What Is Evil? – 8-Bit Philosophy

What Is Evil? – 8-Bit Philosophy


What is Evil? Traditional conceptions of evil focus on the
utter monstrosity of evil actions — the complete awe and unthinkability of horror. Called pure or radical evil, this is the
sort of evil associated with antagonists or villains – it is the antithesis of good. For Hannah Arendt, a German-Jewish
philosopher, evil is not always as simple as an overriding desire to do no good. Rather, Arendt chooses to focus her discussion
of evil on this man: Adolf Eichmann. Put on trial for numerous horrors, Eichmann
was found guilty of crimes against humanity, especially against the Jewish people, for overseeing
the trains that transported people to Nazi death camps. On May 31, 1962, he was hanged. Arendt traveled to Jerusalem to cover the
Eichmann trial. She expected to encounter a cold calculating monster, a man who reveled
in his malicious deeds. Instead what she found was something far more
shocking. Eichmann was an altogether innocuous and seemingly normal little man — in some
sense, he was a cliché, a stereotypical bureaucrat, a sort of sleepwalker in life, a person who
refused to comprehend the weight of his crimes. Eichmann wasn’t afflicted with an overriding
sense of maliciousness. Instead, what Arendt found was a man that was thoughtless, that never stopped to put himself in someone else’s shoes, that refused to think from another’s perspective. She found someone with an unquestioning sense of obligation to authority, who all his life he had been a follower,
a person eager to fit in and be led. He suffered from blind allegiance and a complete self-deception about the morality of his actions. This made Arendt rethink the concept of evil,
for Eichmann wasn’t a demon in any obvious way. What she encountered was the banality of evil, an everyday sort of evil: a bureaucrat eager to do his job – one who lacked empathy or perspective. You don’t need to be cruel, sadistic, or vicious
to embody evil — all that a person has to do is blindly follow the orders of another
person. For Arendt that is the banality of evil. So, dear viewer, what can be done to save
humanity from mindless obedience?

100 Comments on "What Is Evil? – 8-Bit Philosophy"


  1. So many normies blindly following society's rules… Getting ripped off at every turn. Even the government is taking advantage.

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  2. May I suggest, suggesting The Mass Psychology Of Fascism. It may help contribute to perspective.

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  3. Bureaucracy can cause people to act sadistically under a self deception that they are doing good and doing their job, this is why physical abuse (done by teachers) was considered normal in schools in my country just 15 years ago, right now there is still psychological torture in high schools and verbal abuse, the physical abuse is far more rare now and if it happens it's not as cruel

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  4. Kinda makes you contemplate the military, ya know, that thing that promotes blind obedience and a lack of empathy?

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  5. The best solution would probably be to end capitalism and replace it with something that doesn't encourage blind following.

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  6. My first reaction to this is that, did Eichman really have a choice? As a German in Nazi Germany, he is supposed to shoot himself rather than participate in his own country's activities… That is a simplification of the entire global situation at the time, or any other time… if someone is loyal to their country, they are evil???? By that logic then anyone in the military, the police, government etc is 'blindly obeying'

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  7. I ask my teachers so many questions about the work that I have to do, 'what is the point?' 'how does this benefit anyone?' 'why does the curriculum assume that I can't figure out the meaning of a poem within 1 minute?' I suppose I am either a special snowflake or the least evil person in the entire year group :3.

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  8. Evil is treating people like things, whether those things are toys to be abused and discarded or nothing more than numbers on a graph.

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  9. Stop teaching mindless obediance in school? I had comments on my report cards to the effect of "Justin did the work asked of him, but not in the way asked of him." or "Justin has a problem with authority." It is expected, to a point of cultural doctrine, that you subjugate yourself to authority.

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  10. There's no such thing as true evil. Evil exists only within the eye of the beholder. Nobody is malevolent simply because they do not wish to do good. More often than not, it's more complicated than that, and many people perceived as "evil" are actually people who genuinely believed that what they were doing was for the greater good. Nobody wants to be evil; everyone wants to be good.

