According to Taoist philosophy good and evil are equal and should both exist because one cannot exist without the other. However, according to traditional ethics good is better than evil and we should strive for a world with as much good and as little evil as possible. My question is: do you think that good is better than evil, as traditional ethics says, or do you think good and evil are equal as the Taoists think, and why? Should we strive for a world with as much good and as little evil as possible or should we let both good and evil exist?
A good question! On at least one plausible reading, the Taoist claim is that our distinctions and judgements - e.g. of things as good/evil, beautiful/ugly etc. - belong to human judgment rather than to the nature of reality: so these moral distinctions are pragmatic conventions for organising our life, but don't, in themselves, reflect any real features of the world. If so, it's not that good and evil are real and interdependent, but rather than they only appear through a certain perspective on the world, in this case, that of human beings living in societies. But the Taoists do still offer moral guidance in that they do praise certain virtues and argue that certain ways of life are aligned with or responsive to 'tao' - virtues like spontaneity and humility and therefore ways of life that include and are guided by these virtues rather than their opposing vices. A clear and accessible introduction is David E. Cooper, 'Convergence with Nature' (Green Books, 2012).
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