Good vs. Evil
Good vs. Evil
There are many concepts that are determined in the eye of the beholder. People have different morals; someone’s morals could be seen as corruption to someone else. What someone considers beautiful, another might consider appalling. A person’s definition of justice could be someone else’s definition of illegal. There are many factors as to why we all have different paradigms, such as the way we were raised, our past experiences, our culture, or our faith. Consequently, we all judge accordingly to our own perspectives. In East of Eden, John Steinbeck states that one can be assumed good or evil once the person has died.
With our different paradigms, we would have different perspectives on good and evil. Therefore, we do not know the correct definition of good or evil, so it would not be right for us to judge someone at all before or after their death. Everything we see is perspective, but how are we so sure it is the truth? Take for example, a flower. To a human, it is small enough to hold in his hand; to an insect, it is big enough to be a home. The human and the insect are looking at the same flower, but view it differently. Is the ant simply miniature, or is the human just too big?
It cannot be deemed because there are different paradigms that manipulate our judgment. There are also more serious cases that this applies to. On July 5, 2011, Casey Anthony was found not guilty for murdering her young daughter Caylee. Observers were stunned and outraged by the jury’s verdict. Jurors claimed that it could not be proven that Casey Anthony was guilty because there was not enough evidence. There were only facts that led up to the conclusion that Casey could be the murderer, but there were no raw and actual facts that clearly showed that Casey was responsible for the death of her daughter.
The death penalty weighed a lot on the deliberation of the jurors. They had a life in their hands; conclusions and inferences were not enough to find her guilty. The jury could be deemed good for following the law and abiding by their oath, or they could be deemed evil for letting a potential murderer get away with a crime. There are many positions on this verdict based on our viewpoints, but we do not actually know the truth. There are so many perspectives in the universe, we can never be so sure which is the correct one. Without knowing the truth, our judgments aren’t justified.
They say there is a story behind everything. Stories usually have two sides to them, maybe even more. Often times, we want to believe that we know the full story. As human beings, we like closure and we do not like unanswered questions. But should it often occur to someone that there may be multiple unknown sides to a story? Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her bedroom from an overdose on August 5, 1962. Monroe’s death remains a mystery and has become one of the most debated conspiracy theories of all time. Some people believe that her death was a homicide, and some people believed it was a suicide.
There could be many unknown explanations to Monroe’s death, and we may never find out. Without knowledge of how she died, our judgments are not rationalized. There are always going to be unanswered questions and ambiguous endings. As humans, what we believe is virtuous usually leads back to our viewpoints and understanding of life. Everyone has their life structured a certain way according to their beliefs. Our beliefs have a huge impact on our mentality and actions whether we believe in God, Buddha, Atheism, Karma, or anything at all. With differentiating religion and beliefs, there is no validity to our judgments.
Without the knowledge of the truth, we are not able to judge righteously; we would be assuming blindly. It is a human instinct to judge. We judge to make laws so society can function in an orderly manner, we judge to protect ourselves from harm by distinguishing what seems to be dangerous or harmful, and we also judge to make decisions to benefit ourselves, such as choosing the college to our desire. Although these are rational reasons as to why we should judge, they also lead to war, terrorist attacks, stereotypes, and prejudice. Our assumptions and judgments revolve around our perspective.
Our paradigms frame our judgments, and this often results to different positions and viewpoints. The concept of good and evil are in the eyes of the beholder. The true definition of good and evil may never be revealed in our lifetime. Consequently, we are not able to deem someone good or evil before or after their death since we do not have the understanding of these ideas in the first place. Works Cited “Death of Caylee Anthony. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Death_of_Caylee_Anthony>.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 November 2016
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