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  11. evil isn't one thing but many not a person, group or belief and doesn't have a clear definition

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  12. This video only delves into a very specific sort of evil, rather than actually answering the question of, "what is evil?". Not all people who are 'evil' are following some sort of orders.

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  13. This didn't define evil at all. Evil is blind obedience? So is it evil to blindly obey your parents to love everyone/take out the trash/clean your room/be kind? All this proves is that blind obedience to evil is possible (and, to be precise, it didn't even prove that, as "evil" was not even defined or proved to exist as an objective standard).

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  14. "as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Romans 3:10-12

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  15. Here's something to mess you you, there's no such thing as evil or good, its all a lie.

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  16. I consider evil to be a choice. Not only doing something that the rest of society considers wrong, but knowing for yourself that it IS wrong and doing it anyway. The majority of Nazis were most likely not evil, but like Eichman they were, to my mind, simply misguided and foolish (not to say their actions were permissible, i'll get to that). It's about the individual's own intent, killing someone you whole-heartrendingly believe deserves to die is not evil, but murdering someone you believe is innocent and does not deserve to die is. This is not to say actions such as murder are justified, we as a society do not punish people only because and if they are evil, but because they go against our best interests as a society. We can say that the Nazis were wrong, but to claim they were purely evil is a statement without perspective.

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  17. My personal philosophy is that there are no evil people, just horrifically dumb people combined with stupid ideas.

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  18. This video played an ad for a fidget spinner homescreen. I think the answer is right in front of me.

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  19. The best defense, I would posit, is that we are all capable of being like Eichmann. The Melgrim experiments showed that it was possible for anyone to fall into the trap of simply following orders, even in the face of cruelty. People that are of the belief that they are incapable of being bullied, tricked or coerced into committing atrocities against their peers are the least likely to be aware of malfeasance. The personal bias of being incorruptible can cloud one's thinking and obscure the truth. Baleful intent can be a blind spot for the self righteous.

    Thus the best (only?) defense is to operate from a position that your actions (or the orders that you are receiving) could be causing unnecessary harm to someone else. Once you acknowledge that you are capable of being manipulated, you are more likely to question the morality of an order or directive rather than just relying on the implicit benevolence of your own character. Understanding that you can be tricked, puts you on guard in order to not be taken advantage of.

    PS. Fantastic music in this video.

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  20. And it was her own lack of empathy or ability to see herself in the shoes of another that made her think he would be a monster.  So she is guilty of the exact same thing; does that mean SHE is evil as well?  The ability to do these things is INCREDIBLY rare.  You can't just put yourself in one pair of shoes, but in ALL the shoes.  You see, even the Nazi "final solution" was done with the best of intentions.  It was very John Lennon of them in all intent.  They tried, more than ANYONE ever has, to create a single nation, under one banner, that would strive to work together.  Unfortunately, they (like John Lennon) failed to see the inherent flaws of this.  But they were (unlike Lennon) willing to actually attempt to make it a reality.  They did what was necessary to try.  What would the death of one people mean if it ended all strife? (…in their mind, and Lennon's, the inevitable result of achieving this singular group, and that is one flaw in their plan).See, there is no evil.  There is only the failure to properly foresee the results or to properly prioritize freedoms.  EVERY SINGLE ONE of the worst atrocities in the world, were done with the best of intentions.  Vlad had his enemies impaled on stakes and left for others to find and Zulu warriors cannibalized and mutilated their enemies; so that the fear of this might demoralize conflict.  They did that to save lives and prevent war.  This is not a thing that can be stopped.  There will ALWAYS be compromise required to achieve the greater good.  The US and Brittan targeted civilians with bombing runs when fighting Germany in WWII.  No one likes to talk about the great many war crimes we did over there and no one will ever attempt to charge them for it.  Sorry… but "Evil" is a matter of perspective.  If the Nazi army achieved their goal and it actually worked the way they hoped (that is not really possible) then every nation that opposed them would be the terrorist fools who created more death and war for no reason when they could have joined into one nation for the betterment of all.  See… History decides what was good and evil.

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  21. One is not evil if his sole purpose is to satisfy himself, but to utterly destroy others by any means necessary, even if it harms himself.

