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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1622 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 61 of 304 (404849)
06-10-2007 6:16 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by ICANT
06-09-2007 7:50 PM


Still no Answer
quote:
It could be better said, "If there is no God with punishment for not being good, "Why bother"?
This thread isn't about being good. It is about why it is right to do good to others. Even in Luke (6:33) it acknowledges that sinners do good to those who do good to them.

So why do societies accept that it is right to do good to others?

Would you say that societies that don't believe in a god that punishes don't allow their people to do good to one another?


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by ICANT, posted 06-09-2007 7:50 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 62 of 304 (404913)
06-10-2007 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by purpledawn
06-10-2007 6:16 AM


Re: Still no Answer
Would you say that societies that don't believe in a god that punishes don't allow their people to do good to one another?

PD I am sorry to say that in this day and age societies believing or not believing in God does not make any difference. The miniscuel amount of people that truly believe in God is very few. There are many that have a knowledge of God but do not know Him.

It is about why it is right to do good to others.

I try to do good because the Bible teaches me that I should be good. Love thy neighbor as thyself. The government has made some laws that entice me to be good.


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1622 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 63 of 304 (404915)
06-10-2007 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by ICANT
06-10-2007 2:27 PM


Re: Still no Answer
Unfortunately that really doesn't answer my question. Let me rephrase it. Do you know of any society that deems it wrong to do good (that which the society accepts as good) to one another? If not, then why is it deemed right?

quote:
I try to do good because the Bible teaches me that I should be good. Love thy neighbor as thyself. The government has made some laws that entice me to be good.
It also doesn't matter why we each decide to do good, but more to why society allows us to do good.

Why is it considered right to do good to others?


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by ICANT, posted 06-10-2007 2:27 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by ICANT, posted 06-10-2007 3:57 PM purpledawn has responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 64 of 304 (404920)
06-10-2007 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by purpledawn
06-10-2007 2:52 PM


Re: Still no Answer
Do you know of any society that deems it wrong to do good

Yes. Satan worshipers, I think this group would qualify.

http://www.churchofsatan.com/home.html

7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

Why is it considered right to do good to others?

My opinion:Because that is what people want to believe.
Explanation:They want to believe it because God wrote it in their mind.


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1622 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 65 of 304 (404927)
06-10-2007 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by ICANT
06-10-2007 3:57 PM


Re: Still no Answer
I don't know that I would consider them a society. They are more a belief system.

Well going along with #7 are The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.

8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.

And given this statement from Satanism 101,

You’ve seen us on the streets. I rode the bike right next to you in the gym today. I’m that guy you cut in front of in traffic. I held the door open for your wife and kids going into the market too.

I'd say they probably follow the same general concept of what are good actions as the general population (U.S.). In fact, my mother's preacher gave a class on satanism and said they don't believe in Satan and don't want bad/misbehaving people in their ranks.

I don't see that they would consider it wrong to do what they deem to be good actions.

As I said in Message 53: Since humans tend to feel that violence begets violence, they also tend to feel that positive actions beget positive responses. I feel that is why humans consider it right to do "good" to others.

I think Grizz also made a good point in Message 54.

Grizz writes:

Along these lines we do good to others because not to do so would bring about a negative mental experience in most individuals- guilt, shame, sadness. We have empathy and can associate with the plight of fellow beings. To ignore the plight leads to guilt.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2840
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 66 of 304 (404938)
06-10-2007 5:56 PM


I feel that since we humans are sentient creatures who modify and shape the world around us to suit our needs, It is a responsibilty of humans to do no harm.
  
jar
Member
Posts: 30981
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 67 of 304 (404953)
06-10-2007 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by purpledawn
06-10-2007 5:19 PM


Because there is no answer?
One thing that has already come from Game Theory is that there is no answer. Instead, it usually depends on the situation and in particular the knowledge of other participants as to which strategy or strategies works best. Often the answer is "how to change the rules of the game so that it is no longer a zero sum game."


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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pelican
Member (Idle past 3150 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 68 of 304 (404957)
06-10-2007 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by purpledawn
06-09-2007 7:02 AM


Re: Good and Bad not the Issue
How can one know if one is doing good or being good if one does not know what good is? How can one know if one is doing bad or being bad if one does not know what bad is?
I think we agree that pleasureable feelings are the result of good and uncomfortable feelings deriving from bad. This works fine if the intentions and motive are known.
When neither intention or motive to be good are present, as in this forum, is there evidence of being good or bad?
Reading through the posts on the subject of 'if it is right to do good,' I find an a glaring absence of understanding, patience, kindness, acceptance and motive to do good.
Is it a case of put your money where your mouth is here?
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by purpledawn, posted 06-11-2007 7:14 AM pelican has responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4117 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 69 of 304 (405054)
06-11-2007 12:42 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Stile
06-07-2007 12:56 PM


Stile, sorry I didn't see your reply yet. I realize you opened this thread sort of because of me.

