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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 76 of 304 (405124)
06-11-2007 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by purpledawn
06-08-2007 7:26 PM


Re: Why it is Right?
purpledawn writes:

I don't feel that your definition: Good is increasing the positive inner-feelings of another being is really a definition of good. An action that increases the positive inner-feelings of another being would be considered good, but I don't see it as a definition of good.

Even though we now have a noun form of the word, good is a descriptive word not a thing.

:)

Yes, when I use the word "good", I tend to mean "morally good". Or even "an action that is considered to be morally good". It's just easier to say "good".

I suppose the point of this thread is to propose that I think "an action that is considered to be morally good" is "an action that increases the inner-feelings of another being".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by purpledawn, posted 06-08-2007 7:26 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 77 of 304 (405126)
06-11-2007 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by ICANT
06-09-2007 7:50 PM


Re: Re-Good and Bad
ICANT writes:

It could be better said, "If there is no God with punishment for not being good, "Why bother"?

And my answer is exactly the same. When we interact with people, we'll leave a good effect, bad effect, or neutral effect. It is better (that's the basic definition of better) to leave a good effect. So that's what I'm going to try to do.

Now, how do you know if you've left a good effect?

You have to get feedback in some way. Body language, or oral communication are the more common methods.

ICANT writes:

Stile writes:

-leaving the world a better place for children


87.5 children are murdered every minute by abortion...

These are not the children you are talking about is it?


Of course they are. I included all children. If we could lower that number to 87.4 even, would that be leaving the world a better place? (I'm not here to discuss the morality of abortion, if you press the usage of that analogy, I'll likely ignore the point).

If this is being good, what would be being bad?

I never said any of that was good. In fact, I explicitly defined what was good:

Morally Good = doing an action that results in the positive increase in the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Accordingly (obvious, to me):

Morally Bad = doing an action that results in the decrease in the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Morally Neutral = doing an action that results in no change of another being's inner feelings.

I'm pretty sure I'm not using the words "Darwin" or "survival" or "fittest" or even "God" in there anywhere.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by ICANT, posted 06-09-2007 7:50 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 78 of 304 (405136)
06-11-2007 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by anastasia
06-11-2007 12:42 AM


We were talking about you?
I think this may be why you're so against anything I'm saying, anastasia. I never knew this before, but from what you just said here, I think we've found a very big issue that needs clearing up:

anastasia writes:

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?


(my bolding)

anastasia, I'm not talking about you. I've never meant for any of this to be a reflection or description of your morality. I think it's kind of obvious your morality has God in it at least somewhere. I'm sure you're a very important person to your family, and your life, and everyone you interact with. But, well, I personally don't care enough to try to tell you what your morality is all about.

Hopefully that will clear it up a bit.

If you are nice to your wife's enemies, what are you doing to her positive mental state?

I agree we can't be nice to everyone. Does that mean we shouldn't try to be as nice as we can to as many people as we can? How do we know we're being nice?

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'm not talking about what some people may think is acceptable behaviour or not. I'm talking about what IS morally good. I can think holding my breath for 10 seconds every morning is morally good. It doesn't make it morally good, or even a moral action. Now, it's morally wrong for someone to try to stop me from doing such. But holding my breath, in and of itself, like washing your hands, in and of itself, is not morally good. It's morally neutral.

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

Walking into a building is morally good? I've even talked to priests about this when I used to regularly go to church myself. They wouldn't even say that going into a building was good.
How is going to church good? Who is it helping? Why do you say this is a good thing? Is going to the gas-station good? It's a building too. Or do I have to put a cross on the building? Then it's good? Sounds rather morally neutral to me. Of course, I'm not going to stop you from doing it. You're free to walk into or out of as many buildings as you please.

I consider drug use immoral for myself...

Good for you. Weren't you supposed to be thinking of examples of things that are good that didn't affect other people? So far, you've yet to do that.

Or are you saying that "not doing bad" is good? See my discussion with Catholic Scientist to see why I think morally neutral actions exist, and how they include "not bad" things.
Message 75
..where I quote his point number "2." and discuss why it's not morally good.

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

Maybe you didn't read it. I'll write it again.

When interacting with other people you must:

-increase their inner feelings
-not affect their inner feelings
-decrease their inner feelings

I choose to attempt to increase their inner feelings.

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

No. I don't want anything in return.


Yes, you do.

:) This is awesome. You know what I want better than I do? :) How very arrogant, and incorrect, you are.

You at least want other people to do as you do.

I may want this. But I didn't say "I don't want anything". I said "I don't want anything in return for increasing the inner-feelings of other people.

