Good Deeds and Rewards

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  • angievandemerwe

    No heavenly rewards are promised, but merit? and who is one trying to please, if such behavior has merit?

    • spinkham

      The point of morality is not to please anyone. It is to create a society that you would like to live in. Merit in this case relates to what actions produce what we value, not pleasing an extrinsic agent.

      • angievandemerwe

        “Merit, in this case, relates to what actions produce what we value”….that is like saying that the indivdiual mandate in healthcare is a positive…as it requires us to buy insurance. In that case, government has required a certain action, not in the negative sense, of protecting individuals from intrustion of another’s actions, but in a positive sense, in that it demands an action of “altruism” (healthcare reform, and recently welfare reform where people do not have to produce or work for welfare benefits), which is like affirming another’s theft of private property and personal choice! as well as undermining our country’s viability, prosperity and future hope….taxation was to be balanced by Representative government, otherwise, government dismisses the checks and balances…that limit totalitarianism/authoritarianism.

        • spinkham

          So you seem to have at least a limited grasp of positive and negative rights, and only seem to value negative rights.

          The operative question to the discussion is: On what basis do you call your value-laden comments moral?

          Of course if you take a utilitarian view as I do, there’s also the practical question: Do you really think you and the rest of society would fair well in a culture that only values negative liberties and rights? I don’t think most people who espouse such views have really thought through the consequences of that path.

          But that’s all pretty far away from the topic at hand. There’s a few hundred years of moral theory you seem to be missing out on. You might want to start with John Rawls.

          • angievandemerwe

            I call my value laden comments moral because they are the basis of contracts which protect personal liberty, private property and liberal democracies protected under Constitutional government!
            I agree that healthcare was a “low ball” example, as healthcare needs reform and individuals need to act responsibly for themselves, not everyone else. I do not believe that this is the way to go about reforming healthcare.
            With the acceptance of Darwinian evolution, as to “the human”, man must live in a brutish world, or one that is maintained under government oversight. Government defends, limits and acts in the best interests for society. But, the question is how can government defend and protect the individual within a particular society, isn’t this the right to speech, and defense? Doesn’t Representation have to do with government and the value of life and liberty itself?

  • JB Chappell

    An intelligent person recognizes the need to define “good”, otherwise any value can be completely subjective. Furthermore, whether or not any deed has value might be a shallow point compared to other deeds that may have *more* value.

    • James F. McGrath

      Indeed, defining “good” and/or recognizing that what is “good” and what is better or best may differ depending on context and that one must apply the Golden Rule, are both crucial. It is important not to simply follow the route of the fundamentalists that denies objective morality, claiming that God can command both the slaughter of Canaanites and love for enemies and each will be right and good for those to whom the command was given, with no objective means left for discerning what is moral,