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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4117 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 91 of 304 (405442)
06-12-2007 11:06 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Stile
06-12-2007 3:52 PM


Re: Education free
Stile writes:

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?

If God is judging us, we can only be judged based on what we TRIED to do. This doesn't mean everything we do will be good in itself, but the trying will lend it some legs.

If men judge each other, some things will be good, some bad. We are lenient, we appreciate the thought of someone trying to get us a nice gift, even if we secretly hate it. I am sure God is the same way.

None of this affects what may be truly 'good'. We either live in a world where some things were meant to be, as in, a higher power designated them, or we live in a world where WE are the authorities on good. If the latter is true, nothing is really good, but rather, good changes as we change. I can't say 9-11 is bad. I can only say it seems that way right now, and to some people. It seems bad to me, because I don't think God likes murder. 10 cammandments and all, ya know? It seems bad to you, because you don't want people to be sad for some reason, and it seems GOOD to the bombers, because they believe God wants them to be vengeful or protect themselves. Who is right?

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 3:52 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 9:42 AM anastasia has responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 92 of 304 (405464)
06-13-2007 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Stile
06-12-2007 3:52 PM


Re: Education free
These definitions sound meaningless.

Ultimately, they are. But that does not stop each person from putting his/her own meaning into it and using those meanings to live their life as productively as they know how.

It's the same as we assign an idea of beauty to the light/chemical reactions that create a sunset, or humour to a string of words. It's common for humans in all areas of life to assign meaning to things that have no meaning whatsoever, and to use that meaning to enhance their experience of life.

Just like we all find our own levels of beauty in different sunsets, or humour in different jokes, so too do we find good in different acts. And as much as it is true that our feelings of beauty and humour are based on our own perceptions, it is true that good is based on our perception, and not the perception of others.

Since every thing each individual experiences in life is ultimately boiled down to his/her own perception on that thing, why do you feel that morality is somehow different?

How would you begin to define good/bad if you were the only person left on Earth? What if there was only one person on the planet, and to her, dumping toxic waste in the Nile just tickled her pink like none other. What if there is another person along side her who thinks that dumping toxic waste in the Nile is evil as evil comes? The gal is trying to increase the inner feelings of the other fella, while the fella is trying to increase the inner feelings of the gal. So what, now she stops dumping toxic waste in the Nile and he starts doing it?

What happens when tree-huggers and big industries go at it? Do the tree-huggers fight saying, 'you should be allowed to pollute the aquifer because it increases your inner feelings,' and the industries argue, 'we shouldn't be allowed to pollute the aquifer because it decreases your inner feelings'? No. Instead people fight for their own morality, because it is only their own morality that matters.

If you don't see this after reading this post, then you are simply remaining ignorant to humour yourself. I do not think you are a religious fundamentalist, so you clearly have the capacity to grasp a concept as simple as this, and we have all now wasted nearly 100 posts to tell you the same thing over and over again:

Morality is based on our OWN inner-feelings, and NOT the inner-feelings of others.

Got it now? Let's hope so, 'cause I know I'm through wasting my time.

Jon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Stile, posted 06-12-2007 3:52 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by ikabod, posted 06-13-2007 6:19 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 96 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 10:40 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 2657 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 93 of 304 (405488)
06-13-2007 6:19 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Jon
06-13-2007 1:00 AM


Re: Education free
well said echo the entire post .

the basic problem is you can only get a score of good and bad from a external observer , who has a crib sheet of every possible act and has pre rated then G or b , and what we are talking about is some god like being , who can then hands down rules and regulation , so you can look up your score ( if you chosse to follow that set of rules ).

other wise its just humans being human and making the world up as they go along .

Edited by ikabod, : re wording


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Jon, posted 06-13-2007 1:00 AM Jon has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 11:04 AM ikabod has responded

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


Message 94 of 304 (405504)
06-13-2007 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by anastasia
06-12-2007 10:56 PM


Repeated again.
anastasia writes:

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


Um.. yeah. That's what I said in the first place. If you agree with me, why argue? Perhaps you don't remember our conversation:

Stile writes:

I don't get frustrated when I eventually fail, because I realize that I can't please everyone. Failing is inevitable and expected.

anastasia writes:

It doesn't bother you that you can't be moral?


Why can't I be moral?
anastaia writes:

You can ,but only sometimes.


Yes, that's what I said. I'll try to be moral, but I will eventually fail. Like everyone else. Do you know of anyone who is always moral? Anyone who never does anything wrong? Let's try not to add additional side arguements if you agree with what I'm saying. It can only confuse things.

Sometimes you have to be BAD in order to make someone happy.

Why do you think you sometimes have to BAD in order to make someone happy? Do you have an example that you can explain? I would think that if you made someone happy, then you'd have been GOOD. What do you mean?

Like, I would be able to fornicate and make people happy.

