stahrgazer wrote:However, with good and evil, you can pretty much accept that that which promotes humanity is good, and that which does not, is evil.
No. Not only is that a sloppy definition of good and evil, it's a generally wrong one.
crispybits wrote:Elves don't exist (or at least we've never found evidence that they do), but we can choose how to perceive them.
No, but you freely admit we can choose to perceive them as light or dark, and it's light and dark/good and evil that I'm claiming exists because we can perceive them, not "elves."
I said from the first that these concepts are written down in the bible to help us understand the universe. I've also said that actions we interpret may not always fall on the "absolute" side of these scales.
Your notion of killing the killer before he kills your family is a good one; "thou shalt not kill," is biblical, and killing itself doesn't promote humanity, so is on the "evil side," even if "killing to protect my family," is "less evil" than, "killing because I'm evil."
The greater good//less evil might be for you to protect your family but spare that killer's life, so that he can live to reform and find that HIV cure.
I don't have to believe in a "God of Abraham" to perceive that some things are good, some things are not, and some things are less good or maybe a little less bad... and obviously, neither do you.
So, God and Satan may exist, and may not, but the concepts of good and evil that they define, surely exist; even if we, ourselves, a're not able to perceive the full future ramifications of our actions as they occur.