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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
GDR
Member
Posts: 4826
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 241 of 304 (848750)
02-14-2019 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by ringo
02-14-2019 3:32 PM


Re: Goodness
ringo writes:

That's circular. Good is good because it's what God wants - and God must be good because what He wants is good.

Yes, it is circular but that says nothing about whether or not God exists and that our sense of goodness comes from Him. It is also circular for Stile to say that something is good because what Stile wants is good..

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by ringo, posted 02-14-2019 3:32 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 244 by ringo, posted 02-14-2019 3:50 PM GDR has responded
 Message 252 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:09 PM GDR has responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6319
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 242 of 304 (848751)
02-14-2019 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by GDR
02-14-2019 2:52 PM


Re: Goodness
You are also making a strawman argument. What you are arguing against here has nothing to do with what Stile actually stated. By equivocating you argued against something that isn't even part of the discussion.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 2:52 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 245 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:53 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4826
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 243 of 304 (848752)
02-14-2019 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by Theodoric
02-14-2019 3:37 PM


Re: Goodness
Theodoric writes:

One problem with your argument is that you are equivocating the word good. The goodness of which Stile is referring is not the same use of the word(though they are spelled the same) as the good you are using about Hitler.

It is about the belief of what is good that is common to both. Hitler though that it would be a better world if we could get rid of the Jews. Stile think that it would be a better world if we all lived by the Golden Rule. (I am putting words into Stile's mouth here.) We all have our beliefs about who was right. I'm confident that everyone on this forum would agree with Stile's belief.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 3:37 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 3:59 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 253 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:12 PM GDR has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16681
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 244 of 304 (848753)
02-14-2019 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 241 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:43 PM


Re: Goodness
Phat writes:

It is also circular for Stile to say that something is good because what Stile wants is good..


But good isn't just what Stile wants. In a social species, good is a matter of consensus. And consensus involves compromize - i.e. good is inherently relative.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:43 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:57 PM ringo has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4826
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 245 of 304 (848754)
02-14-2019 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 242 by Theodoric
02-14-2019 3:44 PM


Re: Goodness
Theodoric writes:

You are also making a strawman argument. What you are arguing against here has nothing to do with what Stile actually stated. By equivocating you argued against something that isn't even part of the discussion.

Why? Stile has stated that his position on what constitutes goodness conforms to some presumably universal standard. Stile has in his mind decided what he believes is good and obviously believes he is correct in his thinking. What makes him more right than Hitler?

AbE Sorry I just realized this had moved to the other thread.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 242 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 3:44 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:14 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4826
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 246 of 304 (848755)
02-14-2019 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 244 by ringo
02-14-2019 3:50 PM


Re: Goodness
ringo writes:

But good isn't just what Stile wants. In a social species, good is a matter of consensus. And consensus involves compromize - i.e. good is inherently relative.

In the last several years there have been numerous societies where there was a consensus that it would be good to commit genocide, which would involve compromise and would be inherently relative.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 244 by ringo, posted 02-14-2019 3:50 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 4:02 PM GDR has responded
 Message 250 by ringo, posted 02-14-2019 4:09 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6319
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 247 of 304 (848756)
02-14-2019 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 243 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:48 PM


Re: Goodness
See Ringo's reply. You are still equivocating and building a strawman.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:48 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6319
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 248 of 304 (848757)
02-14-2019 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:57 PM


Re: Goodness
We don't give a flying fuck what certain societies have done. If you cannot understand the concept of goodness than you have more problems than I thought. I suppose you have trouble defining evil too.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:57 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 255 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:16 PM Theodoric has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3531
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


(2)
Message 249 of 304 (848758)
02-14-2019 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by GDR
02-14-2019 2:52 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

This is a long and old thread that I haven't participated in. I'm not going to go back and review all that has already been said so this is a reboot.

Thank you so much.
I did go back and review parts of it - and I cringe at the... unrefined... way I used to think/post
Hopefully I've grown in the past 12 years and can now express myself in a way that's a bit more... mature.

I still agree with the basic idea I attempted to defend here.
I just think that the way I went about defending it was... sloppy.

GDR writes:

I'm sure you do want that which is good. But what makes it good? The fact that you want it? Why do you want it?

What makes it good for me is exactly what makes anything good for anyone else:

Because I choose how to define "good" for myself. Just as you choose how to define "good" for yourself.
That is... your "belief that ultimate good represents a fundamental nature of God and His desires for it to be a fundamental part of our nature..." is how you choose to define "good" for yourself.

My definition of "good" is still as I defined it earlier:

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

I would phrase this now as "Good is helping others in the way they want to be helped."

And the reason I want it is still the same as before as well:

Why do people do good?
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 Meh 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.

We've had these discussions before. It's good for your gene pool. It is an evolved feeling.

That may also be true. But it's not why I do good things. I do good things because of the reasoning above.

Like eating pizza.
I need to eat to survive. But I could eat vegetables and other healthy things and it would help me survive much better.
I choose to eat pizza because I like the taste - it just also happens to be true that it helps (somewhat) me to survive.

I choose to do good things for the reasons stated above. Any other side-effects from me doing good things are irrelevant to why I choose to do them.

If we are simply here as a result of an endless progression of mindless processes; a collection of mindless particles that have mindlessly come together to form intelligent creatures then there is no ultimate good or evil.

Why not?
As soon as the intelligence exists (regardless of how,) why can't we use it to define ultimate good or evil?

It is simply what we think at the time.

Why can't "what we think at the time" BE the "ultimate" good or evil?

