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Haley Goranson

Spiritual Being Having a Human Experience,

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Which is more important, to do right or to do good?

A rich man walks down the street and drop a 20 dollar bill. You know he will not even notice it is gone. On the side of the street sits a beggar who looks really hungry. The good thing is to give the money to the beggar, the right thing is to give it back to the man who dropped it.



- Maybe instead of taking this question , as a question of right and wrong or judgment, perhaps what we can take from this is that there are a variety of opinions and many people have different ideas of what is morally right. That is beautiful to me. This is just an example that good and right are almost undefinable, or at the least the definition is always changing for everyone.

Topics: money poverty
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    Jan 5 2013: Well first I believe, one would have to ask one's self, what defines "good" and "right," within the grounds of this situation or otherwise? What end goal or result makes these two choices "good" and "right"? Is it overall happiness or pleasure (which is consequence based), or upholding a social code (which is duty based)?

    Which procedure and definition would you choose?
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      Jan 5 2013: Good questions Colton....questioning is good:>)
    • Jan 6 2013: Again, same as utilitarian versus Kantian as it were. As you said, it depends on me choosing a standard of moral code.
      It seems like we have a right to decide which person to give the money in that moment.
      Think about it. If you hadn't noticed him dropping the money, you wouldn't have had a chance to struggle with this moral dilemma in the first place.

      The fact that you were the one to make a choice makes you feel like this is up to you.
      And considering the situation, it appears reasonable anyhow.
      If giving the money to the beggar seems 'good' and 'right' to you, then you should remember that you do it to make you feel good about what you decide to do. Unconsciously, you want to feel satisfaction, rewarding feelings of doing the good thing. Or you might smile on the way home while thinking of the beggar spending that day with warm milk and bread ‘thanks to’ you.
      It’s possible that it wasn't right. But it felt right to you.
      On the other hand, if giving the money back to the rich person seems right to you, then you should also remember it's not because your choice is primarily the right choice, but you believe it to be. You think you're being consistent with your moral code. It may not bring you some fulfilling feelings of helping others, but you would still have some kind of achievement that you do the right thing no matter what.

      There may be various reasons why you're struggling with that money on the road.

      But you yourself are also part of variable factors at that moment—what if you weren't there? What if someone else took it before you even reached your hand the money? etc.

      You don't get to judge what's right, but you get to think.
      By including the beggar in the situation, you complicate the situation.
      Personal choice becomes the big moral decision of the humanity.
      And whatever we decide, in either way, we think there was no alternative. We think we did what’s for the best. "I could have taken the money." You whisper.

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