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  1. #1
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Default Good vs. decent?

    I've been thinking about this lately...

    When someone is described as a "decent" human being, it seems to imply that the person in question is barely passable when it comes to basic morality, or, at the very least, average in matters of virtue.

    However, being described as "good" seems to place one a little above average in the "morality scale", from "being a nice guy" to "being a heroic figure".

    So, in your opinion, where does the line between these two lie, approximately? What makes someone "good" or "decent"?

    And where do you draw the line between "decent" and "crummy"? Is an isolated event enough for you to brand someone as "less than decent"?
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  2. #2
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    Common Decency

    George Orwell gave us the phrase 'common decency' to describe liberal democracy.

    And by contrast we can see how indecent are the dictatorships of North Korea, Burma, China and Syria and the Islamic States under Sharia.

    Yes, 'common decency' is shared by the common people of a liberal democracy.

    'Common decency' is a shared quality built up over many centuries, and is part of the warp and weft of the culture of liberal democracy.

    'Common decency' is taken for granted in liberal democracies.

  3. #3
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    So, in your opinion, where does the line between these two lie, approximately? What makes someone "good" or "decent"?
    To me, these are a matter of degree, with "decent" describing someone who tries to do no harm, and "good" describing someone who goes beyond that to try to do good.

    In a related question, I have wondered about the difference between being good and being nice, or even kind. Must does the first assume the second?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    To me, these are a matter of degree, with "decent" describing someone who tries to do no harm, and "good" describing someone who goes beyond that to try to do good.

    In a related question, I have wondered about the difference between being good and being nice, or even kind. Must does the first assume the second?
    Well, one could cultivate a rude and brash image while making anonymous donations, for example...
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  5. #5
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Default

    Good thing the OP raised this thought.

    It's familiar to the way my sister, in particular, ascribes something or someone to be and in fact I've been in a limbo since yesterday when a friend of mine retorted how I concluded what a good body really is as compared to one that is decent but you pass for "good". Because once you see a really good body and know for a fact upon reckoning it is any other you saw that were just decent end up being just decent.

    Yes, something or someone that is considered decent *just* passes and is not really good.

    I call a lot of things just "decent" because they only give me a decent level of satisfaction.

    I saw many average looking people at my brother's graduation last week and only a handful that looked decent. Nobody was good-looking. One INTJ girl I saw looked really decent but not enough to be good-looking still.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Good is a very broad term. Good may associate with what is desirable (at the moment or toward an end), what is deemed morally virtuous, or of high quality. Religions, such as Taoism and Buddhism, might consider the good as whatever's simple and genuine, natural and dynamic, non-egotistical and non-craving.

    The ancient Greeks were always striving after "the good" or what leads to a desirable end, from virtuous characteristics in an individual. For example, Socrates thought knowledge as "good" and ignorance as "evil" while Aristotle advocated the way of moderation between two extremes as a "good." To go to more modern times, some may argue for family and love as good, or they could buy an HD TV and consider that of "good quality." The definition of good depends on the person and their reasons for considering a thing or person good. Problems seem to arise when one person imposes their definition on another person, there's a disagreement between what is good, or there are unjustified means to achieve a so-called good end.

  7. #7
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace View Post
    Good thing the OP raised this thought.

    It's familiar to the way my sister, in particular, ascribes something or someone to be and in fact I've been in a limbo since yesterday when a friend of mine retorted how I concluded what a good body really is as compared to one that is decent but you pass for "good". Because once you see a really good body and know for a fact upon reckoning it is any other you saw that were just decent end up being just decent.

    Yes, something or someone that is considered decent *just* passes and is not really good.

    I call a lot of things just "decent" because they only give me a decent level of satisfaction.

    I saw many average looking people at my brother's graduation last week and only a handful that looked decent. Nobody was good-looking. One INTJ girl I saw looked really decent but not enough to be good-looking still.
    Oh I meant it in terms of what is desirable.

  8. #8
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I've always thought that decency related more to mangers, I.e. common decency. Good, I thought, applies to morality. I would think that nice would be more similar to decent than good
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    I've been thinking about this lately...

    When someone is described as a "decent" human being, it seems to imply that the person in question is barely passable when it comes to basic morality, or, at the very least, average in matters of virtue.

    However, being described as "good" seems to place one a little above average in the "morality scale", from "being a nice guy" to "being a heroic figure".

    So, in your opinion, where does the line between these two lie, approximately? What makes someone "good" or "decent"?

    And where do you draw the line between "decent" and "crummy"? Is an isolated event enough for you to brand someone as "less than decent"?
    I dont think this age is very decent, it calls the worst kinds of things good.

    Indecency is positively valued as "good", in music, style, film and culture.

    I've tried to get young people I've worked with to do as little as reflect on the music they listen to, like EminEm, without much success. I'll explain to them it appears to be full of hatred and menace and that EminEm just seems like a very angry guy.

    There's a pretty simplistic idea repeated in response "he takes no shit from anyone", so I say "but does that mean giving everyone else shit?", carrying on the toxic cycle of hard heartedness seems to be the spirit of the age.

  10. #10
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think this age is very decent, it calls the worst kinds of things good.

    Indecency is positively valued as "good", in music, style, film and culture.

    I've tried to get young people I've worked with to do as little as reflect on the music they listen to, like EminEm, without much success. I'll explain to them it appears to be full of hatred and menace and that EminEm just seems like a very angry guy.

    There's a pretty simplistic idea repeated in response "he takes no shit from anyone", so I say "but does that mean giving everyone else shit?", carrying on the toxic cycle of hard heartedness seems to be the spirit of the age.
    you do realize that every generation has the same complaints about the music of the next don't you?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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