And I don't want other people to do as I do, in return for increasing their inner feelings.

In return for increasing the inner feelings of other people, I want nothing.

In return for doing good, I want nothing.

Now, if someone agrees to live in peace with me. Then yes, in return for that, I certainly do expect them to not make me frown, or I'll throw them in jail. Just like everyone else. But that has no bearing on what I want in return for doing good.

You are going to have to pick and choose, and eventually someone will get hurt regardless.

Of course they will. But it's good to try and get as few people hurt as possible, no?

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.

But it won't. In fact, finding out "what other people think" is the best way to rationally attempt to please them. How else do you know if you're actually pleasing them if you don't ask them?

You are going to have to hurt people in life.

Agreed. Do you agree that we should attempt to minimize this? If you want to minimize hurting other people... how do you do that? Don't you need to know what will hurt other people? How do you learn that? Wouldn't you have to find out what other people think?

Edited by Stile, : Added link to my post to CS


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by anastasia, posted 06-11-2007 12:42 AM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by anastasia, posted 06-11-2007 10:44 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 79 of 304 (405137)
06-11-2007 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by ikabod
06-11-2007 6:54 AM


Education free
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.

You started this thought exactly as I would have, then moved diferently at the end.. :)

I'm saying it doesn't matter what we consider to be good. It matter's what the person we're doing the action for considers to be good.

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..

Exactly. I'm in total agreement with this statement.

.....all of which comes from how you where ( in the larges sense ) educated ... change the education change what you consider to be good.

And this is where I really disagree. Education has nothing to do with whether or not the action was good or bad. Education will affect how you attempt to be good or bad, but has no bearing on the action actually being good or bad.

The action being good or bad only depends on the person acted upon. In this example, it only depends on the guy having the door opened for him.

Buddy's happy the door was opened for him.
-It was good to hold the door open if I was highly educated.
-It was good to hold the door open if I was uneducated.

Buddy's horrified the door was opened for him.
-It was bad to hold the door open if I was highly educated.
-It was bad to hold the door open if I was uneducated.

Education of the door-opener doesn't matter. It matter's if Buddy wanted the door opened for him or not. Education may help us read Buddy, to help us understand if it's more likely he'll want the door held open... but it really doesn't matter.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by ikabod, posted 06-11-2007 6:54 AM ikabod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by ikabod, posted 06-12-2007 6:50 AM Stile has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 80 of 304 (405217)
06-11-2007 10:44 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Stile
06-11-2007 2:12 PM


Re: We were talking about you?
Stile writes:

Hopefully that will clear it up a bit.

Well I am glad you are catching up. :)

This is not about MY morality, or YOUR morality exactly, it is about how the whole moral system changes when you don't believe in God.

anastasia, I'm not talking about you. I've never meant for any of this to be a reflection or description of your morality. I think it's kind of obvious your morality has God in it at least somewhere. I'm sure you're a very important person to your family, and your life, and everyone you interact with. But, well, I personally don't care enough to try to tell you what your morality is all about.

So what is this all about? Sounds rude, like you may want to compare morality and find mine deficient. I think we should be honest and say we can no longer look for the juiciest apple on the table, because now we've got oranges.

I agree we can't be nice to everyone. Does that mean we shouldn't try to be as nice as we can to as many people as we can? How do we know we're being nice?

Yeah yeah. We should. I was wondering, in a world where how you treat people is the beginning and end of morality, do you ever get frustrated when you realize that you must eventually fail? It doesn't matter to me if I don't please everyone, but I guess we agree that its the trying which counts.

I'm not talking about what some people may think is acceptable behaviour or not. I'm talking about what IS morally good. I can think holding my breath for 10 seconds every morning is morally good. It doesn't make it morally good, or even a moral action. Now, it's morally wrong for someone to try to stop me from doing such. But holding my breath, in and of itself, like washing your hands, in and of itself, is not morally good. It's morally neutral.

I thought we were onto an understanding. There is nothing GOOD unless you are an absolutist, and you are swearing not to be. You have to choose your goal, and then and only then, can you decide what is acceptable behaviour. There is no distinction between morality and acceptable behaviour. You can not make claims about what is neutral, you can't. Your morality simply doesn't work for everyone. I am telling you for a FACT that it was moral to wash your hands in Jewish culture...and guess what? It is still immoral to cook on Saturday, or during a shiva, or on Passover, etc. It is immoral to use heat of any kind in preparing food. It is immoral for a Catholic to read porn, and that is a FACT. These are the real teachings of certain groups. They are based on rational reasoning, and your opinion of what is moral does not count whatsoever when you want to prance around and make declarations. You want to be a relativist, or not?

