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  1. #71
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    He was, however, a good barber. Such a nice man, always so quiet and polite. Very kind to animals.

    But now, let us consider, can we make the sentence, "I used to be a bad man"?

    Yes, I think so. Redemption is possible. (Probable? That's another question.)

    So, perhaps, a bad man is someone who persists, for whatever reason, in badness. So a bad man on a deserted island is still a bad man. Something remains inside.

    What is the something? A persistent wish or desire, perhaps not under conscious control, to do things that harm others?

    "Bad" is only defined in terms of effect on others? (Potential or expected effect?)

    What of, say, something that a person will do naturally that will harm some and not harm others? A domineering father to a fragile child, say. ("I was a bad father.") Or, say, a strait-laced prude marrying someone in need of physical affection. ("She was an awful wife, forever jumping on me!")

    Is it always about the other person's needs? Or perhaps, the other person's rights? But, nonetheless, always "the other person"?

    It seems like it must be, mustn't it? "Bad" is a moral term and "people" are the objects of morality.

    So-o-o... it's all relative?

  2. #72
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    You never felt entitled to (do) anything in this life?
    I'm not more entitled than anyone else.
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  3. #73
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm not more entitled than anyone else.
    If I stab you don't you feel entitled to fight back in some form? If you work like hell everyday and there's this colleague of yours that is the epitome of laziness and bumness and one of you is going to get promoted, don't you feel you deserve to be the one getting the promotion (let's assume the promotion is supposed to be rewarding hard work)?

    I'm not talking about making a big deal out of it or being bitchy about it. I'm talking about what goes on inside your head.

    If there's no such thing as moral superiority why should criminals be thrown to jail?

  4. #74
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    If I stab you don't you feel entitled to fight back in some form? If you work like hell everyday and there's this colleague of yours that is the epitome of laziness and bumness and one of you is going to get promoted, don't you feel you deserve to be the one getting the promotion (let's assume the promotion is supposed to be rewarding hard work)?
    Now you are talking about behavior rather than strictly making a moral judgement about someone. I deal with bad behavior by whatever method I think would correct or counter that behavior. If you are attacking me, then I run or fight or call the cops (or some combination of the three). If some lazy person is competing for a promotion, then I am sure to sell my best points to employer in order to get the promotion myself.

    It doesn't matter if the other person is good or bad. If a "good" person is behaving badly then I treat them like a "bad" person in that situation. And likewise if a "bad" person is doing right, then I treat them like a "good" person in that situation. However I can't claim anyone is morally superior in an overall sense. Everyone has done bad things, so everyone is a bad. Therefore no one is morally superior.

    I'm not talking about making a big deal out of it or being bitchy about it. I'm talking about what goes on inside your head.

    If there's no such thing as moral superiority why should criminals be thrown to jail?
    Criminals are not put in jail because they are morally inferior. They are put in jail because they broke the law and got caught.
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  5. #75
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Now you are talking about behavior rather than strictly making a moral judgement about someone. I deal with bad behavior by whatever method I think would correct or counter that behavior. If you are attacking me, then I run or fight or call the cops (or some combination of the three). If some lazy person is competing for a promotion, then I am sure to sell my best points to employer in order to get the promotion myself.
    Moral judgements are made based on present and past behavior. I mean, morality is about "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or or good and bad behavior."

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It doesn't matter if the other person is good or bad. If a "good" person is behaving badly then I treat them like a "bad" person in that situation. And likewise if a "bad" person is doing right, then I treat them like a "good" person in that situation. However I can't claim anyone is morally superior in an overall sense. Everyone has done bad things, so everyone is a bad. Therefore no one is morally superior.
    There is such a thing as reputation. Of course everyone does good and bad things. But there's quite a distinction between Hitler and Gandhi, wouldn't you agree? You said "Everyone is a bad person. No one is morally superior to anyone else.". Morality pertains to a specific behavior or a series of behaviors. A bad person is someone with a reprovable behavioral history.

