Stages to developing a mature understanding of goodness:
First step, babies and children equate receiving approval with being good.
Second step, older children will begin to understand, vaguely, that being a good person requires more than just receiving approval.
Third step, starting with teenagers, is the realization that being a good person and receiving approval are two separate things. Sometimes they overlap, often they don’t.
Often a person will get stuck on the first or second step.
What goodness is not:
Defending family, friend, or coworker even though you know they are wrong.
Arbitrarily fighting the other group or tribe simply because they are other.
Never backing down without considering if perhaps you are wrong.
Being better than others at doing something.
Being tougher and stronger than others.
Being first to do something.
Displaying certainty about something.
Truth is best determined by if something works.
If something works you can reasonably call it true.
If it does not work, then you can know it is not true.
Should belief in what is True, that which works, lead to better lives?
Yes, it should.
Leading a life based on Truth is leading a life in accordance with the way the universe actually is, the way it actually works, and that should lead to better outcomes.
Examples of beliefs that do not conform to the real world.
I’m talking about such ideas as Astrology, magic, faith healing, and prayer (as a means for getting what you want).
I personally would also include ideas like vaccine denial, climate denial, gun rights (as a way of improving our society), and racial superiority.
Many conspiracy theories, although not necessarily all of them.
You probably have your own list.
A belief can never be certain. A currently known fact might be discovered that will overturn the belief. There’s no way to know if such an undiscovered fact is out there waiting to be discovered. So, there is no way to know with absolute certainty the Truth of a belief. All you can do is develop a reasonable judgment as to what is true and what is false.
Do you believe in dragons? Continue reading
What is belief?
I assume there is a Truth.
I can’t prove this, but I believe it.
Beliefs are based on assumptions.
Assumptions are based on many things, much having nothing to do with Truth.
Such as your personality, a desire to fit in, a desire to be different and stand out, other assumptions about the world.
What beliefs are best?
Beliefs that work are the best.
But the judgments of what works and does not work are based on assumptions.
Assumptions which are based on our very narrow experiences from life.
No and yes.
But the answer can also be: yes and no.
It depends on what you mean by "special".
You are not special.
In almost all possible ways, this is true.
No one, including you and me, are special.
We, you, are no more special than the squirrel in the backyard, or the rock in the ground, or the ground itself.
This does not mean you and I do not matter, we do, only that we are not special.
The squirrel, rock and ground also matter, but are not special.
On a universal scale, nothing is special.
Humans are survival generalist.
We are born with just enough knowledge and inner drive to get us going.
We are born with the ability to hate, but also with the ability to not hate.
We have to learn how to handle our emotions.
What is hate?
Hate is the feeling of ill will towards someone else or to a group.
Hate is the feeling that the other person or group is "wrong" and not deserving of a good life.
What is non-hate?
It’s not the same as friendship, caring, or love.
Not hating can be those things, but it can also be indifference.
But most of all it’s the acceptance if a person or group has a good life, then that is okay.
It comes down to a lack of ill will.
We have too many biases
Juries can see the defendant and make judgments based on factors not important to the case
Not all defendants present themselves well and are judge negatively
Some defendants present themselves very well and are judged positively
Juries of private citizens do not know what they are doing
Juries are asked to make judgments on law they have little understanding of
Juries are not trained to ask the correct questions concerning how the lawyers conduct their cases (i.e. did the lawyers ask leading questions, important questions, questions that mattered to the case, etc.)
Juries make too many judgments based on gut feelings.
Bored Jurors Continue reading
No on has absolute ownership of anything
Others have as much right to what you have as you do
Cooperation is necessary to resolve issues of who controls what
You live in a society of other humans and beings
They have rights just as you do
You must respect those rights willingly or be forced to do so
Mother Earth Continue reading
How we are raised and habits learned.
Humans are creatures of habit.
If we develop immoral behavioral patterns, we will be immoral. (i.e. In other words, "teach your children well".)
Habits, good or bad, will become a part of who you are and can be difficult for a person to recognize in themselves.
How we think
Thinking is habitual too.
We think in loops. Rehashing the same thinking habits over and over. If it’s a good thinking habit, well that’s good. If not, it can lead bad behavior.
We often never consider that we might be wrong, preventing any hope of correcting personal errors. Self-examination can be one of those good thinking loops.