Walking into a building is morally good? I've even talked to priests about this when I used to regularly go to church myself. They wouldn't even say that going into a building was good.
How is going to church good? Who is it helping? Why do you say this is a good thing? Is going to the gas-station good? It's a building too. Or do I have to put a cross on the building? Then it's good? Sounds rather morally neutral to me. Of course, I'm not going to stop you from doing it. You're free to walk into or out of as many buildings as you please.

Walking into a building? No, of course not. Attending mass, that's a different story.

If I believe God wants me to go to mass, and my morality is about God, then hell yeah its moral to go to church. I just might also believe that going to church helps myself, and helps others who will be prayed for. So there.

Good for you. Weren't you supposed to be thinking of examples of things that are good that didn't affect other people? So far, you've yet to do that.

What? I don't believe drug use is moral. If I avoid drugs it will be good, and it may or may not affect anyone. I also gave you the church example, which doesn't affect anyone. If I read porn that doesn't affect anyone. Maybe you feel it is vital to buy porn just to make the actors happy? I don't know, but I wouldn;t want to be n a moral system where I can't succeed.

Let me ask you this: If how you treat people IS morality, would you be able to say anything was wrong with porn, or are you one of those who have no problem with it?

Or are you saying that "not doing bad" is good? See my discussion with Catholic Scientist to see why I think morally neutral actions exist, and how they include "not bad" things.
Re: And so we are on to definitions... (Message 75)
..where I quote his point number "2." and discuss why it's not morally good.

I will check it out, but I am sure that it is just as silly. There is no such thing as bad or good, except in the mind of the individual. Why oh why are you acting as if morality were an absolute? YOUR version is moral, and should be for everyone just because it is. I've been down a long hard road with this topic, and I am an absolutist by choice, but at least I am not denying it.

When interacting with other people you must:

-increase their inner feelings
-not affect their inner feelings
-decrease their inner feelings

I choose to attempt to increase their inner feelings.

La dee da. Is it so hard to tell me why?

This is awesome. You know what I want better than I do? How very arrogant, and incorrect, you are.

I know that you don't know what you want. :) Honestly, I am not arrogant. You are the one deciding for the whole world what is morally neutral, good, and bad.

Now, if someone agrees to live in peace with me. Then yes, in return for that, I certainly do expect them to not make me frown, or I'll throw them in jail. Just like everyone else. But that has no bearing on what I want in return for doing good.

Stile, I still have not gotten to the point about 'why' you get to decide what is good. You think it is good to be nice, and you do expect others to abide by your rules. It doens't matter whether they agree, or whether you have even met them.

Agreed. Do you agree that we should attempt to minimize this? If you want to minimize hurting other people... how do you do that? Don't you need to know what will hurt other people? How do you learn that? Wouldn't you have to find out what other people think?

Of course. And what if you don't like what they think? How do you decide whom to please? In fact, the person you will choose to please will be the person who agrees with your morality. If someone wants you to snatch a bill from the bar, and you think it will hurt someone, you won't do it, even if it would make that other person smile. If someone asks you to pass a drink, you will, because that person agrees with YOU. It's about you, not others.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Stile, posted 06-11-2007 2:12 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Jon, posted 06-11-2007 11:37 PM anastasia has not yet responded
 Message 83 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 9:23 AM anastasia has responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 81 of 304 (405235)
06-11-2007 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by anastasia
06-11-2007 10:44 PM


Re: We were talking about you?
Is it so hard to tell me why?

Of course it is. He knows the only reason that he thinks doing right by others is good is because it makes him feel better. If he admitted it, however, his entire argument would fall to tatters, and so we are left watching him beat around the bush while we sit here and scratch our heads wondering why he's having so much trouble understanding.

He understands perfectly, but is simply unwilling to admit to his error, hence his failure to reply to my last message, and why he will not reply to this one.¹

Jon
___________________
¹ Now he'll have no choice but to reply ;)

Edited by Jon, : Verbs, nouns, and merry-go-rounds...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by anastasia, posted 06-11-2007 10:44 PM anastasia has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 9:35 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 2656 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 82 of 304 (405300)
06-12-2007 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Stile
06-11-2007 2:26 PM


Re: Education free
The action being good or bad only depends on the person acted upon. In this example, it only depends on the guy having the door opened for him.

Buddy's happy the door was opened for him.
-It was good to hold the door open if I was highly educated.
-It was good to hold the door open if I was uneducated.

Buddy's horrified the door was opened for him.
-It was bad to hold the door open if I was highly educated.
-It was bad to hold the door open if I was uneducated.

