Thoughts on our own actions in moral perspective of being good, evil, or neither; and the positive and negative consequences of our actions.
I have been thinking…
There is an entirely different debate on the premise of good and evil. The fundamental elements of our morality arguably stem from a variety of religious views and patterns of faith. However, there seems to be a common ground of moral points that originate almost biologically, thus shared by our species as a whole: i.e. It is “evil” to take the life of one of your own species within your tribe. I say tribe due to the cannibalistic tendencies of select remote peoples. However, for a moment consider not the moral aspect of our actions and decisions, but the personal and shared value of.
I would like to propose, even to those of high moral standing, that not everything we do is either “good” or “evil” but rather neutral from a moral standpoint. Of course, our current actions directly lead us to specific options for new actions – Our present is a result of our past. In saying so, everything we do has consequences which affect us and others in proportionate values. In other words, what one can view as a negative or positive result.
My theory is that all actions bear both positive and negative consequences. Along with this, I might add that not all consequences are in view of the party responsible.
I propose an experiment in which people focus on a decision and or action made and record every possible result from that made.
Here is a simple (possibly common) example:
Say I were to fall in love with a woman. We become boyfriend and girlfriend and enjoy a great amount of time together. Then say, I meet a second woman and once again fall in love. There are numerous options available, but I only consider two: (a) I could be honest and tell my current about the new person and leave one for the other. OR (b) I could keep it to myself and stay with my current.
Is either decision “good” or “evil” ??? Is one decision considering better than the other? Which is most beneficial?
Option A gives me the relief of being open and honest, although it risks a jealous spite from my current lover. One lover will lose me to the other.
Option B risks me suffering from hiding emotions, although it grants safe haven with my current lover. One lover will lose me to the other.
Here is shown, the proportionate positive and negative aspects to a decision made.
With this is mind, how does one come to make a decision on what to do?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It’s a noble statement, but a bit more complex than it first appears.
What if you want to do the “right thing” ? Which one is the “right thing” ?
The idea here is to asses the risks and consequences associated with each action. Does one action result in more positive results than the other, or do they both have equally positive and negative results?
@ravecandy, I don’t see good or bad anywhere, I see strengths and weakness, I see advantage and disadvantage, I see pleasures and pains. Intent is the being but the actions of the being are often distorted by the variables I have just noted. People cannot really know, or not very easily know, the intent of anyone else, that’s why people say it is irrelevant compared to your deeds but it isn’t.
Your intent can be a catalyst for expanding understanding and with that; choices become more objective and this reflects is noticable in your deeds. There is a huge psychological difference between deliberate and accidental errors of judgement, a deliberate erronious act is sourced of a person who has weakness in compassion and/or logic of self-preservation, an accidental erronious act is sourced of a person with weakness in understanding and/or consideration of the issue.
I could go on forever on this subject, it is a strength of mine :)
In the past month I have fallen in love 4 times with 4 different women. With each one there is a different story. Yet no one of them is aware of the other. Im on either doing right or wrong i believe.
I have chosen to fall in love with each one. They are each choosing what they want to be in my life.
One is the one I truly wish to be with, she is choosing something strange that I cannot understand and therefore she is a question mark in my life. I cannot do or say anything to make her love me, I can only choose to love her even if she doesn’t love me back.
The other is far away and I have made all efforts in the past to see her, I choose now to let her make a decision and hope that she comes to me. If she chooses this then we have both chosen to be together and my romantic love will expand with her. She will be the one for me.
The other I have only recently met. She is choosing to take time for herself and enjoy her life. I choose to enjoy this with her and let her be, ie, leave her alone. But im here if she choose otherwise.
The last one i met last night and I have set a date for this afternoon at the train station. If she chooses this then i can only choose the next step…
I agree with you that there is no right or wrong. Good or bad… I think we all have choice and true freedom comes from choosing what you want, what you like. I like to be in love. I choose this every time, for me. Im this way because of me. Because I love life and Im enjoying it every single day. The joy of getting the consequences you desire or wish to be, comes from letting others be free and choose what they want.