I don't understand your example, can you explain it? Why would you fornicating make people happy? It wouldn't make me happy. I don't know of many people that would really care about your fornication preferences.

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

Why is going to church a good thing?


It is necessary for my spiritual health.

So, anything that is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health" is a good thing?

What is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health"? And who get's to decide what is and what is not? It sounds to me like you can make up whatever you want to be "necessary for your spiritual health" and therefore make up whatever you want to be GOOD.

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

Does good = doing whatever God wants you to?

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

Who said anything about doing whatever people want of you? I'm talking about doing what increases the inner-feelings of the people your actions affect. Why do you think that is equivalent to "doing whatever people want you to"?

And how do you know what God wants you to do? How do you get this information? Does God himself tell you? How do you know it's God telling you? Many people have performed acts of evil because they believed "God told them to". How do you know you're not falling into that trap?

In order to know if I'm "increasing the inner-feelings of other people", I can ask them.
How can you ask God? How are you sure it is God who answers? Do you decided if the answer is actually from God or not? Doesn't that mean you're still deciding what is GOOD? Doesn't that mean you're still creating whatever you'd like to be GOOD?

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.


Why do you insist I'm saying I'll do whatever a person wants? I've always said that doing good = increasing the inner-feelings of the person being acted upon.

I am not "admitting at this point" that I believe in doing good to others ONLY when what they want doesn't hurt someone else. I admitted that way back in Message 1. I'll quote it again for you, you don't seem to be reading it:

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

I've stated many times that if someone wants me to hurt someone else, they are ignoring that person's inner-feelings and therefore deserve no regard for their own inner-feelings. Have you not been reading anything I've posted? I think I've only been repeating myself for... over 90 posts now. I still keep having to refer back to Message 1.

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?

But, by this reasoning, evil or bad doesn't exist. Everyone does what they believe in. Hitler didn't do any evil? Stalin didn't do any evil? Anyone using nuclear force never did any evil? There has never been an evil war? Rape isn't evil? Kicking an old lady isn't evil? This definition of GOOD renders the word 'good' useless.

I will ask you once again: what is the reason why you feel that making people happy is good?

And I will answer, again, by referring you back to Message 1 where I state:

quote:
What is good?
Good is increasing the positive inner-feelings of another being.


Our discussion has prompted me to clarify this statement to:

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

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 Neutral effects.
7. When I interact with others, I'm going to do my best to cause Good effects.


If you want to reduce "increasing the inner-feelings of another being" to "making people happy". That's fine, but you cannot change what I'm talking about, or you're not dealing with what I'm talking about.

I just wanted you to see that making people happy is not all there is to morality.

I still don't see how "increasing the inner-feelings of the being you're acting upon" isn't all there is to morality.

If someone wants me to kill someone. My action of killing someone is acting upon the person I'm killing, not the guy who requested it. Obviously killing someone against their will is going to lower their inner-feelings.
And, remember, that the person requesting this action has decided to ignore the victim's inner-feelings. So in turn they forfeit any respect for their inner-feelings.

As far as I have thought 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.

What's wrong with the answer I've given? Why is it unacceptable?

I feel that loving others is a hand-me down moral left over from a Christian society.

Okay. I don't feel that it is at all. But, regardless, this is off-topic. I'm not talking about loving others, nor am I talking about a Christian society. I'm talking about increasing the inner-feelings of people your actions affect. That doesn't mean trying to love them. That means trying to respect them, and help them.

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.

You can believe and say whatever you wish. It has no bearing on the truth. I, however, have supported my statements with explanations. None of these explanations rely on indoctrination, or loving people. If you want to show that they do, you'll have to show that they do rather than just state it.

I am sure it is possible for atheists to respect equality, no?

Of course it is. Why do you think I keep saying that when someone ignores a person's inner-feelings, then they forfeit any respect towards their own inner-feelings? Because people are equal. We seem to agree that people are equal. Let's just leave that alone here (it's off-topic). We can go through that in another thread though, if you really want to start one.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 10:56 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by anastasia, posted 06-13-2007 10:08 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 95 of 304 (405506)
06-13-2007 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by anastasia
06-12-2007 11:06 PM


Re: Education free
anastasia writes:

If God is judging us, we can only be judged based on what we TRIED to do. This doesn't mean everything we do will be good in itself, but the trying will lend it some legs.


I'll change this to "If the-God-anastasia-believes-in is judging us..."
But, regardless, it still depends on if God is even judging us. What if he isn't?

None of this affects what may be truly 'good'.

Exactly. So, how do we go about figuring out what is truly 'good'?

We either live in a world where some things were meant to be, as in, a higher power designated them, or we live in a world where WE are the authorities on good. If the latter is true, nothing is really good, but rather, good changes as we change.

I don't agree at all. The system I propose says that WE are the authorities on good. However, what is really good (truly 'good') certainly exists, constantly.

I can't say 9-11 is bad.

