Marco Luthe wrote:
What defines a “good person”? What moral and ethical standards should one have, and why?
The person defines a good person. Which is a really short answer, but its the truth.
The deeper question is what shapes a persons perception of truth?
The scenarios are endless.
In one instance I’m the ringleader of a group who plans to rob a bank. In this case, I’m a good guy, and my co-conspirators are good guys. But from the standpoint of society, we are all bad guys.
Now what moral and ethical standards should you uphold?
Well your asking me directly. I’ve never attempted to list those things that make a person good, from my perspective.
Let me give it a try.
You should not kill, or seek to kill others. The only time this can be excused, is when the other person is doing said activity of seeking to kill.
You should be considerate of others. This will help you to avoid those awkward social blurts where you may yell out your opinion. Only to find that your the ignorant one of the group. Its okay, its really the most effective way of learning.
You should not take that which is not yours. If you didn’t work for it, don’t take it. There are those who attempt to justify theft by saying they worked for it (plotting to thieve). Or that the person they are stealing from is in a position to sustain the loss. Well, lets just be realistic, its not your place to judge others, and you never know a persons situation, ever.
Do not judge others. This one is a tricky one. Some would interpret this as accepting everyone regardless of facts. This method does not work. To point out an extreme example, a rapist finds it morally acceptable (on some level) to force sex onto other unwilling individuals. Well, according to the accept-everyone-for-who-they are rule, that would make that guy or girl just a misunderstood person. Someone you need to get to know a little better before you understand their reasoning.
In short, it’s a good idea to gauge people, but do not pass judgment on them.
Why should you strive to be good?
I cannot decide for you the reason you personally should strive to be a “good” person. Even if my examples above don’t seem fully accurate.
A persons desire to do good comes from within his heart/soul. Those who wear “being good” like a coat, and wear it about the social circles have ulterior motives. The grand thing about these people is that eventually the winds of life will become forceful enough to blow that coat off and you will have a plain view of their true character.
As a general unspoken rule, good people are happy people. And happy people enjoy existing.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is if you want to enjoy existing, that might be one reason you could choose to motivate yourself to being a “good” person.
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