It's still not working.

Stile writes:

That's what I think IS good. I think it IS good to positively increase a person's inner feelings. I also think it's obvious and a basic fact of life. That's it. Nothing else "is good".

Right, I know you are an absolutist about this. Positive feelings and all this New Age sounding stuff, yep. It's good just because it's good just because...blah.

I contend that I would do good whether others were positive or negative or meh about it. I could care less what they think. So how can it be true that my morality is all about other people?

You can't please everyone. If you are nice to your wife's enemies, what are you doing to her positive mental state? {Hypothetically of course.} See, you are bound to treat folks equally, because your morality is YOURS. It is not determined by how anyone else feels about it.

Of course, killing animals and other creatures can easily be considered bad as you are lowering the inner-feelings of those creatures.

I love animals, but seriously, I am not going to talk about the height or depth of their inner feelings.

If you do not agree with this answer, can you provide a single example where something is morally good that does not increase the inner-feelings of another being? Careful here (and this probably causes a lot of confusion) washing your hands before your eat may certainly well be good as in "beneficial to one's health", but it is not "morally good", which is what we're talking about (it's morally neutral).

First off, washing your hands was and is a big part of morality in some cultures. I might even consider washing my hands very moral if I am to serve others, or even if I care about myself. I am not on the paranoid side, but hello, I can think of tons of examples of immorality that has naught to do with others.

Example A.

When I go to church, hell if that increases the positive inner feelings of my husband or my kids.

Example B.

I consider drug use immoral for myself, and hell if I increase the positive inner feelings of the people I try to steer away from addictions.

I won't back down from my convictions just to make people feel good.

Of course they are. That's why the system is preceded by the title "This is why I do good". Because they are the reasons why I do good. I bolded it this time in case you're missing it.

Stile, 'I increase the positive feelings of people because it increases the positive feelings of people' is still lame.

No. I don't want anything in return.

Yes, you do. You at least want other people to do as you do. You will stop people form behaving in a way that threatens your morality. If a guy makes someone frown, you put him in jail. Figuratively please, you don't need to get concerned with muscle formations and all. I am talking a lot about smiles becuase they are so silly and petty and transient. I had hoped that you would see that they are not in themselves an indication of good being done.

Where is this coming from? I haven't said anything even remotely similar to possibly worshipping anything at all. You're only evil if you purposely "lower the inner-feelings of others".

You are going to have to pick and choose, and eventually someone will get hurt regardless. I was only asking why you place so much emphasis on what other people think, because it will get you into trouble at least rationally when you try to please everyone. You are going to have to hurt people in life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Stile, posted 06-07-2007 12:56 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Stile, posted 06-11-2007 2:12 PM anastasia has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4117 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 70 of 304 (405063)
06-11-2007 1:29 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by purpledawn
06-10-2007 6:16 AM


Re: Still no Answer
PD, in sum, I consider it 'right' to treat others as well as possible without validating my personal convictions, because Jesus asks it, and because it makes rational sense in a world where I feel we are all equals in being. I feel that I am not the judge of others, but that we are all subject to the Supreme Judge and thus I am in the same state of trial in life. I believe that my actions can lead others astray and cause them to harbor resent or despair, which will seperate them from what they are called to do, and exalt myself beyond my place.

I see that in a morality without God, the love of others on the universal scale has been retained as 'good' even though the reasoning behind it has been removed.

There are two things which I've noticed:

Science has preserved the idea that this 'good' IS good, when presenting theories for why we should help each other.

Non-religious people do not question the idea or the findings of science. They tell us it is good for survival. Yet, many have expressed the idea that they desire nothing in return for their behaviour. This leaves us only with the option that we have an instinct to love because it has been 'programmed' via evolution as a survival tool.

So, I question this because it seems obvious that we have an equal if not greater instinct to selfishness, as obviously we need sentient thought, preaching, laws, etc., to goad us into loving even enemies.

I also question why we do not use our intelligence to reason out 'good' based on the goal of survival. Some do, as far as natural resources and conservaton. These things are just beginning to come under the heading of good and moral. For instance, it is not necessarily a 'sin' to litter, although it is a shame. It is not, however, a world where we worship the planet more than men, or the future more than the present. It's getting there, as this would be the necessary conclusion if we abandon the worship of God. Just think of how much praise is given to forward-looking organizations.

