The Good, The Bad And The Dead

This Friday K, N and I had a (kind of successful, since it was so loud that we had difficulty hearing each other half the time) conversation about what is good and bad and death and our views on those topics (maybe I should make this a weekly series. Friday Nights with K, N and C ;)).

It all started off with a simple question about how to tell whether something is good or bad. N said that it depends on the situation. For example: if you are in a survival situation, you aren’t going to be thinking about whether what you’re doing is good or bad, you’re just going to be doing what you have to in order to make it out of that situation alive. However, if your life is not at risk, then there is room for thoughts of right and wrong and there will be consequences for doing the ‘wrong’ thing that there wouldn’t be in a life and death situation.

The point that society conditions us to see certain things as good or bad was also raised. Given how many different cultures there are in the world, this means that what we might think is okay, might be totally unacceptable by someone else and vice versa. For example, a child in a culture where stoning people is the norm will probably be horrified by the sight of it the first time they witness it. But by the 10th, perhaps 20th time they see it, it will have become acceptable and the norm. Their society conditions them to accept it. Whereas people outside that culture would be horrified every time they heard about it, simply because they don’t see it as a normal part of life, but as something terrible that shouldn’t be happening. Deciding what is good and bad depends on your point of view and the society you live in.

I personally don’t agree with the idea of stoning someone, but then again, I have grown up in a society that doesn’t consider that acceptable. If I had grown up in a society that did that, I would probably think that it was okay too.

It’s all about perspective.

A bit later (probably after the short conversation about how the three of us ought to learn sign language so that we could still have conversations in loud places without having to ask each other to repeat ourselves all the time), we talked about death and our views of it. K said that when it comes time for her to die she’ll accept it rather than trying to fight it. She also said that she hopes that there is an afterlife, a paradise if you like, but that, in reality, there probably isn’t. K believes that when you die, rather than coming back in another form-whether human or not-you are gone, but that you live on in the memories of others and the things you leave behind. I personally believe in reincarnation, but I agree that the person that has passed will live on in the memories of those that knew them and what they left behind.

We also talked about the ethics of death. N said that if he had been injured, however badly and could be helped, then he would want the help. But if he were dying and anything done, rather than helping, was prolonging the suffering, then he would want to be allowed to pass quickly. I absolutely agree. It’s much kinder that way.

 

We spoke of other things as well, but given how difficult it was to hear each other most of the time, I don’t know if I could successfully recount them. If I remember anything else that I think you all would find interesting then I will let you know πŸ™‚

Until next time,

The Nocturnal Philosopher πŸ™‚

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~ by thenocturnalphilosopher on 19/05/2012.

2 Responses to “The Good, The Bad And The Dead”

  1. There is that good and bad based on rules: “good” = you obey rule; “bad” you break the rule.

    Then there is teleology: based on purpose or ultimate design. A knife has the purpose to cut objects. A good knife is a sharp knife for the sharpness serves its purpose to cut better; a bad knife is a blunt knife, it fails to cut as well as a sharp knife.

    • Another side to the Good and Bad discussion, wish I’d thought of that at the time. I’ll be sure to mention this if K, N and I raise the topic again.

      Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

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