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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post

    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.
    I'd agree. But how do you determine what part of you is conscience/instinct and what part of you is something else, like desire? I think you may agree that we all hear voices and choose which of those voices to trust in terms of how we make our decisions. And those decisions, in turn, affect the measure of goodness in a person.

    But how do you figure out which voice to trust?

  2. #22
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    I'd agree. But how do you determine what part of you is conscience/instinct and what part of you is something else, like desire? I think you may agree that we all hear voices and choose which of those voices to trust in terms of how we make our decisions. And those decisions, in turn, affect the measure of goodness in a person.

    But how do you figure out which voice to trust?
    One answer is practice. Another is not to listen to any of the voices and decide based on your intuition, which is voiceless and really more emotionally driven (but not in a "we-have-to-save-them!" kinda way). I'm not 100% sure. I know I'm doing the right thing when I ask myself certain questions that cuts through the maze and thinking and just goes straight to kindness and fairness. And that's not intellectual.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Let's say for the sake of argument that the notion of a good person is objective. There's got to be a reason why when we look at certain people in history, for example, Gandhi, MLK, or Christ, that most if not all people can agree that these were "good" people. How then would you describe the common thread among these popularly chosen good people?
    Self-sacrifice is the theme that links them. Putting aside self-interest for a "higher" purpose.
    "Good" is typically what we want other people to do to make our lives easier (essentially).
    Why did we invent morality? So that we could repress our natural self-interest long enough not to tear each other to pieces. Morality is nothing more than the triumph of group self-interest over individual self-interest.
    /cynic
    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.
    It's subjective whether you believe that these people did harm or not.
    Certainly many lives were lost in their names. (So, it's not even subjective, really.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  4. #24
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    Good to me all has to do with intentions. A person can only perceive the effect of their actions to an extent and the limits of that extent depends on the person. So for me it all boils down to: Don't do unto others as you would not want to have done onto you to the best of your abilities.

    Yeah, I prefer the negative version of the golden rule.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Good to me all has to do with intentions. A person can only perceive the effect of their actions to an extent and the limits of that extent depends on the person. So for me it all boils down to: Don't do unto others as you would not want to have done onto you to the best of your abilities.

    Yeah, I prefer the negative version of the golden rule.
    That doesn't make you good. It makes you harmless (unless you're a masochist).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    That doesn't make you good. It makes you harmless (unless you're a masochist).
    If humanity could achieve harmlessness that's as good as I could hope for. I think active do gooding causes more negative effects than harmlessness.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Exactly true. You are severely limited by the norms of your environment, and seldom is being saintly (even by the standards of those in your environment) conducive to survival or socializing within that environment. In my world, the American world, truth and righteousness are resigned to a slow death to be replaced by lies, illusions, greed, selfishness, etc. The reasons why one cannot be saintly are many and complex. But I suppose if you have the strength to truly stand ALONE, then you can enjoy a world of your own where righteousness and truth are still supreme. Just don't expect to share the same world as anyone else.
    I agree that this is really well-put. But I also think being a saint and being good are different things... you can be a truly good person, I think, without being "saintly." As Risen so eloquently puts it, operating within the norms of our environment (and here I am speaking of the modern-day Western, specifically American environment) a person can still be good. To me, it's pretty basic:

    Treat all people with kindness and respect.

    This is a simple phrase, but I think it implies a lot of things. If you truly respect all people, you will stand up for the oppressed, you will do your part for the environment that we all share, you will do your best to contribute to the amelioration of the human condition all over the world, and you will help people when you can. This is not to say that you dedicate your entire life to helping others, renounce all of your worldly possessions, live like a monk and give all of your money to charity. It doesn't have to be huge things... in my mind, being kind to the cashier at the grocery store, even when she maybe takes a little longer than you'd like or gives you the wrong change, is no less important than helping in a soup kitchen or donating money for cancer research.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    If humanity could achieve harmlessness that's as good as I could hope for. I think active do gooding causes more negative effects than harmlessness.
    That's as maybe, but it's not the question that was asked. You're harmless when you're dead, it doesn't make you good all of a sudden.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    You're harmless when you're dead, it doesn't make you good all of a sudden.
    If you take everything into account and consider the food you eat to be literally taken from someone poorer than you, then suicide is the most moral thing to do. The fact that I live makes it harder for other people live in a very real way.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    If you take everything into account and consider the food you eat to be literally taken from someone poorer than you, then suicide is the most moral thing to do. The fact that I live makes it harder for other people live in a very real way.
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that suicide is the only moral thing to do, but overall I agree with you. Reducing consumption of materials/resources/food and furthering the cause of worldwide equality would be more "good" than committing suicide, IMHO. After all, if you do that, it kind of makes the people you killed yourself to "help" the cause of your death, and that makes THEM not good, so they they should also commit suicide, and it would go on and on and then we'd all be dead.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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