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Am I a Good Man?

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posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 02:46 PM
I am no angel. In fact my mind is like a storm, with no darkness nor light, only a thousand shades of grey. Ambition mixes with both the desire to make those who wronged me pay and the desire to spread peace and love. I see neither heaven nor hell waiting for me, for I have faith in no God, yet I instinctively criticize atheists for their close-mindness. I am colour blind, so sometimes I feel depressed to have the vision of a (non-human) mammal instead of a man's, but this in turn makes me determined to surpass my normal, human colleagues in wits.

And at the end of the day, I find myself asking the one question no physics theory can ever answer: Am I a good man?

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:08 PM
If you sincerely still find the need to ask yourself that question, then surely you still are.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:12 PM
I think we all want to be good people but a lot of us lose our way in this crazy unforgiving world. As long as you strive to do good that is all that matters.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:18 PM
It's when you are sure that you are good that you have lost your way. It's the constant questioning that leads you to constantly try to improve and that's where you wind up being good.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:25 PM
a reply to: swanne

"We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause."

-William James

Good luck in your journey.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:44 PM
a reply to: swanne

What one defines as good is ultimately subjective. If you were to look at the philosophers and their views of what is a good man, then you're going to find yourself charging headlong into a long debate. A great example of this subjectivity of good would be lying. If lying is generally perceived as bad, then is lying to prevent harm out of kindness (also something viewed to be roundly "good") to another also bad? Total sum statements about good or bad end up being subjective due to individual's weighting of the context of the scenario that precipitated the questionable action. I would, instead, rephrase the question to asking whether one is virtuous or not. It suffers from the same issues that asking "is this good?" but is a little more fleshed out beyond the basic concepts of "good" or "bad".

Here's a rather nice article from Stanford on the subject of virtue ethics that you might enjoy.

I have an animal brain as well. I am a visual thinker with no neurolinguistic narrative going on in my noggin. If having an animal type of way to look at the world inhibits the ability to be virtuous or good, it then poses the question of whether or not the total sum of the animal world must somehow be bad or without virtue. However, I'd say that that is looking at the animal world through lens that are tainted by speciesism. While nature in its wildness is brutal, there are still acts that could still be defined as being kind, charitable, compassionate and more being exhibited by animals. If you're having a bad day and your dog or cat behaves in an uncharacteristic way to come plop on your lap and give you attention, is that not compassion? I think we tend to underrate the animal world because it seems so barbaric. From what I've seen, human beings can be just as barbaric, too.

I think that we are all mixed with a variety of impulses but the measure of whether we are ethical is not based on what we think or feel but a measure of our actions, words and intentions. When you chide a fellow atheist for not being open-minded, are you doing so out of malice or are you simply urging them to observe a flaw within themselves in defense of others who believe and may suffer some harm/offense due to injurious words? Personally, I'd say to measure based on those intentions behind your actions. I am a terrible liar so I'm more likely to state an ugly and painful truth than to lie. My intention behind that injury is not to do harm to the other; in my eyes, that harm is unavoidable because I am a terrible liar and, should I attempt to lie and fail at it, the end result will be the initial harm plus the harm of breach of trust. If my intention is to tell that painful truth to do the other harm, then that's malice. The former is tilted towards a generally defined "good"; the latter is generally 'bad". It's all about intention.

None of us are angels. Not 100% of the time but I tend to think that most of us do act on the better or best of intentions. I could be deluded in that but I prefer to see humanity through that lens than viewing everyone as potentially holding malice.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:15 PM
a reply to: swanne

That depends on how you define goodness.

There are good people in the world, who to every outward appearance, and statement in their record, would appear less than wholesome, but none the less do the wrong things for the right reasons, and the right things for the wrong reasons. There are people out there who appear to be saints, but are deplorable bastards in disguise. All people have the potential to be either example, and sometimes both throughout a life time.

Only great people manage to do the right things, for the right reasons more than a few times in a life, and no one gets it right every time. Oddly though, it is important to have enough confidence in yourself to believe that you have the capacity to be a good man, and to act on that belief with discernment, integrity, honour, and compassion.

Nothing, even the concept of a good man, is simple. Even the least complex forms in the universe are complicated if you look at them in fine enough detail, but concepts like goodness are complicated from the get go, and there is nothing wrong with questioning yourself about it occasionally, as long as you do not obsess over it. Obsessing over your own goodness can lead to narcissim, or self loathing, neither of which are "good"!

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:26 PM
I've found myself pondering the same question.
Personal rules of not steal from others or harm property of others. Be kind or stay quiet.
Share with those in need if you are able. If you make a promise, keep it.
Outside of those simple rules I am a shameless, hedonistic bastard.
I am comfortable in my own skin.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:51 PM
a reply to: swanne

The fact that you wonder if you are a good man leads me to believe that if you are not, you will be one before the end. And that you are a better man than most to question yourself.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:57 PM
The answer can only be found within. Everybody's pov is different and what one may view as good may be bad to another.

The answer is within my friend.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 05:00 PM
a reply to: WhiteAlice

Can I say how much I love reading your posts? They are awesome.

I too have that visual brain you speak of. I have eidetic memory and I am able to watch memories almost like a movie in my head. Same goes when I am reading books--I see it all in my head. Granted, I'm not the best at making up facial features, but I'm better at capturing the spirit of the character in my head, if that makes sense.

All people have the capacity for evil--take Milgram's experiments for example. It is up to us, then to choose what side to take: will we choose to do evil or good? I have chosen good--although I have done some very evil things in my short life. But God forgives me, for which I am grateful. I figure, even if you're an atheist, what is the harm in wanting to believe God exists? What is the harm in learning to forgive yourself because you are already forgiven? And hey, if it ends up not being true then cool--you didn't lose anything. But if it ends up existing then also cool because now you didn't lose anything again! ^_^

Sorry for being an obnoxious person with that, and forgive me if you don't want to discuss the belief aspect--I won't press the matter of course. Since we are all inherently both evil and good, I felt it would be relevant to mention, in case the OP or anyone does believe as I do.

edit on 14-11-2014 by rukia because: (no reason given)

Some people besides Jesus who I truly think were good men were Socrates, Terence McKenna, John Stuart Mill, Jefferson, and Locke. There are plenty of them. But they all share certain qualities--the qualities of an ubermensch (Nietzche). So, In my life, I strive to one day embody what it means to be an ubermensch. Dream big haha
edit on 14-11-2014 by rukia because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 05:04 PM
a reply to: swanne

I think all people are good and all people are evil and just about every shade between. There is something justifiable about everyone and there's something ugly about everyone. It is just human nature, imo.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 05:12 PM
a reply to: swanne

Ask yourself this question.
How much do I do for others and how much compassion and empathy do i have for others?
When you answer that question than you will have the answer to your OP.

Good people do bad things just as bad people are capable of doing good things.

edit on 14-11-2014 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 06:55 PM
The first question should be what the goal is.
The feeling of all humans to be happy in average at all, all live forms, only you?
To have the maximum of happiness minus negative feelings?

The system forces humans to cause a lot of damage, so besides suicide there can be the question how much you could prevent it and put out a positive change balancing or overweighting it. Longer change for multiple generations is also more significant than a temporary momentary change.
So you give someone in a place where he should not be able to survive, food, but that makes his family replicate. Life is long (in this case) and people usually some day cannot resist. People want school where never was one, you donate, some of the kids are happy, but is that really positive in the long term for all?

Forgiveness is often more positive for all these possible goals than revenge, but think about this:
Someone who possibly had intended to cause damage for his own good or doesn't take many precautions to protect others who is not being harmed back would have an open exploit to abuse. Sadly, even though people usually do this and even harm back more than is caused, especially the selfish ones do not notice they are harmed back and given less for their own actions. So which of your actions in combination of likeliness of each case and possible magnitude of influence is chosen depends on your wisdom.

