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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
Stile
Member
Posts: 3531
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 256 of 304 (848765)
02-14-2019 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by GDR
02-14-2019 4:16 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

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.

This is extremely similar to what I've described.

What I've described is, actually, exactly the same... I just used less flowery language.
Except my idea has one important addition:

My idea explains the question: "How do you know if you're helping ("improving the lives of") others or not?"

I think that's a very important part that gets left "in ambiguity" too much when discussion morality.

Again, form my opening post:

The only way to know if you've actually done some good is to get the information from the being you're dealing with. Sometimes this is easy and the information is freely offered with a head-nod or a smile. Sometimes it is difficult, and we are only able to use the knowledge we have to hopefully affect someone (or something) in a good way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:16 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6318
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 257 of 304 (848766)
02-14-2019 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by GDR
02-14-2019 4:16 PM


Re: Goodness
Frustration, because here you argue against your own argument. How does this definition of good fit in with hitler and Isis? I get frustrated with people using logical fallacies in their arguments. Now that you have decided to use the same "good" as Stile. Do you think you were making a strong argument?

Edited by Theodoric, : Word choice


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 255 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:16 PM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 258 of 304 (848767)
02-14-2019 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by Tanypteryx
02-14-2019 4:09 PM


Re: Goodness
Tanypteryx writes:

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

I assume that some people get warm fuzzies torturing people. Also I think the idea isn't that you're not just "not harming" others but that you are actually helping others.

Tan------- writes:

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

Agreed. So why is there such a concept as goodness?

Tan----- writes:

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

Some people seem to find it pleasurable to do harm and find some kind of joy in it. Just look at the problem of bullying in our schools today. We can all agree that it is "bad" but on the other hand it seems to make the perpetrators feel good so why is it bad. I would contend that there is an "ultimate" sense of what is good and that, as I said, would by definition have to come from something outside of our human existence. It is a belief but we all have our beliefs that can't be proven.

Tan---- writes:

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.

I don't question it. What I do question is the idea that if we are only the result of mindless chemical processes then what is good,?As pointed out by someone on this thread, the result of what individuals in societies come to a consensus on defines goodness for that culture. Different societies come to different conclusions.

Tan---- writes:

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.

I agree. However the terrorists thought that they were doing good and sacrificed their lives for it.

Tan--- writes:

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.

It isn't about religion and I would agree that atheists can and do as much, or more good, than so called religious people, including Christians. My contention is that we can only recognize what is good and what is evil because there is a universal understanding of what is good. In simple terms it boils down to the Golden Rule.

However, if there is nothing but chemical processes then the "Golden Rule" is only golden in societies that decide that it is.


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 251 by Tanypteryx, posted 02-14-2019 4:09 PM Tanypteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Tanypteryx, posted 02-14-2019 6:33 PM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 259 of 304 (848768)
02-14-2019 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Stile
02-14-2019 4:09 PM


Re: Goodness
Stile writes:

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.

But why? That is a conclusion that you have come to because that is what you have decided is good. It is still circular.

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 252 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:09 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by Stile, posted 02-15-2019 9:07 AM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 260 of 304 (848771)
02-14-2019 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by Stile
02-14-2019 4:08 PM


Re: Goodness
Stile writes:

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.

I think that all of us would basically agree with that although we might word it differently. However, what your definition is still just the conclusion that you have come to and is to a large degree the consensus of the culture which we share. Other individuals and cultures have come to other conclusions based primarily on self interest.

Stile writes:

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.

Sure, but again you are basing goodness on the conclusions that you have come to and your conclusions may be very different than the conclusions of others. My contention again is that there is an ultimate standard of good and evil. As humans disagree about that standard then if that standard actually does exist, as I obviously believe it does, it has to come from something beyond ourselves.

GDR writes:

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.

Stile writes:

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

OK, but what would make it ultimate. It is still just the conclusions that individuals and societies have come to, and those conclusions often vary and fluctuate.

Stile writes:

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?

You and I agree that what they did was "bad". However in their mind presumably it was good.

Stile writes:

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?"

I'm not saying that there is any difference between 1 and 2. In both cases there is a desire to do the "good" thing. I use the term ultimate as the simplest way I know to convey the idea that goodness exists whether or not humans exist.

I will repeat that I agree that many atheists do more good than many Christians. However, that isn't my point.


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 249 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:08 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 272 by Stile, posted 02-15-2019 9:54 AM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 261 of 304 (848773)
02-14-2019 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 253 by Stile
02-14-2019 4:12 PM


Re: Goodness
Stile writes:

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.

I suppose but as I said earlier we might know that what a person wants isn't right for them. As a 5 year old I might want to to go swimming in the ocean but as a parent I know that it is dangerous and not allow it, so I think I'll stick with the "Golden Rule".

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 253 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:12 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 5:33 PM GDR has responded
 Message 273 by Stile, posted 02-15-2019 10:14 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6318
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 262 of 304 (848774)
02-14-2019 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by GDR
02-14-2019 5:23 PM


Re: Goodness
The caveat to do no and allow no harm is implied. Surprised that that would need to be pointed out. I always find it odd how the radical Christian mind works.

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 261 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 5:23 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 6:14 PM Theodoric has responded

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


Message 263 of 304 (848775)
02-14-2019 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 254 by Stile
02-14-2019 4:14 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?

Stile writes:

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.