Education of the door-opener doesn't matter. It matter's if Buddy wanted the door opened for him or not. Education may help us read Buddy, to help us understand if it's more likely he'll want the door held open... but it really doesn't matter.

so you acept that your act is not "good" , now follow on and realise Buddy's reaction to you opening the door is due to Buddy's upbringing/education .. thus buddy's responce is not validating your act as good or bad , but is a trained responce , good and bad do not enter in to the equation .
Buddy might be horrified at you opening the door , because its a "good lableld " act , but he has being trained that he is lower status to you and he should have opened the door for you , he now thinks he is in your debt because you performed a " good " act on him ...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Stile, posted 06-11-2007 2:26 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 9:47 AM ikabod has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 83 of 304 (405321)
06-12-2007 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by anastasia
06-11-2007 10:44 PM


Re: We were talking about you?
anastasia writes:

was wondering, in a world where how you treat people is the beginning and end of morality, do you ever get frustrated when you realize that you must eventually fail?


No, not at all. I don't get frustrated when I eventually fail, because I realize that I can't please everyone. Failing is inevitable and expected. Failing means though, that I am pleasing as many people as I can. If you never hit this "fail" mark, you're likely not helping as many people as you can.

There is nothing GOOD unless you are an absolutist, and you are swearing not to be.

Why is nothing GOOD unless you are an absolutist? That doesn't seem to make sense.

Let me say it again:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Which will be relative to the person acted upon.

There is no distinction between morality and acceptable behaviour.

Sure there is. Driving your car to work is acceptable behaviour. It isn't moral behaviour. Why would you think these two things are inseperable? Drinking pop with dinner is acceptable behaviour. It isn't moral behaviour.

You can not make claims about what is neutral, you can't.

Sure I can. As soon as we agree that:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

We can objectively determine what is Good, what is Bad, and what is Neutral.

Now, do you not agree that:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon?

Why not? What else is Good, then? And why would it be good?

Walking into a building? No, of course not. Attending mass, that's a different story.

I see. So you admit that it's not the building. It's the people. You're going to church for the sense of community. Yours, and everyone elses who's there. You're attempting to increase the inner feelings of those in your community. How is this not helping anyone again?

If I avoid drugs it will be good, and it may or may not affect anyone.

No. You're confusing "good" (it-could-be-worse). With "morally good" (having an actual beneficial impact). I suppose you chose to ignore the nice link I gave to...
Message 75
...where I discuss the existance of morally neutral actions with Catholic Scientist?

Here, I'll cut and paste it for you this time:

quote:
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".


I also gave you the church example, which doesn't affect anyone.

Didn't you say yourself:

I just might also believe that going to church helps myself, and helps others who will be prayed for. So there.

So you admit you might be going to church in order to help people but you know it doesn't affect anyone?
In either case, you're either helping someone or you're not affecting anyone. In which case, how is this actually good, and not just something you're saying is good? Just because words come out of someone's mouth, doesn't make them true.

If how you treat people IS morality, would you be able to say anything was wrong with porn, or are you one of those who have no problem with it?

"Porn" is a thing. Like "rocks". Porn, in and of itself, like rocks, are objects. They are not good or bad. They're just things.

The whole point is that we can't just point at things and say "good" or "bad". We have to have an action, and see what that action does to people.

Forcing someone into porn against their will? Bad.
Bought porn as a gift for someone who was happy to receive it? Good.
Throwing rocks at a person's head? Bad.
Got rocks as a gift for someone who was happy to receive them? Good.

Why oh why are you acting as if morality were an absolute? YOUR version is moral, and should be for everyone just because it is.

"Morality" is not an absolute. It depends upon the foundations the individual chooses to adhere to. I choose the foundation:

"Good = an action that increases the inner-feelings of the being acted upon"

I also propose that most people (conciously or not) also agree with this foundation of "Good".

Once we have a foundation that we agree upon. We can objectively state if an action is Good, Bad, or Neutral.

Think of a few general scenario's.

When someone is hurt, most people will think this is bad. Why?
Because this is decreasing their inner-feelings

When someone is laughing, most people will think this is good. Why?
Because it's an indication that their inner-feelings are increasing

This is the "common sense" that pretty much all people "just know". If you want to say that something else is Good. You're going to have to tell me what it is, and why it's actually Good. If you think you're so enlightened that you know that porn is actually decreasing the inner-feelings of anyone involved with it... why do you think so? Why is porn bad? Why do you think you should be able to tell other people what they feel?

