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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    The central theme of Good is "Do no harm." People who are perceived to do no harm no matter what the provocation (MLK, Ghandi, Jesus) are considered good.

    I think another is forgiveness. As in not rubbing peoples' noses in it if they make mistakes, and always believing in their highest self.

    Another is humility.

    I think good people inspire the good in others. I think some people are truly gifted with a disposition and personality that lends itself towards good, and if they are brought up with the education and opportunity to strengthen that, then they're shining lights for the rest of us to look up to. I think good people are enobling.

    Provided they are competent. Lack of competence will take the whole thing down.

    I know that in business, you can be good, you can do the ethical thing, refuse to stoop to your opponent's antics, be cordial in the face of dirty tricks, etc., and win handsomely. I think bad people don't succeed long term, and bad breeds bad until everybody ends up miserable.

    Maybe another part of Good is lack of the notion of scarcity that makes people act cut throat, like there's not enough for everyone, they have to win all the time at all costs. Maybe part of being good depends on trust that you're meant to be here and so you will be able to meet your needs.

    Just exploring some ideas.
    Yeah, agreed. Especially that last bit though you seem tentative about it. I think that's a big part of it, too. Learning to trust that you will be given what you truly need, although it may not be what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I don't think, given your definition of selfishness, that the fact that all humans are selfish is relevant to whether or not humans are good. If everyone is selfish, the term 'selfish' loses all meaning, as it doesn't distinguish between kinds of things (which is the point of adjectives).

    Also, saying the notion of a good person is entirely subjective implies there is no difference between definitions of the term 'good'. There surely are better definitions than others.
    I agree there as well. If that concept of the good is dismissed as entirely subjective, then there really is no point in having the discussion at all.

    I guess what I'm after is each person's perspective on any normative conception of what is good. We don't have to agree, but I'm looking for what people think individually.

  2. #12
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    The, "No true Scotsman", is a logical fallacy as is the, "Truely good person".

  3. #13
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    I guess what I'm after is each person's perspective on any normative conception of what is good. We don't have to agree, but I'm looking for what people think individually.
    I pretty much entirely define it by intention.

    Then again, I use a lot of other traits to decide what kind of relationships I want.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I pretty much entirely define it by intention.

    Then again, I use a lot of other traits to decide what kind of relationships I want.
    Do you mean good intention = good person? What about decisions the person based on good intentions that have bad consequences? Are they still good then?

  5. #15
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Do you mean good intention = good person? What about decisions the person based on good intentions that have bad consequences? Are they still good then?
    Well, yeah, I still consider them good. If I was reading a book with that person as the protagonist, I'd think they were good...

    It's not like I'm going to like the consequences, and since the consequences are the only visible thing, I might be mad at the person. But if I eventually understood the intentions were good, I wouldn't really be able to be mad at them.

    I still judge people for their actions that have bad consequences, though. I just judge them as 'incompetent' instead of 'bad'.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I just judge them as 'incompetent' instead of 'bad'.
    Ha, ok. I agree with this part, definitely. I was just about to corroborate Godwin's law on this thread, but I'll restrain myself from doing so.

    Or maybe not...

    What about Hitler? Do you think his intentions were good with bad consequences? Would you then, by your definition, label him as an "incompetent" person, rather than a "bad" person?

  7. #17
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    What about Hitler? Do you think his intentions were good with bad consequences? Would you then, by your definition, label him as an "incompetent" person, rather than a "bad" person?
    Nah, his intentions were not good.

    Part of what I call "good intentions" includes having a certain set of morals.

    Crap. Now I have to describe what that set of morals is. Which means I've gotten nowhere.

    Stupid philosophy.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Yeah, agreed. Especially that last bit though you seem tentative about it. I think that's a big part of it, too. Learning to trust that you will be given what you truly need, although it may not be what you want.
    I seemed tentative because it just occurred to me as I was typing it and I hadn't really thought it out, but it seemed true on the face of it, so I put it out there. But that's a tall order; we're basically talking about faith. So to be good requires having faith. That's how it condensed in my head and made me feel tentative as I was describing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Nah, his intentions were not good.

    Part of what I call "good intentions" includes having a certain set of morals.

    Crap. Now I have to describe what that set of morals is. Which means I've gotten nowhere.

    Stupid philosophy.
    LOL!!! I won't push any further. Thanks for humoring me, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    I seemed tentative because it just occurred to me as I was typing it and I hadn't really thought it out, but it seemed true on the face of it, so I put it out there. But that's a tall order; we're basically talking about faith. So to be good requires having faith. That's how it condensed in my head and made me feel tentative as I was describing it.
    I would agree there, too. When I said you were tentative, I didn't mean it as a criticism as much as an observation. And you're right, it's a tall order.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigensa View Post
    Again in vent, someone said 'to have transcended ego'. I responded with 'well that's impossible'. I'm tired and brain is hurting, so someone take this up please!
    I don't think this is what you meant by "take this up" but I disagree. I think you can transcend ego, Freud be damned. Transcending ego means that your personal needs are put on hold as you reflect and mirror the needs and pains of others. You absorb those needs from others and react as if they were your own burden. You can call that egocentric, but it's really not because it's not really YOUR ego that you're responding to.

    I think being good really comes down to conscience and trying to do the right thing in accordance with conscience and intuition. You might call it a sensitivity to justice and fairness which comes back to compassion and egolessness (for if I was egocentric, I wouldn't be able to sense what was considered unfair for someone else). That conscience isn't something that comes from education, except maybe in its infantile stages, but develops out of innate compassionate instincts.

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