I agree that 9-11 is a tricky-two-sided malleable scenario. We may just have enough information about it to know if it was actually good or bad. Let's take something simpler.

Do you agree that some people purposely rape other people, totally against the victim's will?

Do you agree that such a thing is bad?

Would you care to propose how anyone (even God) may think such a thing is actually GOOD?

If we don't know what is good or what is bad, why do the words exist? What are they describing?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by anastasia, posted 06-12-2007 11:06 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by anastasia, posted 06-13-2007 10:19 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 96 of 304 (405513)
06-13-2007 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Jon
06-13-2007 1:00 AM


Repeat once more
Jon writes:

Since every thing each individual experiences in life is ultimately boiled down to his/her own perception on that thing, why do you feel that morality is somehow different?


How did you get the idea that I think morality is any different?

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

Whatever "increases the inner-feelings of the being acted upon" is going to depend on "every thing each individual experiences in life, (and their) perception on that thing".

In other words, I totally agree with your quote, and everything about how people's reactions to things are subjective.

How would you begin to define good/bad if you were the only person left on Earth?

Let me get to the gist of your idea here and re-word to me being the only "being" left on Earth.

I would define good/bad exactly the same, if I were the only being left on Earth. It would just so happen that I wouldn't do any good, or any bad. Everything would be morally neutral.
If I have no affect on anything's inner-feelings, I'm not being morally good or morally bad.

I'll refer you to Message 75 where I discuss the existance of Morally Neutral actions:

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".


If there's no being to act upon, all actions would be Morally Neutral and therefore Morally Good and Morally Bad actions would not exist.

What if there was only one person on the planet, and to her, dumping toxic waste in the Nile just tickled her pink like none other.

Are we assuming no animals exist? And that no other being is being affected? ..even possibly in the future? Then sure, why would this be bad? Would you consider it bad? Why? Because you personally don't like toxic waste? That's exactly the point of my system.. to get rid of personal prescription of morality.

What if there is another person along side her who thinks that dumping toxic waste in the Nile is evil as evil comes?

You're talking about doing bad again. I'm talking about doing good. In order to deal with why something is bad, we need to show which being is being harmed. We know that toxic waste has very long-term negative affects to many beings, so dumping it where it can affect these beings (at any time in the future) would be bad. Regardless of who thinks what. But, if for the purposes of your idea we're going to assume that there is no harm being done to any being (present or future), then no, it wouldn't be bad at all. Regardless of what anyone thinks or says.

So what, now she stops dumping toxic waste in the Nile and he starts doing it?

My system doesn't have magic powers that forces people to take actions. It describes if an action taken is actually good. That's it. It has no power to force anyone to do anything, or stop anything. All it does is say if an action is good.

What happens when tree-huggers and big industries go at it? Do the tree-huggers fight saying, 'you should be allowed to pollute the aquifer because it increases your inner feelings,' and the industries argue, 'we shouldn't be allowed to pollute the aquifer because it decreases your inner feelings'? No. Instead people fight for their own morality, because it is only their own morality that matters.

It's exactly "fighting for their own morality because that's what matters" that causes such "going at it" in the first place.

This system doesn't force people to do things, or make their arguements. All it says is "if polluting the aquifier increases the inner-feelings of the beings acted upon, then polluting the aquifier is good." (Very unlikely, with what we know about the affects of pollution) People can still very easily choose to do evil, or choose to do good, or choose to do whatever they want. However, we now can determine if the action in question is actually good or bad. As long as we can gain the information, anyway.

If you don't see this after reading this post, then you are simply remaining ignorant to humour yourself.

But... I agree with everything you've posted. It's just that nothing you've said has any bearing on anything I've said. You're just talking about totally separate ideas and telling me that's what I'm talking about.

Morality is based on our OWN inner-feelings, and NOT the inner-feelings of others.

Got it now? Let's hope so, 'cause I know I'm through wasting my time.

Are you saying that what was is always good, both sides of a war are always good? Are you saying that rape is good? People go to war based on their OWN inner-feelings... so anyone ever going to war is morally good? Rapists rape based on their OWN inner-feelings... so rapists are always morally good?

That's what you're saying?

You still have yet to define what "good" is. You still have yet to define why good is not:

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

All you have to do is come up with a scenario that is Morally Good where a being's inner-feelings are not increased, and explain why it's still Morally Good (generally includes defining what good is).

Anastasia's trying, but everything's coming down to what she thinks is good. And if "good" is nothing more than what anyone "thinks is good" then everything is good, and evil does not exist. Do you believe that evil does not exist?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Jon, posted 06-13-2007 1:00 AM Jon has not yet responded

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


Message 97 of 304 (405518)
06-13-2007 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by ikabod
06-13-2007 6:19 AM


A Summary
ikabod writes:

the basic problem is you can only get a score of good and bad from a external observer , who has a crib sheet of every possible act and has pre rated then G or b , and what we are talking about is some god like being , who can then hands down rules and regulation , so you can look up your score ( if you chosse to follow that set of rules ).

other wise its just humans being human and making the world up as they go along .

