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What is the greatest good?

onesteptwostep

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Stemming off from the 'there is no good or bad' thread, let's do a bit more philosophy.

For the sake of this topic, we're going to assume that 'good' exists.

What I mean by this is that when we see altruism, such as a man giving a homeless person alms, there's the physical action of putting the coin or cash in the homeless person's possession, but we also realize that giving the money can buy food, help acquire shelter, or perhaps aid in buying that alcohol that homeless person needed for warmth for the night. Whether or not this is effective, we realize that this is a 'good', that an act of altruism has been done- and to go further, that we label this action as a form of 'goodness' or good.

This idea of goodness however, can be seen in other acts, such as just simply saying hello or following road signs. This we can put into the category of etiquette and law, a type of formalized guideline of actions which we deemed as 'good'. We say hello to each other because it's nice to and is good to do so, as with other forms of etiquette, and we follow road signs because without it, car crashes would happen or people would be racing and road raging with each other 24/7; but most of all, it's just makes driving orderly.

There is also the act of saving someone from death, which is without a doubt a form of goodness (which is why superheroes are deemed to be on the 'good side' or that police or firemen are doing 'good' work). Simply speaking, ethically, saving someone from death is definitely something that can be called a work of goodness.

So there we have it; altruism, etiquette, ethics, and law and others- forms of goodness that we can find. But here we can certainly order these in the form of least to greatest, as in law would be more of a greater thing than etiquette, or that ethics would have inherently more goodness than acts of altruism.

So the question is this, if goodness exists, in its various forms, what is the greatest form of good that there could be?
 

AndyC

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Utilitarian or Deontological?
 

Animekitty

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I care about you. You are worth something. You are a divine being. You are the greatest good there ever was. I love you. You are everything to me.
 

felicia0976

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Good exists but it's very subjective. You can do something that puts a smile on someone's face but that same act could cause a person to commit suicide. So is that thing you did still good? The greatest good is whatever makes you happy. Everyone has to determine for themselves what makes them happy. We all try to make each other happy and some times we are successful but ultimately it is up to each and every one of us to determine that for ourselves. To believe otherwise is robbery.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk
 

Cognisant

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The greatest good is death because life is inherently suffering, which is not to say we can't experience a temporary respite from suffering (pleasure) but rather that respite must be temporary because it is not inherent to the state of living.

I still want to live forever.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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Experience: intensity of experience.
 

Cognisant

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Being bitten by bullet ants and burned alive is pretty intense, but how is that good?

Conversely if you're burning alive dying will end your suffering and is thus "good".
 

Animekitty

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full body orgasm in space
 

Cognisant

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A full body orgasm in space is pretty good but is that really good?

Conversely if you die while.... that's still pretty good.

I concede.
 

gilliatt

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The Good. All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil. Your life belong to not the State, not to some God, not your neighbor, not to some ghosts in the sky. Your life belongs to 'You'. All this nonsense about self-sacrifice in just a bunch of garbage because the good is to live your life, 'live it'. It is a fact, reality never changes. We need to stop all this context-dropping, concept-stealing. Good to whom and for what? We cannot permit the separation of value, purpose, man's actions from reason. The good in not in, by, itself, its interconnected with values, evaluation of the facts of reality, and you do not leave reason out of the equation.
Orgasm, you raise a good point!
 

washti

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Depends.On. Situation. You. Are. In.

1. Coin to homeless - (altruism)
perspective from Homeless - /help with my desires - gratitude/relife/"Another sucker on my way to milk!"
perspective from Giver - complacency/smugness/ego shit/Jesus guided me/things mom told me to do

2. Saying hello - (etiquette)
its just custom some belive help achive harmonious cohabitation. Manierism. People dont give a fuck anyway, do they?

3. Following road signs - (law)
well you can get punish if you dont fallow them, you know? so fear?
What happens in situation when you in car with pregnant sister and she start bleed @.@, fallowing signs still good?Such a priority.


4. Saving from death - (ethics)
What if someone wants kill himself/herself?
Whose perspective dictates moral "GOOD" standing?
- person's who wants to die
- yours
- law
 

Sandglass

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Choices.

The best option is whatever provides the greatest freedom of choice.

Helping someone live longer is good so long as they can choose what to do. If they are comatose, it is much less good because they don't have many options regarding life.

Giving money to the poor takes away an insignificant amount of choice from you compared with what they receive. Teaching them a skill would open their lives to a myriad of freedoms.
 

Grayman

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That which contributes to the 'greater organisms' health and sustainability contributes the health and sustainability of all its parts. The greatest good is that which is the most functional long term for society.

Consequently forced euthanasia for the mentally ill and drug addicted is Good.

OR

Culture being an evolved organism that contributes to the success of society dictates what is the greatest good. Therefore treating women as second class citzens and childbearers is good as it contributes to a higher birth rate. Slave labor is good as it makes production much higher for the society.
 

Nebulous

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My answer: love and loyalty.

---
If you have religion or certain spiritual beliefs that gives you a strong guide, values, morals etc to go by. So if you're religious, that is likely the greatest good. Striving to do your very best in following the word and teachings you believe in.
So religion can be your greatest good.

