Are You Good?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Diagoras, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Diagoras

    Diagoras Interfaith Forums

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    Well are you?

    I am going to make it easy and ask you to describe only 3 events that would define you as a good person. Or for any resident recidivists and lawyers in the house the 3 things that would define you as 'bad'.

    I am not going to answer it myself before before giving it some thought...:cool:

    Why the philosophy section? Well hopefully this will steer in this direction.
     
  2. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    You'll have to define "good."

    I'm somewhat good but not terribly altruistic. I'm quite bad, but not diabolically. Society wants me to be good in ways that make me more controllable, predictable, and herd-able. I'm not sure that's good for me, though.
    Chris
     
  3. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic New Member

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    I only need to list one: having a Divine Origin.
     
  4. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    it's a difficult one to define. What is good, and, good for whom?

    A scary-looking Black British mugger flies down the street with a middle-class white woman's laptop. What happens next?

    Rugby-tackling the mugger and holding him until the police arrive might be viewed as a good act, but it's not good for the mugger. Oh yes, the mugger might seem bad, but he's just stolen a rich woman's laptop beause his mother needs a lifesaving operation and she lives in deepest darkest Africa. The woman who had her laptop stolen looks upset, and she's wearing a nice suit, but she's got pornos on her lappy, and she's a child abuser. Pc Plod, who cuffs the mugger and drags him off to jail, actually hates his job, beats his wife and smuggles cocaine from the stores in work to sell to teenagers outside MacDonalds. The rugby tackler only leapt for the mugger because he was trying to impress a woman who works in the post office. Nobody here is good. There's just different shades of grey.

    Just like in real life.

    I like to think any God worthy of my worship can see the grey, and doesn't mind grey so much as long as it's never too dark a shade.
     
  5. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic New Member

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    You pointed out the error of your example here:
    Your example doesn't adress what is good... only what isn't

    I personally don't ever feel like taking the effort to define "good" other than by saying "Goodness is good." How do you know if something is good? BECAUSE IT'S GOOD, THAT'S HOW.
     
  6. Sinful Hypocrite

    Sinful Hypocrite New Member

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    I am the worst bad person.

    Why?

    1.Because I know what is good and do not do it .

    2.Because I know what is bad and still do it..

    3. Because I do not even try most times.
     
  7. Diagoras

    Diagoras Interfaith Forums

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    It is arguable that people are herd animals, we are a social omnivore that gathers in extended groups. This behaviour evolved and made as successful enough to become the dominant species on the planet. You can argue about how good or bad that is but you cannot argue that it was our social instincts that have enabled that "success". That success gives you a comfortable life where you can sit and ponder being a hedonist or an anarchist....without all the discomfort of actually living in a society of hedonistic anarchists. Am I right?
     
  8. Diagoras

    Diagoras Interfaith Forums

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    Sam,

    Its a good post...it bears one in good stead to be able to ponder the bigger picture... but how then does anyone ever trust anyone? So like EM says...what is good?
     
  9. Diagoras

    Diagoras Interfaith Forums

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    I may present you with some competition....
     
  10. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    This is absolutely meaningless. Because "good" has no tangible reference, it is a subjective and context-sensitive word.

    If something tastes good to an individual, it is because the contact of the food on the tongue releases chemicals in the brain which makes someone feel good. The feeling is the tangible reference and is equated with good.

    In order to define what it is to be a good person, we have to look at the desired results.

    What is it a person does in order to be defined as good?

    For me it is someone who can cultivate their own happiness with no detriment to anybody else. If we were all able to focus on cultivating inner happiness the world as a whole would be a better place.

    If we need to look at the characteristics of individual happiness then we can do. For me it is a sense of peace, fearlessness, the ability to be fearlessly spontaneous, honesty, respect and sensitivity towards others and the world.
     
  11. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    good cannot exist in isolation -- goodness is not a totality, was my point. What you, the individual deems to be good, might not be good for me, another individual. Who decides what is right? True? Good? I cannot define good. To try to define good, without including specifics cannot be done. Good in what context?

    Is apple pie goodness? It is tasty. It is sweet. It is satisfying. Easy to make.

    But... it's not so good if you're allergic to apples. I cannot define goodness. Goodness is an artifical construct.
     
  12. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Properties like "good" and "evil" can only be inherent to human beings if we are the cause of ourselves. Since it is clear that we are not, no one is anything inherently good or bad. We just are what we were made to be. Superficially, labels like good and bad are just used out of convenience. But unless you are God Himself, such judgments don't mean anything.
     
  13. Sinful Hypocrite

    Sinful Hypocrite New Member

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    Prison was never very convenient for those good or bad people.:p
     
  14. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    It is for the society which convicts them.