Ah yes. Would you be surprised to hear that I agree with this? I agree that this correctly describes the extreme positions.
---------added by edit---------
I mis-read what I quoted off of you. You say only an external observer can get a score of good and bad. How do you know this? Why is that so? What's so special about being an external observer? Why does there need to be an absolute list of what exact scenarios are good, and what exact scenarios are bad? You even agree that it's about choosing the rules. I'm just saying that the majority of the worlds population has seemingly already chosen the basic rules. I'm just saying what those rules are, and what the consequences are.
---------added by edit---------

Is assissted suicide good or bad? How can we know? I don't know. (because I cannot determine if it actually helped the person we've killed or not).
If we say it's good, aren't we just making it up? Yes.
If we say it's bad, aren't we just making it up? Yes.

But... this seems to break down for simpler scenarios where we are able to obtain the information we need.

A rapist rapes a young girl against her will and makes her feel scared and vulnerable for the rest of her life.

Can we know this is good or bad? Yes we can.
If we say it's good, are we making it up? Yes, because it's not good.
If we say it's bad, are we making it up? No, because it is bad. It's bad because it's obvious that the rapist is forcing themselves onto the young girl against her will.

Do you agree that we're able to know when some things are good or bad, but not always able to know when all things are good or bad?

If we can determine some things... how do we determine those things?

With a few simple things:

quote:
1. Beings are equal, and deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness.
2. Morally Good = an action that increases the inner-feelings of another person.

With these two basic points, and enough information about a scenario, we can objectively determine if the scenario is good, or bad, or neutral.

On Morally Neutral:

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 that when we define what actually is morally neutral, we see that this includes "not doing bad".


And we can now develop a reasoning on why we should do good things:

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 Neutral effects.
7. When I interact with others, I'm going to do my best to cause Good effects.


Why is this not acceptable?
What is being left out?
What is the problem?
What scenario does this not cover?
(I admit that if we cannot gain enough information about a scenario, then we won't be able to objectively determine if it's morally good, bad or neutral. But this seems rather obvious to me).

if you choose to follow that set of rules

Do you?
Why are people not equal?
Why is increasing the inner-feelings of the people you affect not good?

Do you really think that anything anyone dreams up should be considered as good?
Do you really think that evil does not exist?

Edited by Stile, : added edit


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by ikabod, posted 06-13-2007 6:19 AM ikabod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by ikabod, posted 06-14-2007 6:38 AM Stile has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 98 of 304 (405556)
06-13-2007 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Stile
06-11-2007 1:03 PM


Re: And so we are on to definitions...
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.

Assuming there is an objective morallity, it doesn't matter if we know if the action is good or not. It can be good wthout us knowing it.

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

Without any feeback we cannot now. I guess we'd have to rely on our hearts. (not the organ)

Do you agree that morally neutral actions even exist?

Yes.

But I also think there is objective morallity.

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?

If god exists.

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.

My train of thought was the refusal to do a bad action. Like, you were going to do something bad, but then you didn't. That would be a good thing.

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.

Not all the time and that still is just your opinion. If those people are correct, then they are doing good, even if you think it is bad.

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?

But it still points out a flaw in your definition. If the guy does want to be helped but doesn't notice you helping him, then according to your definition, you have done no good. I disagree with your definition.

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

I don't think that.

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.

So you definition is only for determining a way to know that we are doing good?

I thought it was for good, in genereal, whether or not we know it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Stile, posted 06-11-2007 1:03 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Stile, posted 06-14-2007 11:50 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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


Message 99 of 304 (405604)
06-13-2007 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Stile
06-13-2007 9:31 AM


Re: Repeated again.
Stile writes:

Yes, that's what I said. I'll try to be moral, but I will eventually fail. Like everyone else. Do you know of anyone who is always moral? Anyone who never does anything wrong? Let's try not to add additional side arguements if you agree with what I'm saying. It can only confuse things.

I made a clear distinction between a system doomed to failure, and a person who sometimes fails. I am not going down a dilly-dally trail about who is always moral.

So, anything that is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health" is a good thing?

Sure. Just as good as that which is necessary for my mental or physical health. Don't you agree that these things are important?

I don't understand your example, can you explain it? Why would you fornicating make people happy? It wouldn't make me happy. I don't know of many people that would really care about your fornication preferences.

Hello, obviously the person I would fornicate WITH would be happy, and I can think of several people who care about my preferences in that regard. But for me, it would be BAD. So voila, I would have to be bad to make some people smile.

What is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health"? And who get's to decide what is and what is not? It sounds to me like you can make up whatever you want to be "necessary for your spiritual health" and therefore make up whatever you want to be GOOD.