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

When interacting with other people you must:
-increase their inner feelings
-not affect their inner feelings
-decrease their inner feelings

I choose to attempt to increase their inner feelings.


La dee da. Is it so hard to tell me why?

Of course not. I'll even copy and paste...
Message 1
...again.

quote:
This is why I do good:
(This is why I choose to attempt to increase their inner feelings):

1. I interact with others.
2. Interacting with others will cause me to affect them.
3. This can leave a Good, Bad, or Neutral effect.
4. I am capable of empathy.
5. If I had a choice, I would like Good things to happen to me.
6. Since I do have a choice on how I affect others, I will attempt to leave Good effects rather then Bad or Meh effects.
7. When I interact with others, I'm going to do my best to cause Good effects.


And I'll even quote this for you again too:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

You are the one deciding for the whole world what is morally neutral, good, and bad.

No. I'm explaining the consequences to everyone that agrees with:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

...which just so happens to be pretty much everyone.

Do you deny that something that increases the inner-feelings of the being acted upon is good?
What is good, then, anastasia? And why is it good?

Stile, I still have not gotten to the point about 'why' you get to decide what is good.

I don't get to decide. But as soon as a foundation is agreed upon... And most of this world agrees with the foundation I've proposed... then we can objectively say if something is actually good, bad, or neutral. I'm not deciding, I'm simply explaining.

And what if you don't like what they think?

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Read it. Maybe slower this time. It has nothing to do with what I think. It only deals with what they think.

How do you decide whom to please?

Again:

quote:
This is why I do good:

1. I interact with others.
2. Interacting with others will cause me to affect them.
3. This can leave a Good, Bad, or Neutral effect.
4. I am capable of empathy.
5. If I had a choice, I would like Good things to happen to me.
6. Since I do have a choice on how I affect others, I will attempt to leave Good effects rather then Bad or Meh effects.
7. When I interact with others, I'm going to do my best to cause Good effects.


Therefore, I "decide to attempt to please" anyone I interact with. (It's the first 2 points).

In fact, the person you will choose to please will be the person who agrees with your morality.

No. I choose to attempt to please anyone I interact with.

If someone wants you to snatch a bill from the bar, and you think it will hurt someone, you won't do it, even if it would make that other person smile.

The action is "snatch a bill from the bar". It does not only include the person wanting me to do it. It obviously also includes the person owning the bar who I'm snatching from. The person wanting me to snatch the bill is choosing to ignore the inner-feelings of the bar-owner. Therefore any consideration of their inner-feelings are ignored. Now we're only dealing with the inner-feelings of the bar-owner, which will likely decrease if I steal from them (I've never met anyone who wants to be stolen from).

If someone asks you to pass a drink, you will, because that person agrees with YOU.

No. If someone asks me to pass a drink, I will, because it will hopefully increase their inner-feelings.

Please stop telling me how I feel and why I do things, anastasia. You don't seem to be very good at it.

It's about you, not others.

One last time:

quote:
Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

It's about others, it's not about me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by anastasia, posted 06-11-2007 10:44 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 3:20 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 84 of 304 (405324)
06-12-2007 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by Jon
06-11-2007 11:37 PM


Message 1, Again.
Jon writes:

He understands perfectly, but is simply unwilling to admit to his error, hence his failure to reply to my last message...

I didn't reply to your last message because it was deemed off-topic and un-replyable by an admin. Stay on topic, and focused, and I'll reply to anything you have to add.

He knows the only reason that he thinks doing right by others is good is because it makes him feel better.

This is incorrect, again. Here, I'll re-summarize Message 1 just for you (now with commentary :) ):

quote:
Morally Good = an action that increases the inner-feelings of the being acted upon.

Do you agree? If not, what is morally good, then? If you're going to reply with a scenario, why is that scenario morally good?

Now that we have a definition for what IS morally good. Why should we do anything that is morally good?

quote:
This is why I do good:

1. I interact with others.
2. Interacting with others will cause me to affect them.
3. This can leave a Good, Bad, or Neutral effect.
4. I am capable of empathy.
5. If I had a choice, I would like Good things to happen to me.
6. Since I do have a choice on how I affect others, I will attempt to leave Good effects rather then Bad or Meh effects.
7. When I interact with others, I'm going to do my best to cause Good effects.


My decision to attempt to do morally good actions does not depend on "making me feel better". Sometimes I know it will (and it does) make me feel worse, but I do it because I hope to increase the inner-feelings of another person.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Jon, posted 06-11-2007 11:37 PM Jon has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 85 of 304 (405327)
06-12-2007 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by ikabod
06-12-2007 6:50 AM


Re: Education free
so you acept that your act is not "good" , now follow on and realise Buddy's reaction...