There are an awful amount of catches to it all IMO. I am not saying that we need God to be moral, and sure if God wants us to love, I can trust people to love because society is still full of the ideas of equality. I would just prefer a bit of honesty and integrity, and a few personal convictions about human life and what it means, rather than the confused 'I think I maybe was evolved to care about people, and well, I was taught to do that, and it's just 'right'. It't not 'just right'. It was an idea that was based on something, namely, equality under God or under the stars. When Christians say that others can't be moral, it is partially because we are just not hearing these personal convictions from people, and without them, it is hard to know how far they can be trusted. I am just a person who feels that morality is a conscious effort for a purpose, that our purpose has shifted from the eternal/theological to the present/humanitarian, and I am tryng to ascertain the current purpose of loving others.


This message is a reply to:
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ikabod
Member (Idle past 2658 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 71 of 304 (405079)
06-11-2007 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Stile
06-08-2007 11:59 AM


Re: Going out on a limb to test a hypothesis, any takers?
That's exactly what I'm saying too. However, you can pick "an action", and if you're able to obtain information on the results of that action you can say if it was "good" or "bad".

so are we agreed there are no absolute "good" s

you open the door for the person , cos you think it is the correct social thing to do , and you hope it has a positive effect on the person .....all of which comes from how you where ( in the larges sense ) educated ... change the education change what you consider to be good .


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Stile, posted 06-08-2007 11:59 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Stile, posted 06-11-2007 2:26 PM ikabod has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1622 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 72 of 304 (405081)
06-11-2007 7:14 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by pelican
06-10-2007 9:09 PM


Re: Good and Bad not the Issue
quote:
How can one know if one is doing good or being good if one does not know what good is? How can one know if one is doing bad or being bad if one does not know what bad is?
Good is a descriptive word and we know what the definition of good is. As I've said before, what is or isn't good changes with time, so it doesn't matter in this discussion what specific actions are considered good or the motives behind them.

The point is why does society consider it acceptable to do good to others?

The religious person says it is right because god deems it as right.
Why does the secular person accept that doing good to others is right?

I think humans have found that violence begets violence and that positive actions beget positive responses. I feel that is why humans consider it right to do "good" to others. Some religions attribute this knowledge to God.

quote:
Is it a case of put your money where your mouth is here?
Not sure what you are referring to. You'll have to clarify.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by pelican, posted 06-10-2007 9:09 PM pelican has responded

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pelican
Member (Idle past 3150 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 73 of 304 (405102)
06-11-2007 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by purpledawn
06-11-2007 7:14 AM


Re: Good and Bad not the Issue
Thankyou for your reply. I think I may not explain myself very well and throw in some one-liners to spark an idea but it doesn't work. I apologise. I also realized that I do veer off the issue you wish to discuss, as do we all, and the issues just keep piling up. Congratulaions on pulling back to the original issue of 'why is it right to do good'. I hope I have it right this time.
I have studied your observations and I am also not sure what it is you are trying to say. I haven't from the beginning. It is no different to asking 'is it wrong to do bad'. You would think the simple answers would be 'yes' to good and 'no' to bad. Why the need to ask? To be honest I think the issue is a stupid one and on this level of discussion will remain one.
Until the judgement of good and bad is agreed upon by all parties, it is a pointless exercise.
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3507
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 74 of 304 (405115)
06-11-2007 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by skepticfaith
06-08-2007 4:34 PM


Re: The disagreement
skepticfaith writes:

Lets just say our foundations of morality differ.


This is what I suspected.

I do believe being good is more about caring about those in your immediate vicinity than 'caring' about some starving people miles away in a distant land.

So do I. Although I'd explain it by saying it's about caring about those you have an effect on. It's just that most people don't have much of an effect on people miles away in a distant land.

I do not believe that anything to do conserving or 'saving' the enviornment can be good.

That's strange. So, if we destroy the environment, and all human life on Earth is destroyed. ...preventing this isn't good?

environmental activists are 'good' people because they 'care'

I've never said that. I said picking up a piece of trash was good. I never said dumping buckets of blood on others was good. Why would you make that assumption?

We as a species have this concept of good perhaps as a result of evolution or our Creator.

I think it's simply because we're able to tell if we hurt someone or helped them.

I don't understand your resistance to the do unto others principle. It doesn't refer to sexual perversions or apply to those who are mentally ill.

I know it doesn't. Which is why it doesn't work for all situations. Which is why it's not acceptable. It leaves the door open for others to prescribe what they think is good onto others. And that certainly is very evil.

