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by prish
Rated: E · Article · Philosophy · #2260376
Are people good or bad?
As I approach the last few episodes of The Good Place, I find my interest in moral philosophy peaking. And so, I pondered on the ultimate question- are we really good or bad? and if yes (for any option), who decides that and on what criteria?

Being a high school student, I have a perceptive eye for people who may not like me. I naturally assume/assumed them to be bad. But isn't that a narrow viewpoint? It is so difficult to grasp that the world has a billion factors that control it and if we can't judge the good or bad in people from one viewpoint, how do we come to a final answer?

The thing is- we don't-at least not to a concrete all binding decision. No one can be an ideal version because the world we live in isn't ideal. There are consequences to our actions. If I decide to put out a small fire somewhere, I'm good right? Not really because I completely ignored the other fires around the world. So the question here is, under such circumstances, how does one be good?

Utilitarianism states that as long as the consequences to our actions are good, we are good. But, Immanuel Kant emphasised that goodness is not solely dependent on the consequences. Example- I want to donate money to the poor but as a uni student with crushing loans, I might not be able to do so. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe not. It further means that if I do get rich at some point, I might donate. At the end of the day, it's that thought, that realisation of moral duty that actually makes us good.

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