Good and evil from the point of view of history, philosophy, science and cinema

Today, February 17, is celebrated the world day of spontaneous acts of kindness – an unofficial, but important holiday dedicated to a wonderful and bright feeling.

The concept of good and evil arose at the dawn of civilization, and since then, having gone through considerable transformations, it is relevant to this day. We study the history and philosophical aspect of this phenomenon together with Bologny.

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The origin of the words “good” and “evil”

Word “Good” has ancient Slavic roots. The root -dob- meant “time”, “time”, after adding the suffix -r- it turned out “good”. Initially, the word “good” was used as something that comes at the right time, at the right time.

Over time, the word began to mean something good, suitable, of good quality. It was also used when they talked about moral qualities, about nobility, about honor: good thinking, goodness, goodwill, kindness, kindness, volition, conscientiousness, etc.

Word “Evil” from the Old Church Slavonic language means – evil (trouble, sin). In Russia, the word began to be used from the 11th century.

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Through the milestones of history

The understanding of good and evil originated in primitive society, that is, at the time of the emergence of humanity as such. Despite the absence of such concepts as the state, law and law in the primitive communal system, even then relations between people were regulated with the help of the first social norms, which determined what was good or evil. These norms of primitive society are called mono-norms. Subsequently, they formed the basis for such phenomena as human morality, law and religious norms.

The emergence of the first states made it possible, on the one hand, to separate morality and law, and on the other, to create mechanisms for consolidating moral foundations. The ideas of good and evil did not change much and were associated with customs and religion. However, the primary source of these views was the material issue: foundations that helped people to survive and the first states to flourish were considered good.

Everything changed in the era of antiquity, when science and morality began to come to the fore. So, in the view Aristotle the highest good was reason, and Plato called everything material evil.

A new round in the transformation of the idea of ​​good and evil was Middle Ages. During this era, many works of great thinkers of previous centuries were destroyed or banned, and the idea of ​​good and evil was formed on the basis of religious dogmas. The personification of absolute goodness became God, while the Devil personified evil. However, even with such a clear and unambiguous approach, sometimes conflicts and philosophical disputes arose.

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Good and evil today

Today, the understanding of good and evil has become very vague and ambiguous: the modern world is built mainly on competition and material goods, therefore, it is more and more difficult to talk about such categories in it.

However, there are indisputable truths: for example, the fact that human rights and freedoms are considered the greatest value in developed countries today, respectively, any attempt on them is evil. The lessons of the past centuries were not in vain: phenomena that could once be condemned are now considered normal, and discrimination on these grounds, on the contrary, is perceived negatively.

Another difference of the modern approach is attempts to study the nature of good and evil from the point of view of biology. The book of the neuroscientist is devoted to this issue. Roberta Sapolski “The biology of good and evil. How Science Explains Our Actions ”.

Here are 3 quotes from this book:

“The opposite of love is not hate. Its opposite is indifference. “

“The neural connections in humans and shrimp work on the same principle.”

“We more easily forgive someone who looks embarrassed – blushes, looks away, whose face is down and turned slightly to the side.”

There is something to think about

The question of good and evil often comes up in world culture. Today there are many exciting cinematic productions for those seriously interested in philosophy.

For example, the recently released mini-series based on the novel Stephen King’s “Confrontation” tells about the eternal opposition of the forces of good and evil in the person of Christianity and the messengers of the devil.

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Photo @ joebug23

The project is interesting in that it raises various questions of morality and shows us that there are no absolutely good or absolutely bad people – we all have our vices and weaknesses. But the final choice is always behind us.

Another film adaptation of King with a similar message – the film “Dark tower”filmed in 2017. And also the theme of good and evil rises in films “The Devil’s Advocate”, “Constantine: Lord of Darkness”, “The Ninth Gate”.

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