    I consider myself morally superior to Hitler, for instances. In any given situation, if I react in morally appropriate fashion (and I'm talking common sense here) and this other person reacts in a morally reprovable fashion, I'm morally superior as it pertains to that particular event. It's all relative to the scope, but the concept is still there.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Criminals are not put in jail because they are morally inferior. They are put in jail because they broke the law and got caught.
    Criminals are sent to jail because the law is morally superior to that person as far as that particular incident is concerned. The law doesn't condone that particular kind of behavior so that's why the guy goes to jail. The law dictates it's own moral standards and anyone who violates them is punished. The law is impersonal so it's the epitome of moral superiority. It's the whole of our society's moral standards.

  6. #76
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    Moral judgements are made based on present and past behavior. I mean, morality is about "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or or good and bad behavior."
    Everyone has done bad things. That is why everyone is a bad person.

    There is such a thing as reputation. Of course everyone does good and bad things. But there's quite a distinction between Hitler and Gandhi, wouldn't you agree? You said "Everyone is a bad person. No one is morally superior to anyone else.". Morality pertains to a specific behavior or a series of behaviors. A bad person is someone with a reprovable behavioral history.
    Reputation is meaningless. A bad reputation can simply mean that person got on the bad side of some compulsive gossiper. History is meaningless in judging morality too, because History is written by the victors. History is not written by those who took the moral course of action.

    I'll admit that what we know about Hitler is immoral, while what we know about Gandhi is admirable. However what we know about each of them is pretty limited in comparison to the whole of a person. Ultimately I consider them to be morally equal. Both have done bad things, and therefore both are bad people.

    I consider myself morally superior to Hitler, for instances. In any given situation, if I react in morally appropriate fashion (and I'm talking common sense here) and this other person reacts in a morally reprovable fashion, I'm morally superior as it pertains to that particular event. It's all relative to the scope, but the concept is still there.
    I agree that you can say this to a specific event, but I wouldn't ever say anyone is morally superior overall.

    Criminals are sent to jail because the law is morally superior to that person as far as that particular incident is concerned. The law doesn't condone that particular kind of behavior so that's why the guy goes to jail. The law dictates it's own moral standards and anyone who violates them is punished. The law is impersonal so it's the epitome of moral superiority. It's the whole of our society's moral standards.
    This is where it comes down to differences in our individual morality. I personally don't consider the law to be a good moral standard. For example adultery is not illegal while tax evasion is. However I consider adultery immoral, while I don't consider tax evasion to be immoral. (It's foolish, but it's not immoral.) In fact some people might even avoid paying their taxes, because they are protesting immorality from the government such as a war. To them tax evasion is moral, yet it is clearly illegal.

    There are plenty of other examples like this such as a reporter going to jail for protecting his sources. Overall I consider the law mostly to be a way of maintaining civil order, but I don't consider it to be a particularly good standard for morality.
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  7. #77
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Everyone has done bad things. That is why everyone is a bad person.
    You render the very definition of good and bad completely void by saying that. Everyone has photographed something. That doesn't make everyone a photographer. And by that definition we would all be good people too.



    Reputation is meaningless. A bad reputation can simply mean that person got on the bad side of some compulsive gossiper. History is meaningless in judging morality too, because History is written by the victors. History is not written by those who took the moral course of action.

    I'll admit that what we know about Hitler is immoral, while what we know about Gandhi is admirable. However what we know about each of them is pretty limited in comparison to the whole of a person. Ultimately I consider them to be morally equal. Both have done bad things, and therefore both are bad people.
    Yes, history is written by the victors. Would you say you often doubt that the serial killer caught by the police on the evening news is really guilty? The issue here isn't if the person really did those things or not, so much as it about whether, if you were certain he/she did, you would risk labeling that person moral superior/inferior when compared to you, judging by your standards.

    I agree that you can say this to a specific event, but I wouldn't ever say anyone is morally superior overall.
    In my opinion, a man is defined by his actions. Picking a fight with some fellow in a bar because you're pissed and gassing people are on different parts of the moral spectrum. Everyone might have unwarrantably picked a fight in his/her life, but not everyone murdered another person. Everyone has good and bad intentions, but it's what a person has the guts/nerv to do that counts in the end.



