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What makes a person good?


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#46    Leonardo

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:00 PM

What makes a person good?

The opinion of others.

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

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#47    Arpee

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:45 PM

Well, until we can agree on what it means to be "good", it is basically just opinion.


There are some universal agreements such not intentionally causing unnecessary harm to others.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8

#48    Jor-el

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:09 PM

View PostToadie, on 11 February 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

Someone mentioned "are we good people"?? Most people are reflection of their environment and how they are brought up. I'm assuming most of the people who posted on this thread came from a nice functioning family and you probably had a few minor issues while growing up but your parents provided education, food, roof over your head and you where probably never faced with life threatening situations which would alter your "good" behaviour.

Now lets take someone growing up in gang environment. Your time is spent with people who believe power is the only way they will survive in this town. They will do anything to get power, seeing bashings and shootings become second nature to you.

Growing up in such proverty that stealing is common practise.

That child in gang environment ends up shooting someone because they believe this is the only way to survive. Take down a potential competitor
That child in proverty ends up rolling a house so they can feed their family
That child in nice functioning family beats up an old lady

Knowing if someone is a good person shouldn't be judged purely based on their final action but how they got their. Some people are a product of their environment in turn if the environment is not good then you can't say that person is not good because in their environment they are good.

I believe most people are good but their environment posions them into thinking they can do no better then what they have been given

Does this mean that these people do not know they are being bad when they harm others intentionally?

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#49    Toadie

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:40 AM

Harming others may be seen as bad in our eyes but to others it may not be.

Going to war and killing people / shooting someone in your street for protection. Sorry this is an extreme example but you will get the outlining idea. Are either of these people bad or good? Here you have both people fighting for something they believe will make others including their own life better. War is protected by higher people and common people are protected by laws. The war hero or single human being who truely believed unless he shot this particular person they would be in danger.

So are there any good or bad people? People just get labelled accordingly to that cultures / societies emotions towards whatever actions they display and the laws are there for the better good of a whole country, consequences arise if laws are broken. Doesn't mean if a law is broken that person is either good or bad they have just committed an act that is not allowed


#50    Jor-el

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 02:31 PM

View PostToadie, on 12 February 2012 - 12:40 AM, said:

Harming others may be seen as bad in our eyes but to others it may not be.

Going to war and killing people / shooting someone in your street for protection. Sorry this is an extreme example but you will get the outlining idea. Are either of these people bad or good? Here you have both people fighting for something they believe will make others including their own life better. War is protected by higher people and common people are protected by laws. The war hero or single human being who truely believed unless he shot this particular person they would be in danger.

So are there any good or bad people? People just get labelled accordingly to that cultures / societies emotions towards whatever actions they display and the laws are there for the better good of a whole country, consequences arise if laws are broken. Doesn't mean if a law is broken that person is either good or bad they have just committed an act that is not allowed

Let me again ask the question, as per your examples earlier...

That child in gang environment ends up shooting someone because they believe this is the only way to survive. Take down a potential competitor
That child in proverty ends up rolling a house so they can feed their family
That child in nice functioning family beats up an old lady


Is not our society able to give alternative resolution to any of these problems? Do these people not know that they can ask for aid in overcoming their social and economic difficulties?

If they live in an environment of exclusion, are they not aware that giving in to the laws of survival and the rule of the strong over the weak, will not save them and will only lead them into an unending circle of destruction? Again, are they not aware that they can overcome their environment and actually do some good?

Environment is the eternal excuse given to explain away they corruption of human dignity... there is always a way out of it. But some people will always prefer the stink of their own corruption to the possibility of leaving it behind. It would mean accepting help, it would mean putting your ego aside, it would mean that they would not be king of the anthill anymore...

Simply put, it is not about survival, it is about ego.

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#51    markdohle

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

We all know when something bad or unjust has been done to us, it is not a matter of personal opinion.  A young man in the 'hood' does bad things to others without perhaps feeling remorse, but if the same thing happens to him, or to someone he cares for, it is a different story entirely.  

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#52    FlyingAngel

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:06 PM

Probably staying a in a temple like monks and pray for others in the entire life, is the best way to make sure you won't do any harm to others.


#53    Jor-el

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

View PostFlyingAngel, on 15 February 2012 - 08:06 PM, said:

Probably staying a in a temple like monks and pray for others in the entire life, is the best way to make sure you won't do any harm to others.

But that isn't living, it is retiring from life. Living is learning from your mistakes and becoming greater than your frailties and weaknesses. It is overcoming those weaknesses that allows us to progress from a base human to a human with empathy for others, who desires the good of others over the good of the self.

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"Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake."

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#54    Sakari

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:44 AM

What makes a person good......

