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Alisa Shabanova

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Can good win?

In our world negative emotions are more weighty than positive emotions. It’s extremely important for survival and therefore consolidated genetically on the level of natural instincts. One mistake can destroy your life while one pleasure is one extra bright moment only. To explain us this simple arithmetics understandably, the nature hypertrophied negative feelings and got them very memorable. The power of negative emotions is so strong that we usually need only one repetition to memorise our fail for all.

Negative emotions - negative reactions, negative reactions - negative actions. If our malice, envy or jealousy settle inside of us and hurt us from within, outside we act according to our emotions. History knows a lot of examples when deceived, deserted or unfairly offended people devoted all their lives to vengeance, maniacally arranged every their step in order to achieve satisfaction. Do we know a lot of opposite examples?

Of course, the nature also took care about negative / positive balance mechanisms. Human’s psyche usually forces out negative emotions in long-term perspective, remains in memory more bright than bad moments. Fear and social pressure hold us back from the manifestation of direct aggression. But, however, we survive because of negative, not positive emotions, and it means that people never become more kind.

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    May 8 2011: We learn from bad experience. From such perspective ultimately all is good.


    in reality if you achieve 20/80 ratio between good/bad moments then you a doing very well.

    We humans must be doing well since our numbers grow. If human population was declining then it means life is hard.
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    May 8 2011: What is "good"?
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    E G 10+

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    May 8 2011: Can good win?................by it's nature good can't lose
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    May 7 2011: Even though it's pointless trying to discuss a group as large and diverse as "people", I believe that you are fundamentally wrong.

    We hear about "evil" all the time. Some of the most famous people in history are the "bad guys".

    What we don't hear about is the "good" stuff that happens daily. You seem to think that this goodness only exists because we fear retribution or being socially ostracised. You obviously don't hold humanity in high regard.

    Good wins every single day. The news media don't think it's important enough or sensational enough to mention it, that's all.
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      May 8 2011: Wonderful expression of the pervasiveness of goodness.
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      May 8 2011: It's very tempting to think about evil's popularity like about the result of successful media project. Yes, good is around us but the PR manager of evil is better :-) I see that reality doesn't support this point of view. In Russia 3 out of 5 marriages broke. 8 out of 10 spouses are unfaithful to each other. Every third clerk hates his boss and wants to get boss' chair. 7 out of 10 people tell that they steal if nobody knows about it. And there are just official numbers! Some people don't tell true even if survey is completely anonymous. May be you have another statistic numbers in your country but I'm afraid you don't.

      Do you really think that all of these things are about PR only? And - everyone knows Mother Tereza :-))
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        May 9 2011: Sounds to me like you consider change to be evil.

        Marriage is an out-of-date tradition that doesn't work for many people. The mistake they make is thinking it can because it worked for their grandparents.

        As for the other statistics, my personal experiences with people state exactly the opposite.

        Maybe I have just had an extremely fortunate life.
  • May 7 2011: The year is twenty eleven and there is evil in the world I thought we would be done with it by now but there it is. We still have slavers and pirates, organized crime and drug pushers, starving children and on and on. Pirates Really? My god its 2011. Never ask if good can win just remember every day that good cannot be defeated. Once you have remembered that good cannot be defeated ask yourself what did, I do to defeat evil today. Today I posted some word of encouragement on ted, this week my wife volunteered at the local food bank, and last month my sister in law made some micro lone on Kiva. Each of these thing produced positive emotions reactions and feelings it’s just as easy to be positive as negative. This is not about religion it’s about good and evil. I am a good person and as such everywhere I go I try and stand against the darkness. Its 2011 and people all over the world in many countries are arresting slavers and drug traffickers and pirates. I believe good can never be defeated and that as a race mankind can and should do better. And so to answer your question, not only can good win, but because it cannot be defeated it will eventually win by default. It turns out that even evil people take no joy in evil.
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      May 8 2011: Yes, you are right. But if evil cannot be defeated too, why good wins by default? It's a kind of parity where every part lives in a balance, and every trying to move this balance to the bright side a bit leads us to the rollback...
  • May 7 2011: Alisa, applying a dialectic to human behaviour and cognition hasn't worked well for historians, philosophers or politicians. Consider that perhaps the world and the actions of the people in it are far more complex than being objectively and entirely good, evil, positive or negative. Also consider that defining any set of motives, actions and outcomes in those terms is inevitably subjective and too general. Or to put it differently, simply wrong.

    There is no shortage of current affairs where motive and action are seen as both good and evil, depending on the values and beliefs of the witnesses. From what I understood about what Richard Dawkins has to say, evolution doesn't deal in best or ultimate solutions either. Something about a version of chlorophyl being more efficient if it were orange, for example.

    I imagine good, evil, positive and negative in a relationship similar to primary tastes or colors. The experiential consequences to mixing and iterating them transforms them, and something entirely different and far more complex such as a painting or a great wine can emerge. I love ideas like humanism, egalitarianism, democracy, and so on, but all of them are evolving and dynamic concepts.

    Good and evil, positive and negative, exist as abstract concepts, and surely most people apply them according to taste as filters when they make judgements. I believe that the wise and tolerant choice is to allow for some variability in the definitions and be prepared to make even more adjustment for specific situations.
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      May 8 2011: Yes, you are right. I have the same point of view and I like Dawkins too. But anyway it's very sad. Of cause, I know that there are not any completely bad or completely good things. Moreover, I believe that in every moment everyone makes the best decision and so on. I also think that the evolution is the greatest conductor and that 'the good' is a progress and 'the bad' is a regress. But when someone hurts me or my family I feel myself bad - even if I know that it's naturally. If someone starts a war I feel myself horrified even if I know that there are too many people in the Earth and resources are limited, and we need war for the evolution purposes, and it's finally good for us etc. You are right in the scale of evolution, in the scale of centuries. But our lives are the moments, and it's very sad that very often we cannot get support, or warm, or understanding.
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    May 7 2011: It has to.
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      May 8 2011: or else?
      • May 9 2011: i believe she is stating a learned reaction. since as far back as i can remember good always triumphed over evil. whether its a Disney movie, video game or just stories of world war one, stories taught to children always seem to end the same: good beats evil.

        its only until we age that we learn that that's not every side of the story. while good can't always win, we always believe it will.
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        May 9 2011: As always an insightful question Krisztian.If good does not win and evil were to take over % by % year by year humanity must surely cease to exist.

        For me, the light has to banquish the shadows. I believe that goodness is at the core of most hearts. I do not believe this as a sort of PolyAnna perspective but when I read the research of neuroscience and when i examine the lives of the majority of people I think it is the greater, larger, more human truth that has been hobbled and tortured into submission by the fact that evil is willing to use one tool that goodness is usually not willing to use- VIOLENCE.