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Author Topic:   Why It Is Right To Do Good To Others
Posts: 3846
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7

Message 301 of 304 (848987)
02-20-2019 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 300 by GDR
02-19-2019 4:01 PM

Re: Goodness
GDR writes:

Stile writes:

In fact, I'd argue the complete opposite - most people don't take the time to consider such things in such detail. They have to worry about having enough money to feed/support their family.

I think that you are look at it from too narrow a perspective. It doesn’t matter how poor one is or how much they have to struggle to feed/support their family. From a western perspective we can look at it from how we deal with others that we come in contact with. Do we look at every encounter that we have as an opportunity to bring a little joy into someone’s day by making a cheerful comment, or paying them a compliment. It is not all about money or even time for that matter.

I agree with your point.
My point was simply:
If someone has 5 jobs in an attempt to scrape together enough money to provide food/shelter for their children - they do not have time to sit down and contemplate morality the way you and I are taking time to sort through things and make posts like this on the internet.
There's a quote I can't quite remember... something like "Morality is the hobby of the rich."

I think you're right in the sense that "everyone has the ability to do small things than can make a big difference if their heart is in the right place."
However, there's also a point to be made on the side of "if you're living paycheck-to-paycheck and barely fulfilling your responsibilities as it is - it's entirely forgivable that you're not taking hours each week to reflect and adjust your actions so that everyone you meet is a bit happier."

My ideas describing morality come from holding a priority of "caring for others" as the highest.
However - it's extremely easy to do this when you don't have to worry about a priority such as "my loved ones are not going to eat tonight."
I can only imagine how I'd act if such a dire issue were to raise itself in my priority list.

Would I steal candy from a rich, fat baby in order to keep my family from starving?
-Probably, yes.
-This isn't to say that I think such a thing would be "good."
-I still think that stealing candy from a rich, fat baby in order to keep my family from starving is a bad thing to do to the baby.
-I would simply justify it to myself that my needs were much greater at the time - and everyone themselves is free to judge me for making such a judgement according to their own moral systems

Would I kill a rich, fat baby in order to keep my family from starving?
-Probably, no.

It is impossible to live a life where we neither hurt nor help anyone else. It simply boils down to whether or not we have a desire to help others or not or are we solely self serving regardless of its impact on others.

I don't think it does "boil down" to what our desire is.
I think it boils down to what we do - and our desire is only a small portion.

I agree with you on this example:
-being kind because you want to help is "better" than being kind because you think you'll get something out of it later

However, I do not agree with you on this example:

-Let's say we have 2 people in Group A, both who "want to do the right thing because they want to help others."
-One is very successful at it - they end up "doing the right thing" 90% of the time
-The other is terrible at it (through no fault of their own) - they are only able to "do the right thing" 10% of the time, the rest is all "honest mistakes" that leads them to hurting others

-Let's say we have 2 people in Group B, one who wants to help others, and the other who is extremely selfish - but wants others to think they are nice so they help others in order to "get something for themselves later."
-Both are very successful at it - they both end up "doing the right thing" 90% of the time

Now - I understand that from some sort of external, independent angle - you may see that the one in Group A who is unsuccessfully-trying is actually "a nicer person" than the one in Group B who is successfully-selfish.

It's just that I, personally, don't care about any external, independent angle as I don't think it makes a difference anywhere.
Let's say you and I both had something extremely important to do - say - bring food to our children that we cannot get to ourselves for some reason.
The choice is to get the "unsuccessful-trying" person to do it or the "successfully-selfish" person to do it.
Would you actually risk your children dying just to morally side with the unsuccessfully-trying person? I doubt it - and if you would there's an argument to be made that you're raising you're own pride-in-your-ideas over "caring for others" - your children.

Also, in a less stressful situation, I think most people would tend to hang out with those who treated them well - regardless of how much they were "trying."

Therefore, if in all practical-senses, the successful-selfish person is "liked" more than the unsuccessful-trying person - what does this say?
"Liked" in the sense of: being asked to visit more often; people wanting to hang out around them - that sort of thing.

-I think this indicates that it does not "boil down" to one's desires.
-I think this indicates that it does, indeed, "boil down" to one's actions.

That said - I just want to repeat that I do still think that the heart/desires matter - just not that they are "the major portion" or anything like that.

Why have some chosen the selfish path in their lives and why have you chosen a path that wants to bring joy to other lives and to leave a legacy behind that sees the world a better place for having been born into it?

Great question.
Extremely difficult to answer if one believes we're all made equally by a competent "intelligent designer."
Extremely easy to answer if one thinks we've evolved from mindless processes and chemicals - the same answer as to why other preferences vary so wildly - it's "what survived."
Some are selfish and some want to bring joy to others for the same reason that some have a favourite colour of green and some have a favourite colour of red.
Personal preferences vary wildly just because that's the way we are - there is no "quality control" by any intelligent designer forcing such things to be fair and equal across the board.

