This is topic Good and Evil = Maturity? in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=1;t=001980

Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Hi, I'm a new poster here, as you will undoubtedly glean from my wanton ignorance that I'm probably going to glaze this entire post. Inadvertantly, of course. But I supposed that, this being the wee hours of the morning, no one would mind terribly if I inflicted upon you my idle and, as previously discussed, ignorant thoughts. [Wink] So here it goes.

In a survival situation, it's easy to say that there is no good and evil, really. When you're fearing for your life or the life of those you love, there is no moral low ground or high ground, there is simply what you have to do. It's basically animal. No one blames the wolf for eating the rabbit and its young. In fact, the worse you are, in the primal world, the better your chances of survival. Cowbirds lay eggs in other birds's nests, and then, when they hatch, the baby cowbirds kick the other baby birds out of the nest. This makes them a dominant species that has wiped out many other types of birds in several areas.

But once you stop worrying about survival, morality ensues. Why do you think this is? I'm honestly asking. I think this is an interesting topic. Why, when we become self sufficient and aren't scrounging the earth for meager nuts and berries, do we begin to think about right and wrong?

Do you think this is the defining characteristic that makes us human? If so, why, in civilized situations, do people still regularly violate morality? Maybe it's because the defining characteristic isn't so much obeying the idea of good and evil as much as it is recognizing it and acknowledging its existence... Then again, maybe, due to some pathology, people begin to equate the most mundane situations with the same amount of urgency as survival. As in, if I don't pass this class, I'll die (an exaggeration, but that's what they're doing, exaggerating day to day things). And therefore, this gives them the conscience-freedom to do what they like to accomplish that goal.

Or, maybe, again, we create good and evil because now that we've stopped worrying about survival, we're bored? Wouldn't that be silly?

Anyway, I think this is an interesting idea and I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.
Posted by Laurenz0 (Member # 5336) on :
2 things.

I don't think we are any differant than animals. i think we are just information processing machines like any other species on earth. We process information and then act accordingly.

I think that morality issues are definately part of survival. We survive as a race. Most of us have that instinct and those who don't are scewed.

You normally don't see a species harming another member of that same species.

2nd thing, if you posted this on the books food american culture whatever forum, it would move a lot faster. Some us still check this one, but very few comparatively. Plus, there is always people who make that its not orson scott card crap but whatever.

Anyway, yeah. The other forum moves wayyy faster.

Welcome to hatrack by the way [Smile]

[ August 06, 2003, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: Laurenz0 ]
Posted by Maccabeus (Member # 3051) on :
2nd thing, if you posted this on the books food american culture whatever forum, it would move a lot faster. Some us still check this one, but very few comparatively. Plus, there is always people who make that its not orson scott card crap but whatever.

In fact, it would move so fast it would scroll away. I read this forum almost exclusively because anything I bother to post on the other is two pages down before I get back.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Thanks for the tip. I just saw all the philosophical posts and figgered I'd toss in a cent or two.
Posted by suntranafs (Member # 3318) on :
I wrote a page equating ultimate virtue to ultimate survival once. It's extremely disorganized, subjective, rough-draft like, and needs logical digression, but it has some ideas and I could post it if you want.
Posted by Laurenz0 (Member # 5336) on :
but it has some ideas and I could post it if you want.

Please do

[ August 06, 2003, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: Laurenz0 ]
Posted by suntranafs (Member # 3318) on :
Warning, the following is:
1.supposed to be part of a(rough draft of a) book I once thought that would oneday write, and I may still write it, and I'm posting it here out of trust.
2. slightly edited from original
3. severe, extreme subjective goober material

Chapter one: The basics of the basic
The basic, not only the begining, not only the end, but these things too.

The basic is the struggle for survival. What is survival? Survival is to survive. To survive is to meld, to bend, to unite all things around and afar to yourself, and you to all these things. On the ultimate scale survival is possible in no other way.

What is the ultimate scale? The ultimate scale is regardless of time and space. It goes beyond the realm of the imaginably possible, but does not exceed reality, for everything is real.