There are many things necessary for spiritual health. I follow what my religion teaches to an extent, but since no one is me or goes through the same exact life, by and large I have to make decisions myself.

Who said anything about doing whatever people want of you? I'm talking about doing what increases the inner-feelings of the people your actions affect. Why do you think that is equivalent to "doing whatever people want you to"?

Oops! Pardon moi for assuming that folks generally want things that DO make them happy. It's all the same thing, Stile. You have no clue what will make people happy, you can only do what you believe they want done. You are messing with words.

And how do you know what God wants you to do? How do you get this information? Does God himself tell you? How do you know it's God telling you? Many people have performed acts of evil because they believed "God told them to". How do you know you're not falling into that trap?

Like I said, I can follow my religion and the examples of good people before me. Aside from that, I have to make my own decisions. We can't get uptight about knowing things for sure, because morality is all about doing what we believe, not what we know.

I've stated many times that if someone wants me to hurt someone else, they are ignoring that person's inner-feelings and therefore deserve no regard for their own inner-feelings. Have you not been reading anything I've posted? I think I've only been repeating myself for... over 90 posts now. I still keep having to refer back to Message 1.

You have no reason to get impatient, because I have been responding to your 90 posts, repeating myself, and rereading your beloved message 1, right along with you. I still haven't received an answer to my questions, and this is probably something that will never be resolved over the internet.

Of course it is. Why do you think I keep saying that when someone ignores a person's inner-feelings, then they forfeit any respect towards their own inner-feelings? Because people are equal. We seem to agree that people are equal. Let's just leave that alone here (it's off-topic). We can go through that in another thread though, if you really want to start one.

It's not off topic, because when I first asked you about 'why is it good to do good to others' in that other thread, this was exactly what I was talking about.

Your answer is 'it increases their inner feelings'. That is the same thing in different words. Doing good to you is making someone happy. You can't say 'I believe in making people happy because it makes them happy'.

I can tell you quite simply that I do good to others because we are all equal and should treat each other equally. This means above all, MENTALLY, as in 'love the sinner, hate the sin'. I don't have to murder someone, because I don't believe in it. I am under no obligation to worry about anyone's feelings, because feelings are liars and they have nothing to do with what is good. But I certainly can't abuse, talk down to, or harm, the person who does murder.

Of course it is. Why do you think I keep saying that when someone ignores a person's inner-feelings, then they forfeit any respect towards their own inner-feelings? Because people are equal. We seem to agree that people are equal. Let's just leave that alone here (it's off-topic). We can go through that in another thread though, if you really want to start one.

How are you treating people equally if you do what one wants, and force the other to forfeit his feelings? I can make someone forfeit their happiness, but hey, I am not the one who said that being moral was all about making others happy. You need to do what YOU believe in, not what makes someone happy. If you happen to believe it is good to make people happy, that is fine. But just please understand that you can not go against yourself at any time, because there are many sides to 'good'. You can't murder, because you feel it is wrong for YOU to do it...it has nothing to do with making someone else sad. They may die so quickly they won't have time for sad.

I am not afraid of people like you, because society does have in place so many accepted norms that dictate your behaviour, and yes, they ARE Christian. I just want you to see that this way of thinking has the potential to be harmful if we didn't have fail safes like laws, and yes, indoctrination. You are indoctrinated, we all are, so just accept it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 9:31 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Stile, posted 06-14-2007 1:09 PM anastasia has responded

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


Message 100 of 304 (405606)
06-13-2007 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Stile
06-13-2007 9:42 AM


Re: Education free
Stile writes:

I'll change this to "If the-God-anastasia-believes-in is judging us..."
But, regardless, it still depends on if God is even judging us. What if he isn't?

Nothing. We are back to judging each other, and getting stuck in the position where we don't know if we did good unless someone else smiles.

Exactly. So, how do we go about figuring out what is truly 'good'?

Same way we have been. Figuring it out as we go along.

I don't agree at all. The system I propose says that WE are the authorities on good. However, what is really good (truly 'good') certainly exists, constantly.

Factually inaccurate, and also impossible. How could a species that changes so much have one constant morality? Where would this constant good be coming from, if we are the ones making it up?

Would you care to propose how anyone (even God) may think such a thing is actually GOOD?

I propose that if morality is a survival mechanism, rape would at times be good. I also feel that the victim would be so 'programmed' as to acquiesce in whatever action will benefit survival, or at least intelligent enough to do so. Since I don't believe in the survival scenerio, but rather in an intelligent decision making process which is superimposed on instinct, then I don't feel rape is good. I believe God can look the other way if the person doing the raping believes it is good.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 9:42 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Stile, posted 06-14-2007 1:26 PM anastasia has responded

    
ikabod
Member (Idle past 2657 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 101 of 304 (405657)
06-14-2007 6:38 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Stile
06-13-2007 11:04 AM


Re: A Summary
1. Beings are equal, and deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness.
2. Morally Good = an action that increases the inner-feelings of another person.

