What is good ?

  • #26
good=pleasure and bad=suffering

There are many complexities that arise that lead to more specific questions that I cannot answer.
 
  • #27
4
0
nyam......

pleasure -> good
suffering -> bad

but

good -/-> pleasure
bad -/> suffering

1) my twist on the definitions of pleasure and suffering are different from yours
or
2) we just disagree (;
 
  • #28
12
0
I believe good is descriptive of what causes happiness or satisfaction for an individual. What is considered "good" differentiates with people. Good is the preferable outcome or state of something which in turn causes the most satisfaction.
 
  • #29
I have a problem with thinking that God only enforces good on the God-fearing nation. That would make him sort of wishy-washy wouldn't it?
The Christians must live godly lives, while others can cannibalize and rape? C'mon. Let's be logical here.
 
  • #30
10
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Philocrat said:
UTILITARIANISM AS AN OUTCOME

...Utilitarianism is a resutling consequence of the problem of deriving goodness from chaos, or should I say from the problem of establishing the exact nature of what is good.Well, my investigation suggest the contrary: utilitarian laws operate both at the casual human operational level and the underlying natural level.

...What Utilitarianism does is that instead of claiming the UNIVERSALITY of goodness, it quantifies things in discrete unites of the highest good. That is, a thing or an action is good if it produces the highest happiness or the highest of what is in its 'overallity' or sum totality progressive...
I can't understand this train of thought really, sorry Philocrat. Perhaps it's that I'm 15, perhaps it's that I feel the issue is in no way resolved by what seems to me to be just semantics. I'm not meaning to be confrontational here.
What is preventing "good" from being defined thus: a totally artificial construct based on the way that children are punished by their parents for relieving their desires in certain ways. It seems that your utilitarian ideas thus far have no foundation.
How do we know that the term 'good' refers to anything outside our own perceptions and reactions to reality? If it doesn't refer to anything, then why bother wasting time trying to define it in terms of 'pleasure' or anything like that? If it's unique to every individual then there's no point even discussing it because we all have different conceptions of what the word refers to.

What quality of a situation/system/action designates it as being 'progressive'? If happiness, then why? Neitzche pointed this out, and even though I am not a nihilist or even a relativist he has a point.
And how exactly does utilitarianism operate on a natural level? Sorry, I didn't really understand that bit.
 
  • #31
733
0
What is good, is its fruit, "goodness". Natural perfection is an explanation of the nature of goodness. Goodness is the property of contributing to the natural perfection of the whole of which it is part.Though things are good in various ways, ultimately, they are all good in the same way, because there is a necessary overall structure to the various kinds of natural perfection to which they all contribute.

Rational beings eventually come to recognize their own nature and their place in the world, and since that self-understanding is itself part of the wholeness of the world.

Thus, to suffer at times is good not bad.
 
  • #32
Utilitarianism, an outcome?
Philocrat said:
...Utilitarianism is a resutling consequence of the problem of deriving goodness from chaos, or should I say from the problem of establishing the exact nature of what is good.
If I can summarize it in my own words:
  • Universalism: good is what benefits everyone [Kant]
  • Utilitarianism: quantifying things in units of the 'highest good'
The 'highest good' is overall happiness, it's a kind of balance reflecting what is possible* in our reality.
Universalism & Utilitarianism are both desirable, but the last one is above that necessary (and has the disadvantage that it's more a survival principle than a moral principle).

Some questions
I've a few questions:
  • Temporary good: Utilitarianism seems to be a manner to describe how it's done by now, due to the survival-of-the-fittest circumstances that still dictate the world. A survival principle like you said. Why should we assign 'good' to these kinds of 'temporary solutions' if we can imagine something 'better'? (universalism)
  • The law of numbers: Do you really think that it's better for one man to die for the people? Also if you're that man? Is it not more 'natural' to define 'good' for yourself as 'good for you'? Isn't it 'human' to be hedonistic** in some kind of way? If you don't formulate 'good' in universalistic terms why are you chosing for utilitarianism?
  • The moral value of rights: Is it 'right' to balance 'the value of life' against 'the value of freedom'. How much worth is the 'right to live'? Do we have the 'right' to quantify things in units?
*An example: no one is responsible for deaths fallen due to earthquakes yet, maybe in the future organisations that can control or predict them will be held responsible.
**For me hedonistic doesn't mean, trying to obtain pleasure to whatever cost. It's recognizing the subjective view I have as particular human being. The only thing what seems like 'morality' in my life is my respect for pro-choice thoughts. I am in the first place responsible for myself, that doesn't mean only that I've to feed myself, but also that I've to enjoy myself, to make fun in life. Improve the world, start with yourself. If you aren't happy yourself, who else can make you happy?
 
  • #33
Per
14
0
To me, goodness is the following:

Priorities according to,
1. Releive suffering.
2. Make life highly valuable.

Simple as that.

or maybe not that simple.

Goodness might be something metaphysical complex mysterious consciousness. Something very hard or impossible to pinpoint exacly.
 
