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Though it makes it harder to judge whether a person is truthfully good, or more or less interested in the reward. Is he selfless or selfish.

That's a common idea, yes. But I think it's pointless in terms of judging whether an action is good or not. And in the long run it's the sum of the good and bad consequences a person brought to the people around by his/her actions.

The question if the doer is selfish or selfless is without practical meaning.

The point is if the consequences of an action are good not their causes. If a company spends 1,000,000€ on cancer research the action is good even though they did it for the publicity. The consequences of such a donation doesn't lose it's good consequences just because they get publicity and a possibility on saving income taxes.

If you're only helping because you get money or hope for some divine reward it's a job or a delusion, not a sign of a good character.

That's another question. But to come back to the reward: Every good deed has an reward. It's at least a warm feeling, the reassurance of being useful and being able to make a difference - even when it's small.

Most people enjoy doing good because it makes them happy - at least it makes me happy. But that's a reward in itself. That's also a profit.

Who said you have to sacrifice something? But of course you do, at least your time. You shouldn't expect to gain anything substantial.

Depends how you define substantial. The warmth feeling, I talk about, is - at least for me.

I witnessed often when people helping other people and doing a little good deed to each other joy spreads. People get happier, they start to smile. Just because it's nice to see other people helping each other kindly.

So my thesis is, that there's some kind of goodness-meme which spreads. And other people do good because they know how nice it feels.

And that's a reward - a profit - everybody has the right to earn and to enjoy.

The point is that doing good is not equivalent to being good.

I take a practical, positivistic stance on that. I can impossibly know what another person thinks silently to them self. Therefore the only valid way to judge another person is by his or her actions - but not by their words!

Everything else sounds esoteric to me. But maybe you have a good definition of being good in contrast to just doing good.

My idea is, that a good being can withstand the badness-meme, which also spreads like hell. Ernst Fehr (Uni Zürich) did some experiments and showed that people adapt to unfair environments and start to cheat on others. Maybe this resistance is a way of showing a truly good character?

It would boil down to a potential of staying away from doing bad. Is this potential what you mean with being good?

But, nevertheless, you're right in the point that being good and doing good is different. I'm just not sure how one could really judge that in absence of an unfair environment.

Which of course logically makes no sense at least in its literal form.

It's a proverb, don't expect to much of it :-)

But I think you get what I was talking about.

Doing a sacrifice doesn't make an action worse or better. An action has to be judged by it's consequences. If a fat student trains very hard and doesn't do very good on their PE test, their shouldn't get a "Sehr Gut". If a professional sports student does the test and didn't train before and did well he deserves it nevertheless.

PS: I know, it's a complex matter and maybe I'm over interpreting this propaganda posters. But one should have a critical eye on propaganda. Even more when it's made by people who claim to be rational beings.

And I still don't think profit and goodness is a contradiction. And that's even bad to propose it.

PPS: I really enjoy such discussions. If you don't, just say so and I don't go on your nerve any longer. Happened to me before :-)

Tags: argument
Reposted byvoyd voyd
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