The Nature of Good

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JamesBradford87's avatar
When walk in upon another crossroad in my life did stir an old argument; What is the nature of good? In my atheist upbringing theological concepts of right and wrong were replaced with concrete definitions. It was only as I got a little older was I introduced to philosophical understandings of right and wrong.


Many Greek philosophers struggled with the concept of right and wrong. In my youth I can recall reading mostly from Aristotle. I ponder how monumental a task it was for ancient Greek philosophers, or any philosophers of antiquity, to grapple with the mere concept of “good” versus “bad”. If you were to look to a Bible, Quaran, or other monumental theological text you can be comforted by declarations of “good” versus “bad” as presented in near legal form by an all-powerful monolithic figure. As appose to other theological texts like Tao De Ching and Dhammapada which, although widely regarded as religious in nature, have more in common with Greek philosophy then they do something like Christianity.


If my previous paragraph holds true; By this logic is it correct to generalize Atheism -Greek Philosophy - Buddhism and Christianity all as being philosophy? If I were to do that, in my mind, the struggle to understand the nature of good somehow becomes clearer. For it has been the goal of humankind since thought could be recorded to seek clarity on not just the meaning of life but the nature of a valuable life. Is there value in good? Is there value in bad? What are the short term and long-term values?


I think of Robert Langdon, from Da Vinci Code, and his comment about faith. He said, “I have not been blessed with faith,” and I often share that sentiment. A respect for all theologies coupled with an endlessly academic mind seeking answers. But there only needs to be one answer when it comes to the nature of good. Across my studies a common theme did emerge. Spock, this time, said it best “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” There is an overwhelming majority belief across all philosophical views shared in helping others, team work, and legacy.


I can at long last continue to walk unhindered. Whatever misgivings or fundamental truths were part of my youth I leave behind me. As I look forward, I hold myself accountable for building future understandings, goals, and accomplishments. Only then will life have and truly fulfilling meaning.

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