Why Be Good?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Zurkhardo, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I've been pondering something for a long time that I blogged about the other day: why be a good person? As an atheist, people assume I am devoid of morality and have no reason to be a good person. But I disagree with this assessment, and believe it is possible to be good for the sake of it. After all, being good out of divine command or fear of damnation (or some other punishment) hardly encourages good behavior. Yet cynics would find some sort of self-interest that can be derived from doing nice things - reciprocation or "feel-good" hormones for one.

    What say you all?
  2. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    Because I empathize with and care for other people, and I want the people I care about to be happy and not suffer. The rest is just details.
  3. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    I remember my grandmother telling me when I was about 4 years old that I need to be very, very good so I won't get into trouble. I took her too seriously. My whole life was screwed up because I was told to be good but I was not taught how to be assertive and assess a matter or a person as to whether it is good or bad. I had no backbone.
  4. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Because societal norms force us to, or else face consequences which are unfavorable and contrary to maintaining what we perceive as a desirable lifestyle.
  5. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if the question is meant to be descriptive or normative. That is, are we discussing why people are good (if and when they are) as a behavioral trait, or why they ought to be good, or both?
  6. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I think he's asking for reasons to be what is commonly perceived as good; that or personal interpretations from such a question.
  7. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    Because if you do Bad and have the bad luck to have a conscience or a certain level of empathy, you'll actually do bad to yourself.
    On the other hand, if those aren't options, you'll become a bastard, unworthy of any (self) respect, with no "humanity" left.
  8. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    Why be good?
    Because this world is already so fucking miserable and morbid, by being good i can at least make people feel better for their fleeting time on this planet.
    Instead of asking why be good why not ask people why they are miserable fuckers?
    This whole universe is so amazingly awe inspiring and to think i am a part of it thats capable of consciousness and looking at the rest of the universe and actually appreciating it is all i could ever ask for, when youre happy and appreciate what you have in life you cant find a reason why to be a twat!
  9. Raven

    Raven Guest

  10. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    So you'll be on Santa's list for presents next year.
  11. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    This. Santa was the best deity I ever believed in.

    Jesus never gave me no Super Nintendo, that's for damn skippy.
  12. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your replies. PB is correct, although I welcome normative and descriptive interpretations as well. I was pretty much being open-ended with my question, but I probably should have clarified.
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