @02:59AM
    But... are these Black Brothers not just a literary tool to make a case against those who are opposed to the worker/s of the magick of
    light?

    And while those lofty 'white' magicians whine on about visionary bliss there are those who whistle a different tune. Oh, those scary BB's!
    Evil... evil in what way? The predatory way?
    Yea right. Sounds a bit like the notion of the Navajo 'skin-walker', a totally deranged individual who inverts ritual and convention to suit hirself (has to do with Greed, yes: Not Sharing).

    So there is no sense in any of this because if you happen to bump into such an individual there will be trouble (and then what? Are you gonna run for mommy, or your HGA?). Psychopaths, sociopaths, crack-addicts, HIV-spreading nymphomaniacs: they might or might not do the ritual (or those you know and take a liking to),
    but the force of their intent is awesome indeed!
    Amen.

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @01:03PM
      But... are these Black Brothers not just a literary tool to make a case against those who are opposed to the worker/s of the magick of
      light?


      Only if one realizes that the Worker of Light is acting in accordance with their Will. Otherwise, no.

      And while those lofty 'white' magicians whine on about visionary bliss there are those who whistle a different tune. Oh, those scary BB's!
      Evil... evil in what way? The predatory way?


      'Evil' in that they have renounced their True Will and exist by feeding off of others. Perhaps you could re-read that section.

      With that I am going to stop, for far be it from me to move you from your adulation of "Evil" -- after all, I have heard enough affirmations from self-described "evil" people as it is.


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Rev. Mike Margolin on Saturday February 10, @07:23AM
    93,
    Drugs, V.D., prostitutes and murderers are not evil.
    Nor are mosquitose, milaria and cancer.
    Again we lable what we personaly dislike as evil.
    Folks I can't stress this enough, The terms good and evil are mere propaganda tools, nothing more.
    As far as Black, White and Yelow magick it is clearly defined n "Magick without tears"
    Black as being African Magick acording to Crowley.
    White Europian.
    Yellow Asian.
    The Black Magick being disscused is the invention of the catholic church and a promugation of that same propaganda popularised by A.E. Waite, a man held in low opinion by Crowley.
    But since this has been and looks like always will be a popular reality in this society I accept your right to believe in it. But personaly I'll never accept that reality, just your right to believe it.
    93/93/93
    ISN
    Bapbomet Rex 666

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @01:05PM
      Perhaps reading my article would help? I really hate it when people assume content & then spend space arguing that what I said is somehow contrary to what they are posting when they aren't.


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Xnoubis on Sunday February 11, @01:44PM
        I may be mistaken, but I think that the Reverend isn't expressing a difference with your article, but with my commentary. You and he seem to be seeing things roughly eye-to-eye...


        • Re: So, You're Evil?
          by Rev. Mike Margolin on Sunday February 11, @03:48PM
          93,
          Not mistaken at all bro.
          You Nailed it.
          93/93/93
          ISN
          RvMSM666


          • Re: So, You're Evil?
            by Nexist on Sunday February 11, @07:06PM
            Oh, then sorry. I am easily confused in my old age...


            • Re: So, You're Evil?
              by Rev. Michael S. Margolin on Tuesday February 13, @03:00PM
              93,
              No Problem Bro, its not old age.
              People don't see the world like what we are trying to show them. I'm glad you and a few others are around. You make my task that much easier. And I always apreciate the help.
              Thank you for a great article.
              93/93/93
              ISN
              666
              p.s. saw the new posts hahaha
              some poeple just need to label lol
              I wonder if that is a curse of "Because"
              hahahahha Take care Comrad hahhahaha


    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Xnoubis on Monday February 12, @12:29PM
      Drugs and V.D. are not evil because things cannot be evil. Choices can.

      Prostitution is not evil because there is nothing shameful about sex.

      Murderers? Well, choosing murder is only not evil if we choose to be blind to another's will to live. If we choose to acknowledge that there is a reality beyond our own heads (which seems to me to be a requirement if we genuinely value freedom), we become aware of the potential to not only be subject to restriction (always of great concern to Satanism), but also to be a source of restriction (which I would assert is of concern to Thelema).

      If one wanted to argue that just because a choice (e.g., murder) can be evil, that doesn't imply that a person who makes such a choice (e.g., a murderer) is evil, I would agree.

