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What is good ?

  1. May 24, 2004 #1
    What is "good"?

    How would you define good? Even some of the good things you do impact others in a bad way. How about this... If you do something "good" to someone just for personal gain, is it still a good deed? Is good perhaps just something that if you were in the recievers shoes would appriciate?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2004 #2
    Positive experiences (aka pleasure) are good.
  4. May 26, 2004 #3


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    I think you may want to qualify that. I know you don't believe that when Ted Bundy derives pleasure from slicing up his date, that it is good.
  5. May 26, 2004 #4
    Hedonism (physical and intellectual) is the only thing that gives life meaning. Anything else is a lie.
  6. May 27, 2004 #5
    Any pleasure he had, in and of itself, was good, yet the desire for the pleasure yet led to very negative (bad) events that outweighed the pleasure, so actions that led to the pleasure were net negative (bad), and the fact that he gained pleasure from these acts was net negative.

    Any pleasure, in and of itself, is good. Any pain, in and of itself, is bad. When judging occurences, we must consider both.
  7. May 27, 2004 #6


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    How far into the future do you extend your considerations? If someone derives a great deal of pleasure from smoking cigarettes, but dies a slow and painful death because of the side effects, should he smoke?

    I guess I'm just trying to get a step beyond you. Presumably we can all agree that a good sensation is that which is pleasurable. But what is a good action? Pleasure produced by a certain action has to be parcelled out, and can come at the expense of pain to others or even pain to yourself down the line. How do you judge these actions?
    Last edited: May 27, 2004
  8. May 27, 2004 #7
    You can never be completely sure. If it's something that seems as though it may have strong effects, you should consider all likely possibilities that would of high positive or negative value.
  9. Jun 24, 2004 #8
    What good is and what right is are different. Your guys deviated from the original thread question.
    Rom 3:10 As it is written, "Not even one person is righteous.
    Rom 3:11 No one understands. No one searches for God.
    Rom 3:12 All have turned away. Together they have become worthless. No one shows kindness, not even one person!
  10. Aug 5, 2004 #9
    If good can mean so many different things then what do all the individual experiences have in common? To me music and art are good and they are forms of stimulation, but then there are other kinds of good, maybe in order to have a one general word to cover so much ground we would have to see the word as being an accumulation of many specific meanings and contextually dependent meanings and physiological meanings,coloured by personal experience meaings, etc, but then typically one word is associated with a few basic set ideas like once the word "penis" is used by everyone and not just the lab coat wearer it will be the dirty word and a new word will be made to conceal and keep thoughts under control, and control is important. I think this is the basic idea of objective positivism that most of the problem is in the way we think of words and the limitations of communicating with words, and the hidden meanings behind words.
    Rom3;11 -Do you think the search for God could be more about aspiring to an ideal and impossible goal than actually finding God?
  11. Aug 5, 2004 #10
    Good, the opposite of evil.

    A thing that is good for one is the worst thing possible for another: You marry the girls of you dreams, yet some other guy see the love of his life getting married to the guy he can't stand.
    Good for you, bad for him, Evil/bad works exactly the same yet the other way around.

    Then ofcourse there is the universal good/bad.
    The earth being missed by a astroid is a universal good, it being hit is ofcourse bad.

    To a certain extend i believe you can't call things good or bad.

    Save to say is: good is what benefits you, makes you happy or in any other way improves things for you.

    Good is tricky
  12. Aug 5, 2004 #11
    I wouldn't count that as a universal good. Suppose some one doesn't have the strenth to kill themselves and hopes that the astroid hit the earth. Bad for him/her. Good for most.
  13. Aug 7, 2004 #12
    One person's good is another person's okay is another person's downright monstrous evil.

    One of those things I can't even begin to put into words, but a smile says it all :)
  14. Aug 14, 2004 #13
    sharing bread is a good thing
    sharing ideas is a good thing
    living is a good thing!!!
  15. Aug 18, 2004 #14
    The Final Authority

    Ecc 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

    The reason Solomon says that what is crooked cannot be made straight is that we have neglected the Bible as the answer to what is GOOD. Thus we have no straight by which to measure crooked. Also, to those who argue that truth (or good, for that matter) is relative are in disagreement with this age-old wisdom. Solomon is saying that if nothing were straight, nothing could be considered crooked. Makes sense, huh? Read the Bible. If you are open-minded, you will find the answer to what is good and what is not.
    By the way, Solomon answers a lot of the questions he himself raised in this book in the last few verses of chapter 12. Check it out:

    Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
  16. Aug 19, 2004 #15
    The real answer here is that the meaning of 'good' is relative to the individual, despite what Solomon and the Bible say. The same is true for most other words of the sort like 'right/wrong,' 'beautiful/ugly,' etc. To you, the meaning of good and what qualifies as good is whatever you truly believe to be good. To me, good is what i consider good. To the God fearing nation, good is whatever God says is good. It's a relative word with no real universal definition. One could say that which is good is what benefits mankind to the greatest degree in the long run, or short run, or whatever, but whose to say mankind and his survival are good?

    I do not intend to start a religious debate here...I didn't realize that the Value Theory topic area has a sore spot from past battles :biggrin: This is, of course, only my humble opinion and not an attack on anyone or their beliefs.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2004
  17. Aug 19, 2004 #16
    There's no such thing as right and wrong, right? :approve:
  18. Aug 19, 2004 #17
    That theory contradicts itself. If there is no such things as right and wrong then the theory itself cannot be right either.

    I believe right and wrong exist. Right: Something that increases the pleasure of a person or group of people. This can require the use of negative pleasure elsewhere if the amount is justifiable.

    Wrong: Something that weakens the ratio between negative and positive things within the world.

    Based on my beliefs if you hit someone and it doesn't make you feel very good but makes them feel really bad then it's wrong.
  19. Aug 19, 2004 #18


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    This statement confuses two meanings of 'right'. A theory is right or not in the sense of 'correct'. A moral position is right or not in the sense of 'morally justified'. So there isn't really any contradiction.
  20. Aug 19, 2004 #19
    Whoops, thanks. :) I still stand by the rest of my post though.
  21. Aug 24, 2004 #20
    right - wrong, good - evil, are man made ideas. within the scheme of the universe, all, just IS.

    IMHO, what we are trying to do in the physical world is to learn to use our energy to manipulate our reality.

    if we are attending to our goal properly, we have a pleasant or good experience. if we are off course, we have an unpleasant or bad experience.

    let's not get lost in the rewards of the mean, nasty, greedy people of the world. those 'rewards' are temporal. if we want to move on in our quest for fulfillment we establish our individual standards of right,wrong & good, bad. Hitler is obviously the best example of a 'bad' individual. unfortunately, he accepted a definition of good (pre-birth or otherwise) so that he could be the person he was to learn about the power of his energy. saddly, others agreed to participate in the holocaust so that they could awaken their need to reach out and grasp their energy.

    we now have a slightly better world. better is relative, but we are talking about this world. sooner or later we will wake up and realize that oppression, regardless of why, and war, regardless of why, are poor tools for the advancement of mankind.

    this is a quick reply, hope i didn't have too many typos.

    olde drunk
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