JivinJeffJones and I got to talking in vent about Dostoeyevsky's The Idiot. Here's a synopsis from wikipedia:
The central theme, described below, is a prevalent theme in western literature. Questions concerning the bridge and boundary between the private and public, and especially where the good person stands in all this.27-year-old Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after spending several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburgh for his Idiocy (epilepsy) and being too generous and innocent, he finds himself at the center of a struggle between a rich, kept woman and a gorgeous, virtuous girl who both wish to win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin's very goodness seems to bring disaster to all he meets, leading to a climax that tragically reveals how, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium is the only place for a saint.
So the question, to which I honestly have no clue how to answer and am leaving up to you guys:Dostoyevsky's motives for writing The Idiot stem from his desire to depict the "positively good man". This man is naturally likened to Christ in many ways. Dostoyevsky uses Myshkin's introduction to the Petersburg society as a way to contrast the nature of Russian society at the time and the isolation and innocence of this good man.
How do you define a good person? And would such a person be able to exist in society without being executed, marginalized, or shunned by either the governing authority or the general populace? Is our current society any different from the ones of old concerning the way it deals with "good" people? If the answer is no, then how would our current society have to change itself in order to do this? Do you think it's even necessary at all for such a change?
Tough questions... but I think, important ones. Answer one or all if you can, though any thoughts at all would be appreciated.
***EDIT*** - Let's forget the Idiot and focus on the one big question.
What do you think it means to be truly good?
Forget the everyday use of the term "good" and let's be philosophers about this. Let's see if we can come up with a definition of "good" that we can all agree with - or one that goes beyond the general understanding of the "good."