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  • #34
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Read the first few pages of the bible, if you stop there, you'd think that almost everything is good

God created the world, and he saw that it was, and god man and he saw that it was good, and god said let there be light, and he that it was good
 
  • #35
Morality in [a kind of] hypothetical situation
KaneOris said:
Read the first few pages of the bible, if you stop there, you'd think that almost everything is good
God created the world, and he saw that it was, and god man and he saw that it was good, and god said let there be light, and he that it was good
Do you mean that? A 'perfect' world, a paradise, would seem to me deadly tiresome. No danger, no calling names, no discoveries. Or wouldn't we know everything? We wouldn't know the difference between good and evil, between beauty and ugliness. To promise an utopia - while we are living now [like depicted in Eccl. 3] - is that 'right'? We don't live in the future, we don't live in the past. I think the purpose of this topic isn't to know what morality would look like in hypothetical situation like a paradise, but to know what it's nowadays.

No hedonism?
Per said:
To me, goodness is the following: Priorities according to,
1. Releive suffering.
2. Make life highly valuable.
That seems okay, but neglects a subjective factor. Do you find it okay to give up your life to relieve suffering for others? Relieving suffering and making life highly valuable are good things, except as it involves increasing my own suffering and making my life less valuable. I'm an egoistical bastard, but there is no one else that gives that much value to my life. Do you really think that utilitarianism is 'better' than hedonism?
 
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  • #36
598
0
saviourmachine said:
Utilitarianism, an outcome?
If I can summarize it in my own words:
  • Universalism: good is what benefits everyone [Kant]
  • Utilitarianism: quantifying things in units of the 'highest good'
The 'highest good' is overall happiness, it's a kind of balance reflecting what is possible* in our reality.
Universalism & Utilitarianism are both desirable, but the last one is above that necessary (and has the disadvantage that it's more a survival principle than a moral principle).

Some questions
I've a few questions:
  • Temporary good: Utilitarianism seems to be a manner to describe how it's done by now, due to the survival-of-the-fittest circumstances that still dictate the world. A survival principle like you said. Why should we assign 'good' to these kinds of 'temporary solutions' if we can imagine something 'better'? (universalism)
  • The law of numbers: Do you really think that it's better for one man to die for the people? Also if you're that man? Is it not more 'natural' to define 'good' for yourself as 'good for you'? Isn't it 'human' to be hedonistic** in some kind of way? If you don't formulate 'good' in universalistic terms why are you chosing for utilitarianism?
  • The moral value of rights: Is it 'right' to balance 'the value of life' against 'the value of freedom'. How much worth is the 'right to live'? Do we have the 'right' to quantify things in units?
*
To go on record, I personally do not like Utilitarianism because in its calculus anyone of us could fall victim of it. One of the biggest nightmares about it is that nearly all of us are guilty of its application. As I have pointed it out everywhere on this PF, we automatically apply utilitarian principles in our daily decision makings often without realising it. In real terms, no one in his or her right mind likes to apply it, but when moral dilemmas of notorious kinds confront us, we unfortunately turn to utilitarianism as a last resort principle. This is precisely the reason why I think of it as more of a survival principle than a moral one. However, as I have made it clear elsewhere, there are those who may view it as a moral principle precisely because it has the capacity to preserve in the face of chaos (for the very reason given below).

On the other hand universalism is the most desirable (and I fully subscribe to it myself) but unfortunately it is currently ill-equipped to handle or deal satisfactorily with moral dilemmas. The chilling and very disturbing feature of it that philosophers have discovered over the centuries is that in some very notorious catch-22 situations, in the process of trying save eveyone, you may very well end up completely annihilating the entire population, or in the process of trying to please everyone, you may end up rendering the entire population discontent. This is the problem. But the universalists are arguing that there is no excuse whatsover for anyone to degrade one's action to the level of utilitrianism, let alone to a level far worse than it.


-----------------------------------------------
NOTE: I think you should look at my conversation with False Prophet on the 'Push Red Button' debate in the philosophy section. I have said quite a lot there and clarified things further on the complex relations between the two principles.
-----------------------------------------------

An example: no one is responsible for deaths fallen due to earthquakes yet, maybe in the future organisations that can control or predict them will be held responsible.
**For me hedonistic doesn't mean, trying to obtain pleasure to whatever cost. It's recognizing the subjective view I have as particular human being. The only thing what seems like 'morality' in my life is my respect for pro-choice thoughts. I am in the first place responsible for myself, that doesn't mean only that I've to feed myself, but also that I've to enjoy myself, to make fun in life. Improve the world, start with yourself. If you aren't happy yourself, who else can make you happy?
True....but very often when we try to own up things, go solo, be the ONE, and stand tall to the highest height but only to be reminded on short notice, often without warning, by nature that things could be otherwise afterall...COLLECTIVE! One of the greatest problems that confronts the frontiers of all intellectual disciplines is how to reconcile COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY with PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMON GOOD with PERSONAL GOOD, and son on. Yes, you do have your personal goals, dreams, and responsibilities, but unfortunately these must always be reconciled with those of others. The tension is the pulling opposites, and we cannot pretend that this does not exist or affect how we co-exist and interact wirh each other. And when the going gets tough we turn utilitarian, often forgeting that others could make utilitarian decisions that affect us too. My own view is that the time has come for us, especially those within the intellectual disciplines, to start looking very carefully at these complex structures...... what I otherwise call 'PHANTOM STRUCTURES'.
 
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  • #37
35
0
"Good" things bring you happiness. Whether something is good or bad, it depends on the person who considers it. Your own conscience is the best expert on this.
 

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