I don't really have time to read through the rest of the thread but thought I'd put thoughts down here first and read everything later.
In my opinion:
In terms of classic RPG alignments I view humanity as a whole as chaotic good. We know enough about good in order to be dangerous with it, since everyone has their own interpretations of it. I think people are out for themselves, mostly, in terms of happiness and financial security. It can lead a person to do some pretty crazy things int eh name of their personal goals. I think that's where the evil comes in: when personal goals are twisted to cause harm or someone makes an 'at any cost' vow to meet a goal for themselves.
Does this make us evil? Not necessarily.
Do ends justify means? Not always.
If you're constantly doing things for logical reasons (to you) but are hurting people (in any way) by doing so and not caring... I'd say that's evil.
If you do the above, plus enjoy the fact that you are hurting people.... I'd say that's evil. With a dash of psychotic.
But then you get the guy who got successful on the shoulders of others. He (or she to be fair) didn't necessarily think of the consequences of his/her actions in advance, but does that ignorance indicate purposeful cause of FUBARed situations in whatever way they manifest? Not necessarily. In this case, is the person evil? I don't know.
Intent, I believe, is the dividing line between real evil and not evil. (By the way; 'not evil' in this case is not to be equated with good; it's just literally not evil).
Sometimes psychopaths (i use this term loosely, not in the clinical sense) don't realise what they're doing is wrong, and that's insanity. But they do still intend to do the things they're doing... sometimes they feel no guilt. I'd say psychopaths are evil, to an extent.... but it's an evil they can't help because they're wired differently. These people should be cared for and helped as much as possible. Sadly, no cure is available and may who are not able to be aided might need institutionalization.
Another instance is the person that feels guilt but keeps doing what they're doing because they see no alternative to their current situation. These people need help and compassion, to get out of that situation. Not judgement. I don't see a person who experiences true remorse for what they do, even if it's bad, as evil.
I believe there's a bit of good in everyone. So long as the desire to go insane or hurt people doesn't conquer the desire to do 'right' by cultural norms, then I think it's possible to be mostly good. And even though I think most people are out for themselves... I think it's in a mostly good way. They are trying to find ways to make themselves happy and have a good life, within the boundaries of social norms, for the majority.
I think that's what Maxim was trying to say too, just understanding you to this point wasn't too easy. It's good you defined moral relativism for us. I'm with you, canibalism, no matter what, is ucky... is it ever good to practice incest? No, health matters if nothing else (unless you think quazimoto kids is healthy). I think we'd all be like no. But it's fun to see it in anime? Why? I don't know (easy story telling device). Is it ever ok to murder? uh... let's say no but it's fun to see little blip and bloops do it on your computer screen. We all take part in evil... evil is fun. It's not 'good' it won't be good if you hide it from the kids... you should still hide it from the kids though... but as Humans if we give in to our basic preferences it will give way to evil heck, there's lots of evil (war, punishment) in the Bible, not using it as a Religious scripture, just saying that even the PRIMARY reference of good is PERVADED in Evil. Humans can't really be Human without a little evil. The key to being good is just minimizing it (I would add repenting from it as well... obligatory religious propaganda), not abolishing or ignoring it.
Now, as Jaded brought up, is it ok to go to African Tribes and say because you eat your ancestors you are BAD and must be 'institutionalized'! One subject that is near to me is is it ok that the missionaries to Hawaii abolished and changed Hula from a intense and sexual dance that tells stories to some tourist diversion or at best a censored dance (basically think prohibition...). Not ok. So why than is 'moral relativism' something that can be justified? What I'd still tell them is 'you are being BAD' but, as Jaded inferred, a little bad is... not that bad.
so here I'm saying bad is bad no matter where you are... but there's no need to condemn it so. Seriously guys. Some ppl just like doing their wiccan arts or being gay... maybe if we just accepted them they wouldn't make such an issue out of it.
Are we evil? Yes, evil is fun .
In my opinion the world isn't split into "Jedi" and "Sith". We all have light and dark inside us and what makes who we are is what path we choose to follow. Most of the time our moral compass is wobbling in the centre. This also begs the question of what can be seen as evil. If you are all about the big picture people can start to see you as an evil person. This is because the individual gets overlooked and the interactions with the individuals are what people see as the most "Good". For instance, If you see someone help an old lady across the street you think,'thats a nice person', but if a politician gets more crossings on the road built to help this old lady, then no one really gives a damn. People think of good deeds as immediate and personal.
As for the whole 'Ignorance is bliss' idea. I don't believe this makes you a bad person, it just makes you not a very good one. Its like the middle conversation option in Mass Effect, it's not paragon, but is not renegade. Good and EVil deeds all involve a person going out of their way to achieve a goal. Weather that goal is good or evil doesn't change the fact that you had to try to achieve it. Ignoring a problem doesn't make you evil, it might make you lazy, but if you don't get involved with it then you aren't changing the outcome.
Im the fuzz