It’s the satisfaction of taking a kid to the toy store and saying, pick what you like.
Everything I do I do it by choice, choice that I first understand if it will benefit me or harm me. Everything everyone else does is notmyproblem and I can only express what Im doing, they can choose the next thing…
Everything lies in choice. Being free to make your own. Understanding your choice and letting others choose what they wish… I say 4, but Im easily in love with every woman I meet. Until this point, I have yet meet a woman who understands this and its hard to explain.. But I think you get my point.
Mr. Butler, by positive and negative I was referring to advantage and disadvantage. I was trying to escape the concept of “good vs. evil” for a more rationalized concept of personal and extra-personal advantages.
I was attempting to provide an example that most could relate to.
And what a marvelous point of view Mr. Tony! Very inspirational!
@ravecandy, “evil” is short sightedness, not having the right perspective and thus not taking action that propagates positive reaction but instead feeding the negative because of the lack of insight.
In order for a person to be “good”, the level of magnification and thoroughness of his moral considerations should be in direct proportion with his means to effect change, he should have the wisdom to make the right choice.
The right choice is the striving towards equilibrium and reconciliation of extremes.
The basis for morality is the definition of Good. For starters, only things that exist can be good. If it doesn’t exist, nothing can be said about it. So by very nature of a thing existing, it is good. This is the fundamental Good that we all acknowledge, while not out loud, about everything that we encounter. If it exists, we can now SHARE our existence with that which also exists. Now, in relation to moral issues, Right and Wrong are determined from Good and Evil. Evil, by definition, is a privation of Good. It is the use of a good for means less than its intended nature. So things like sex and food are naturally good by nature of them actually existing. However, when your looking around and you see a hot bitch you wanna fuck and you have your one-night stand, you have committed evil. Why? Because you have reduced the existence of another person, who by nature is good, to an object of pleasure. You weren’t thinking “Aw man. She’s so beautiful. I wish I could help her be happy or wish her well” or anything remotely positive. The goal was to get off. You don’t need to know her name. You don’t need to know what she likes or what she does for fun or whether or not she’s married or if she loves her family or if she wants to save the world or anything about her. All you need is her in the position you want her in that best helps you reach that physical ecstasy you call a nut. Same thing with food. If your shoveling food down your face just because you like the way it tastes or because you like being full, you’re using (or in this case abusing) something for an intention that is less than what it could be. These are things done for personal gratification, not for the well-being of one’s self or others. A human being is more than a sex doll and food is to nourish us, not to pleasure us (although it can and still be moral if done virtuously). I’m making these claims under the principles of Aristotelian causality so if you would like to more about what I’m talking about, look up the Four Causes and the Nichomachean Ethics. Good, by contrast, is acting in accordance with one’s nature. This is what it means to act virtuously. Acting virtuously is acting in the right amount, at the right time, in the right way. While this seems vague, having the virtue to properly see the good and nature of a thing and acting in accordance with that nature as well as your own is Prudence. Its the sense of understanding how to make the most of a situation while promoting a sense of flourishing. Right and Wrong are determined from the 3 principles of actions which are intention, object, and circumstances. Intention is the goal that drives the action. Object is the means by which you try to achieve your goal. Circumstances are the conditions under which you shape your actions and intentions. If any one of these is for the sake of privatizing the good of a thing, you done goof’d. Your intention has to be good, the way to actualize your intention has to be good, and the circumstances under which you are willing and acting must also be in accordance with that which is good. Prudence is being able to make the distinction. Courage is the will to do the right thing in the face of difficulty and temptation. Temperance is the repetitive shaping of one’s actions, desires, thoughts, and intentions for the sake of proper living and Justice is the balance of actions in relation to others. These are the 4 Cardinal Virtues established by Western Philosophy that promote human flourishing. There are others but for the sake the discussion, we’re only talking about these. So ultimately, if what your doing is at the very least frustrating one of these virtues, chances are your fucking something up. Hope that helps and I’ll check in again later.