Are you a good person?

by Xanthippe 40 Replies latest jw friends

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe

    Something happened this week to make me think about this again.

    It feels like all bets are off and I really don't know what a good person is anymore.

    When I left the JWs I was so sure I knew what it meant to be a good person.

    This has been revised many times since.

    I tend to favour the Utilitarian approach, the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.

    Sometimes you have to stick your neck out and say this is not good for me no matter what others may feel they need from me.

    No idea where I'm going with this maybe this is a breakthrough in my life or maybe that glass of wine was stronger than I thought!

    Any thoughts?

  • prologos
    prologos

    Xanti, -- in vino veritas.

    I this neck of the woods, jws will reply to the question "How are you?" --with-- : "I am GOOD, thank you--" I tend to reply:

    " Thanks for asking, actually I am WELL too".

    only God is good, so the writers of the bible reported Jesus said.

    If you contribute to the well-being of your fellow humans, that should make you good, somewhat?

  • cofty
    cofty

    There is no ultimate specimen of "goodness" out there like a Platonic essential triangle. Theists find that thought frightening.

    Be authentic. Worry less about the minutae of ethics and more about listening to yourself. Observe your genuine thoughts and feelings and reactions to things without judging them. You might be surprised about the real you rather than the persona who "ought" to think and act in certain ways.

    Being ethical is about concern for the well being of other conscious creatures. Humans come first.

    I'm good but I'm not perfect and have no desire to strive for a standard that does not exist in reality.

    I'm content with myself and that's good enough.

  • snare&racket
    snare&racket

    For me good has come down to motive and intention. 90% of people are decent good people. For me personally, evil does not exist. Evil is a bizzare religious concept. A siding with satan over god being its foundation. if we take that away, we are left with a difference in nature and nurture altering an individuals oersoective of the world.

    A bad person used to mean someone who didn't highlight or underline a free bi-monthly american magazine.....

  • DATA-DOG
    DATA-DOG

    NO. According to the C.O. I cannot be good unless I do everything that JEHOVAH the GB requires. I can't really help you with this one.

    DD

  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    To be a good person means to think of others. You can't always help but you can be there for them and do what you can in view of the circumstances you are in.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe

    Observe your genuine thoughts and feelings and reactions to things without judging them.

    That's good advice Cofty, sometimes our thoughts can be shocking but they are just thoughts. They are not going to kill anyone, even if we might feel like it.

    It has been a long time since I thought there is an ultimate standard of goodness but I do think I am not alone in wanting to feel good about myself. I am quite sure this is a normal human feeling because when we feel guilt or shame about our actions it can be crippling. So it must be important to feel I am 'good', whatever that means.

    For me good has come down to motive and intention. 90% of people are decent good people ...we are left with a difference in nature and nurture altering an individuals oersoective of the world.

    Interesting Snare. Nature/nurture does alter everyone's view of the world even if only slightly. Perhaps if a person's 'nurture' has been in a cult it can be difficult to see everyone as basically good. I really try to and most of the time I succeed.

    If you contribute to the well-being of your fellow humans, that should make you good, somewhat?

    prologos, yes that is what I have felt for a long time. Today I feel, who has the energy for that anymore?

    Does it even matter? Is enlightened self interest better for us? Better for the world?

  • stuckinarut2
    stuckinarut2

    "the world doesnt revolve around me..."

    realising that means therefore that I have taken a step toward being a nice or good person.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe

    stuckinarut2, interesting, but aren't humans supposed to realise that at about age three? Isn't it part of separating from your mother psychologically and becoming a separate entity? If that is just reality then what is goodness?

    Wiki says about enlightened self interest that it is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others or the group or groups to which they belong ultimately serve their own self interest. It has often been simply expressed by the belief that an individual, group or commercial entity will 'do well by doing good'. (Can't get copy and paste on here to work tonight )

    It contrasts it with greed which is unenlightened self interest and altruism which is acting in the interests of others without the expectation of material gain and sometimes at the expense of your own interests.

    Perhaps furthering the interests of the groups we belong to, family, workplace, town, country and human race is just common sense and benefits everyone?

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Yes, I am a good person. As a born-in, I was raised to believe that I was no good. I tried so hard to measure up and never could. During law school, I decided to protect my interests. I am entitled to like nice things. My education taught me how to help other people.

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