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Topic: Why Do The Definitions of Good and Bad Things Exist?

RELG 203 Paper Proposal

Why Do The Definitions of Good and Bad Things Exist?

The real meaning of “Good” and “Evil.” At the beginning, how are people able to define which is considered as good and bad things? Some people believe that the goods things are the ones that make people feel happy and peaceful while the bad things are supposed to cause harmful and damage to others. The question the way humans distinguish “Good” and “Evil” is based on what standards?

The first thing in the paper should be defining what are considered “Good” and “Evil” up to-date. After that, the next paragraph is supposed to write about what reasons most people believe in the interpretations regarding good and bad things. Imagine that humans live in the world where the meanings of “Good” and “Evil” are switched over, what would then happen? Furthermore, the paper should emphasize the importance of “Good” and “Bad” and explain how they regulate/run the world.


1. Taylor, Steve. “The Real Meaning of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’.” Psychology Today, Sussex
Publishers, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201308/the-real-meaning-good-and-evil.
This article provides a basic understanding about what are considered as “good” and “bad” things. It also explains the reasons and the circumstances that might turn people into “good” or “bad” and demonstrates the differences between them.

2. Wrangham, Richard. “ANGELS and DEMONS.” New Scientist, vol. 241, no. 3217, Feb.
2019, pp. 40–42. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/s0262-4079(19)30290-8.
If the “Good” and “Evil” do exist, what is the nature of humans? This article explains the nature of humans and also emphasizes the relationship between “Good” and “Evil.”

3. SHERMER, MICHAEL. “Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence Against the Christian
God? Notes from a Debate on the Problem of Evil.” Skeptic, vol. 24, no. 2, Apr. 2019, pp. 42–48. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=137122650&site=ehost-live.
I found this article useful because it is written about the origins of “Good” and “Evil.” The most interesting thing is that it explains why the “Evil” part can turn into “Good.”

4. Strickland, Lloyd. “The Problem of Religious Evil: Does Belief in God Cause
Evil?” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, vol. 84, no. 2, Oct. 2018, pp. 237–250. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11153-018-9665-2.
Is there any connection between “Good” and “Evil”? This article believes the “Good” originally comes from the God. However, the reason that the “Evil” is able to exist due to the over-exceeding belief in God.

5. Russell, Bertrand. “The Meaning of Good and Bad.” The Elements of Ethics,
Similar to the first source, this article provides a deeper explaination what it means to be good and bad. The article, however, argues that there is nothing good and bad at the beginning.

6. Rosenbaum, Ron. “Does Evil Exist? Neuroscientists Say No.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 30
Sept. 2011, https://slate.com/technology/2011/09/does-evil-exist-neuroscientists-say-no.html.
The above sources stress the “Good” and “Evil” things based on scientific point of view instead of religious aspects. According to their research, the neuroscientists argue that the “Evil” can not exist. It, however, is created due to humans’ consciousness.

7. Shermer, Michael. The Science of Good and Evil. Henry Holt and Company, 2004.
This book investigates in what ways humans become moral and/or immoral. It also mentions the role of God. Does the “Good” originally come from God?

8. SHEA, MATTHEW. “Human Nature and Moral Status in Bioethics.” Journal of
Medicine & Philosophy, vol. 43, no. 2, Apr. 2018, pp. 115–131. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1093/jmp/jhx039.
This article is useful because it contributes some arguments about human nature so that I can use in order to support the ideas regarding the existence of “Good” and “Bad.” Basically, the article discovers what human being is and what the basis of moral status is.

9. Koch, Richard. “Do Good and Evil Exist?” HuffPost, HuffPost, 26 Oct. 2014,
Basically, the article logically compares the reasons why “Good” and “Evil” do and do not exist. I found this article helpful because it helps me realize that the difference between “Good” and “Evil” is based on how human being perceive things.

10. Conradie, Ernst M. “On Social Evil and Natural Evil: In Conversation with Christopher
Southgate.” Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, vol. 53, no. 3, Sept. 2018, pp. 752–765. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/zygo.12427.
The article demonstrates the difference between social evil and natural evil. It also shows how these two types are related together. This article is useful since it can be used to prove where and how the “Evil” of human beings begin.

1. The title and thesis might change as you work on your paper. You should, however, have an initial idea as to what you hope to accomplish in the paper.

2. Your outline might also be refined as you work on your paper. It is useful, however, to have an initial map of what you envision doing in your paper. Note that your paper should have both an analytical dimension (sorting out what’s at stake in the issue or theologian you are discussing) and a critical dimension (taking a position and defending it.)

3. The annotated bibliography is simply an initial list of the materials with which you are working with some brief notes as to what you find useful in these sources. The bibliography will undoubtedly be expanded as you continue working on your paper.


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