In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
10-05-2016, 07:03 PM
In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
The phrase "without bad there would be no good" troubles me. Good and bad are a concept of philosophy, without good and bad I struggle to see how in a perfect world there would really be such a concept as good and bad. It's a paradox though, because good and bad are arbitrary measures, good and bad are only concepts created by humans. Not only that, but there's no world where there can exist absolute good.

So I guess in a way, saying there can be no good without the bad makes sense, but it leaves me with a idea. I can imagine what a world with no problems would be like. Theoretically, if there were no bad then there would be nothing to fear. But the concepts are arbitrary, yet humans try to fabricate good and bad into our lives with things like religion. They say that religion is there because people fear death, but is it really the opposite? I believe it's part of human nature to fear things that aren't there.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-05-2016, 10:59 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2016 11:09 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
(10-05-2016 07:03 PM)Mittens Deluxe Wrote:  The phrase "without bad there would be no good" troubles me. Good and bad are a concept of philosophy, without good and bad I struggle to see how in a perfect world there would really be such a concept as good and bad. It's a paradox though, because good and bad are arbitrary measures, good and bad are only concepts created by humans. Not only that, but there's no world where there can exist absolute good.

So I guess in a way, saying there can be no good without the bad makes sense, but it leaves me with a idea. I can imagine what a world with no problems would be like. Theoretically, if there were no bad then there would be nothing to fear. But the concepts are arbitrary, yet humans try to fabricate good and bad into our lives with things like religion. They say that religion is there because people fear death, but is it really the opposite? I believe it's part of human nature to fear things that aren't there.

You seem to be saying with your "only concepts created by Humans" and "arbitrary measures" statements that concepts have no relation to reality. But concepts are formed, at least valid ones, by observing facts and identifying them and integrating them by means of abstraction, i.e., concept formation. The reason that we have to concern ourselves with good and bad is the fact that we are biological organisms who face the fundamental alternative of life or death. What's good for us is what promotes life and what's bad is what destroys it and this is not arbitrary. It is based on the facts relevant to man's requirements for life which are set, not by whim or by edict from some supernatural consciousness or Human consciousness, but by man's nature as man.

We form concepts by mentally isolating a group of similar things in contrast to other things and we unite them by a process of abstraction in which we group them by essential characteristics. In the case of the concept good, the essential characteristic uniting the things subsumed by the concept "good" is that the action or thing is beneficial to man's life and for the concept "bad" it is that it is detrimental to man's life.

So long as man is a biological organism facing the alternative of life or death, the concepts good and bad will have objective meaning. If there are some things that are objectively good then there must also be things that are objectively bad. As there are values there are also dis-values, there I agree with you, but they are not arbitrary. So long as man faces this alternative, he will need an understanding of the world he lives in and his relationship to it (metaphysics), he will need an understanding of the nature of knowledge and how it is acquired and validated (epistemology), he will need an understanding of what he should do to live successfully (ethics) and he will need an understanding of the proper way to live with others (politics). In other words, he will need a philosophy. For centuries religion has given this to man, albeit a flawed and false view, but better than no view. Today we can do better.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes true scotsman's post
16-05-2016, 12:46 AM
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
(15-05-2016 10:59 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Today we can do better.

And yet people still vote for Trump!

Note also that survival is not the only evolved driver.

Also, sexual selection, kin selection and reciprocity. Our sense of right/wrong or good/bad comes from these too.

Thumbsup

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
16-05-2016, 06:41 AM
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
(16-05-2016 12:46 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(15-05-2016 10:59 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Today we can do better.

And yet people still vote for Trump!

Note also that survival is not the only evolved driver.

Also, sexual selection, kin selection and reciprocity. Our sense of right/wrong or good/bad comes from these too.

Thumbsup

Don't get me started. the fact that we have the candidates we have running is a sign that the U.S is done. I will be voting none of the above. I'll probably write in Walter E. Williams.

I agree totally with your other assessment. Our natures are a product of how we evolved. By doing better I mean we can form moral principles on the basis of reason applied to the task of living. Religious morality is based on mysticism, not reason. It is a primitive, pre-scientific view of the world which is far better than no view but is not suitable for our evolved rational abilities.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-05-2016, 08:17 AM
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
(16-05-2016 12:46 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(15-05-2016 10:59 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Today we can do better.

And yet people still vote for Trump!

Note also that survival is not the only evolved driver.

Also, sexual selection, kin selection and reciprocity. Our sense of right/wrong or good/bad comes from these too.

Thumbsup

The fact that we can do better doesn't mean we will. The vast majority still cling to religious morality, the morality of self sacrifice, because that's what the dominant moral code is and they learn it from childhood, even if they aren't particularly religious. I did, my friends did, everyone around me did. But it can't be justified in reason and for the last couple of hundred years intellectuals have been systematically undermining reason in favor of emotions. I hate to sound like a broken record but it all goes back to the fundamental principle of the primacy of existence vs. the primacy of consciousness. Every major philosophy endorses some form of the primacy of consciousness, of feelings over facts, the arbitrary over the rational.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-05-2016, 11:11 AM
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
good and bad don't exist they are essentially labels applied to events, actions, statements etc based on some criteria... they are at best a point of view

for example:
1. half the human population died and people have these two opinion,

person 1: so many people dying is bad, their family and friends who are still alive will grief stricken, losing so many people might make it impossible for our civilization to function like it used to making life harder for the survivors

person 2: so many people dying is a good thing, the amount of pollution created and the consumption of resources will be drastically low

please tell me how either are right or wrong and why should anyone honestly accept your answer instead of deciding to take the opposite stance
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-05-2016, 11:52 AM
RE: In a world with only good and no bad, would there be philosophy?
Me and my friend were discussing the word "quality" when referring to ingredients. We got into talking about how quality is kind of arbitrary, and exists on a continuum. Meaning, if everything was high quality, then the concept of quality wouldn't need to exist.

Similarly if everything were good, the concept of bad wouldn't need to exist, except perhaps in story-telling, or historical record.

Or maybe all the different acts of goodness could be put on a continuum ranging from "kind of good" to "the very goodest of the good." "Kind of good" could become the new "bad". Humans love to find ways to feel superior to each other, so I'm sure something like that would happen.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: