Why be good?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Elohist, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. geordief Registered Senior Member

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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Because if we aren't then we'll die lonely and unloved.
     
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    I think being good is a human extrapolation of natural instinct. If you look at herd animals; deer, buffalo, horses, etc., the members of the herd will act in ways that allows a large group to coexist and work as team for mutual defense. There will times of competition, such as during breeding season, but this is just one instinct overriding another. This does not break up the group, since it is natural and cyclic. After that instinct is over, they return to good behavior; survival of the species.

    Religion appears about the time humans were starting to leave natural instinct, in favor of choice and willpower. A secondary center of the human brain appears. Evil became connected to the new choices, that were not grounded on instinct. In tradition, Satan could choose apart from God's laws, such as natural instinct. Satan was both good and evil, with some choices apart from instinct, progressive and some regressive. Morality is an attempt to differentiate these two extrapolations.

    Choice and will power can allow what appears to be an instinctive action, to be performed out of the context of the instinct. For example, instead of killing for food, one can summon the same inner beast to kill for pleasure or money. Or rather than eat moderately, when there is plentiful food, one can eat like there is famine; gluttony. Religions via morality, attempt to extrapolate our natural human instincts and separate the extrapolations that do not align with the natural. The very ancient people, were not very far removed from instinct, so they had a better handle on what was natural human. Natural human is not relative, but based on human DNA.

    As an analogy of this change away from instinct, say you had a good life, that allowed you to develop all your innate talents, making you very happy and satisfied by life. One day you slip on the ice and get knocked out suffering amnesia. Because of the amnesia, you can't remember how you were once centered. You can remember being happy and satisfied, but you can't remember your life before the fall. You will need to reinvent yourself, trying all types of things, most of which will make you fall short of your ideal state. Such was the nature of evolving morality and the attempt to return to your paradise. In the ideal world, good would align with extrapolations and choices built on the firm foundation of natural instinct.

    Original sin is connected to free will and choice and its extrapolations, which appears anew all the time, requiring testing to see if these aligns with natural instinct, which itself is not easy to define, since many assume this does not exist; relative.
     
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  7. Elohist Registered Member

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    Do you think there are not universal morals, instead, there are only evolutionary adaptations that became "rules" for the wellbeing and development of human groups?

    For instance, would you say that killing another human being is not ALWAYS bad?
     
  8. Elohist Registered Member

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    You are right. Do you think the purpose of life is to love and be loved?
     
  9. Elohist Registered Member

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    No, I don't.

    If not for helping others, what else do you want your time for?
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Living my life. Why are you judging people for not helping more when you yourself admit you don't help people? Isn't that hypocritical?
     
  11. Elohist Registered Member

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    Of course it is. I beg your pardon if my curiosity sounded like judgement, it is not my intention to judge you. Could you be more specific about "Living my life"?
     
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    No..I'm not going to reveal personal details about my life. There are many trolls here that take advantage of stuff like that.
     
  13. Elohist Registered Member

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    Talking in a more general sense. If helping others is not your purpose in life. Then what is? Just to be happy?
     
  14. Elohist Registered Member

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    Very well put. This makes me ask you: What is God for you? A creation of the evolving human mind?
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    No..contentment. That's sufficient for me.

    Since you don't help others, what is your purpose in life?
     
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  16. Elohist Registered Member

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    I am looking for one. In the meantime I am very pleased asking questions and trying to find the answers.

    Please don't take this as if I am judging you but, isn't contentment a little selfish for a life's purpose?
     
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You tell me. You're the one who doesn't help others.
     
  18. Elohist Registered Member

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    I think it is selfish.
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    And you living a life of never helping people isn't?
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I don't think there's a single purpose to life. Everyone has their his or her own purposes, and decides for him/herself what he/she wants from life.
     
  21. Elohist Registered Member

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    Yes, it is selfish.

    Now the question arises whether is good or bad for us not help others when we have the possibility for doing it.

    In other words: Do we feel bad, unconsciously, when we watch T.V. (for instance) while we could be helping others?
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's a personal decision you will have to make for yourself. I myself have no moral qualms about living a contented life doing no harm to others and helping out when the situation calls for it. That is good enough for me considering what was put on my plate.
     
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  23. Elohist Registered Member

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    Thank you for your opinion.
     

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