posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 12:00 PM
I want to thank everyone for their honest and well thought out replies, as much as I would like to respond to each post individually I think it would
be better to respond in one post, rest assured, however, that I have carefully read each response.
I think there are a few things I must clarify as I feel some are perceiving things as too black and white. My argument isn't necessarily in favor of
"evil" or bad over "good", I'm not advocating causing harm to anyone in anyway. While it may seem that some of the concepts I have spoken of are
rather villainous in a very simple sense, at the root, I am simply advocating honesty with one's self. It is undeniable that someone who is nasty
and blatantly out for themselves will end up rather lonely, that someone who callously uses others will have very few friends but is it not possible
to be personally, and perhaps secretly, concerned mostly with our own gain and still do good for others?
Take for instance the three examples I mentioned, those of Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King. All are known around the world for causing
much positive change, for doing acts that, more often than not, required much personal sacrifice, however, all three of these people were leaders with
many followers. It was exactly this power that they wielded over their followers that gave them the ability to affect such wide ranging and memorable
positive change. If these people had adhered to the popular notion of total self sacrifice, of self denial and working only for the benefit of others
they would never have risen to the position they had. Part of what I am proposing is that having one's own gain and the betterment of one's own
earthly position as one of their primary goals is not necessarily evil in any way.
I also feel that some of the responses in this thread are demonstrating the fallacies that I have mentioned in my opening post, mainly the idea that
those who are rich or successful are ultimately unhappy and unfulfilled and those that do not seek personal gain, those that seek more spiritual or
otherwise intangible goals are more happy and more fulfilled. I feel that this is a major part of the conspiracy that I've mentioned, there are no
absolutes in this world and one can not say that the rich are definitely unhappy and the poor or middle class are. It is true that you will find more
happiness in loved ones and true friends than you will in material things alone but why is it that we, as a society, feel that we can not have both?
Can someone not be concerned with material wealth and success and also have deep meaningful relationships with other people? Why is it that we feel
we must chose one or the other, that the two are mutually exclusive?
What I am advocating, in a sense, is simply realism and self honesty. There are certain situations where blunt and brutal honesty can ruin a
relationship with someone else quicker than greed or selfishness. This idea can be portrayed by as simple an example as a friend showing you artwork
they have done and asking for your opinion. You know they have spent much time and effort on it, you know they have a large emotional investment in
it, but what if you honestly don't think it's very good? Telling the honest truth would show total disregard for the friend's emotions and would
betray your own lack of empathy and your callousness towards them. A lie, however, would make them feel good about the artwork, would strengthen your
relationship and would motivate your friend to continue their pursuit of artistic perfection. Society and religion would have us believe that honesty
is a virtue to aspire to but reality, and experience, shows us that dishonesty, and sometimes manipulation, can be the more favorable route.
This idea can be further shown by the evangelist in his large church full of followers. Leaders of mega churches no doubt benefit from their
congregation, they gain prestige, power and wealth. Some may see them as charlatans or as con men but their followers do not. If you watch the
congregation they are feeling extreme joy and love, they are getting the spiritual fulfillment they so greatly desire. These feelings motivate them,
it drives them to be better people and to help others, it inspires them to seek higher spiritual fulfillment. When the leader then passes the
collection plates around the congregation gladly donate their money, some churches even go as far as to collect 10% of each member's income. This
obviously benefits both the leaders and the organization they have established, they have nice clothes, nice cars, they live in nice houses but have
they committed any evil to attain these things? Have they hurt anyone in order to attain these things? I would offer the proposition that they have
attained their success by making people happy, by giving them what they so desperately desire and by motivating large numbers of people to the
attainment of higher and more "virtuous" goals.
I do not feel that one must exclude earthly and material success from personal and intangible fulfillment. I think that one can have both but that
one must play by the rules of the world if they want to achieve certain kinds of success. The means to material success and power, if you so desire
them, are not by way of supposed virtues and are, generally, contrary to established thought and the philosophy of society and religion. No one has
ever risen to the top solely by putting others before themselves, however, those at the top are in the best position to cause positive change for the
greatest number of people. Good and evil lie within the individual and does not necessarily have anything to do with the way of life, their goals or
their position in society. You can make others happy, you can make them like you, even love you in many ways and still be working towards your own
personal gain and success.
I have a lot to do today but I will be checking back through out the rest of the day and night and I will read your responses and reply when I can,
thank you all again for you replies.