I just don’t see altruism as being evolved in terms of what we think of when we talk about evolutionary theory.

Nobody does.
"Nature vs. Nurture" is not an either-or "pick one" issue - and no one who's educated around the issue thinks so at all.
Nature vs. Nurture is about understanding that BOTH are heavily involved - and it can be difficult to understand which one plays more of the "major part" in understanding any specific issue for any specific person.
But all those educated around the issue and what it's actually about think that BOTH are always heavily involved.

The weak point in that argument though is that does not explain why we in the west are prepared to sacrificially help those on the other side of the world who are not of our society or gene pool.

This idea that willingness-to-sacrifice-for-others is a product of The West will need a lot more that just your claim in order to be taken seriously.
It takes two sides to end a war - not just one.
That means the Axis powers in WWII were just as willing and desiring to have peace as the Allies were (and you can argue that they "sacrificed" a lot more in ending the war - because they "lost.")

But, it's easy to explain, using Nature AND Nurture.

However, it is my belief that there is also that silent meme, that we can metaphorically call the “still small voice of God” that prompts us towards a love that transcends the self and is prepared to love one’s neighbours, (which of course ultimately extend to everyone), sacrificially, or to live a life in which our foundational belief is “The Golden Rule”.

But there's no reason to think it's required is all.
The explanation of nature and nurture, and the desire to "care for others" is all that's required to explain all of it.

I would also add that when we look at the evolutionary process we all evolved with 5 fingers, ten toes and so on. However, when it comes to our adherence to a moral code, such as in the Golden Rule, we are all over the map.

Not really - we are, really, "all over the map" for everything in the way you're using the term.

Parts of us are similar, others are not-so-much.
We all have 5 fingers and 5 toes, yes. Are they all the same length? Same colour? Same fingerprints? What about how many hairs on our heads - is that the same for everyone?
We do all have "a brain" and therefore "a mind."
But because specifics of the brain (nature), and how it develops as we grow up (nurture) both impact it's "final shape" - the mind we have that's a result of our exact, specific brain will be different as it changes from person to person.

We all have 5 fingers and toes.
But - many will have very strong grip strength and many others a very weak grip strength

We all have a brain and therefore a mind.
But - just as many have a favourite colour of green and many others have a favourite colour of red.
Also - many will have a favourite moral idea of "caring for others" and many others will have a favourite moral idea of something else.

You can't argue that "major physical parts" (like fingers and toes) are equivalent to "minor differences" (like differing favourite desires.)
The fact is that we do all have similar "major physical parts" for everything - and we all have "all over the map" results from "minor differences" for everything as well.

You ask why you have chosen the path that you have and it is my belief that you have chosen that path because you have responded to all of the above and have had your heart softened to the point that you have been able to set aside selfish desires in order to enhance the lives of others, even at your own expense.

You can believe what you like.

I happen to be me - so I can tell you that you are wrong.
I believe what I believe about morals not because my heart's been softened, but simply because I hold "caring for others" as a priority.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 300 by GDR, posted 02-19-2019 4:01 PM GDR has not yet responded

Posts: 17299
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.5

Message 302 of 304 (848996)
02-20-2019 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 297 by Thugpreacha
02-19-2019 2:51 PM

Re: Goodness
Phat writes:

If society simply waits for *evidence* of God, we will likely stand at the altar forever.

If society simply waits for *evidence* of leprechauns, we will likely stand at the altar forever.

What's the problem with that?

The idea that God hides because He wants us to have faith is just pathetic. Leprechauns also hide because they want us to have faith

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-19-2019 2:51 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 303 by Theodoric, posted 02-20-2019 3:07 PM ringo has responded

Posts: 6583
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.2

Message 303 of 304 (849003)
02-20-2019 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 302 by ringo
02-20-2019 2:13 PM

Re: Goodness
Reminds me of my friend the ghosthunter. He presented me with his "evidence" for ghosts; EVPs, orbs in photos and videos and I asked him how he as sure they weren't leprechauns. He seriously said I was being ridiculous because leprechauns don't exist. I told him his evidence was evidence they do. We aren't very good friends anymore.

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 302 by ringo, posted 02-20-2019 2:13 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 304 by ringo, posted 02-20-2019 3:15 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

Posts: 17299
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.5

Message 304 of 304 (849004)
02-20-2019 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 303 by Theodoric
02-20-2019 3:07 PM

Re: Goodness
Theodoric writes:

He presented me with his "evidence" for ghosts; EVPs, orbs in photos and videos and I asked him how he as sure they weren't leprechauns.

An example that I have used before: A dead body with a hole in it is evidence that the body is dead and has a hole in it. It is not evidence that the hole killed him. Similarly, "strange voices" are evidence of strange voices. They are not evidence of demons.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 303 by Theodoric, posted 02-20-2019 3:07 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

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