A pic is worth a thousand words....Any of these three, or all, have many of the qualities that make a person good.....

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Posted Image


Posted Image

Edited by Sakari, 16 February 2012 - 05:47 AM.

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#55    Katahna

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:33 AM

Why should anything be good or bad?, because we've always been told it has to be.


#56    d e v i c e

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:15 AM

What makes a person good is his mind and thus his actions. If his actions lead to harmony, to happiness and are beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'good'. If on the other hand his actions lead to disharmony, to suffering, and are not beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'bad' - even 'evil'.
To think that goodness can only be achieved 'through Jesus' causes disharmony, mental suffering in others and isn't a beneficial teaching etc. This teaching can be called 'bad' and should be discarded.




#57    me-wonders

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:23 PM

View PostJor-el, on 12 February 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

Let me again ask the question, as per your examples earlier...

That child in gang environment ends up shooting someone because they believe this is the only way to survive. Take down a potential competitor
That child in proverty ends up rolling a house so they can feed their family
That child in nice functioning family beats up an old lady


Is not our society able to give alternative resolution to any of these problems? Do these people not know that they can ask for aid in overcoming their social and economic difficulties?

If they live in an environment of exclusion, are they not aware that giving in to the laws of survival and the rule of the strong over the weak, will not save them and will only lead them into an unending circle of destruction? Again, are they not aware that they can overcome their environment and actually do some good?

Environment is the eternal excuse given to explain away they corruption of human dignity... there is always a way out of it. But some people will always prefer the stink of their own corruption to the possibility of leaving it behind. It would mean accepting help, it would mean putting your ego aside, it would mean that they would not be king of the anthill anymore...

Simply put, it is not about survival, it is about ego.

This most certainly is along the lines of the discussion I hoped to have.  I grew up in a low income family in Los Angeles county, and at age 18 went to live with my father, whom I just met, in an exclusive neighborhood.  Those were completely different realities.  Money and security makes a huge difference!

I don't think your explanation of staying stuck in the ghetto or with the ghetto mind set, is completely about ego, because how does one comprehend a reality, with no experience of that reality?  I think your answer assumes we all share the same reality, and that isn't true.  To function in someone's else reality, requires having to know something about it.  A young person doesn't strive for jobs that are so far from his reality, the jobs are not even part of his consciousness.  A young person doesn't save for a home, when owing a home is completely outside of his consciousness, and impossible dream that is dismissed.  

We all have our comfort zones and we tend to stay inside them.  This is not about ego, but about feeling comfortable or uncomfortable.  Like staying in a miserable marriage, because the known is better than the unknown.  Dressing well and going a classical concert, takes some getting use to, and it helps to do this with family or a friend.  If a person doesn't know someone who dresses and attends classical concerts, this is unlikely to be a chosen activity.

Many attitudes and behaviors and even our self image, develop from our experiences.


#58    me-wonders

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:33 PM

View PostKatahna, on 17 February 2012 - 01:33 AM, said:

Why should anything be good or bad?, because we've always been told it has to be.

Greek philosophy sets the standard for good, on that which benefits life.  When we are taught to how to think, we can then think about what we think, and "the truth shall set you free".  That is, we are not trapped by what we learned or were taught to think, if we learn to think about what we think.

Public education did a far better job of setting children free, than it is doing today.  Preparing products for industry, does not teach our young to think about what they think, so many are trapped.  A few caring people realize this, and create programs for ghetto schools, that actually set the young free.  The sad thing is, today, this isn't the purpose of education, but depends on individuals with money, being able to supplement the education the children get.


#59    me-wonders

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:40 PM

Sakari, oh yes, and Shari Lewis with Lamb Chops, and Sesame Street.
These shows were adults interacting with children.  Hum, that turns a light on in my head!  Excuse me, I am off to search for videos to help my granddaugher with her difficult son.  THANK YOU.


#60    Jor-el

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:13 PM

View PostDevice, on 17 February 2012 - 03:15 AM, said:

What makes a person good is his mind and thus his actions. If his actions lead to harmony, to happiness and are beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'good'. If on the other hand his actions lead to disharmony, to suffering, and are not beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'bad' - even 'evil'.
To think that goodness can only be achieved 'through Jesus' causes disharmony, mental suffering in others and isn't a beneficial teaching etc. This teaching can be called 'bad' and should be discarded.

But who said that goodness can only be achieved through Jesus. He talks of salvation, not goodness. That is why being a good man doesn't get you saved, neither does it save a bad man.

Good and bad people exist, the rain falls on them all, so does the sun. We are the ones who can choose... to be good or to be bad, or to be a mixture of both.

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"Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake."

-C. S. Lewis





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