This is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that Buddy's reaction is what determines if the action was good or not. We cannot "accept that the act is not good" and then go on to analyze Buddy's reaction. We need to analyze the reaction to understand if the act was good or not in the first place.

I agree that Buddy's reaction will depend on his education/upbringing/experience/life/how-he's-feeling-that-day...

he now thinks he is in your debt because you performed a " good " act on him ...

This is fine. You still haven't finished, though. As far as I'm concerned:

If "thinking he is in my debt" increases his inner feelings (he likes that), then the act was good.

If "thinking he is in my debt" decreases his inner feelings (he hates that), then the act was bad.

If "thinking he is in my debt" doesn't change his inner feelings (he couldn't care less), then the act was neutral.

It all depends on Buddy's reaction.

We can even think the act was good:

We open the door for Buddy.
Buddy says "Hey, thanks for opening the door, that was nice."
We think we've increased his inner-feelings.
We think we've done a morally good thing.
Buddy, 10 years later, says "Hey, remember when you opened the door for me that one time? Yeah, I was trying to be polite, I hate it when people do that."
Now we understand we've actually decreased his inner-feelings.
We've actually done a morally bad thing.
It was morally bad 10 years ago, we just didn't know it.

Of course, this too may be "just something he's saying".
We can't actually, 100% know how someone else is feeling. But there certainly are times when we can be so confident that it's ridiculous to assume otherwise.

As the cliche goes, "it's not easy to be good".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by ikabod, posted 06-12-2007 6:50 AM ikabod has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 3:25 PM Stile has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 86 of 304 (405393)
06-12-2007 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Stile
06-12-2007 9:23 AM


Re: We were talking about you?
Stile writes:

No, not at all. I don't get frustrated when I eventually fail, because I realize that I can't please everyone. Failing is inevitable and expected. Failing means though, that I am pleasing as many people as I can. If you never hit this "fail" mark, you're likely not helping as many people as you can.

It doesn't bother you that you can't be moral? Of course most of us will fail miserably at some point, but not acting morally, and having a system of morality that is impossible to commit to, are two different things.

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon?

Why not? What else is Good, then? And why would it be good?

Nope, I don't agree. What is GOOD is determined by the good-doer. It is relative to the individual's belief system.

I am an absolutist in the sense that I believe some things are good in themselves. See if this makes sense:

Helping others 'is good'. It is not GOOD. Sometimes it is definitely BAD to help people, and I don't know why you can't see that.

I see. So you admit that it's not the building. It's the people. You're going to church for the sense of community. Yours, and everyone elses who's there. You're attempting to increase the inner feelings of those in your community. How is this not helping anyone again?

Incorrect. Where did I say that? It is the service, and my attendance to it. It matters not a bit if I am the only person to show up, besides the priest.

So you admit you might be going to church in order to help people but you know it doesn't affect anyone?
In either case, you're either helping someone or you're not affecting anyone. In which case, how is this actually good, and not just something you're saying is good? Just because words come out of someone's mouth, doesn't make them true.

I told you that my going to mass CAN benefit people if I pray for them. I don't go there TO benefit people. Obviously people may never, ever know I went, and maybe I prayed for their souls, and maybe they will not have any inner feelings to speak of, so in that way, no one is 'benefitting' in the way you have used that word. No one is getting happy feelings or smilies.

It is really getting hard to talk about this again and again. You keep referring to good as 'affecting other people positively'. The point of the thread was to find out why you have come to that conclusion. It was not to judge others according to your conclusion.

Why is nothing GOOD unless you are an absolutist? That doesn't seem to make sense.

Let me say it again:

Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Which will be relative to the person acted upon.

Because that is how life works.

You believe that it is always GOOD to increase positive inner mushiness, of course the 'how' is relative, but that doesn't make you a relativist.

Sure there is. Driving your car to work is acceptable behaviour. It isn't moral behaviour. Why would you think these two things are inseperable? Drinking pop with dinner is acceptable behaviour. It isn't moral behaviour.

This is going nowhere. Either of these things could be moral, or immoral. If you have a suspended license, is it moral to drive? If you have diabetes, is it moral to have pop? I would have to say, no! You know why, Stile? Because I consider honesty part of morality, and I consider taking care of myself to be GOOD as well.

The whole point is that we can't just point at things and say "good" or "bad". We have to have an action, and see what that action does to people.

What a cop out. It't not the stupid book or video which is 'bad' or 'good', and you don't have to buy something for a person or shove someone's nose in something to make it 'active'. All you have to do is read. That's an action, and it CAN be bad or good.