With these two basic points, and enough information about a scenario, we can objectively determine if the
is good, or bad, or neutral.

1. err no beings are very clearly not equal ...we are all different .. in terms of skills, intelligence, oppertunity ,self motivation , beliefs, desires ,health , wealth , relationships...et al , and who says we deserver such right .. you and i may ( because that is our view of how we would like the world to be ) BUT many hold differing views about equality.

2. morally good = what ever you pick it to be

sorry but you two basic premisses are so arbitrary that you could claim thenmm as the rules of your new made up on the spot religion , they are not objective , and so will force the outcome you plan .

the "scenario" is not good bad or neutral .. its just a scenario .. you then chosse to aplly a label to it based on view of how the universe should be .

A rapist rapes a young girl against her will and makes her feel scared and vulnerable for the rest of her life.

Can we know this is good or bad? Yes we can.
If we say it's good, are we making it up? Yes, because it's not good.
If we say it's bad, are we making it up? No, because it is bad. It's bad because it's obvious that the rapist is forcing themselves onto the young girl against her will.

firstly let me say that rape is alway wrong , evil and bad .

However the problem with this example is that , and history can show us example that the above action was considered a good act by certian people/s and was activly premoted as a good act ....

again there are no absolute in the real world ..

Do you really think that anything anyone dreams up should be considered as good?
Do you really think that evil does not exist?

well if as you claim all

Beings are equal, and deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness.
then anything anyone dreams up should be considered as good , that means the racist , the nationalist , the insane murderer, the religious fundimentalist , are all able to say what is good and have a equal right to follow that view ....
...and considered good by whom . ..me ,you , a random selection of people , a priest , a god ??

And what do you mean by evil having an existance .. by this are you saying evil is a force .. that you can find it as a partical or in energy form ...are you saying it is more than a label for extreme action carried out by human beings ?

ill stop there to let you answer ...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Stile, posted 06-13-2007 11:04 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Stile, posted 06-14-2007 1:46 PM ikabod has responded

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


Message 102 of 304 (405687)
06-14-2007 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by New Cat's Eye
06-13-2007 4:43 PM


The bottom line
Assuming there is an objective morallity, it doesn't matter if we know if the action is good or not. It can be good wthout us knowing it.

Exactly.

An action can be good without us knowing it.
An action can be bad without us knowing it.
An action can be good with us thinking it was bad.
An action can be bad with us thinking it was good.

So how do we find out if it was good or bad? By the consequences.

Without any feeback we cannot now. I guess we'd have to rely on our hearts. (not the organ)

I agree. We can't know. We can rely on our hearts (brains, past experience, feelings, any information we can gather...) to hope that is was good. But we cannot know. And, with possibly gaining the feedback at a later time, we can determine if our hope was correct or not. The hoping it was good does not make the action good.

Like, you were going to do something bad, but then you didn't. That would be a good thing.

I understand what you're saying. And I still think, as long as it doesn't affect anyone, it's a morally neutral action. Why is it a good thing? I agree it's better than doing the bad thing. But why is it actually good? You may have to define "good" to answer that. We can then compare it to what I think.

Catholic Scientist writes:

Stile writes:

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.


Not all the time and that still is just your opinion. If those people are correct, then they are doing good, even if you think it is bad.

Yes, I agree. But how do we know if they are correct or not? We have to get the feedback of whether or not their action has increased the inner-feelings of the beings they're acting upon.

Catholic Scientist writes:

Stile writes:

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?

But it still points out a flaw in your definition. If the guy does want to be helped but doesn't notice you helping him, then according to your definition, you have done no good. I disagree with your definition.

No, it doesn't point out the flaw, it very nicely points out the incredible benefit.

If the guy does want to be helped, but doesn't notice you helping him, then according to my definition, I don't know that I've done good. I actually have, I just don't know it.

Of course, if I help him, and he's the curious-blind-man-who-likes-to-solve-puzzles I described. Then I still don't know I've done good. And, in fact, I've actually done bad.

Can you see the difference?

Your way, and we're prescribing to the blind man our thoughts of what is good and bad onto him. The action, however, is affecting him.

My way, we're finding out how the action affected him. We only know if we do good or not depending on how the action is received.

Your way is prescription of what is good based on what Catholic Scientist thinks should be good. "Opening doors for blind people" is good. You obviously don't care about all the curious-puzzle-solving blind people. You're effectively descriminating against them and saying they don't matter as people. Do you not see the similarities between this way of thinking and why pretty much all wars the world has ever seen have been started?

My way is receptive of what is good based on how "the being" acted upon reacts. I end up opening doors for the blind who want them open, and letting those who want to find them... find them. I'm treating each individual equally and with the same respect.

Your way helps most blind people.
Your way hurts some blind people.

My way helps all blind people.
My way hurts no blind people.

