How to Know Good from Evil

Ever wondered about how people can be good or evil? We all have good and evil within each of us, yet some will have greater evil than good. Follow this and look at people, observations are key.


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    Realize that good and evil are points of view and while your own opinion matters, there are some universals. "Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might as well imagine a country in where two and two made five." --C.S. Lewis
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    Recognize both points of view. There are subjectivists, who believe that each person can determine "good" and "evil" for himself. There are objectivists, who believe in a universal concept of Good and Evil. Good and Evil can be discussed independent of religion, so both the religious and the atheistic can be found in both viewpoints. Which do you identify with? Why?
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    Do your homework! Uncounted philosophers and religionists have taught and debated Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, and other topics. Read up on the topic, see what others have said, and decide whether you agree or disagree.
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    Think about how you or your culture views right and wrong. In general "evil" people do "wrong" things and "good" people do "right" things. Christianity, for example, puts emphasis on treating others the way you would have them treat you. But remember that each culture, to an extent, holds different opinions on what is right and wrong.
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    Write your views on good and bad down, then analyze them, rethink what truly is right and wrong. Then, when you're satisfied with your list, define how many wrong actions it takes, or the severity of the action, to be declared "evil".
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    Discuss your ideas on morality with others. Discussing with others may change what you believe to be right and wrong.
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    Observe others and yourself, you would be surprised at the number of people that do "wrong" things everyday. Think about if wrong things can really be wrong if everyone does them.
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    Decide whether you want to be "good" or "evil", then do the things you wrote on your list that fits that category.


  • An argument for subjectivism: "But the most remarkable thing is this. whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking on to him he will be complaining 'It's not fair' before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter, but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong. . .what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag. . .?" --C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.


  • Always allow your ideas on morality to change.
  • Do not assume you are not evil. Good and evil are points of view, what you may think is good, another may think is evil and vice versa.

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Categories: Philosophy and Religion