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  • We often say that a certain person is bad

  • and another person is good,

  • or that a certain thing that happens to us

  • is a bad thing,

  • while another is a good thing

  • But how do we determine

  • when a person or thing

  • is bad or good?

  • And, is there anything at all

  • that is absolutely good or bad?

  • What is the essence of good and bad?

  • What determines them?

  • In this video, you will find answer

  • to these questions, and much more

  • We can easily see that when something happens to us

  • which serves our interests,

  • our goals or desires,

  • we call it a good thing.

  • For example, when we earn money

  • we say it is good because there is a part of us

  • that has a goal or a desire to earn money.

  • When something happens

  • that goes against our desires or goals,

  • we call it a bad thing.

  • For example, someone calls me an idiot,

  • and as a result, I get offended.

  • It hurts.

  • Like everyone else I have the interest

  • to feel good and avoid suffering.

  • Therefore, for me,

  • it is bad when someone calls me an idiot.

  • It is against what I wish for.

  • It is important for me to note

  • that when I use the term "goal"

  • I don't refer only to a conscious goal

  • that someone defines for himself,

  • but also to any desire, need or interest,

  • whether conscious or unconscious,

  • of his entire being

  • or only of a part of it.

  • When we say that a certain person is bad,

  • it is because he behaves in a way

  • or does something

  • that goes against our own interests.

  • It is easy for us to understand that

  • we say that a thief is bad

  • since we fear he will steal our property.

  • But, what about a thief

  • on the other side of the globe?

  • Surely we do not fear he will steal our property,

  • but nonetheless, we say he is a bad person.

  • Do our definitions of bad and good

  • in this case

  • transcend our personal interest?...

  • Not really.

  • If we observed ourselves carefully,

  • we would see that in this example,

  • we have a specific interest.

  • For example, we may feel compassion

  • towards people in general,

  • and we don't want anybody to suffer.

  • In this case, our interest, our goal, is to prevent suffering,

  • and therefore, anyone who performs an act

  • which goes against this cause,

  • that is, creates suffering,

  • as in the case of stealing,

  • is bad for us.

  • Or we might have a moral belief

  • that one must not steal,

  • and we want all people to behave that way.

  • In this case, we have an interest, a need,

  • that all people would act according to our belief,

  • and we perceive any action of any person

  • that goes against our belief, as bad.

  • If we really didn't care at all about stealing,

  • we would not call someone who steals a bad man.

  • Just as we don't call a man eating lettuce,

  • a bad man, for example.

  • We have no interest, neither personal nor general,

  • that the act of eating lettuce contradicts

  • Even though the lettuce itself

  • might have an interest not to be eaten.

  • Think of the leader of your country.

  • You might think he is a bad leader because

  • he has raised taxes which shrink your income,

  • Or because he invests the state resources in industry,

  • while you think it should be invested in education.

  • But from the personal perspective of this leader

  • and the perspectives of the people who support him,

  • he is a very good leader.

  • For them, he raises taxes to balance the state's budget

  • and to prevent a financial crisis,

  • and he invests in industry to create more Jobs.

  • So, is he a good leader or a bad leader?

  • Is he a good man or a bad man?

  • I hope that now it is clear enough for you

  • that what makes us determine

  • whether a certain person is good or bad

  • is only our personal perspective,

  • based on our interests, goals, values, needs, beliefs and desires.

  • This means, that there isn't such a thing

  • as absolute good or bad.

  • The good and the bad are always relative.

  • Q: "Wait, wait,

  • is there no thing that is bad in its essence?

  • What about killing?

  • Killing must be an absolute bad!"

  • Well, let's look into it

  • If killing is absolutely bad, then eating meat is bad.

  • This means all predators are bad,

  • not to mention the animals killing plants

  • Even if we limit our examination only to the killing of people,

  • can we say that killing as an act of self-defense is bad?

  • Can we say that euthanasia or abortions are always bad,

  • no matter what the circumstances?

  • Don't get me wrong, I do not say these things are good, or bad.

  • I simply wish to demonstrate that even killing

  • is not necessarily something which is absolutely bad.

  • The same is true for what is good.

  • Is there anything that is absolutely good,

  • regardless of the circumstances or different points of view?

  • Think about your country, and imagine that it has the perfect leader.

  • A man who honestly wants to do good for others.

  • Can you think of a single thing he could do,

  • which everybody would think was good?

  • Even if he performed a simple act, such as

  • helping an old lady cross the street,

  • there would be those who would complain and say it is bad.

  • They may say:

  • "he should spend his time on more important things",

  • or: "It's really a shame he didn't carry her bags".

  • Can you find anything that is absolutely good or bad?

  • If you do, please write it in the comments.

  • I haven't found such a thing yet.

  • Therefore, this is my conclusion:

  • The good and the bad, in themselves, do not exist.

  • The good and the bad exist only in relation to a goal, an interest.

  • Q: "Wait a minute,

  • even if I accept that the interest

  • is what determines if a thing is good or bad,

  • how can you explain the fact that there are things

  • that are both good and bad at the same time?

  • For example,

  • eating a bucket of Ice-cream is good.

  • There is nothing better.

  • But at the same time it is bad,

  • because it makes me fat and unhealthy".

  • Okay,

  • in order to understand this contradiction

  • we need to re-examine the thing which we call "I".

  • Most often we think of ourselves as a single entity,

  • because we have one name, one body and one brain.

  • Yet this brain hosts a huge number of different mental entities,

  • having different world views and different interests

  • that are sometimes are even contradictory.

  • Do you really think that the part of us

  • that wants to eat

  • and the part of us that wants to lose weight

  • are the same part?

  • In fact, if I do something,

  • it is just because the part of me

  • that perceives this thing as good,

  • is stronger than the one that perceives it as bad

  • at least at a specific moment.

  • The interest to do something must be stronger

  • than the interest not to do it.

  • Otherwise, we wouldn't do it.

  • You might as well say that I, my entire being,

  • do a certain thing

  • only if I see it as more good than bad.

  • This leads us to a very interesting conclusion.

  • We are not capable of doing the bad.

  • We can only do the good as we understand it.

  • Q: "wait a minute

  • what about criminals, people who steal or kill?