Not necessarily objective, unless you believe it is so- there's an interesting paradox there.

(I don't know if we were leaving religion out of the conversation though.)

But also, family. Love and loyalty.
Strong friendship, being there for the people you love. Being strong and putting others above yourself when it's right. Expecting them to do the same for you. Being a strong, engaged and engaging individual who actively pushes and builds up themself and their family to be their best self.
(Family as in not just related by blood but like friends and such. )
 

Reluctantly

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Zombie apocalypse would be awesome. I vote for a zombie apocalypse. And I get a sword that fires bullets and a suit of armor that protects most of my body from most types of ammunition. And Maybe a compact flame thrower too with an oil squirter to set my sword on fire, if I choose.

Like this, but cooler



Could make a zombie army too perhaps. Add robots to their body and control them. Or better yet, ammunition with the zombie virus in it, so if I shoot someone they get infected. A nazi zombie robot army with zombie virus ammo would be perfect. Props to anyone that tries to take out my army and succeeds.
 

Grayman

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My answer: love and loyalty.

---
If you have religion or certain spiritual beliefs that gives you a strong guide, values, morals etc to go by. So if you're religious, that is likely the greatest good. Striving to do your very best in following the word and teachings you believe in.
So religion can be your greatest good.

Not necessarily objective, unless you believe it is so- there's an interesting paradox there.

(I don't know if we were leaving religion out of the conversation though.)

But also, family. Love and loyalty.
Strong friendship, being there for the people you love. Being strong and putting others above yourself when it's right. Expecting them to do the same for you. Being a strong, engaged and engaging individual who actively pushes and builds up themself and their family to be their best self.
(Family as in not just related by blood but like friends and such. )
That sounds hideous! Love and loyalty are concepts for enslavment! They are emotional forces typically used by women to enslave men probably in a legally binding monogamous relationship from which there is no escape!
 

Happy

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Zombie apocalypse would be awesome. I vote for a zombie apocalypse. And I get a sword that fires bullets and a suit of armor that protects most of my body from most types of ammunition. And Maybe a compact flame thrower too with an oil squirter to set my sword on fire, if I choose.

Like this, but cooler



Could make a zombie army too perhaps. Add robots to their body and control them. Or better yet, ammunition with the zombie virus in it, so if I shoot someone they get infected. A nazi zombie robot army with zombie virus ammo would be perfect. Props to anyone that tries to take out my army and succeeds.
<3 michonne
 

ummidk

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You've defined 'good' as acts beneficial to others. The idea that good can exist objectively is absurd.

I have my own definitions of good which tend to align with yours, but they are subjective and incomplete.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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Well, if we are going to 'assume' there is a good, and we are also going to assume what even 'good' (in context of morality (if that's the context here)) means however we want, and if we are also going to arbitrarily assume certain conventionally regarded as good actions to be 'the good' actions, without even specifying how we are supposed to compare different types of so-called goodness or measure the level of certain type of goodness, then we may also just arbitrarily 'assume' what a 'greatest good' is.

Therefore, I say greatest good is 'eating excreted waste matters'.
 

Cognisant

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I support the a nazi zombie robot army idea.

'cause y'know

zombies
 

ZenRaiden

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I guess it depends on the intent of the person. If I intend to throw a dart into a target and I am successful then its good. If the dart hits a wall next to the target then thats bad.
 

RadicalDreamer31

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Meaningless struggle, pointless suffering, is the worst shit imaginable, the literal definition of hell. Despair. Torment

Meaningful struggle, purposeful suffering, is the BEST shit. The highest fulfillment of human spirit. Actualization. The greatest good.

In both scenarios there is great anguish. The difference, is what the anguish means to the person experiencing it.

--------------------------------------------

The good actions that can be named, are not the abstract concept of 'good'. But rather, the actions provide utility in a context, and therefore beneficial (in that context).

There is NO action, non-action, thought, nor expression that provides utility in all contexts, and therefore nothing is universally good.

'Good' is an idea, not a reality.
 

EyeSeeCold

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Silence
 

QuickTwist

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Good only exists as long as everyone agrees on what is good. Without that, it just becomes people developing a superiority complex because they are good and others are bad. It will undoubtedly enter into the ego of what constitutes to them as valued in how they see themselves or not. Without ego interference, then whatever is considered "good" just ends up being the norm without people giving it a second thought on whether it is good or not.
 

RadicalDreamer31

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[MENTION]QuickTwist[/MENTION]QuickTwist, if I understand what you mean:
What is judged to be good is found through consensus? People aligned themselves with this consensus so they may feel good? "I am good" ego boost.

If this is what you meant, do you advocate for individuals to seek what is good for themselves, rather than accept consensus?

-

A good exists, not because any outcome / utility in it, but rather is manifest through consensus. Then, "the greatest good", is what is most agreeable to the most people.

It is good, because it is deemed so. We can say: "do not look for what is good, judge it to be good and it will be."
 