Hitler thought that it would be good if we could eradicate Jews. The 9/11 terrorists thought that it would be good to do what they did. Who are you to say they were wrong.

I'm a man with a definition of good and bad.
Would you like to see if it applies?

Hitler killed many people against their will -> bad.
9/11 terrorists killed many people against their will -> bad.

Huh - seems to pass this test. Want to try another?

If there is an ultimate good then that ultimate good is something that exists outside of our perceived existence.

Why's that?
Why can't my definition of good be the ultimate good?

FYI - my questions about "ultimate" good are all a bit leading on purpose.
I don't actually think that "ultimate" good exists. I think the term is meaningless. But, if you can show how an "ultimate" good somehow has more meaning than any other "regular" good - I am willing to change my mind.

For example:

Let's assume that the "ultimate good" is "believing in God's will to have ultimate good be a fundamental part of our nature."

Now - an old lady wants help to cross the street.

1. You can believe in the "ultimate good" and help the lady cross the street.
2. You can help the lady cross the street because you would rather help the lady instead of doing nothing or (say) throwing rocks at the lady.

If you can explain why #1 is better than #2... I'm all ears.
Otherwise... can we please drop the use of the term "ultimate?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 2:52 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 5:19 PM Stile has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16681
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 250 of 304 (848759)
02-14-2019 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:57 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

In the last several years there have been numerous societies where there was a consensus that it would be good to commit genocide, which would involve compromise and would be inherently relative.


You're talking about subsets of society. It was society as a whole that sanctioned Hitler and his subset.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:57 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2247
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 251 of 304 (848760)
02-14-2019 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by GDR
02-14-2019 2:52 PM


Re: Goodness
I normally don't comment on these threads.

I'm sure you do want that which is good. But what makes it good? The fact that you want it? Why do you want it?

What makes it good to me is the warm feeling I get and the knowledge that I am not harming others.

If we are simply here as a result of an endless progression of mindless processes

We are here because of a long progression of chemical processes. Obviously chemicals do not have minds.

a collection of mindless particles that have mindlessly come together to form intelligent creatures

Come on, are you saying that particles can have minds? Minds are an emergent property of complex brains. Everything is actually made of magnetic fields and mostly, space.

And it's not just intelligent creatures, it's all creatures and in fact, all matter.

then there is no ultimate good or evil. It is simply what we think at the time.

I don't know what you mean by "ultimate" good and evil. We do decide whether something causes harm or not.

Hitler thought that it would be good if we could eradicate Jews. The 9/11 terrorists thought that it would be good to do what they did. Who are you to say they were wrong.

Humans are the only ones who can say they were wrong because they obviously intentionally caused harm. As an atheist I can see they caused harm and that they are insane fanatics and I can and do say so. What surprises me is that question that.

If there is an ultimate good then that ultimate good is something that exists outside of our perceived existence.

Again with the ultimate good. Is it floating around somewhere like the Van Allen Radiation Belts? If it is outside our perceived existence obviously we would be unaware of it.

We are aware of good and bad and we can recognize anomalous behavior like your examples.

We also can easily recognize good behavior such as that by the first responders at the twin towers on 9/11 because they sacrificed their lives to help others.

You seem to be implying that no one would make sacrifices for others if it wasn't for religion. Atheists don't need some "ultimate good" as a reason to do good things, we do good because it feels right and because we hope others would do the same for us.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 2:52 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:52 PM Tanypteryx has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3531
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 252 of 304 (848761)
02-14-2019 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 241 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:43 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

It is also circular for Stile to say that something is good because what Stile wants is good..

I would agree that would be circular.

But I'm not saying that.
I'm saying that something is good when you help someone in the way they want to be helped.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:43 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:55 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3531
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 253 of 304 (848762)
02-14-2019 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 243 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:48 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

Stile think that it would be a better world if we all lived by the Golden Rule. (I am putting words into Stile's mouth here.)

Sort of.

I like to call it the Platinum Rule, actually.

Golden Rule
-Treat others as you want to be treated

Platinum Rule
-Treat others as they want to be treated

In spirit, they're really the same thing.
But, in practice... there's less wiggle-room for taking advantage of others with the Platinum Rule.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:48 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 261 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 5:23 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3531
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 254 of 304 (848763)
02-14-2019 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by GDR
02-14-2019 3:53 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

Why? Stile has stated that his position on what constitutes goodness conforms to some presumably universal standard. Stile has in his mind decided what he believes is good and obviously believes he is correct in his thinking. What makes him more right than Hitler?

Absolutely nothing.

But, really, I'd guess that a lot more people agree (and function) with my morality that they do with Hitler's.
As well, I predict a much "nicer" world if everyone followed my morality than if they followed Hitlers. Especially for the Jews.

You (and everyone else) is allowed to decide which they prefer for themselves.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 3:53 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 6:11 PM Stile has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4826
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 255 of 304 (848764)
02-14-2019 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 248 by Theodoric
02-14-2019 4:02 PM


Re: Goodness
Theodoric writes:

We don't give a flying fuck what certain societies have done. If you cannot understand the concept of goodness than you have more problems than I thought. I suppose you have trouble defining evil too.


I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to get personal. Maybe it is because of the weakness of your argument.
Good: Having a heart that not only finds joy in the self but in the joy of others and is prepared to sacrifice things of the self such as time, material resources etc to improve the lives of others.

Evil: Having a heart that is prepared to sacrifice the well being of others to benefit the self.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 4:02 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:24 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 257 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 4:24 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
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