Monday, June 11, 2007

Reaction: Good People

Ethics is always a hard topic to discuss. There is so much 'gray area' involved with ethics, that pinning down right and wrong can be very difficult. Also, ethics can have conflicting interpretations of a single act. In looking at people, if we see a person perform a good act, or an ethical act, we can say that they are behaving ethically or in the good. Similar, in this same act, we can say that this person is acting good because it is in the eyes of the public, and is motivated to be seen in this positive way.
This was the point made by Peter at On Philosophy in his post, Good People. I agree with Peter in his views regarding people and what motivates them to act. We recognize that there are people who act in good ways and to not get recognized for it. They would be acting in an inherently good way and not motivated by the public recognition and public opinion.
At the end of the post, Peter provides a comically yet insightful example about people acting in a positive way and simultaneously wanting to be perceived in the positive way, not doing it inherently. His example is a demonstration on how to identify a person who feels the need to not be outdone, and so after they pay the bill, you leave a generous tip and watch as that person tries to show you how he is not outdone in this situation or did something even more generous at a different time.I really liked Peter's post and thought he hit the nail on the head. People are not always acting good just to act good, but rather are looking for a return on their actions, which is usually to be seen in 'good light' by others around them. Our society is based on the same set of ethics and acting in a ethically good manner is reward while acting in a ethically bad manner is punished. The type of a system allows for problems in that it is difficult to identify if a person is acting inherently good or is seeking a reward.

~A subject for a great poet would be God's boredom after the seventh day of creation. . . Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reaction: “Identifying your God”

Identifying your God” is an interesting topic of discussion that was mentioned over at Philosophy et cetera. This post sparked my interest immediately, I wrote my senior thesis on “Would society be better off if god was dead?” The post talked about the similarities between the Christian idea of God and the Muslim Idea of God. In the post, the main argument is “whether one's concept of 'God' is compatible with the state of affairs hypothesized by another.”
I disagree and feel that the real issue is that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all stem from the same place. All there are categorized and Abrahamic religions, as is stemming from the traditions of Abraham around 2000BC. There is no need to determine if one side is compatible with the state of affairs hypothesized by another. There is no need because they are all so similar. All sides need to realize the history they share.
My problem and the direction I would like to now lead this argument is on religion and its problems. These three religions share many similarities that it is a shame how much controversy there has been throughout history. It seems that each religion preaches peace, yet is willing to go to war and kill in the name of their religion. I am not just talking about Islamic terrorist or American KKK members; rather I am talking throughout history in the crusades and the Christian-Muslim conflicts in Spain. There are many examples of religion causing violence. When Cortez went into Mexico and slain the Mayans and the Aztec, claiming that it was what was supposed to be done.To sum up my main argument, I feel that the Abrahamic religions are very similar and are closer than most realize. In addition, these religions should not be the cause of the conflict since they are so closely linked, but the religions seem to hold on to their differences, which in turn just leads to more conflict.