      I'd also say that even though I believe that there is a foundation for ethics that is intrinsic to Being, it usually isn't helpful to emphasize the idea of evil, or to label things as evil. It's generally more helpful to confirm those things we value, and to encourage others to be in touch with those things that they value.

      All that I'm saying is there is more to ethics than what the ego says is right and wrong.


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Nexist on Monday February 12, @10:43PM
        Free of any other consideration, to be blind to another's will to live would be a violation for any social contract of which I am aware. If the person is incapable, he has (imo) lost his humanity. I invoke OZ & Duty -- especially Duty.

        Further, evil is an adverb in that it is only valid when ascribed to an action. A person characterized as "Evil" is either a menace tot he social unit/species, or being vilified to protect a vested interest (usually by the power elite).

        The Ego seldom commits to an action which it feels to be wrong, quite a bit of energy is typically spent before hand determing how the desired action is "Right"


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Mordecai Shapiro on Wednesday February 14, @12:02AM
        Isn't some of the "problem" semantic? Killing someone in self-defense is not regarded by U.S. courts as murder, yet it still means disregarding another's will to live in favor of one's own. Few people would object to me ending the life of someone who is attempting to kill my child, but most people object to the assassination of democratically-elected leaders, even if they order the deaths of a multitude of innocent folk (e.g., Nixon in Vietnam, or Qaddafi in Lockerbie).


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Xnoubis on Thursday February 15, @07:03AM
    > "Yes, it's something that's best determined by
    > each person for themselves" indicates that there
    > isn't an ABSOLUTE standard.

    I can see how it might seem to indicate that, but that's not what I mean. It's best determined by each person for themselves because it has to come from within. It must be felt, and also one has to determine one's own Will, which defines what compassion towards oneself is. (Could it be that doing one's Will might be the same thing as compassionate action towards oneself?) So it's not absolute in the sense that it could be dictated from outside, but it's not arbitrary either. I think of it as the Nuit perspective, or you could call it Love.

    I'm aware that this isn't the standard Crowley line. The arbitrary nature of ethics is an often held Thelemic dogma that I question. Crowley himself occasionally writes in this mode, as when he describes the contents of the Cup of Babalon in the 12th Aethyr from The Vision and the Voice:
    This wine is such that its virtue radiateth through the cup, and I reel under the intoxication of it. And every thought is destroyed by it. It abideth alone, and its name is Compassion. I understand by "Compassion" the sacrament of suffering, partaken of by the true worshippers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity (= passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved.
    But you could certainly quote dozens of instances where he seems to say just the opposite. My suspicion is that he felt that people were too burdened by Christianity to be able to grasp this truth, and so it was more important to fight the existing ethical assumptions than to communicate something this subtle. But we don't have to be satisfied with "what Crowley thinks we can handle" today.

    > The "standard" is an evershifting set of beliefs
    > which we attempt to nail in place each time we
    > use it.

    Not beliefs, but awareness. It's true that awareness gets crystallized into belief, which does indeed shift (or is rather a static image within a dynamic reality), so I think I see the problem you're describing. But we work on the problem by delving back into awareness.

    > What has happened to the moralisms of the church
    > now that consumerist culture has usurped the
    > authority of the church?

    That's an interesting question in itself. It seems to me that consumerist culture is the decadent remains of the initially healthy rebellion against the church that began with the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. We're just at the beginnings of a new rebellion against consumerist culture. To some extent, there will be a set of beliefs that get popularized in the course of this rebellion, and will need to be rebelled against in turn. But we also have the opportunity to ground our rebellion in awareness (the source of the individualism of the Renaissance as well as the salvation of the religious age), to minimize the temporary edifices that arise and decay.

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by Nexist on Thursday February 15, @08:46PM
      It's best determined by each person for themselves because it has to come from within. It must be felt, and also one has to determine one's own Will, which defines what compassion towards oneself is.

      While I agree that unless it comes from within, compassion/charity/love/empathy/what-have-you is false, it is still subjective. If it were not so we would have an "objective" standard and people would be constantly engaging in false charity in order to meet it (which would lead to repercussions towards caring & the breakdown of the tribal/communal unit -- as we see currently with Xtianity).

      My suspicion is that he felt that people were too burdened by Christianity to be able to grasp this truth, and so it was more important to fight the existing ethical assumptions than to communicate something this subtle.

      Or perhaps it isn't contradictory to "on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath" and to "veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter" bearing in mind that "Compassion is the vice of kings" and that we are all kings.

