Friday, February 16, 2007

What is good?

A quote that The Quaker Agitator posted on his site recently from the Dalai Lama read like this.....

"I have come to the conclusion that whether or not a person is a religious believer does not matter. Far more important is that they be a good human being."

There is no such thing as a good human being.

The Bible states this very clearly in Mark 10:18...Jesus said, "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

Paul affirms this in Romans 3:12, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

One can only compare good to God. God is good. We can compare all day long ones goodness to another's goodness, but that doesn't make either one good without having a standard to first judge 'good'.

The quote itself is nice, but good is relative based on social standards and perceptions of a particular morality view.

That's why we must always view good as starting with God and realizing that anything less than His standards is wrong and inadequate.

I mean how else can two perfectly intelligent people view, in polar opposites, the subject of abortion for example? One would say that it is 'good' for a woman to have a choice and another would say that it is 'good' for the baby not to be killed?

Good is relative when all we have to compare it to is each others opinion.


Wadical said...

I have absolutely nothing to add, Dawg. Well done.

QuakerDave said...

Decent. Compassionate. Empathetic. Civil. Moral. respectful. Kind. Caring. Tolerant.


WayneDawg said...

Just merely using my example of abortion, all your synonyms for the word good are meaningless to the baby in-utero.

Man is basically evil with occasional tendencies to do ‘good’ deeds. If it were not for laws, you would see the full measure of man’s evil unleashed throughout the world. Laws help keep mans evilness from an eruption to a lava flow.

Heck, why do we even have laws? Who are they for? Why do we have police or an armed defense?

I think the Bible is clear on the nature of mans sinfulness. Without God, man makes himself the center of the universe instead of God Himself.

Thus, when man is the center, everything else is relative. Including how he deals with his fellow man.

Wadical said...

Quake, There must be an extreme. There must be an example of the n'th degree to all things. There must be an infinite good by which to measure all that is considered good. There must be an infinite evil by which to measure all things considered evil. There must be a moral compass that points in one direction or the other. If something is considered good by man, could it be better? If it could be better, which direction is better from good? That direction points directly to God. What is good? Good compared to Hitler? Good compared to kiddie porn? Good compared to murder? Good in "your" mind? Good by "your" standards? What about "MY" standards? What about God's? Without God serving as the ultimate example of what is good and perfect, "good", like every other adjective is simply a relative term. That concept is rooted in the very idea of right and wrong. What is right? What is wrong? How do you tell? By what do you measure it? By "your" culture? By "your" beliefs? By the status quo? By the general consensus? No, there must be a higher authority. There must be an n'th degree, higher than ALL cultures, higher than ALL beliefs, higher than ANY general consensus. If I tell you that seven foot shelf is high, but you are seven feet tall....was I lying? It's not high to you, but it was certainly high to me. Who's right? The bible says that "ALL have sinned". It says that "NONE are righteous" and that "EVERYONE falls short of the glory of God>" That is as it should be. For if that is true, then man will never have to wonder which way is north on his moral compass, and ALL men, no matter their stature or standing will have a direction and a standard by which to measure what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.

Wadical said...

"Decent. Compassionate. Empathetic. Civil. Moral. respectful. Kind. Caring. Tolerant."

None of those things were invented by man. All of those things are from God.

Bradley A. Carver said...

Expanding McGregor's theories of X and Y in describing the human condition is instructive and helpful. If we were created in God's image (despite the anthropomorphic charaterization) then it follows that there is good in all human beings; thus ascribing to Theory Y.

Free will allows for making choices that are constructive or destructive which I believe are more accurate descriptions of human ethical and moral behavior then being good or bad. Abortion is destructive behavior, but less destructive if the child is brought into the world without love, care, compassion and a commitment to raising them to follow an ethical and moral path that benefits themselves, their family and community in positive ways.

Christian and Buddhist tenets are very similar in promoting thoughts, words and actions for the benefit of all, at all levels. We have a choice and with wisdom, contemplation, and ethical decisions, despite our fallibility, we can make the time on this earth a blessed experience!

WayneDawg said...

Abortion is never less destructive than being born alive.