Feed back for an essay regarding what the definition of "the good" and how that obligates individuals and a society
-Im not sure if i should combine some of the paragraphs dealing with similar topics, and if I could get feedback on my intro and conclusion. I usually struggle with writing concluding paragraphs.
The voice in the back of our heads that tells us what is right and wrong, sometimes we listen to it and at times we choose to ignore it for better or for worse. It is always there whether we like it or not but it is there for a reason, to help us make decisions between right and wrong. Distinguishing between good or bad is a necessary trait which can reveal much about a person. The concept of good greatly affects a person’s day to day decisions, and it affects not only on a personal level but society as a whole.
Talking about the good, brings up the questions, what is it and how can one achieve it? The good can be seen as something beyond a human experience, only those with a higher spiritual or knowledge level can reach this virtue. It can also be argued that one’s sense of good is immanent, or built in. Personally, the concept of good, is a mixture of one’s inborn goodness and good reached through spirituality and knowledge. When this idea of good is constructed from internal as well as external forces, humans are able to identify their values and beliefs as well as their identity.
Being a well rounded person is one of the fundamental parts of identifying good, because it means that a person has fully identified themselves first. This self identification is a significant element, as it demonstrates that the person is aware that one is in control of their own life, without putting the blame on some predestined factor, as explained by Sartre in Existentialism. This being said, this step is not an effortless act. When a person has a sense of self identity, they know what is important to them and they have established beliefs.When one has a clear set of morals, they can differentiate right versus wrong, and therefore they implement their principles in the best manner possible. They use their values to do the right thing so it can be said that goodness includes having a caring personality.
Selflessness is a trait that a person who is good embodies. It does not necessarily mean that we all need to care less about ourselves and immerse ourselves into servitude of others, but to be a person who strives for the better of others and the community. Genuinely wanting to help not for recognition but for the responsibility we as humans carry represents what goodness is. As stated in Existentialism, “Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it concerns all of mankind.” What Jean-Paul Sartre meant by these words is that, when we commit to something, act upon something, as minimal as it may seem, we are setting the example for others. Being a role model for others means being careful in our decision making as they affect our image and the actions another might take. So if we have morals act upon those morals, this leads others whom we come into contact with to learn our definition of righteousness.
As John Stuart Mill explained in Utilitarianism, the principle of utilitarianism which is the belief that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority, supports the idea of being good. Utilitarianism calls for “mental over bodily pleasures” which I took as, humans should stop being selfish and focus on things that psychologically reward us. If we stop being so selfish, only looking out for what benefits us and center on actions that benefit society as a whole the rewards are incomparable. Living an unhappy tiresome life trying to reach an unattainable or living a life knowing that you have impacted others in a positive manner would be a better life lived.
Because a person has a well defined notion of good, also does not signify that that person can not or should not be narrow-minded and impose his or her beliefs forcefully onto others. Rather, a person’s morality should allow them to be open to others opinions, although those views might be the complete opposite of their own. One does not need to take everyone else's beliefs or it would all be non-sensical but the good calls for understanding of others morals. There is always room for improvement and growth, so one should not close his or her mind or be ignorant.
Even though the good seems like an undefinable concept its vagueness allows for the individual interpretation.