"Morality" is not an absolute. It depends upon the foundations the individual chooses to adhere to.

Good.

". If you want to say that something else is Good. You're going to have to tell me what it is, and why it's actually Good. If you think you're so enlightened that you know that porn is actually decreasing the inner-feelings of anyone involved with it... why do you think so? Why is porn bad? Why do you think you should be able to tell other people what they feel?

Now, if you know I don't choose to adhere to the same principles as you do, how can you tell me what is 'good' with so much confidence? You know I don't agree that good is all about increasing inner feelings, so why project YOUR system onto MY reading material? That is being absolute.

The action is "snatch a bill from the bar". It does not only include the person wanting me to do it. It obviously also includes the person owning the bar who I'm snatching from. The person wanting me to snatch the bill is choosing to ignore the inner-feelings of the bar-owner. Therefore any consideration of their inner-feelings are ignored. Now we're only dealing with the inner-feelings of the bar-owner, which will likely decrease if I steal from them (I've never met anyone who wants to be stolen from).

Stile, you are choosing to ignore the inner feelings of the would be thief. You are choosing to protect the bar owner because you feel he will like what you like. It is SO true that none of us will do things which we find wrong, just to make someone happy. How do you pick whether to make a thief happy, or a bar owner? You judge them. You judge them according to YOU. I am not being rude, we all do it, and its a fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 9:23 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 4:39 PM anastasia has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 87 of 304 (405395)
06-12-2007 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Stile
06-12-2007 9:47 AM


Re: Education free
Stile writes:

We think we've done a morally good thing.
Buddy, 10 years later, says "Hey, remember when you opened the door for me that one time? Yeah, I was trying to be polite, I hate it when people do that."
Now we understand we've actually decreased his inner-feelings.
We've actually done a morally bad thing.
It was morally bad 10 years ago, we just didn't know it.

I really feel bad for you. It was moral to hold the door, and no one's inner feelings can change that. How could you look back on life and see that everything you thought was good was bad? The point is, if you thought it was good, it was.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 9:47 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 3:52 PM anastasia has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 88 of 304 (405399)
06-12-2007 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by anastasia
06-12-2007 3:25 PM


Re: Education free
anastasia writes:

The point is, if you thought it was good, it was.


You're saying that the 9-11 suicide bomber attacks were good? You're saying that using a nuclear bomb to destroy lives for over 50 years is good? I'm certain the people who did these things thought it was good. What about an abstract example? If someone thinks it's good for them to rape another person, then it's good?

Everything is good, then? Then what is bad?

These definitions sound meaningless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 3:25 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 11:06 PM Stile has responded
 Message 92 by Jon, posted 06-13-2007 1:00 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 89 of 304 (405403)
06-12-2007 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by anastasia
06-12-2007 3:20 PM


So, what is good to you?
It doesn't bother you that you can't be moral?

Why can't I be moral?

Again, anastasia:

Morally Good = an action that increases the inner feelings of the being acted upon.

Why can't I increase the inner feelings of other people? I do it all the time. My girlfriend, family, and friends assure me that I do it for them. Why do you think such a thing is impossible?

...not acting morally, and having a system of morality that is impossible to commit to, are two different things.

Yes, they are. Nice comment. One of these things we're talking about, the other hasn't been mentioned except by you right here.

Helping others 'is good'. It is not GOOD. Sometimes it is definitely BAD to help people, and I don't know why you can't see that.

When is helping someone BAD? Then again, I agree that "doing what you think is helping someone" can be BAD sometimes.

But when is increasing the inner-feelings of another being BAD? And why is it BAD?

Obviously people may never, ever know I went, and maybe I prayed for their souls, and maybe they will not have any inner feelings to speak of, so in that way, no one is 'benefitting' in the way you have used that word. No one is getting happy feelings or smilies.

Yes, we all know already that I don't consider "going to church" to be a good thing.

You seem to.

Why? Why is going to church a good thing?

Is it because God wants you to? Does good = doing whatever God wants you to? Of course.. how do you know it was God? Plenty of people have committed suicide or even murder because they truly believed they were doing what God wanted them to.

You keep referring to good as 'affecting other people positively'. The point of the thread was to find out why you have come to that conclusion. It was not to judge others according to your conclusion.

And I already told you why I came to that conclusion in Message 1. The other point to this thread is to find out why others think it is right to do good, and what good is to them. You have yet to define this. You keep saying "helping others can be BAD" or "going to church is good", but you have yet to explain why this is so. Other than, of course, that you say it is.

You know I don't agree that good is all about increasing inner feelings, so why project YOUR system onto MY reading material?