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  22. The first definition of evil was the opposite of good without defining what good is. Sloppy philosophy.

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  23. The end of the video ask the right question to just contradict his point with the story. Which was CHOICE to do good or evil and to choose to send millions to their death. Not a easy choice in his mind they probably would have killed his family or maybe be labeled a traitor and kill him maybe nothing but his choice was to continue to do the task and he knew what he was doing. It doesn't matter if he didn't know he still was doing ignorance is a answer but not a good one.

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  24. "Just doing my job, just following orders, just mindlessly going through the motions as a sleepwalker in life."
    – The Banality of Evil

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  25. I believe believe evil is any person who repeatedly and intently commits acts that physically or emotionally harm another living person

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  26. I think your totally right Wisecrack! We face evil pretty much everyday! blindly following the masses. Thats what happens to most teens with drugs, you can get pulled down, like "Hey they do it so it must be fine" Not questioning wether its good, or bad. Also Micheal Bush, the military does not just murder with no reason. there is a difference between murder, and killing. The military does not murder, they don't just kill people for no reason. We must remember why America is a free country! It is because the SACRIFICE of our military . We must respect what they do for us!

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  27. Dang. Almost got it. Ya went off on a tangent from obedience. Obedience and compliance isn't evil. Simply not killing is conformity The bible is a very good example actually. It's standards brought about western civilization as it is where we have law based on morals. Unfortunate left turn for this vid promoting individualism. It's not healthy in this era.

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  28. Or maybe he was just a normal guy and not a monster because he was overseeing the transfer of prisoners to work camps and there really were no death camps so he had no reason to behave like an evil person would… really makes you think.

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  29. Lord Vetinari summed it up well in Guards, Guards:

    "'Down there,' he said, 'are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no.'"

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  30. Evil doesn't exist in a positive state,.. i.e. cold is absence of heat, dark is absence of light, ignorance is absence of knowledge etc. etc. "…the evil spirit, Satan or whatever is interpreted as evil, refers to the lower nature in man. This baser nature is symbolized in various ways." ~ Baha'i Faith

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  31. Eichmann – "I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have five million human beings on my conscience is for me a source of extraordinary satisfaction"…Yeah, doesn't really sound like someone who "refused to comprehend the weight of his crimes" to me.

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  32. thats NOT HOW YOU DO THINGS. Too much GENERALIZINGGG!!!! one man does not equal all men. we are not all blind, and without empathy you f+++ing f+++heads!!!

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  33. From that prospective is the devil less evil than those who fall for his temptations?
    Is Hitler less evil than those who followed him?

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  34. From what I know of Kant this is very compatible with some of his ideas, which makes total sense cause a) Kant has had a great influence on modern Western values & human rights and b) apparently Kant & Ardendt have the same Myers Briggs type

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  35. I love this! Just found a similar talk if anyone’s interested: https://youtu.be/cHosRARtUDI

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  36. We look fat, not because of excess, but rather because of the lack of active use of our muscular exoskeleton…

    Banal Utility is Evil/Mediocre (All "fat" has been trimmed away, and as a "low fat" product is unable to sway in any other direction…) You need the fat of youth/frivoulty in order to worry about Life… This worry cannot be bought in a package/kit, for it is an extra effort/sacrifice… "if it is not just right, then it is just wrong…" Thus to be "good enough" to "get by" is really mediocre, and is pure evil Utility… To go beyond it is Art… it is the A+, that 1% extra that cannot make sense to our 100% minds because it goes beyond 100%… you make the car go slower instead of faster, by adding bling.

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  37. Evil is a kind of pleasure and quicken heartbeat where the ego/self feels empowered over the rules of nature.

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  38. ok, I hated the idea. Why 8 bits? Why the terrible music? I know that pixel art has returned as a form of retro but retro art is better than 8bit and the music is definitely not this bad.

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  39. "What can be done to save humanity from mindless obedience?"

    We could use obedience to create a better world instead of pretending like we can teach people like Eichmann to be something they are not. The fascists and the communists understood this. Liberals didn't and still don't, and we are living in the result of this.

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  40. Evil is convincing people that something good can come out of bad things. When it's not true.

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