Questions about morality

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by ancientmutai, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. If a person has the oppertunity to help another but doesn't, does that make him bad or neutral?

    And is a person who has lived his own life in peace, not disturbing or harming anyone else, more selfish than someone who has spent his life helping others?
  2. Interesting questions. I don't think that what we do makes us evil or good. I believe it is our intentions, not our actions, that shape the way people view us and we view ourselves. The man always helping others may have selfish reasons as well, he could just be helping people to improve his personal image, in which case he is feeding his ego and not being truly devoted to the self. Honestly, though, you need to help yourself , if you want to be helping others. I'm not sure if this answered your questions but I feel it's all about your intentions.
  3. Very good questions, far deeper than you might first think.

    I can only speak personally, it's impossible to give a set answer that would suit everyone in all circumstances. To me, not helping when I could would be a personal failing that I would beat myself up for. I have no god for me to worry about offending, but I would do my best to avoid letting someone down purely on a personal basis.

    Again only a personal opinion, but a neutral life is a neutral life. If someone has truly not done harm then they are just as useful and 'good' as someone who spends his life helping others, but at the same time lives in a less than honest way. It all depends on circumstances.

  4. #4 Boats And Hoes, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2013
    An answer to this depends on a number of circumstances... If we were in a jungle (and had to live by its rules), then yes, not acting to help someone, when u can, while they're in trouble, wouldn't be wrong -- cause u don't know any better, and the jungle is the epitome of the dog-eat-dog maxim; so, screw it... it's how mother nature intended it to be.

    But, that being said... most people don't understand that morality really gets its true worth from society; morality is not something which in-itself stands as a valid or "good" entity.

    Society must be created for the betterment of the humans within it; the betterment of all those people giving it life. Why would I join a society that's going to subject me to torture and anguish (I would of just stayed in the jungle)? I wouldn't; as nobody else would... so, knowing this, we must understand that when Man left the state of nature, and consented to implementing limitations on his or her animalistic activity, so that we all can live, everything changed! This is not the jungle anymore, we come together, in the name of a prosperous society -- to unite, to interact, to mutually grow...

    Now, after laying all this out, I can answer ur question from a societal standpoint. Yes, if u have the ability to help someone, who is truly in danger, it is wrong not to act. To me, to stand dormant while someone else is getting their societal right's violated, or their just truly in danger, is the same as some one violating and repressing my societal right's, or not helping myself. There must be no distinction between the peoples in a society... we stand as an organic whole, seeing ourselves in others.

    But -- that's just my opinion... and the best answer I, actually this is what BLUNTASSASSIN says, can give you, is define to yourself what you think is positive. Once you make that distinction, act on it!

    With that all being said... imma leave u with two quotes -- "If you know something, ie., principles and morals, and fail to act, then knowing becomes less valuable."

    "Men who are governed by reason, that is, men who, under the guidance of reason, seek what is useful to them, desire nothing for themselves which they do not also desire for the rest of mankind."
  5. I'm of the belief that no good deed goes unpunished, because ive been punished more than once. I've tried to help people so many times in my life to my own detriment, which led me to the belief that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make em drink.....

    That said, how do you know when you're helping a person? Coming from a long line of master manipulators I can tell you the one skill required to use others is learning to exploit their human side. Not being a victim of an exploiter is achieved by recognizing the behavior.

    There's s lot of unspokens we don't understand. Who knows how luck, karma all that stuff works......

  6. Depends on the reason the person doesn't help.

    Yes, in a way, but being selfish is not a bad thing in and of itself. He who lives according to his own sense of being has lived his own life. There is no expectation to help anyone.
  7. Here's another mind boggler for you all....

    How do you know I'm not helping you by helping myself? Do we not look to successful people as inspiration to help ourselves?

    And dont I actually need to be at a place to help others before I can offer help?

    Ah, philosophy.

  8. I don't think you can truly help someone without first helping yourself. You may have a desire to do so - the world is full of do-gooders, but until you're at a place where you're actually able to, merely wanting to do so can sometimes cause more harm than good.

    You say we often look towards successful people as inspiration, but what constitutes successful varies for different people. Sometimes it's not the successful we need to look at to feel the most inspiration.

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