How Do You Define a Good Person?
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26-07-2014, 07:06 AM
Re: RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 06:24 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 10:58 PM)southernbelle Wrote:  Just something I've been thinking about in the past few days . . .

So the consensus on here is essentially that morality is subjective. To an extent I agree with that in that you can't make a blanket statement and say that one thing is always right or wrong (except for in the case of rape. That is one thing that I can not see any instance where it could be justified. Well that and cheating.), but there are some general things that I think that most people can agree on. Say, for example, that murder killing people just for funsies isn't moral.
Nobody believes that morality is subjective - except on internet forums. Try claiming that in the court. Try claiming that in science, or try tell that to your parents if they say you are a "bad girl". Truth is not determined by consensus. Morality can only be objective, as anything real. It can also be fairly easily defined through logic, see the Non-Aggression Principle. However, so many of our cultural institutions, and I don't mean just Churches, work against the NAP, so that our culture itself discourages us from objective morality - even though everyone uses it as an argument to make other people obey.

Morality is simply a human-based technology of increasing freedom by ensuring orderly behavior. We can do more in a moral society without getting hurt.
Morality is not subjective. The culture is.

(07-01-2014 10:58 PM)southernbelle Wrote:  Anyways that bit of rambling brings me to my questions:

What is your own personal definition of a good person?

For me, a good person is someone who does there best to help people in need and those around them, is a generally honest and nice person, and abides by the general don't cheat, steal, murder, rape stuff. Of course there are instances where the general stuff becomes not immoral. It's not ideal, but doing it isn't wrong, like killing someone who is going to kill your family.

Can we actually define what makes a good person in general?

I think that there are some things that we can say make someone a good person, but you can't put too much definition to it. You can try and define it as someone who makes the lives of others better, but I don't think you can get much more specific than that.
You can define a good person by not doing some things - but would a guy in the coma be automatically good because he doesn't steal and murder?

Generally, goodness is based on being natural, NOT being trained like a Pavlov's dog into refraining from stealing and murdering. Natural goodness comes from intellect playing along with emotions. If you think something, then say it and then do it, that's the best way to be a good person. If you're just misguided, that gives others ample time to stop you.

Subjectively, goodness comes from being unconditionally loved by one's parents as a child. Children desperately need love to live and be affirmed in their goodness. Children would do anything to be affirmed as good. Nobody can affirm themselves alone as good - except in narcissistic super-human pathology. If parents are incapable of loving unconditionally, instead of love, the child gets a job, a job to earn love. Which is a toxic lie that eats people up from the inside, because unconditional love and goodness can not be earned, no matter what we do, how bright and capable we are.

Why? This thread is from January and the creator hasn't been here since March. Why respond to him in anyway... You could make a point but it's still a deserving.. Why?!

And of course it starts out with a generalized bang with no merit again. I find it odd you seem to encourage individual thought, but do you actually every critically examine your own thoughts. You seem to continually assert things as valid without a tingle of self skepticism or openness to the fact you're not correct in all your proclamations..

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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26-07-2014, 07:34 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 07:06 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Why? This thread is from January and the creator hasn't been here since March. Why respond to him in anyway... You could make a point but it's still a deserving.. Why?!

And of course it starts out with a generalized bang with no merit again. I find it odd you seem to encourage individual thought, but do you actually every critically examine your own thoughts. You seem to continually assert things as valid without a tingle of self skepticism or openness to the fact you're not correct in all your proclamations..
Because the forum engine showed the thread is active... Maybe someone else will read it! Smartass

I am an amateur philosopher (which is not worse than a university philosopher). The discipline of philosophy deals in general statements which hold true about the reality or society as a whole.
Mind you, social world is statistical, so there may be exceptions. But this is what philosophy does, it makes general value judgments and there is nothing wrong with that. If you think philosophy is somehow not good or invalid, then you still need philosophy to judge goodness or validity of anything. That's what annoying about philosophy, you just can't get rid of it and judge everything with science. I think people here are so hung up on natural sciences, that they get a little spooked when confronted with philosophy.

For example, I have never seen or heard of anybody who would refrain from punishing anyone because morality is subjective. That is an empirical fact. I am obliged to see empirically how people actually behave, not what they say. If people say that morality is subjective, yet they accept or dish out punishments and don't oppose punishments, then I don't believe them. Their actions say that morality is objective. Have you ever seen protesters in front of a court building, saying "Abolish the court system! Morality is subjective!"
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26-07-2014, 07:48 AM
Re: RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 07:34 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 07:06 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Why? This thread is from January and the creator hasn't been here since March. Why respond to him in anyway... You could make a point but it's still a deserving.. Why?!