Why is that a flaw?

So you definition is only for determining a way to know that we are doing good?

Exactly. Remove the guessing. Remove the possibility of someone prescribing "their good" onto others.

I thought it was for good, in genereal, whether or not we know it.

No. It is for good, in general, whether or not we think it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-13-2007 4:43 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-14-2007 10:53 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 103 of 304 (405705)
06-14-2007 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by anastasia
06-13-2007 10:08 PM


More of the same
anastasia writes:

I made a clear distinction between a system doomed to failure, and a person who sometimes fails. I am not going down a dilly-dally trail about who is always moral.


Doomed to failure? :) It's you who say my goal is to please everyone. My goal is to please as many people as possible. Not only is this system not "doomed to failure" but it's the best possible method for success. You certainly haven't offerred a better alternative, anyway.

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

So, anything that is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health" is a good thing?


Sure. Just as good as that which is necessary for my mental or physical health. Don't you agree that these things are important?

Yes. Very important. It's also important for me to remember to put gas in my car. How does that make it a morally good thing? Anything that's important is morally good? I thought it was anything "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health"? No? Do you actually know what good is? You seem to be saying pretty much anything. And it's all coming down to "good is what anastasia thinks is good". Which, of course, is an easily corruptible definition.

Hello, obviously the person I would fornicate WITH would be happy..

Why is that obvious? If you fornicated with me, I certainly wouldn't be happy. Are you sure you know what you're talking about?
..and I can think of several people who care about my preferences in that regard. But for me, it would be BAD. So voila, I would have to be bad to make some people smile.

And, again, what's GOOD and BAD is only "what anastasia thinks is GOOD and BAD". So, then, what's GOOD and BAD is also "what Jimbo thinks is GOOD and BAD". And Jimbo doesn't think you fornicating is BAD. And voila, you're not bad anymore. How is this productive?

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

So, anything that is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health" is a good thing?
What is "necessary for anastasia's spiritual health"? And who get's to decide what is and what is not? It sounds to me like you can make up whatever you want to be "necessary for your spiritual health" and therefore make up whatever you want to be GOOD.


There are many things necessary for spiritual health. I follow what my religion teaches to an extent, but since no one is me or goes through the same exact life, by and large I have to make decisions myself.

So, again, we're back to GOOD and BAD is "whatever anastasia decides for herself is GOOD and BAD".

So nothing is ever good or bad? Jimbo thinks killing babies is GOOD. So, killing a baby is GOOD? Jimbo thinks feeding a starving child is BAD. So, feeding a starving child is BAD?

No wonder the world is full of hatred and people telling others what they should think, and what they should do. Your whole thinking system is dependant on it.

Like I said, I can follow my religion and the examples of good people before me. Aside from that, I have to make my own decisions. We can't get uptight about knowing things for sure, because morality is all about doing what we believe, not what we know.

And this is the problem. You're treating other people the way you want to treat other people. The "examples of good people before you" are only examples of people who thought they were good before you. And if you continue to assume that whatever you think is GOOD. Then you'll inevitably start doing a lot of BAD to a lot of different people.

have no clue what will make people happy, you can only do what you believe they want done.

That's right. I'm in the same boat you are with this.

My way -> Find out what makes other people happy, and try to do that.

anastasia's way -> Personally decide what makes other people happy, and try to do that.

My way, I'll always help other people.
Your way, you'll actually hurt some of the people you're trying to help.

I still haven't received an answer to my questions

How is what's posted in my summary Message 97 not answering your questions? I've told you what good is. I've told you why I do good. You can't seem to elaborate on why you don't find my answers acceptable. That's your problem, not mine.

anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

We seem to agree that people are equal. Let's just leave that alone here (it's off-topic). We can go through that in another thread though, if you really want to start one.


It's not off topic, because when I first asked you about 'why is it good to do good to others' in that other thread, this was exactly what I was talking about.

When you asked "why is it good to do good to others", you wanted me to explain why I think people are equal?

...

Wow. No wonder we have so much confusion. I'm sorry I was unable to decipher that what you asked had absolutely nothing to do with what you wanted me to answer.

Basically, I think people are equal because I cannot find a reason why they shouldn't be equal.

Your answer is 'it increases their inner feelings'

No, not quite again. My answer to "why it is good to do good to others" is that we must either increase, decrease, or not change the inner-feelings of others, and it is better (self-defining) to increase those feelings. For reasons coming from the use of empathy. It's all right there in the 7 points in the summary Message 97.

"Increasing their inner feelings" is only the answer to "what is a morally good action?".

I can tell you quite simply that I do good to others because we are all equal and should treat each other equally.

But what is "good" to you? You've already shown that GOOD is "whatever anastasia thinks is GOOD". So, you do "whatever anastasia thinks is GOOD" to others because we are all equal. That doesn't sound equal at all. It sounds incredibly lop-sided and only up to you.