Sure, but that assumes that the only good is what we decide is good, and as I said that is a moving target. Goodness then just boils down to our own conclusions and then that is the only basis on which we can call something good. If it is only our opinion then there can be no absolute good or evil.

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 254 by Stile, posted 02-14-2019 4:14 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by Stile, posted 02-15-2019 10:25 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 277 by Stile, posted 02-15-2019 11:58 AM GDR has responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4140
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 264 of 304 (848776)
02-14-2019 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by GDR
02-14-2019 2:52 PM


Re: Goodness
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. It is simply what we think at the time. 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.

You mean “us” collectively, yes?

If so then know there are multiple human organizations from churches to governments, legislatures to colleges, all trying to define what “good” means down in the nitty-gritty details. Consensus come and consensus go. One of the stronger mass opinions is that the Hitler thing and 9/11 were far from anything close to “good”.

On a more individual level “good” is more of a “do onto others…” kind of thing.

But we are apes blossomed up from this planet where life was always brutal, bloody, then spiteful and mercilessly violent.

What is good? We’re working on it.

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

Fine. When it gets here, we’ll discuss it. But right now we have some major problems related to just what “good” means for our species today and there doesn’t seem to be anything “from outside” helping our situation.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 2:52 PM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 265 of 304 (848777)
02-14-2019 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Theodoric
02-14-2019 5:33 PM


Re: Goodness
Theodoric writes:


The caveat to do no and allow no harm is implied. Surprised that that would need to be pointed out. I always find it odd how the radical Christian mind works.

Doing no harm is only a part of it but obviously included. Hmmmm... so now I'm a radical.

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 262 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 5:33 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2244
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 266 of 304 (848781)
02-14-2019 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by GDR
02-14-2019 4:52 PM


Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

Tanypteryx writes:

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

I assume that some people get warm fuzzies torturing people. Also I think the idea isn't that you're not just "not harming" others but that you are actually helping others.

I specifically said "and not harming others", so why bring up cases of torturers who are clearly harming others? They are obviously not doing something good, even if they fell good about, because they are causing harm. Some people are broken and take pleasure from harming others. The rest of us think it is good to try to stop them and that is why we pass laws to hold them accountable.

Does my every action have to be helping others?

We can all agree that it is "bad" but on the other hand it seems to make the perpetrators feel good so why is it bad.

Because it harms others. Why do you keep ignoring that?

I would contend that there is an "ultimate" sense of what is good and that, as I said, would by definition have to come from something outside of our human existence.

This makes no sense to me. It seems obvious to me that our sense of what is good can only come from human existence and experience.

What I do question is the idea that if we are only the result of mindless chemical processes then what is good?

What is with the continuous description as "mindless chemical processes?" When you tell someone how to mix, for example, backing soda and water, do you say mix the mindless backing soda in the mindless water so it will mindlessly dissolve?

I think most chemical processes called people would say good is what doesn't harm others.

As pointed out by someone on this thread, the result of what individuals in societies come to a consensus on defines goodness for that culture. Different societies come to different conclusions.

And if they get goodness wrong because they are harming people, which is not goodness, then the rest of human society stands up to them and makes them stop.

My contention is that we can only recognize what is good and what is evil because there is a universal understanding of what is good.

Yes, from human experience we have developed a universal understanding of what is good. We can quite easily detect when sick people and their ideas cause harm to others.

In simple terms it boils down to the Golden Rule.

Yes.

However, if there is nothing but chemical processes then the "Golden Rule" is only golden in societies that decide that it is.

And those societies by their nature try to demonstrate why the golden rule is good to those who do not know the rule or those who insist on breaking the rule.

I don't understand what chemical processes have to do with the golden rule.


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 258 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 4:52 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 7:32 PM Tanypteryx has responded
 Message 270 by AZPaul3, posted 02-15-2019 7:18 AM Tanypteryx has acknowledged this reply

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6318
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 267 of 304 (848785)
02-14-2019 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 266 by Tanypteryx
02-14-2019 6:33 PM


Re: Goodness
I specifically said "and not harming others", so why bring up cases of torturers who are clearly harming others?

Because he can only argue the point if he builds 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 266 by Tanypteryx, posted 02-14-2019 6:33 PM Tanypteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 269 by Tanypteryx, posted 02-14-2019 9:00 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6318
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 268 of 304 (848787)
02-14-2019 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by GDR
02-14-2019 6:14 PM


Re: Goodness
Doing no harm is only a part of it but obviously included.

Then why has it had to be pointed out to you repeatedly?

ABE
Yes, to my mindest your arguments are radical Christianity.

Edited by Theodoric, : Addendum


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 265 by GDR, posted 02-14-2019 6:14 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2244
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 269 of 304 (848790)
02-14-2019 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Theodoric
02-14-2019 7:32 PM


Re: Goodness
Because he can only argue the point if he builds a strawman.

Yep. That's why I generally don't even read the religious threads. I was bored while I was waiting for some image files to process. Oh well.


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 267 by Theodoric, posted 02-14-2019 7:32 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4140
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 270 of 304 (848793)
02-15-2019 7:18 AM
Reply to: Message 266 by Tanypteryx
02-14-2019 6:33 PM


Re: Goodness
I don't understand what chemical processes have to do with the golden rule.

Maybe because if these bags of mindless chemical processes we call people derived the golden rule that sorta takes the divinity out of the thing?

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by Tanypteryx, posted 02-14-2019 6:33 PM Tanypteryx has acknowledged this reply

  
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