      How do you reconcile "We're just at the beginnings of a new rebellion against consumerist culture" with "Thelemic good is the evil of the old aeon seems to me to be particularly misleading"?


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Mordecai Shapiro on Thursday February 15, @11:48PM
        >and that we are all kings.

        Who is the "we" in this statement? Surely there are some "slaves" and "beggars" amongst us.


        • Re: So, You're Evil?
          by Nexist on Friday February 16, @12:57AM
          We would be Thelemites, I don't know of any Thelemites who do not feel themselves to be referenced as the kings -- even when they are (imo) incapable of regalness.

          C'est la vie


      • Re: So, You're Evil?
        by Xnoubis on Friday February 16, @09:15AM
        > it is still subjective.

        The subjective/objective split is a mental construct. Love is a recognition of the truth beyond that construct. It is neither subjective nor objective.

        > How do you reconcile "We're just at the
        > beginnings of a new rebellion against
        > consumerist culture" with "Thelemic good is the
        > evil of the old aeon seems to me to be
        > particularly misleading"?

        To me, Thelema isn't a rebellion against consumerist culture. In the greater sense, it's a grounding in something deeper than all these cultural actions and reactions. In a lesser sense, it's a rebellion against religious culture that exists in parallel with the rebellion that began with the Renaissance and is decaying in consumerism. This lesser sense is, I believe, one of Thelema's problems: while Christianity remains a powerful force in the mainstream, it's almost a dead issue on the cutting edge.


        • Re: So, You're Evil?
          by Nexist on Saturday February 17, @05:40PM
          My essay is an attempt to provide some sort of basis for the determination of evil by avoiding the use of "God" & related conceptions. It is an attempt to provide a logical basis upon which to found our interactions. Things like "God" or "Love" (in the sense you are using it) are logically umprovable & thus logically irrelevent.

          The reason for this is to try and unite disparate conceptions under some sort of communal banner. I beleive in deities, others do not. By focusing on what the terms mean we are able to bypass this conflict in perception & work together.

          If Love exists as you describe it (& I tend to believe it does) then it will infuse our beings as we go about acting in a sympathetic (to Love) manner. However, in order to get people to act in a manner which will give rise to the realization of Love, we need to explain in a rational manner why such behaviors are of worth. Then, just as the practice of Yoga will move the Kundalini, the practice of Love will cause us to be infused with its divine spirit -- but I am sounding all gushy and new agey now, so you can take it from here.

          As for the conflict, I do not differentiate between Religious and Consumerist cultures, they are related as Water is to Ice. Consumerist culture is the natural outcome of the degredation of our Religious/Spiritual life.


          • Re: So, You're Evil?
            by Xnoubis on Monday February 19, @02:53PM
            I'm skeptical that an ethical argument can be made on the basis of reason alone. I think of the matter in terms of Karl Popper's distinction between "propositions" and "proposals."

            Propositions are statements intending to correspond to matters of fact. They can be investigated through reason and, where appropriate, scientific method. A proposition is held to be true when it corresponds to the facts, otherwise it is held to be false. There may be some difficulty in defining exactly what is meant by "correspondence to facts," but this is roughly what we mean by "true" and "false" in a practical way.

            Proposals are statements suggesting matters of conduct. While reason may play a role in the evaluation of proposals (by, for instance, detecting a proposal that is logically absurd, or one that would have obvious unintended consequences), proposals are generally not true or false. Popper suggests that, while the criteria for the evaluation of proposals is not so well established as is, say, logic for the evaluation of propositions, the faculty for evaluating proposals is conscience, just as the faculty for evaluating propositions is reason. Those proposals corresponding to conscience are held to be good. Those proposals that violate conscience are held to be evil. (I think, by the way, that this introduces a mysticism into his philosophy that he doesn't fully take into account.)

            The main point here is that reason is a useful tool for some domains, and is inappropriate for others. Art, for instance, is usually impoverished by over-intellectualization. At the very least, we evaluate art by its ability to move us, not its correspondence to facts or its logical validity.

            And so it is with ethics. A code of conduct could be logically consistent and well thought out, yet lead to atrocities. This suggests to me that reason is not the yardstick by which to evaluate codes of conduct. Conscience, as Popper describes it, seems closer to the mark. I've been calling it compassion and love. Doris Lessing, in her Canopus in Argos series of novels, gives it the name "SOWF," short for "Substance of We-Feeling". It isn't something that can be deduced through reason, but it can be perceived.

