Skip to comments.Basically Good People: The Great Modern Heresy
Posted on 10/10/2013 6:04:05 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
Theres an odd backwards moral reasoning to which our modern age seems particularly susceptible. Surely youve heard it:
Y does X. Y is a basically good person. Therefore, X must be okay.
You hear it from all sides of the cultural divide.
Joe and Fred are married. Theyre good people. How can you say that that kind of relationship is wrong?
Cindy does that. Shes a good person. So how can that be racist?
Think back a bit, and youll see that a huge number of the casually-made moral arguments one hears these days boil down to this.
There are a couple big problems.
For starters, what exactly is a good person? Often this seems to be a category with as little meaning as someone I like or someone whos not obviously engaged in genocide or kitten torture at this moment. And yet, the way the argument is deployed, once someone is determined to be a basically good person, every action that person takes in now basically good. It is as if each person is now a good or evil deity, and all the actions of the good deities are necessarily good because good deities can not do evil.
But of course, each person performs many actions. Surely not all the actions of bad people are bad and of good people are good, if only because good people and bad people at times do the same things.
A bit of this ties in with the issue of moral fashions. Sins which are currently in fashion..........
(Excerpt) Read more at the-american-catholic.com ...
People seldom do what’s right. They do what’s convenient, then repent. [Robert Zimmerman]
Maybe Robert Zimmerman knows the wrong kind of people.
"As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:17-18
Then I guess I do too.
Isn’t that the same argument as “Jesus did X. Jesus is a good person. Therefore X is good.”? Is it not the christian philosophy that virtue is doing what God does, and sin is doing what the devil does?
That’s too bad. Life is hard enough without being surrounded by people who can’t think beyond what’s easy to what is right.
There are no “basically good people”. No, not one.
“...people who cant think beyond whats easy to what is right.”
THOSE people are called ‘children’. Right?
THEY have an excuse for taking the ‘moral shortcut’... it’s the duty of adults to show them the difference.
I have a house full of those, and yes, our goal as parents is to have them grow past, "What's easiest for me?" and learn to ask, "How can I do good for others, right now?"
Yes, but the key thing to note about that is that God only does good, while humans do both evil and good. So if you try to apply the standard that works with God to humans, or you will get flawed results. Garbage in, garbage out.
This. Until a person grasps this truth the actions of the people around them (and often their own actions) will confuse and perplex. Once you realize that people are not basically good, but are actually inclined toward evil, the world will suddenly make sense.
When asked, “What’s wrong with the world?” G.K. Chesterton responded, “I am.”
My observation is that all people follow the “path of least pain”. For some, that path clearly follows the Savior’s example because it would cause the person mental and spiritual anguish to deviate from that goal. For others, the path is what causes the least temporary pain.
Hey, I live in America. Look at what we have elected to lead us and why. Where do you live?
Chesterton is spot-on as usual.
I live in a house, on a street, in a subdivision, in a town, near a church (in North Carolina, fwiw) ... and I meet a lot of people who are exerting themselves to do kind and helpful things for others, when it would be easier not to.
Yes ... concise and inarguable. I believe it was also he who observed that no reasonable person needs more proof of original sin than what he reads in the newspaper.
(You don’t even need a newspaper: just stay in your own house and observe your family, or look in the mirror!)
I’m frequently amazed that people are not worse than they are.
Ask most Americans about salvation and the “good person” heresy comes to the front quite quickly—Catholics often add in something about purgatory.
“I don’t know if Joe believed in Christ, but he was a good person, so God wouldn’t send him to Hell. (He may have to just spend some time in purgatory.)”