Thursday, March 31, 2011

Being a Good Person (Nevyn's Take - hijacked)

Baillie has a 3 line post (as a draft) started titled "Being a Good Person". It had me thinking. In those 3 lines she had only really related the fact that it was kind of related to some of my other posts. I, funnily enough, found myself asking for Baillie's permission (for a post on my own blog) to use that start as a basis for my own post.

What does it mean to be a good person?

I don't consider myself to be a good person. I try. I'm sure most people out there do. But then, I've said I believe ourselves to be selfish. There is something to be said from doing things from a sense of being selfless - thus being about the respect of others or feeling you get when doing something you consider selfless, or even, the concept of being a good person.

So what constitutes a good person? I don't think many would argue that Mother Theresa was a good person. So what made her a good person? Some could argue that a lot of what made her known as a good person was the media around her. There was some dispute over the medical care offered in her hospices and negative comments over her very catholic views on abortion and contraception as well as her belief in poverty as a conduit to spiritualism.

The bible (new testament, appears in 3 gospels) has a rather curious passage about what it takes to get into "the kingdom of god". (The common parts of the passages only).

" is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God..."

Does wealth determine how good or bad a person is? And if it does, then can it then be interpreted as "the devil's" work when we work toward capitalist ideals? Working and seeking out pay rises, and perhaps even other forms of personal gain, such as reputation, could be seen as acquiring wealth. A state which makes entering the "kingdom of God" uncomfortable and unlikely at the very least.

So the question isn't quite so much are you a good person? but rather, is it possible to be a good person?


  1. It is possible to *be* good? We have the capability for both good and bad, so things we *do* can be classified as such.

    But to *be* good is to judge and render down an aggregate of deeds to a single measurement.

    The a simply goodness calculus starts at 50%, where the good outweighs the bad. The ideal is 100% but if *being* a good person requires 100%, it is impossible.

  2. Yippee! Maths!

    Okay, so 100% is not a good threshold. We know this as we know that ultimately being good is for our own reasons (if you're to accept my preposition that everything we do is from our own point of view and is thus selfish on at least some level).

    It being for our own reason is not necessarily bad.

    Assuming a scale where we all start at 50% and anything below 50% makes you bad and anything over 50% makes you a good person, then if our starting point is 50% do we assume that good deeds and bad deeds all have the same weight?

    In which case, I'd say this is flawed on the basis that I tend to think and ponder and obsess about what I've done bad and can easily dismiss what I've done right.

    So it's a matter of perspective as to where this threshold lies.

    In which case, it's impossible to be good in everyone's perspective. (stop trying to please everyone).

  3. Cliff Notes version of my intended post:

    I hate people who solely rely on going to church to accrue "good person" brownie points, but are then dicks to everyone.

    See, yours was much better.

  4. *lmao* The "good family man" who attends church every Sunday but business wise is profits driven, seeing the people doing the work down the other end as an expense rather than people, and won't even separate his garbage.

    I dispute the claim that this post was a lot better. I'm being very preachy at the moment. I need to get back to politics and the crapness of media.