I took Philosophy in college. I was not trying to be ambiguous , I get what you are saying though.
Let me try to reply here step by step. It was a cached thought in a sense of what I think you are saying, which is why I added it to my own shortform - I thought, as an idea, as it's hard for me to keep track of my ideas. What I meant was evil as an ideology, or as an entity in a way. We would have no idea what good was if there was no opposite end of the spectrum. Evil exists, and in that sense it helps to understand "what is good" ? Maybe I am not wording it correctly. If there were only good, how would you even know what was "good" or "evil" ? Do you get what I am trying to say? And as unfortunate as some things like war can be, they do a lot of the time lead to progress. One of the hardest parts about war or evil is also trying to tread the boundaries of ethics. The US for instance kills innocent people all the time in the name of the greater good. Kids die, innocent people die, and we write it off as " for the greater good" . But rationally evil - like taking a life, even if for a just cause , allows for good. The taking of any life is evil in a sense, but has allowed for good historically as weird as that sounds. It's the whole notion of war. Furthermore, I see AI being discussed here often and rationally if you're going to create a true AI, evil and good will come up often, and how would you even begin to develop true AI without explaining the spectrum of good and evil? They exist only because of one another. I am actually pretty certain my original post was me paraphrasing something I was listening to of Lex Fridman or Eric Weinstein. Pain causes revolutions! Evil has lead to good in many roundabout ways. I will find the whole part if I can.... If it was up to me "evil" would not exist at all, but it does exist, and it exists only because we have a spectrum. YING and YANG. Maybe this is why some people find it hard to believe in GOD, because its like why does evil exist at all? You can only appreciate the good because of the evil.
I will elaborate on this later, but the social sciences have so so so many variables to consider. Our whole idea of social science is based on human social interaction and good luck understanding even the person next to you , or your partner let alone the other 7-8 billion people. Social science is hard. It's not as black and white as some other sciences are seemingly. It's a how could you possibly understand scenario...
Look at all the good Bill Gates does that I think is effective altruism and he gets vilified . It's a weird thing. I remember watching a patriot act episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS9CFBlLOcg
I imagine most good deeds or true altruism takes place on non-measurable scales. It's the thought that counts right? A smile goes a long way, how can you measure a smile, or positive energy. Whether you throw a dart or follow a non dart follow method, maybe the positive energy put out means something, especially now.
Evil is necessary for good to exist. Sadness necessary for happiness to exist. Wars create progress. I wish neither Evil, Sadness, or War ever existed, but it is true that darkness must exist for the light to exist.
Would philanthropy be better off it people just threw darts, or if they stuck to tried and true ways of giving? Is not even taking a gamble on a possible great outcome for the overall good a form of genuine altruism?
I just posted about this but is that not why the serenity prayer or saying is so popular? GOD aside whether you are a religious or God person or not the sentiment or logic of the saying holds true - God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. You should be allowed to ask yourself for that same courage. And I agree that most sources of unhappiness seems to be a violation of expectations. There are many things outside of ones controls and one should perhaps make their expectations logically based on that fact.
Atheism and any Organized Religion are about as equal in sense, or lack there of. Rationally is there any other logical way of thinking that isnt agnostic? Even if it's agnostic theism / atheism ? Would not logic tell every single person to be agnostic in the end? Is there anything wrong with you saying you simply do not know and identifying as agnostic?
The gap in human intelligence and rational/critical thinking seems to be ever widening. Politics aside I find it interesting the drastic differences in human cognitive behavior. I wonder if compared to other animals that we consider intelligent if the spectrum is so large?