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Author Topic:   We must believe in what we're made for
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 7 of 19 (845608)
12-17-2018 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Stile
12-17-2018 11:13 AM


Stile writes:

I think being happy is a rather decent and important goal for any life.
And, as long as it's not hurting others, why not let someone else believe in something that isn't backed by the reality of the universe in order to be happy?

Remember my first caveat - "as long as they're not hurting anyone."

I have always preferred to use the word contented as opposed to Happy. Happiness can be fleeting but, although there will always be times when we aren't contented we can in a general sense be contented, or discontented for that matter.

Also, I hope that life is more than about not hurting anyone. I suggest that our own contentment should come from helping to facilitate and increase the contentment in the life of others. My observation is that if life is all about not hurting others, then I suggest it is unlikely that we will find contentment ourselves.


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 6 by Stile, posted 12-17-2018 11:13 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Stile, posted 12-18-2018 3:59 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 9 of 19 (845669)
12-18-2018 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Stile
12-18-2018 3:59 PM


Stile writes:

That is, if someone had a different plan/goal/message that did not go beyond "not hurting anyone" I would respect the position they hold. After all, who am I to say how they should live their life? I'm no God, I'm just a person, like them. If they're not hurting anyone - I don't see what right I have to instruct them towards what I think "anything more" should be. No matter how much I would like them to do things my way.


I agree that we shouldn't be instructing others as towards what I think. I do however think that actually leading a life based on not hurting someone else isn't likely achievable anyway. It seems to me that our goal should be to leave this life with the world being a better place for the fact that we were here.

Living a life based on doing no harm to others will cause us to wind up with a life that is self indulgent. I contend that it is better to lead a life based on the golden rule. That I contend is much more likely to lead to a life of contentment or happiness. Statistics that I have seen actually support this view. However I would also contend that if you are only acting altruistically to make yourself feel better about yourself it won't work. The hope is that you find joy in the joy of others as well as your own.


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 8 by Stile, posted 12-18-2018 3:59 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Stile, posted 12-18-2018 4:53 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 12 of 19 (845691)
12-18-2018 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Stile
12-18-2018 4:53 PM


I've only got a minute so I'll just give a quick reply. I'm not saying that all altruistic people are happier that selfish people but I do believe that selfish people would be more content if they became altruistic.

The problem again though is the motive for being altruistic. If it is for some kind of reward whether it be for recognition, or even if you think it will get you on the right side of God, it isn't really altruistic.

I have seen studies where it shows that altruistic people are happier than non-altruistic people but that isn't conclusive. Of course this is subjective but interesting.


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 10 by Stile, posted 12-18-2018 4:53 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 12-19-2018 1:27 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 15 of 19 (847087)
01-17-2019 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stile
12-19-2018 1:27 PM


I am sorry I missed replying to this post. It was oversight as I became involved in too many threads.

Stile wrote This way, if you and I are right and altruistic people are actually happier than selfish people - then everyone will become an altruistic person as they follow their honest evaluation.
However, if we're wrong - if some people actually are not happier that way - then we are wrong and those people actually should be selfish in order to be personally-content. Which will also happen naturally for anyone following my method.

I do not agree with the last statement in general. We are all selfish to varying degrees but if self love or gratification becomes our primary focus it is something that feeds on itself, and our personal lusts whatever they are can never be satisfied.


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 14 by Stile, posted 12-19-2018 1:27 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Stile, posted 01-18-2019 8:54 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 17 of 19 (847165)
01-18-2019 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Stile
01-18-2019 8:54 AM


I guess I see it a little differently. We can only interact with the world from the position of the self. We are all basically selfish and we all want the best for ourselves. What I see as being called to, is to overcoming that basically selfishness that we are born with.

It is about being prepared to sacrifice time, material things, and even personal security for the benefit of others. I used the example of Jean Vanier who came from a family of wealth and privilege to work with mentally disabled people all over the world. The trouble is I then look at myself who is able to take luxurious vacations while millions of people do not have enough to eat.

With very few exceptions we are all selfish. However we can still have hearts that genuinely care and even hurt when we see the suffering of others. We can at least go part way in helping others who suffer and are in need. We are capable, even though still fundamentally selfish, able to perform small or even large acts of born out of a sense that is altruistic.

I would add however that we can also perform what has the appearance of an altruistic act, but is really born out of selfishness. If it is an act to gain the praise of others, or if we are doing it to gain favour with a deity, then it is no longer altruistic, which however does not negate the good that it might do.


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 16 by Stile, posted 01-18-2019 8:54 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Stile, posted 02-11-2019 4:58 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 213 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 19 of 19 (848604)
02-11-2019 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Stile
02-11-2019 4:58 PM


Stile writes:

n a very general "be nice to others" sense - yes, I think we would all agree.
But how does this relate to the main topic?

Should the want-to-be-doctors-generation "overcome that basic selfishness they are born with" and be farmers?
Should the family "overcome that basic selfishness they are born with" and allow their children to become doctors?
Should we promote that people should decide, on their own, what religion they should follow (or none at all?)

My answer is that the want-to-be-doctors should be "selfish" in this situation and become doctors.
The family should "overcome that basic selfishness they are born with" and allow their children to become doctors.
We should all promote that people should decide, on their own, what religion they should follow (or none at all.)

I don't see it as being selfish to choose a career that you want. The selfish/unselfish aspect is what you do with that career and how you deal with the rewards of that career. And, again it isn't the specific actions that are important but the sense of the heart that chooses between sacrificial or selfish love.

I also don't see it the choice of one's religion as the point. In the end I contend that is more about any individual choosing what they believe best represents truth. I obviously can't deny that culture plays a major role in the conclusions that people come to.


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 18 by Stile, posted 02-11-2019 4:58 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
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