I’ve just told my grandmother that I want to spend time alone with my father. But not so I can have a nice chat, so that I can figure out whether he has a mental heath condition. Does that make me a bad person?

I lie, and am sometimes proud of it, I can use people, and mess them around. Does that make me a bad person?

Does the fact that my father spends time with me, and has his own agenda, and the fact that the people I lie and use, lie and use me, make it okay that I do it to them?

I am fiercely loyal, and try to do the best thing by the people that are truly important to me. Does that make me a good person?

I stick to my word, and I can see things from other people’s point of view. Does that make me a good person?

Is the fact that I try to do the right thing, even if I sometimes don’t make me a good person?

Does the fact that I do some some good things, and some bad make me a bad person? Does it make me a good person? Does it leave me in limbo?

What is a good person? What is a bad person? Who decides whether we are good or bad people? Our society? Us? Or both.


Filed under Observations

3 responses to “Untitled

  1. You’re asking some big questions about the nature of morality there, things that philosophers have been worrying about for over 2000 years. So if you can’t sort them out yet, then you’re in very good company.

    I think intentions do matter, but so do outcomes. And the type of person you are matters too. There’s a branch of philosophical ethics called “virtue ethics”. I’ve written a little about it here: http://beefaerie.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/sir-edmund-hillary-and-aristotle/, ‘though somewhat tangentially. You could try hunting out a book called, “Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory”, by Lawrence M Hinman. It has a good chapter on virtue ethics. It’s a 1st year university text, but it’s well within your capacities.

    FWIW, *I* think you are a good person. I’m sure that like all good people, from time to time you make mistakes, and get things wrong. But as a mature ethical thinker, you reflect on them, and work out why they were wrong, and try to understand how to manage better next time.

  2. Pingback: Untitled | Kids say :

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