And of course it starts out with a generalized bang with no merit again. I find it odd you seem to encourage individual thought, but do you actually every critically examine your own thoughts. You seem to continually assert things as valid without a tingle of self skepticism or openness to the fact you're not correct in all your proclamations..
Because the forum engine showed the thread is active... Maybe someone else will read it! Smartass

I am an amateur philosopher (which is not worse than a university philosopher). The discipline of philosophy deals in general statements which hold true about the reality or society as a whole.
Mind you, social world is statistical, so there may be exceptions. But this is what philosophy does, it makes general value judgments and there is nothing wrong with that. If you think philosophy is somehow not good or invalid, then you still need philosophy to judge goodness or validity of anything. That's what annoying about philosophy, you just can't get rid of it and judge everything with science. I think people here are so hung up on natural sciences, that they get a little spooked when confronted with philosophy.

For example, I have never seen or heard of anybody who would refrain from punishing anyone because morality is subjective. That is an empirical fact. I am obliged to see empirically how people actually behave, not what they say. If people say that morality is subjective, yet they accept or dish out punishments and don't oppose punishments, then I don't believe them. Their actions say that morality is objective.

Which is why I said... Making a pointing fine, making the point in a response matter is like talking to a corpse. Sure you may be at a funeral with others heating you, but you look off kilter talking at the one unlikely to respond.

Seriously, you've never seen multiple people free will debates or people judging punishment and coming from the position we shouldn't punish others for something we deem harmful but they don't? Even if they don't "act" on this, if it's if a "social contract" or compatibility view, that's not objective morality being professed.

Are you talking to me about thinking if philosophy is not good or valid? What would make you assume that of me? Or are you just generalizing this forum and again.. Because there's clearly people engaging others phonologically, but yes, there are plenty people who contrast you in a,natural manner, but that's not even the majority if posters. To generalize based on these things is arrogantly absurd.

There are generalizations that may be true... You make ones frequently that simply aren't even valid to the people of this forum/atheist community that you are spreading your message. It comes off like you don't actually see how people are around you outside your conceptualized boxes.

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26-07-2014, 08:48 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 07:48 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Seriously, you've never seen multiple people free will debates or people judging punishment and coming from the position we shouldn't punish others for something we deem harmful but they don't? Even if they don't "act" on this, if it's if a "social contract" or compatibility view, that's not objective morality being professed.
The beautiful thing about empiricism is, I don't have to care about debates or opinions. I can empirically see how people behave.
If people say there is no free will, yet they try to change someone else's mind by arguing there is no free will, they're counting on the person being able to change his mind. If these people argue at all, I say they're full of it.

Before we even set out to define objective morality (I have a book on it) we should get this off the table. The question of objective morality is not if, but what.
Because if morality is subjective, then nobody should ever judge anyone else. You could for example not refuse to hang out with a white supremacist if you're black or a Jew, because that would be judging him. And of course racists judge other people. So is it wrong to be a racist? That would be an objective moral judgment Tongue See, interpersonal is objective.

(26-07-2014 07:48 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Are you talking to me about thinking if philosophy is not good or valid? What would make you assume that of me? Or are you just generalizing this forum and again.. Because there's clearly people engaging others phonologically, but yes, there are plenty people who contrast you in a,natural manner, but that's not even the majority if posters. To generalize based on these things is arrogantly absurd.

There are generalizations that may be true... You make ones frequently that simply aren't even valid to the people of this forum/atheist community that you are spreading your message. It comes off like you don't actually see how people are around you outside your conceptualized boxes.

If I said some good and nice things about people generally, would you still oppose me?
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27-07-2014, 11:07 PM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
I think a good person is someone who believes in "live and let live." That's all I expect from others anyway.
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28-07-2014, 12:59 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 06:24 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 10:58 PM)southernbelle Wrote:  Just something I've been thinking about in the past few days . . .

So the consensus on here is essentially that morality is subjective. To an extent I agree with that in that you can't make a blanket statement and say that one thing is always right or wrong (except for in the case of rape. That is one thing that I can not see any instance where it could be justified. Well that and cheating.), but there are some general things that I think that most people can agree on. Say, for example, that murder killing people just for funsies isn't moral.
Nobody believes that morality is subjective - except on internet forums.

Wrong. It is claimed by many moral philosophers.

Quote: Try claiming that in the court.

That is law, not morality. They are most certainly not one and the same.

Quote:Try claiming that in science,

What has science got to do with it?

Quote:or try tell that to your parents if they say you are a "bad girl".

They have made a value judgement based on their rules having been violated.

Quote:Truth is not determined by consensus.

But morality is.

Quote:Morality can only be objective, as anything real.

It cannot possibly be objective. There is no morality without society - morality is socially constructed.

Quote: It can also be fairly easily defined through logic, see the Non-Aggression Principle. However, so many of our cultural institutions, and I don't mean just Churches, work against the NAP, so that our culture itself discourages us from objective morality - even though everyone uses it as an argument to make other people obey.

The NAP is not objective, it is a statement of a moral stance, not some universal truth.

Quote:Morality is simply a human-based technology of increasing freedom by ensuring orderly behavior. We can do more in a moral society without getting hurt.
Morality is not subjective. The culture is.

