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Does working hard make you a good person?

  1. Nov 17, 2003 #1
    Does working hard make you a good person?

    Does being lazy make you a bad person?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2003 #2
    No and no. Being a good or bad person has nothing to do with working hard or laziness.
  4. Nov 18, 2003 #3
    A better question is probably: Is being hard-working a moral virtue(assuming that your hard work is not going to an unethical cause)?
  5. Nov 18, 2003 #4
    I know alot of hard working jerks out there. I am ver kind to others and im lazy. So what makes you a good person is doing good things. It's not as hard as you think to be kind.
  6. Nov 18, 2003 #5
    The answers to these questions vary, depending on the society, or set of philosophies, I would think.

    In purely Biological terms, yes to both questions. If a member of a certain species is lazy, then they are a "bad" member (a better word being "weak" member), as they will not further the chance of survival and prosperity of the species.

    However, in some societies, the lazy (and, usually, fat) members are the aristocracy, and working hard is a sign of being lower class.
  7. Nov 18, 2003 #6


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    What do you mean by "work"? what do you mean by "lazy".

    To the hod carrier, the philosopher in his study is "lazy"; he isn't "working" with his muscles.
  8. Nov 18, 2003 #7
    A long time ago I read a story about Benjamin Franklin who claimed that he was the laziest man in the world. That is why he invented so many things so that he didn't have to work so hard. I have no idea of whether it was true or not but it does illustrate a point. Looked at this way being lazy is better than being a hard worker.
    My Dad used to say that people, especially me, would work harder at getting out of work or trying to make it easier than if they just went ahead and did it in the first place.
    There is a Zen saying that if it is hard you are doing it wrong. With all this in mind and being a lazy person myself I have to say that hard work is the bane of the drinking class and that being lazy is the true mother of invention.
  9. Nov 18, 2003 #8


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    I think it is obvious that working hard to do bad things is not good.

    There is also the case of parents who work so hard they ignore their children. In the case of those who barely scrape by economically, there is room for debate, but for those who are well off, I'd say working too hard is a vice, not a virtue.

    I think laziness is inherently a vice. I also don't think laziness is the opposite of working hard. Is someone in a coma lazy? No, but they sure are not working hard. Some people don't have the physical or emotional capacity to be human dynamos. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

  10. Nov 19, 2003 #9


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    "working hard" and "being lazy" are both subjective perspectives...if you give specific examples of each, then a moral assessment could be given...

    in general, i don't think either one makes you necessarily a bad or good person...however, if your actions help or hurt another then that moral assessment might be made...
  11. Nov 19, 2003 #10
    I'm fond of the saying "work smarter, not harder". Kerrie's right, this is all subjective. One man's hard work is another's enjoyment.
    Good and bad are oranges and apples terms relative to industrious and lazy. They are two different sets of unrelated terms.
  12. Nov 20, 2003 #11

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    ..yes...all subjective indeed....and therefore VALUE THEORY!

  13. Nov 21, 2003 #12
    From the subjective perspective of a master (employer): A hard working slave (employee) is better than a lazy one.

    From the subjective perspective of a hedonist: Playing hard is working hard.

    From the subjective perspective of Larry Wall (creator of the PERL scripting language): Laziness is a programmers greatest virtue.

    From yet another subjective perspective: We work inorder to afford our laziness.
  14. Nov 30, 2003 #13
    All we need do is consider the strong "work ethic" of the German and Japanese peoples prior to world War II. Combine that with a strong sense of national pride and what do you get?

    The 4th commandment says, "Honor the Sabbath," perhaps for a good reason ...
  15. Dec 18, 2003 #14
    THANOS said that it is not as hard as you think to be kind.

    Yes and no.
    If you breathing does something good for someone else, you shouldn't be proud or rewarded. It would be better to work very hard and make a small difference for the better.

    I won't say I'm doing the right thing because I pushed a button and ended world hunger.
  16. Dec 18, 2003 #15
    Re: Re: Does working hard make you a good person?

    A couple of nukes dropped on 2 of your major cities and/or your nation divided up by 4 different nations.
  17. Feb 8, 2004 #16
    According to Max Weber, the protestant ethic (and its concept of 'the calling') coupled with the spirit of capitalism made prtoestants wealthy in the 18th century.

    They did however, refrain from indulging in their wealth. In this case, hard work was definately percieved as a good thing because it honoured god. Moral asceticism demonstrated puritanical faith.
  18. Feb 8, 2004 #17


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    And the resulting accumulation of wealth was taken as proof of being "saved".
  19. Feb 12, 2004 #18
    Yes... no... maybe so. It really depends on the person when you come to think about it. In some respects, yes, hard working people tend to be nice/good people because they know hard it is to earn money unlike lazy people who usually live off someone else earnings. And by working hard, you develop good values and morals (but of course thats not always ture).
  20. Feb 16, 2004 #19

    Well I think you have mix ideals together. If your definition of good/bad person is how hard they work then of course but you need to really ask what is a good person and what is a bad person not if the work they put into their life makes them good and bad...

    Example: Hilter - worked very hard, times man of the year and probably the most influential person to the last 80 or so years. But killed millions, and that made him of course a bad person right, but worked damn hard at taking over most of Europe.

    Also to the, what is a good person and what is a bad person you need to define what a lazy and a hard working person is. I mean lazy can be anything, I can stop right here or I can keep typing which I am just so that the number of typed characters goes up, of course some could say this is being lazy as well cause I am not checking my gammer of run on sentence structure and just filling space in this post however I worked harder adding to this post then if I would have just stopped up above.
  21. Mar 25, 2004 #20
    Aside from the semantics involving the definition of good and bad people, I would say that not necessarily. Being lazy does not denote one being a bad person as well as being hard working does not necessarily denote one being good.
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