    This is where it comes down to differences in our individual morality. I personally don't consider the law to be a good moral standard. For example adultery is not illegal while tax evasion is. However I consider adultery immoral, while I don't consider tax evasion to be immoral. (It's foolish, but it's not immoral.) In fact some people might even avoid paying their taxes, because they are protesting immorality from the government such as a war. To them tax evasion is moral, yet it is clearly illegal.

    There are plenty of other examples like this such as a reporter going to jail for protecting his sources. Overall I consider the law mostly to be a way of maintaining civil order, but I don't consider it to be a particularly good standard for morality.
    Me neither. Not a perfect standard anyways. But that wasn't my point. It was merely an example of how morally superiority is used as a right to punish others. If you ask people to take off their boots before entering your house, and if someone doesn't abide, chances are you'll be mad. Somewhere between the law and common sense lies the bulk of the commonality between the majority's standards. But, everyone has a different moral code. The point is we use it everyday to judge others' actions. You are morally superior because that is your house and you feel you have the right to say who enters it and how. You have the right. You are entitled to it.

  8. #78
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Easy
    The "bad person' is the one we want to believe can be nice and make us feel special whenever they'd do something for us.

    The 'nice guys' are the losers who secretly want everybody to love them.

    Good would be a middle ground, because we're so very democratic that the norme tends to be percieved as some kind of an ideal.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

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    ... In theory.

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  9. #79
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    There is no such thing as a Good or a Bad person, for there to be such would require an objective moral truth, which is entirely unprovable.

    Everyone performs actions that others would perceive as 'bad'. 'Bad' is the subjective term applied to things that one believes has negative consequences.

    The reverse is just as true.

    Everyone performs actions that others would perceive as 'good'. 'Good' is the subjective term applied to things that one believes has positive consequences.

    Even if every human being on the planet agreed on what is 'good' and what is 'bad', it doesn't make it so, they are still subjective truths, an appeal to popularity doesn't make them objective truths.

    A problem arises in this mindset however, if nothing is good and nothing is bad, why should there be "law" at all, what would justify it? The solution is that law should only apply to how people affect others, not themselves, because one cannot be sure if one's own subjectives moral truths applies to another person. Ex: One should be able to take any drugs that he or she wishes, but not force another to use said drugs. Or, one has the right to end one's own life, but they do not have the right to end another person's life. This idea can be abstracted to many other examples.

  10. #80
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    It depends on who we ask?

    When I converse with people, it seems as though we all have different definitions of what a 'bad' person is.

    Ex- Person A may say, "He (Person B) is bad!! Bad! Very Bad." and the intentions of what Person B does are mostly beneficial for the group. That person doesn't do anything to harm others. They care.

    In light of trying to answer & define a bad person, person A makes themselves look mal-intent/irrational, even though they think they're the smartest person on this planet. There is no justification behind their 'bad person' definition other than "He Bad. Me right." At the heart of it all, Person A wasn't really a nice person for saying that after all, but someone who was just self-projecting what 'bad' means, because they were ill-intent themselves, or simply, easily brainwashed/misguided. It really depends. I think ignorance is the root for such judgment.

    If we ask a group of people, ex, those who are a bit opportunistic in nature what bad is, they may give a whole different narrow set of definitions.

    I think 'bad' has something to do with values. I think most people attribute those who are 'bad' as people who share the opposite values they do- the "enemies." In this case, I would question the person in the background, who has their own agenda, who instigates such polarization. In other cases, they might be right/justified.

    Me personally, a person who's a not 'so nice' person is someone who treats people opposite the way they would like others to treat them (and maybe family and friends- if they have any). Basically, if they treat those who they deem, 'less important,' or of the 'lesser kind' irrelevant.. like disposable objects. I guess we can say someone with sociopathic tendencies, sociopathic values. (No offense to anyone who is sort of like this).

    We all have different definitions of good/bad. I think it's safe to say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," is sensible & most logical to me. Collectively, the intentions behind this phrase is positive/beneficial for the vast majority of people (on both a micro/macro level- since one intermittently effects the other, vice versa). I love these questions!

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