QuickTwist

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[MENTION]QuickTwist[/MENTION]QuickTwist, if I understand what you mean:
What is judged to be good is found through consensus? People aligned themselves with this consensus so they may feel good? "I am good" ego boost.

If this is what you meant, do you advocate for individuals to seek what is good for themselves, rather than accept consensus?

-

A good exists, not because any outcome / utility in it, but rather is manifest through consensus. Then, "the greatest good", is what is most agreeable to the most people.

It is good, because it is deemed so. We can say: "do not look for what is good, judge it to be good and it will be."
More or less, yes.

The things that makes this complicated is that everyone is going to inherently have a different subset of beliefs tho their core beliefs may fit the vein of one or more central concepts of other group perspectives on what is considered "good" and "bad". That said, their beliefs cannot be too far out there away from all groups because if they are they will likely end up either starting their own religion or will subsequently piss off people who disagree with their ideologies which will get them in a lot of trouble considering they have no one to back them up or both.

Our minds are immensely complicated and most of this type of stuff happens in the subconscious. We are instilled with a shit ton of information from when we are a baby to when our minds have stopped growing (age ~30). Like it is ridiculous how much information we store in our brains at any given time. Consciousness is so much the tip of the iceberg its not even funny. To consider that we have evolved to take in information about the world to give us our world view over a period of 30 years is insane to think about. So much information passes through our minds during that time that it is unfathomable. I mean, just think about this: What the fuck is even a belief in the first place? The fact that everyone more or less has their own belief system is so astounding that it doesn't even seem possible. But there you go... Life - one of the most elaborate things we have ever come across in the history of the ability to have a rational thought.

I mean its so complex thinking about good and bad that I am perplexed where to even start.
 

QuickTwist

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I mean think of the fucking orchestration of sound for fucks sake. The fact that so many life forms are capable of this alone is a complete mind fuck. Then how we use this as an advanced form of communication to relay thought patterns in an understandable way to nearly every person around us. Just think about that and what it means. It means that we are so complicated that I have doubts that a God could even think it up in the first place. Seriously, you cannot make something like life up. Its like taking the most complicated thing you are able to wrap your mind around multiplied times a million - a number the human mind cannot comprehend consciously.

And then in this thread we are trying to determine something as abstract as good and bad... The context to even have an idea of that is fucking mindblowing.

So let me think of the most basic concept found in good and bad...


Good is something that necessarily means that we have a preference for one thing over another. We don't simply exist. Preference requires us to be able to observe. It also requires us to necessarily makes judgements based on cause and effect relationships. Judgements help us make a decision on if something is good or bad. In order for decisions to be a factor, we HAVE to have the ability to weigh evidence.

So what is evidence? Evidence is is the interpretation that our mind makes out of our senses from observing cause and effect relationships. In order to make a judgement on something, we must be able to make an impulsive reaction toward a cause and effect relationship. Judgement is an action and is intuitive in nature as opposed to rational. So when we make a judgement, there is a lot that happens in a very short amount of time. In short, our brain takes in evidence and this gets relayed to the executive order part of our brain to produce a yes or no answer.

OK, now we have to talk about rational thought.

As opposed to a judgement, where we take in evidence and it gets pushed to the executive order part of our brain to give a yes or no answer, we take in evidence and relay it to the logic center of the brain. As long as the evidence remains in the logic center, we are not going to make a judgement on the evidence. This is what rational thought is - The non-action of reflecting on evidence to see if it matches up with previous evidence.

So now that we got judgements and rational thinking out of the way, let's look at preferences.

A preference is a judgement based on rational thought. Rational thought cannot go on indefinitely. At some point, as more and more information is coming in through our senses, it gets to be information overload as to what evidence we can keep storing in our logical sensor. At some point our rational thought gets flooded and the evidence has to be shifted to the executive order part of the brain to and we make a judgement. This is how we come to a preference.

So now that we have a preference, this gets stored in the memory center of our brain. This preference is like a zip file as far as information goes. We end up accruing a great many preferences in our memory center. These preferences are brought up in our logical brain when we are using rational thought with new evidence so we can make a new judgement on this new evidence.

So we have these collections of preferences stored in our memory center. The preferences we have get categorized in groups as ideas. When we come across new information, we match the evidence with the closest group of ideas we have. We then look through the preferences we have that best correlates with the new evidence and make a judgement on it and fit this into our framework of ideas.

Scroll to here if you want to get past the boring stuff.

Now the good stuff

So now we finally talk about how we perceive good and bad and the decision making process.

Basically, the more that the new evidence aligns with our framework of ideas based on association within the groups of ideas and within that our preferences ect. the more likely we are to make a judgement as good and the more lacking we are in evidence associated with what is in our memory center the more we are going to think that thing is bad.

Ahh... That may have seemed really basic for most of you, but I did it for myself more than anything. I needed some time to delve into a little Ti for a bit. Strangely satisfying. :D

TL;DR: the more we are able to associate new information with what information we already have, the more likely we are going to think it is good. The less associations we can make between what info we already have the more we are going to consider it bad.
 
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