Doing Good is Hard to Justify


Does it matter to me what happens to someone else? Well what happens to them could happen to me. True. But does it matter to me because...

Does it matter to me what happens to someone else?

Well what happens to them could happen to me. True. But does it matter to me because something happened to them? Let's say I'm safely removed from whatever is going on with that other person. In case of joy I can empathetically share that person's joy, but in case of pain I would share their pain. Should their wellbeing be important to me?

I don't believe I can make the argument that someone who is evil cannot feel good about themselves. I can imagine Hitler being perfectly okay with what he was doing and maybe even being proud of it. And I don't think he was amoral. He had a moral code, it was not a nice moral though. If you were a healthy, strong, tall, blond German--not Jewish--then he might think very highly of you. This is why I'm reluctant to believe anyone is unworthy, even Hitler. Once we decide some people are not as worthy as others, it becomes too easy to start ranking people by their race, looks, sex, etc.

I don't know if I can make the case that caring about others will always make your life better. I'm not sure it will make your life fuller either. It all hinges on how you define better or fuller. An evil person will define it as something much different than a good person.

A person has to decide what they want to believe. Are they better than other people, not as good as other people, are the same? Perhaps that decision is beginning of a person’s sense of morality.

A deep, strong justification for doing good is kind of hard to make.



The Evolving Monkey : Doing Good is Hard to Justify
Doing Good is Hard to Justify
The Evolving Monkey
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