Morality is technology? Really? Consider

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-07-2014, 01:03 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 07:34 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 07:06 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Why? This thread is from January and the creator hasn't been here since March. Why respond to him in anyway... You could make a point but it's still a deserving.. Why?!

And of course it starts out with a generalized bang with no merit again. I find it odd you seem to encourage individual thought, but do you actually every critically examine your own thoughts. You seem to continually assert things as valid without a tingle of self skepticism or openness to the fact you're not correct in all your proclamations..
Because the forum engine showed the thread is active... Maybe someone else will read it! Smartass

I am an amateur philosopher (which is not worse than a university philosopher). The discipline of philosophy deals in general statements which hold true about the reality or society as a whole.
Mind you, social world is statistical, so there may be exceptions. But this is what philosophy does, it makes general value judgments and there is nothing wrong with that. If you think philosophy is somehow not good or invalid, then you still need philosophy to judge goodness or validity of anything. That's what annoying about philosophy, you just can't get rid of it and judge everything with science. I think people here are so hung up on natural sciences, that they get a little spooked when confronted with philosophy.

For example, I have never seen or heard of anybody who would refrain from punishing anyone because morality is subjective. That is an empirical fact. I am obliged to see empirically how people actually behave, not what they say. If people say that morality is subjective, yet they accept or dish out punishments and don't oppose punishments, then I don't believe them. Their actions say that morality is objective. Have you ever seen protesters in front of a court building, saying "Abolish the court system! Morality is subjective!"

Subjective does not equate to personal. We don't each get to determine what society's moral code is - societies do that, groups of people do that.
It is subjective because it is constructed, not given. Morality is not 'out there' waiting to be discovered.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-07-2014, 01:20 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(26-07-2014 07:34 AM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, I have never seen or heard of anybody who would refrain from punishing anyone because morality is subjective. That is an empirical fact.
I don't know what scale you are talking about. But I disagree. At this time of the night, I can only list myself as an example. But I would refrain from punishing a person whose culture is completely "what's mine is yours" if they "stole" (by my standards) something from me. I could understand that they might not look at taking my things as an immoral action, if that is how our cultures differed. If you mean on a national scale or under the law, then no we don't generally see accommodations of foreign morality.

Very interesting that you don't think morality is subjective though. I would normally think of that stance as ethnocentric.

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28-07-2014, 11:29 AM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2014 11:42 AM by Luminon.)
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(28-07-2014 01:20 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  I don't know what scale you are talking about. But I disagree. At this time of the night, I can only list myself as an example. But I would refrain from punishing a person whose culture is completely "what's mine is yours" if they "stole" (by my standards) something from me. I could understand that they might not look at taking my things as an immoral action, if that is how our cultures differed. If you mean on a national scale or under the law, then no we don't generally see accommodations of foreign morality.

Very interesting that you don't think morality is subjective though. I would normally think of that stance as ethnocentric.
I wasn't talking about any scale, so I don't know either. My stance is, culture tells us nothing about what is right or wrong. Or rather it tells us a lot, but it's all completely arbitrary. And if punishment is arbitrary, then it's violence, regardless if people approve of it culturally.

I see your point with a person from different culture. I'd refrain from punishing him as well, but not because I have any respect to his culture. Do we punish insane or completely brainwashed people?

A lot can happen in life. We can't have rules on everything. But we can have rules for judging actions. Because if something does not make sense logically, it can't be moral, right?
So if someone takes my stuff and says that his culture does not believe in private ownership, well, what did he just do? He took possession of something to make it his private ownership. So he believes in private ownership, he just chose to attack my private ownership. And I can defend myself from attack.

I don't care what people say, I care if what they say fits logically with what they do. That's my morality and I would argue that is the only real morality there is. If someone can make the rules, they can change or break them at will. Rules of logic can't be changed
So remember: morality is not in the specific things we do and say, but how they fit logically with each other. It's the mortar, not the bricks.

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28-07-2014, 11:57 AM
RE: How Do You Define a Good Person?
(28-07-2014 11:29 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I see your point with a person from different culture. I'd refrain from punishing him as well, but not because I have any respect to his culture. Do we punish insane or completely brainwashed people?
Maybe not, but I am not against it.

Quote:Because if something does not make sense logically, it can't be moral, right?
I certainly don't hold this to be true.

Quote:So if someone takes my stuff and says that his culture does not believe in private ownership, well, what did he just do? He took possession of something to make it his private ownership. So he believes in private ownership, he just chose to attack my private ownership.
Sure you can make a scenario where that is true. But you could also make scenarios where he drives your car off and leaves it somewhere, or takes any of your possessions in an ad-hoc fashion where he doesn't hold onto them as his afterwards.

Quote:I don't care what people say, I care if what they say fits logically with what they do. That's my morality and I would argue that is the only real morality there is.
That's fine, but basically you are saying that your morality is that you don't like liars or hypocrites, right? You think that is the true morality?

Quote:So remember: morality is not in the specific things we do and say, but how they fit logically with each other. It's the mortar, not the bricks.
I understand that this is your point of view.

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