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  1. #21
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Are you sure it is the real good and not just an appearance of it?
    When someone does something kind for me when they are not required to and the person gains nothing from it but my gratitude and the satisfaction of having been kind, that meets my personal criteria for having been good.

    When my little boy is crying in pain and terror because he just woke up from surgery with a huge cast on his leg and the pain medicine isn't working yet and I am not able to calm him because I am so upset by his suffering that I cannot bear to be in the room, and the nurse who doesn't know me or my little boy from Adam climbs into that bed with him and comforts him until he is calm, so that when I come back into the room, he isn't so afraid, then that is good enough for me to think it is good and be thankful.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #22
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    When someone does something kind for me when they are not required to and the person gains nothing from it but my gratitude and the satisfaction of having been kind, that meets my personal criteria for having been good.

    .
    Do you suspect that the nurse may just have been doing her duty? In that case she was required to...

  3. #23
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Do you suspect that the nurse may just have been doing her duty? In that case she was required to...
    She went above and beyond her duty. She was not required to get in my son's bed and cuddle him and say soothing things to him. No one would have faulted her for saying "We've given him the pain medicine. He will calm down once it starts to work." then gone back to the nurse's station. I wouldn't have faulted her for doing exactly that and it was my little boy screaming. No, she was kind and that was good.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #24
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Do you suspect that the nurse may just have been doing her duty? In that case she was required to...
    I think people tend to choose careers that allow them to do what comes naturally to them. For many nurses, that's compassion and helping. (For some others it seems to be bossiness and power over people in pain, but that seems to be a minority.)

  5. #25
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    She went above and beyond her duty. She was not required to get in my son's bed and cuddle him and say soothing things to him. No one would have faulted her for saying "We've given him the pain medicine. He will calm down once it starts to work." then gone back to the nurse's station. I wouldn't have faulted her for doing exactly that and it was my little boy screaming. No, she was kind and that was good.
    Maybe she was still acting on her selfish impulses. Was disturbed by the child screaming and her natural reaction was to do whatever it takes to stop that.

    That NF ability to convince themselves to see the best in others and believe in human goodness is as magnanimous as child-like innocence... I wish I could buy into it.. but I just cant..

  6. #26
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    What I'm not clear about is the context for 'radical evil'. Human beings have proven themselves to have the potential to be bent towards destructive inclinations beyond reason. It's difficult to discuss this without agreeing on the context for it. Is it a Christian philosophy context? A naturalist context?

    I see no reason to assume that everyone's intentions are sincere/good, or that every human being is bent towards evil. What is the proof or reasoning behind either extreme?

    There are individuals who display behavior that is unreasonably and insistently destructive. There are explanations for it based on genetics and environment, but not always completely satisfying explanations. People also display altruistic behavior whether or not altruistic motivations can be proven to exist. Human beings do belong to the animal kingdom, so it is reasonable to draw some parallels behaviorally. From a naturalist point of view there are instinctual drives towards self-preservation and towards the preservation of the group. Even with that, the worst behaviors from human beings are difficult to explain entirely.

    I've heard it said that to understand all is to forgive all. Since I don't understand all, I have yet to forgive all.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #27
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    How do you go about convincing yourselves that it is not really there?
    I don't. I recognize it, identify it, pick my battles, and fight it.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  8. #28
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post

    There are individuals who display behavior that is unreasonably and insistently destructive.
    .

    Its very easy to explain. Our natural tendency is to serve self by all means necessary. This is what people do, who dont put in a lot of effort into fighting it. My questions is, why is our tendency to serve self so strong as we know that it is the root of all evil. Why is it that this is all that we are about?

  9. #29
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Maybe she was still acting on her selfish impulses. Was disturbed by the child screaming and her natural reaction was to do whatever it takes to stop that.

    That NF ability to convince themselves to see the best in others and believe in human goodness is as magnanimous as child-like innocence... I wish I could buy into it.. but I just cant..
    That pure altruism is probably not possible does not mean there is no altruism at all. The nurse's station was a good ways away and she would probably not have heard the screaming much at all if she had gone back there.

    The thing that makes screaming so disturbing to most people is the awareness that the screamer is suffering and the thought of a fellow creature suffering disturbs us. We are empathic from a very young age. But we can come to tune out the suffering of others and not attempt to ease it. Many people do just that. But some do not. Some attempt to help when they don't have to.

    When you or someone you love is the one screaming and someone comes to try to ease the suffering, their motives are not an overwhelming concern. You are just happy that someone is trying.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #30
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Why did the Eastern sages practice asceticism? Because they had to purge their inner evil nature.

    Nonetheless those that we consider good are that way not because they've acquired some positive virtue, but because they, with great difficulty--managed to purge very few of their negative qualities. All of the good that we can do on this world is essentially, negative only what is evil is positive and can be acquired. Look at the New Testament, all the rules say Dont, none say do, because you can only not do Evil, you cant do good, do by definition implies evil because this is all that we are capable of.
    You were abused as a child, weren't you.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

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