But since your mind does not necessarily have enough energy for specific deeper thoughts for better decisions, it is the question about if you define good as bad as fault or by your influence.
As everything you do is defined by your past and situation, you cannot be at fault for anything. However! This does not mean to give up improvement either. You are still the one who influences the future by choice.

Now if you would say your senses are everywhere where senses are, just not connected to the position, this brain which asked this here, you either create heaven or hell by positive or negative change. That's where you would be in.
Instantly switching your feeling to another body instead? Then all influences reach you in the future somehow, but less directly.

There is also karma, for example when you do positive change, wise people modify you slightly to appear better to others, so you are later helped back by others.

Then there's the definition question about whether the mere good intention counts and if intention used on claims of what would be good count.
edit on 14-11-2014 by oneoneone because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 08:55 PM
The path of a warrior of peace is hard and tough. One must endure pain when he has to turn the other cheek. We change those who are unrighteous through acts. Acting like the unrighteous, flipping their ways to apply yours is not the solution.

Patience and stand you ground. Don't let them change you. You know what is right. Right?

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:53 PM
Are you a good man?

That's an easy question to answer for yourself.

It would depend on your definition of "a good man".

Ask yourself what a good man is.

You know the truth in your heart what you are and if you meet the criteria of what you think "a good man" is then you are.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 11:51 PM
a reply to: rukia

No, you absolutely cannot tell me that because eventually it'll go to my head. That would be bad. lol

Eidetic memory, too, here and have been compared to being a computer far too many times, which certainly doesn't help with the whole feeling like a human being thing. Pretty sure I was a robotic dog in a past life. Or maybe a cat. Probably a cat.

In terms of beliefs, I think that it really takes a certain sort to be without guilt for an action. Either the act is done with a sense of righteousness or out of pure broken malice in those instances. For most though, guilt for the action done becomes the weight on their heart (or soul). Even should the victim forgive, one still has to deal with the jailor in their head and oftentimes, that is the hardest thing to contend with. I've come to the conclusion, in my atheistic little world view, that regret even once forgiven can serve as a reminder of when one erred but shouldn't rule the heart. One can keep track of all their good deeds and ignore their bad deeds on the lifting of forgiveness. I prefer to live by the motto "to err is human" and to avoid those errors as much as possible. Should they happen, then I do everything in my power to correct the mistake and if I have done all that I can, only then can I let lose regret and guilt.

I guess it's more like the Egyptian concept of the Hall of Ma'at, where one's heart was weighed on the scales by Anubis. If one's heart weighed no heavier than a feather, then one could move on and if it weighed heavier, well, that was the end. The Hall of Ma'at suits my on beliefs though I don't believe such a place exists. It does fit nicely in that one chance to do right though. One shot, no redemption, and what I tell my children in terms of immortality is that immortality is gained through infamy (hell) or love/praise (heaven) in the memories of others. No regrets and not because you chose to forget the things you've done wrong. It's acceptance that you did them and vowing to not do it again and grow from them instead. Even in nature, beautiful flowers can grow from the stinkiest of messes. The sum total by the end should be as light as a feather.

Kind of like a spiritual YOLO. YOLO! Yeah, that probably just killed oomph of the above, hee hee.

posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 12:00 AM
a reply to: swanne


I thought you were a chick...

posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 02:12 AM

originally posted by: Akragon
a reply to: swanne


I thought you were a chick...

lol your avatar suits your post so well. just have to say that, sorry for the temporary derail but I laughed at the combo.

posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 08:04 AM
Just posting to tell you all that I am still reading (just not enough time to make individual replies). I must say I am impressed by your posts, you guys are really thought-provoking! The manner in which we define good vs evil has been the oldest question of mankind, and your posts cerainly live up to that mystery. Every single one of yours.


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