The only thing weighed on the ultimate scale is survival. Survival is weighed against itself. Things that do not survive make way for things that do survive. Ultimately, when the time clock that runs till infinity runs out, there is nothing left to destroy but ourselves. Thus the only way of survival is unity, to gain strength from all around and away from you, and in return, to help them to gain strength.

This strength has many names. Great spirit, Allah, Jehova, Enlightenment, Time, War, Peace, Honor, perhaps cool water in a hot, dry, desert. There is no end to them. They are all one in a simple mind. So simply: God.

[ August 07, 2003, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: suntranafs ]
Posted by suntranafs (Member # 3318) on :
Yah know... I may just change my name to suntranafs the thread killer and contract myself out!
Posted by FoolishTook (Member # 5358) on :
suntranafs, I'll pop in here and take your place as Thread Killer. (I've already killed 3 threads, so how about another one?)

Great essay, although I'm not sure if I understand it. It's well written, but I'm feeling particularly stupid right now. Perhaps you could expand on it.

Now my own asinine thoughts, which may just be repeating what everyone else has already said:

It seems right now there is a constant struggle between factions of people who want the human race to survive and factions of people who don't. The family unite, despite the arguments to the contrary, is vital for human survival. Economic well-being is vital for human survival. Freedom is vital for human survival. Morality...yes, morality, is vital for human survival.

And survival is important, so I'm rooting for those who wish the best for the human race, not those who only wish the best for themselves at this point in their lives.

But survival is not enough. We aren't distinguishable from animals even if we live the best possible, most moral lives. There has to be more, unless we are, indeed, merely animals, and there is no God.

(There, I killed it. This thread is officially dead.)
Posted by suntranafs (Member # 3318) on :
Gawannnhhhhh! WAhhhh WAAhhhhhhh Wahhhhh,
RESSURECT!!! *Poof!* [magician emoticon]
Ok. Now back to buisness.

"But survival is not enough. We aren't distinguishable from animals even if we live the best possible, most moral lives. There has to be more, unless we are, indeed, merely animals, and there is no God."
Apologies, but that doesn't make sense to me; what do you mean?

As for my essay, if you translated it from the subjective to the practical, I guess it's a theory that reads about like this: The quest for survival is virtue, and vice versa. The path of or to virtue is complete unification, not in the since of an enslaved unification, but an indivdual, all encompassing, harmonious unification. And that's God.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I don't know how many of you are familiar with the phrase "endure to the end". It's from some of the material that inspired the Harmony series. Now I've always had a problem with this word "endure" as it would seem to pertain to "survival". Is it enough to still be breathing at the end? I think the phrase taken out of context is what produces characters like Elemak.

Unless one considers that "charity never faileth". I guess in a roundabout way, the only way to endure is to have charity. Which is, I think, pretty close to saying survival and morality (altruism?) are the same.

Anyway, I think the commonly understood idea of both enduring and surviving is to make it to the finish line whatever the cost, preferably to others.
Posted by wieczorek (Member # 5565) on :
This is a part of the book First Meetings but in my own words and I completely agree with it. The only community resources more important to the survival of a community than shelter, food or water, are wombs. Most men are treated far more like property than the other gender, being female. Women are almost never simply thrown away and men are killed by the bus-load in times of war. It is still a relatively new concept for women to go to war, thusly, not many women go into war. Alpha males rule, but all of the others are just tools. Even the highest of the males knows that the women are the most vital resource in any place, and a community that wants to succeed has to put effort towards one thing, which is making sure that women can reproduce and raise properly their children. Societies that put limit restrictions on population are societies that choose to die. Communities that prefer to have male children, while they kill of the new born girls, fewer females are able to reach the age of child bearing. Therefore, they wouldn't be so successful in keeping a high population. Killing girls gives you a higher proportion of males, but a lower number of males, b/c fewer females are there to give birth to them. The human race is constantly fighting for survival, otherwise, what is the point in having children, so why put on population restrictions?

"Remember, the enemy's gate is down"

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2