            Crowley, in a discussion about Scientific Illuminism (I forget exactly where, but you might recall), describes a parallel between the scientist and the mystic. The ordinary man cannot perceive microbes, so how can the scientist assert that microbes exist? The scientist answers that there are tools, such as the microscope, that the ordinary man could train himself to use, so that he could see microbes for himself. Similarly, the ordinary man cannot perceive the mystical unity of all things. But the mystic can likewise answer that there are tools, such as meditation, that the ordinary man can train himself in, and so perceive mystical truth.

            I think that was one of Uncle Al's really good days.

            Anyhow, there is nothing irrational about this perception; it can be embedded within a rational framework. But, much as intuition and aesthetics aren't reliable tools for evaluating the validity of logical arguments (as some of the threads on this web site occasionally document ;-) ), reason alone isn't sufficient to evaluate ethical systems.

            I can appreciate the desire to find a common language for ethical issues. But such a common language is going to have to pass tests of conscience as well as logic.

            > in order to get people to act in a manner which
            > will give rise to the realization of Love, we
            > need to explain in a rational manner why such
            > behaviors are of worth.

            I'm not certain that we need to, but it would help. Also, people respond in kind to the Love that we embody in our interactions with them. If that's gushy and new agey, I'll be happy to take it.


            • Re: So, You're Evil?
              by Mordecai Shapiro on Monday February 19, @11:49PM
              >much as intuition and aesthetics aren't reliable tools for evaluating the validity of
              >logical arguments

              Though they aren't "reliable tools" in this instance it should be remembered that "intuition" can play a role in mathematical and scientific discovery, and "aesthetics" can be a criterion in the judging of competing theories.


              • Re: So, You're Evil?
                by Xnoubis on Tuesday February 20, @09:18AM
                Maybe it would have been clearer if I had said "intuition and aesthetics alone aren't reliable..." That's certainly what I meant.


    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Patrick E. McCaffery on Friday March 09, @10:10AM
    "If Power asks why, then is Power weakness. - AC"

    This statement removed from its original context (of Because) and applied to the question of inherent or produced "Evil" vs "Good" (of evil poser dude fame) makes me wonder about the validity of philosophizing on such an issue when the control schemes needed to effect social change would obviously be of a hugely powerful and selective personal nature. The point of actual judgment comes from the dominant party, not the subject being put upon, during the actions considered judgeable. The argument of Good and Evil must be left to the victor, as he/she will define natural law through dominance, let the loosers cry as they may. Devoid of reflection (bear with me) the natural order will define itself regardless of our feeeeeelings. The victor doesn't need the added comfort of being right, he / she just is..like being is being.

    Of course those who seem to be effecting your ability to produce and sustain your True Will are always "Evil" from any perspective or paradigm. Have you ever been subjected to another's control, in a submissive position (other than sex),where you were being made to make a sacrifice larger then you were comfortable with, and considered the dominant forces effecting you to be "Good"?

    Would you consider yourself "Evil" 'n whilst subjecting your slaves to labor? Or are you rightfully exorcising your dominance over those who should be subject to you - the natural order -to further personalize the issue.

    I don't feel that this is a subject that can be realistically argued one way or another from a neutral position.

    Four More Basic Questions:
    1) Am I "Good" if I have attained the conversation of my HGA and I still choose to dominate those around me and (by no fault of mine) make them subject to My Will?

    2) Is it a question of personal polarity? He/She who is rightist (Purified Will, HGA convo., etc.) is "Good"er and he/she who hasn't attained is "Evil" if their will conflicts with yours? - This is theoretically only applicable between Thelemites.

    3) Are we completely ignoring the natural selection / food chain process (which eliminates the luxury of Good and Evil) to prolong the topic? - I feel a "Might makes Right" commin on here....

    4) Am I just completely obtuse and off the original subject?

    Thanks for the space.
    Cheers,
    - P. (93)

    Re: So, You're Evil?
    by Patrick E. McCaffery on Friday March 09, @10:12AM
    "If Power asks why, then is Power weakness. - AC"

    This statement removed from its original context (of Because) and applied to the question of inherent or produced "Evil" vs "Good" (of evil poser dude fame) makes me wonder about the validity of philosophizing on such an issue when the control schemes needed to effect social change would obviously be of a hugely powerful and selective personal nature. The point of actual judgment comes from the dominant party, not the subject being put upon, during the actions considered judgeable. The argument of Good and Evil must be left to the victor, as he/she will define natural law through dominance, let the loosers cry as they may. Devoid of reflection (bear with me) the natural order will define itself regardless of our feeeeeelings. The victor doesn't need the added comfort of being right, he / she just is..like being is being.