How are you treating people equally if you do what one wants, and force the other to forfeit his feelings?

I've never said I'm forcing anyone to forfeit their feelings. They choose to forfeit their own feelings when they choose to forfeit anyone elses feelings. "I" isn't anywhere in there. "I" didn't do anything. And, this reasoning seems very equal. How do you think it's unequal?

You are indoctrinated, we all are, so just accept it.

If you'd like to keep pressing this, please show how it is so. And please do it in another thread. Just because anastasia "says" I'm indoctrinated has no bearing on if I actually am or not.

By the same reasoning, just because anastasia "says" something is GOOD or BAD, has no bearing on if it actually is or not.

I've explained a fine system for determining what is GOOD in the summary Message 97. You have yet to point out any flaw in that system.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by anastasia, posted 06-13-2007 10:08 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by anastasia, posted 06-14-2007 10:55 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 104 of 304 (405706)
06-14-2007 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by anastasia
06-13-2007 10:19 PM


Sounds very relative
anastasia writes:

Stile writes:

I don't agree at all. The system I propose says that WE are the authorities on good. However, what is really good (truly 'good') certainly exists, constantly.


Factually inaccurate, and also impossible. How could a species that changes so much have one constant morality? Where would this constant good be coming from, if we are the ones making it up?

The constant morality could be the one I described in Message 97.

The constant good is:

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

Of course "the actions" are going to change. And the reactions of the beings acted upon.

But the way to determine if you're doing good or not is constant. The way to determine if you're doing good or not is to get feedback from the beings you're acting upon.

How is that not constant? Or even impossible?

I propose that if morality is a survival mechanism, rape would at times be good.

I didn't ask how "rape may at times be considered good". I asked how anyone (even God) could see how a rapist purposefully raping a young girl, and making her feel scared and vulnerable the rest of her life, could be seen as GOOD. You seem to think they can. You seem to think that GOOD is "whatever we think is GOOD".

I believe God can look the other way if the person doing the raping believes it is good.

Really. So even your God is a moral relativist. Rape isn't even always wrong? Your "absolute" morality is based upon God's relativistic decisions? What sort of absolute morality changes from situation to situation? And I thought you called yourself an absolutist. I guess you just like to mask things with whatever words you choose.

Sounds a lot like how you decide what will be GOOD.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by anastasia, posted 06-13-2007 10:19 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by anastasia, posted 06-14-2007 11:14 PM Stile has responded

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


Message 105 of 304 (405710)
06-14-2007 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by ikabod
06-14-2007 6:38 AM


Re: A Summary
ikabod writes:

sorry but you two basic premisses are so arbitrary that you could claim thenmm as the rules of your new made up on the spot religion , they are not objective , and so will force the outcome you plan .

the "scenario" is not good bad or neutral .. its just a scenario .. you then chosse to aplly a label to it based on view of how the universe should be .

Of course I just picked them. I think they best describe what we're talking about, and what we see in the world. That's not the point. The point is if you and I agree with them.

So again:

1. Beings are equal, and deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness.
-If you disagree, why do you think people do not deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness?

2. Morally Good = an action that increases the inner-feelings of another person.
-If you disagree, why do you think "an action that increases the inner-feelings of another person" isn't morally good?

However the problem with this example is that , and history can show us example that the above action was considered a good act by certian people/s and was activly premoted as a good act ....

again there are no absolute in the real world ..


I'm not talking about what anyone has ever considered or promoted as a good act. I'm also not saying anything about the existance of absolutes.

I'm saying if you agree with the 2 above points, then we can objectively define what actions are good, bad, or neutral.

So, again, if you don't agree with those two points, why not? What's wrong with them?

ikabod writes:

well if as you claim

Stile writes:

all Beings are equal, and deserve equal rights to life and pursuit of happiness.


then anything anyone dreams up should be considered as good , that means the racist , the nationalist , the insane murderer, the religious fundimentalist , are all able to say what is good and have a equal right to follow that view ....
...and considered good by whom . ..me ,you , a random selection of people , a priest , a god ??

I agree. IF that was all I was claiming. But it's not. This was, of course, only the first of two points. The second one quite explicitly defines what good is. And very nicely no longer allows anyone to just "decide" what's good for any other person.

And we're back to the same question:

If you do not agree with those 2 points, why not? What's wrong with them? Why are they incorrect?

And what do you mean by evil having an existance .. by this are you saying evil is a force .. that you can find it as a partical or in energy form ...are you saying it is more than a label for extreme action carried out by human beings ?

No. I think evil is simply a label for extreme actions carried out by beings. All I meant was that if good was defined to be "anything anyone thought was good". Then everything would be good. And there would be no bad, and hence no evil.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by ikabod, posted 06-14-2007 6:38 AM ikabod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by ikabod, posted 06-15-2007 7:35 AM Stile has responded

    
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