    The ones with the power get to do what's convenient for them.
     
  15. Sinful Hypocrite

    Sinful Hypocrite New Member

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    True. Power is the root of all evil.
     
  16. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Good at what?

    Just kidding. Sort of.

    This has been a most amusing thread to read. I tend to think less of goodness and more about harmony. If there is a harmony, a balance. This might look or feel very bad in a moment, but cosmically be for the best. Or an action might look or feel very good in the moment, but cosmically be lousy.

    I'll share examples from horse training, just for the heck of it. Horses are generally happy when they have no pressure and don't feel like they have to lead. It's a prey herd thing- built into them. Now, in horse training, if you have a snapshot moment of when I'm correcting a horse for being naughty, I may look quite "bad." And it doesn't feel that pleasant to me or the horse, either. I have to overcome my fear that taking hold of the horse will escalate to a fight, and I also have to overcome my desire to avoid difficult situations, leadership, and so on. And the horse doesn't usually like a correction much either. But in a larger, long-term horizon, correcting a horse consistently results usually in only a few skirmishes, and then the horse learns I am the leader and can be quiet, happy, and calm. Knowing that I am the alpha and on the lookout for predators, the horse can be stress-free. Furthermore, the horse then becomes safer and more respectful, and we can be in partnership as I look after his needs and he respects mine.

    Conversely, a horse owner who just always gives her horse pets and kisses and cubes of sugar might look "good." The snapshot of loving, nurturing behavior is good. But if that person never balances that with discipline, and returns a bite or buck with sugar cubes, that person is creating a fearful, dominant, unhappy horse. A dangerous horse. Horses that end up in slaughterhouses are often those that were spoiled until they harmed people. So in a more global sense, a long-term sense, that good act of giving snuggles rather than correction is doing no one a favor. I've seen many horse owners wind up with broken bones and a horse sold because of taking what feels and looks good rather than what is best and most harmonious with how horses work.

    And, as Sam pointed out, something can look good in the moment but really have no underlying good motivation. Whether or not the motivation matters is a point of contention. I think it does, and in fact is the primary thing that matters, but many others could disagree and have very solid logic for doing so.

    For me, goodness, if you want to call it that, is really harmonious-ness. This arises from cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness of the moment, careful and critical thinking, openness, creativity, and then the self-discipline to act on it.

    Sinful (wow, there really is no way to shorten that name nicely! ;)) pointed out what s/he feels makes him/her feel bad- failure to act according to what is right/best and the issue of self-discipline. But even knowing how one should act in a given situation is a profoundly demanding and challenging prospect when one contemplates the complexity. Even commandments like "thou shalt not murder" demand that we define murder. This process of self-knowing, awareness and mindfulness, of connecting to that cosmic, global trajectory of our actions- of the ripple effect- this in itself takes tremendous self-discipline and openness to growth. For me at least, it is this first step that is most difficult. Once I really am connected to the Divine and therefore to this cosmic understanding, I feel an enormous internal pressure to follow it, both in terms of what I should do and avoiding what I shouldn't do. When I fail, it is more often because of lack of alignment with this connection than sheer avoidance of action. Not sure if that's just me or what, but there you have it.
     
  17. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Cesar Milan is that you?
     
  18. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    No, no- 17th... that would be you. :) You're the dog-dude, I'm the horse-chick. :D

    Though my dogs are pretty happy too. I must confess, though, I'm better at being alpha mare than pack leader. My Rottie sees it as his job to protect me, so he mostly listens, but if he thinks I really need protection, he doesn't. :eek:
     
  19. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Well, I think that PoO's response gets pretty close to my point. I'm being treated like a dog or horse in some sort of social training exercise. I'm being trained to be docile, to buy things based on learned sexual response, to WANT things I don't necessarily NEED. And if I respond correctly to the alpha leader I'm rewarded in ways that reinforce my emasculation. But is that good? Is it good for me, or just good in the sense that I don't cause problems for the power structure? Am I just a good slave? Horses and dogs are slaves, what about humans? What would a horse or dog actually want if freed to respond to their own natural instincts? To kick, and bark, and chase prey or run free on the prairie, maybe. The functionalism of slavery to cultural mores dictates certain behavior, but can we honestly say that is even to the benefit of persons in general, or just to the aims of the task masters? I want to kick up my heals and run free. Maybe I won't go in through the In Door, or exit through the Out Door. Maybe I'll do whatever the hell I want and piss on you for trying to stop me. Maybe that's what's Good.

    Chris
     
  20. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    I'll give you both a run for your money :eek:
     

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