    Of course those who seem to be effecting your ability to produce and sustain your True Will are always "Evil" from any perspective or paradigm. Have you ever been subjected to another's control, in a submissive position (other than sex),where you were being made to make a sacrifice larger then you were comfortable with, and considered the dominant forces effecting you to be "Good"?

    Would you consider yourself "Evil" 'n whilst subjecting your slaves to labor? Or are you rightfully exorcising your dominance over those who should be subject to you - the natural order -to further personalize the issue.

    I don't feel that this is a subject that can be realistically argued one way or another from a neutral position.

    Four More Basic Questions:
    1) Am I "Good" if I have attained the conversation of my HGA and I still choose to dominate those around me and (by no fault of mine) make them subject to My Will?

    2) Is it a question of personal polarity? He/She who is rightist (Purified Will, HGA convo., etc.) is "Good"er and he/she who hasn't attained is "Evil" if their will conflicts with yours? - This is theoretically only applicable between Thelemites.

    3) Are we completely ignoring the natural selection / food chain process (which eliminates the luxury of Good and Evil) to prolong the topic? - I feel a "Might makes Right" commin on here....

    4) Am I just completely obtuse and off the original subject?

    Thanks for the space.
    Cheers,
    - P. (93)

    • Re: So, You're Evil?
      by RyanS on Thursday August 09, @07:28AM
      Hello all, I'm new here, so please forgive ignorance and/or cultivated stupidity. Hmm.. well Patrick, it would appear that the primary concern is "What is good/evil?" In my very self-orientated way, I will define good and evil from three popular perspectives.

      1.) Might is Right. If I swing the bigger bat, I make up the rules.

      2.) Moral Consensus. Whatever the popular established group is at the predominate time is what will and does determine what is "good" and "Evil". Regardless of whether or not they have the "Might" to enforce this opinion, this is generally how we come to the conclusions of good and evil.

      3.) Non-Sum Zero. Is whatever I am doing mutually beneficial to both parties involved, or is one party gaining over the other ones loss? The degree and severity of each will determine what is considered "good" and what is considered "evil".

      1) Am I "Good" if I have attained the conversation of my HGA and I still choose to dominate those around me and (by no fault of mine) make them subject to My Will?


      From opinion 1, yes absolutely. From opinion two, I'm not sure what the moral consensus is on dominating others through forceful use (regardless of fault) of "your Will". I'm assuming most people would place it around hypnotism, and if that's non-consentual, you are a bad person. With number three, the question would then come up of whether or not the parties under submission have gained anything beneficial from being under your reign, which could deem it as being either "good" or "evil".

      2) Is it a question of personal polarity? He/She who is rightist (Purified Will, HGA convo., etc.) is "Good"er and he/she who hasn't attained is "Evil" if their will conflicts with yours? - This is theoretically only applicable between Thelemites.


      Ah, forgive me for my lack of knowledge in the realm of Thelemic interests, but I thought that "everyone is their own star" (paraphrased I believe) meant that everyone should be free to find their own path or learn their "true will". As thus, someone who has attained that shouldn't be attempting to lead another Thelemic and interfere with their own personal orbit? Again, you'll have to pardon my ignorance on these subjects.

      3) Are we completely ignoring the natural selection / food chain process (which eliminates the luxury of Good and Evil) to prolong the topic? - I feel a "Might makes Right" commin on here....


      Well, whatever popular society deems as "Good" goes a long way in that food chain and natural selection process. China's limiting on children is considered "Evil" here in the Western society, but in China, it's considered a necessity. Which is correct? Obviously, if we adopted this practice, then the moral consensus would be that it's "good" and we are "Doing the World a favor." What sways the mind of people? Popular media figures and representations. The internet has proved a useful vehicle for the transmission of several "ideas", so even if you are not the most popular media figure, you can still attract a lot of viewers. So, we can change the minds of the common mass.

      4) Am I just completely obtuse and off the original subject?


      Well I hope not, or no telling where I am at in the orbit of things.



     
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