Because, you haven't shown yet why increasing inner-feelings isn't good.

I don't need you to agree that increasing inner-feelings is the only thing that is moral. You can add as much extra baggage to your morality as you'd like. As long as you do agree though, that "increasing the inner-feelings of beings you act upon" is a good thing, then I certainly can tell you what is Good, Bad, or Neutral.

You agree that keeping a baby away from scalding water is a good thing. (I officially define it as a morally neutral act, but certainly think it's good as in "beneficial").
You agree that getting a friend their favourite book for their birthday is a good thing.
You agree that being unselfish and letting someone in front of you in traffic is a good thing.
You agree that being nice and holding the door open for someone is a good thing.

Why? Why do you agree with these things?
Why do you not agree that increasing the inner-feelings of someone is good? What's bad about it? I'm not saying it's "the only possible thing anyone can ever possibly consider to be good". I'm saying it is good. If you're saying it's actually bad, why are you saying that? Why is it bad?

That is being absolute.

It is being objective. And, once the foundations are layed out, we can be objective about any scenario in how it lines up to those foundations. If the information is available, anyway.

Stile, you are choosing to ignore the inner feelings of the would be thief. How do you pick whether to make a thief happy, or a bar owner? You judge them. You judge them according to YOU.

I am not choosing anything, and I am not picking anyone.
The theif has chosen to forfeit any respect for their own inner-feelings as soon as they chose to forfeit the respect for the bar-owner's inner-feelings. What choice did I make? Who did I pick?

Maybe you're saying I'm choosing to forfeit the respect for the theif's inner-feelings? Why shouldn't I if they choose to forfeit the respect for someone elses inner-feelings? Why is this bad, or wrong in your mind? It sounds rather equal to me. What's the problem here?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 3:20 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 10:56 PM Stile has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 90 of 304 (405441)
06-12-2007 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Stile
06-12-2007 4:39 PM


Re: So, what is good to you?
Stile writes:

Why can't I be moral?

You can ,but only sometimes. You already know why: because you can't please everyone.

But when is increasing the inner-feelings of another being BAD? And why is it BAD?

You already know this too. Sometimes you have to be BAD in order to make someone happy. Like, I would be able to fornicate and make people happy. You, if someone likes it, you are moral. At least that is what you are saying.

Why? Why is going to church a good thing?

It is necessary for my spiritual health.

Is it because God wants you to? Does good = doing whatever God wants you to?

Yes, for me. I find that more rational than doing whatever people want of me.

Plenty of people have committed suicide or even murder because they truly believed they were doing what God wanted them to.

And plenty of people have commited murder because they truly ARE doing what a person wants them to. It all comes down to what YOU believe as an individual.

You may at this point admit that you believe in doing good to others ONLY when what they want doesn't hurt someone else.

The other point to this thread is to find out why others think it is right to do good, and what good is to them. You have yet to define this. You keep saying "helping others can be BAD" or "going to church is good", but you have yet to explain why this is so. Other than, of course, that you say it is.

I say that good is whatever a person believes it is. I certainly feel that my ideas are worthy, and I treat them as absolutes. You must do that in order to even have morality make sense. I mean, if something isn't good, why even bother doing it?

Maybe you're saying I'm choosing to forfeit the respect for the theif's inner-feelings? Why shouldn't I if they choose to forfeit the respect for someone elses inner-feelings? Why is this bad, or wrong in your mind? It sounds rather equal to me. What's the problem here?

There really is no problem, I would do the same thing. I just wanted you to see that making people happy is not all there is to morality.

I like to make people happy, and sure I think it is a good thing, but I admit that I can't make everyone happy because I would have to betray my own values.

I will ask you once again: what is the reason why you feel that making people happy is good? As far as I havethought about it, there are only 2 acceptable answers.

1. We are all equal acoording to some philosophy or other.

2. It benefits us or society in general.

I have already picked apart answer 2. It's still an ok answer, but not as good as 1. I have no problem with folks defining their own moralities, its just that so far no one has shown that they have put much thought into it. I feel that loving others is a hand-me down moral left over from a Christian society. When one is not Christian, the motives for it seem to get hazy. I chose you to speak to, because out of everyone, you said you want nothing from morality. That may be so, but it is only because you are indoctrinated into a moral system where you are supposed to love people just because. The sentence used to read 'just because God made us all equal'. I would have ended this a long time ago if you would simply have put out some warm fuzzy thoughts along those lines. I am sure it is possible for atheists to respect equality, no?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 4:39 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 9:31 AM anastasia has responded

    
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