I mean would you actually like to be raped?

Not me. Are you saying you know for certain that no one ever could possibly want to be raped? I'm pretty sure people exist who want to be raped. Or we don't even have to talk about rape.

I like to trim my nose-hairs. The golden rule then, says I should trim other people's nose hairs? I'm pretty sure some people will find it rather intrusive.

Another thing - I actually want to increase my inner feelings - I prefer to be happy so I don't buy your theory.

That's great, I think you're greedy, and it has no bearing on whether or not the theory is valid. I still think it is.

But I will not go to war with you over this though.

No :) Me neither.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by skepticfaith, posted 06-08-2007 4:34 PM skepticfaith has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3507
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 75 of 304 (405122)
06-11-2007 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by New Cat's Eye
06-08-2007 5:01 PM


Re: And so we are on to definitions...
Catholic Scientist writes:

I think your definition could be improved, no offense.


None taken. In fact, I think this too. And it's also one of the big reasons why I post on this board. Of course the question is how can it be improved?

That's great that we can see problems or short-comings for it. But how do we alter the system so that it can include those issues?

I just think that you can do good in other ways as well.

I hope so. But I'm not convinced that we can.

1. something that nobody can notice

Then how do you know that you actually did any good? Certainly there are times where we think we've done good.. and then learn how hard it affected someone.. and understand that we actually did very bad.

Without the feedback, how do we know it was good and not just something we thought was good, or wanted to be good?

2. not doing something that is morally bad

Do you agree that morally neutral actions even exist? I mean... say... getting out of the left side of my bed or the right side in the morning. Do you agree that this action is morally neutral? If not, which is good? which is bad? why?

If morally neutral actions exist, then how do we define them? Wouldn't they be those actions where no one is affected? Therefore, how can something be good when no one is affected? That would just be neutral...
And not being bad, is equally morally neutral.

I think the problem here is mixing up the broad-usage of the word "good". Sure, not being bad can be considered "good" the same as "washing my hands before dinner" or "reaching level 12 on Tetris". But can they be considered "morally good"? I don't think they can.

I think morally neutral actions exist. And I think they only way to define what actions are morally neutral includes "not doing bad".

3. doing something that is morally good for a person is unconscious, or severly retarded enough that they aren't really "there", or an infant.

Again, I think this is the same issue. It's confusing "good" (better, or productive, or there-could-have-been-something-worse) with "morally good" (having an actual benficial impact). You say "doing something morally good"... but how can you possibly know if it was good or not without understanding their reaction? You're only doing what you hope is going to be good for them. It is a subtle difference, but it is an important difference, because it's what people use to prescribe their thoughts of what's "good" onto other people's lives. Which is some very bad evil.

Instead of adjusting your definition of good to include things that aren't in the definition, you labeled these things as 'not good'. Why is that? Are you very interested in 'keeping your definition'?

No. I'm not interested in keeping the definition. I'm interested in finding a definition that cannot be corrupted by people who want to justify doing evil in the name of "good". People who say "this is good" and think they should force it on everyone else "because it is good" and end up doing a whole lot of evil.

You definition of good requires someone to notice that you did the good act. Doesn't that kinda remove some of the greedlessness?

No. It removes the chance of corruption. Some people (either purposefully or with good-intentions) think it's their duty to force others into doing what they think are "good" things. This is a very large evil. And can lead down very evil paths. You could easily argue that it's the biggest evil we've ever encountered... responsible for the most amount of lives that "evil" is responsible for. Pretty much any religious war is attributable to people who want to force other people into doing things. And the leaders convince their followers that it is "good" to force the other people into these things.

If you opened the door for a blind guy and he didn't even know it, then your act is no longer good because you didn't increase his PIF?

That's lame.


What if your blind fellow hates it when people do things for him because he wants to be as independant as possible? What if the biggest joy he ever receives in his sight-less life is finding obstacles and finding his own way past them? Like finding closed doors, and figuring out how to open them. You just robbed this poor man of his most desired situation. How was that good?

Thinking that you are "so enlightened" that you "already know" exactly what others will like to have done for them... that is lame.

Your defnition also ignores the absence of bad as being good, itself. But that might just be a difference of opinion.

Yes. I think it is a difference of opinion. I think that morally neutral actions exist.

Your definition also does not account for good acts that are for people who are unable to have thier PIF increased.

No. My definition does not allow for us to know if we're doing good for people who we are unable to determine if their PIF is increased. And I think this is a very positive thing that would stop a great deal of evil if more people understood it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-08-2007 5:01 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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