Do you think you are a good person?
Do you feel you are a genuinely good person at heart? Why do you feel you are? Is it your actions that make you feel this way? How you live your life? Or your religious affiliations.
To think of yourself as a "good person" is really deciphered by your self-esteem. If you like yourself, you'll probably think of yourself as good. I'm happy with who I am, and I think of myself as a genuinely nice person.
I hope I am. I try hard to be. I do think people are only as good as we are when last we were tested and passed with our principles intact, or didn't. It is easy to be a good person in good times when it doesn't cost anything.
I am Christian. I am well aware Christianity doesn't automatically make anyone better. Anyone can believe in any faith or none at all and still be genuinely good or really horrible. Most of us are in the middle. Wherever we are on the spectrum, though, we can become better. To me that is the usefulness of both religion and science. Religion is one path, a chance to better ourselves if we choose to make the journey and do all the hard work along the way.
To me my faith means doing as Jesus did on earth. He was a much better example (for me at least) than any present day preacher or politician telling Christians how we should live and what we should think.
Jesus helped the poor, the sick, the old, the weary, and the weak. He forgave adversaries. He turned the other cheek. He was tolerant to just about everyone but the bankers. Therefore I don't believe Jesus would have become a moneylender, a warmonger, or a rightwing extremist had He lived a couple thousand more years. I don't think He'd join a militia or shoot abortion doctors or care one bit whether someone wished Him happy birthday or happy holidays instead.
I also don't believe Jesus would be anti-science or would deny evolution just because whoever copied down the creation story misunderstood or misheard it. People make mistakes all the time. I can't imagine how nervous I'd be taking dictation from God. Since the earth rotates around the sun, another part of the Bible is factually incorrect anyway. But seriously, who would conclude from a couple of transcribing errors that the whole Bible was worthless or completely wrong even before man got a hold of it? Certainly not me.
I still would rather accept that I had a flawed copy of God's perfect truth, and that it is up to me to learn science and look through microscopes and telescopes to figure out what my imperfect Bible can't tell me. Why would He have made all of this if He didn't want us to look and assemble the puzzle of it all? I wonder if all of it including my imperfect copy wasn't all part of the plan anyway. So that's me. I'm a science loving liberal Christian trying hard to be the best person I can be.
I really enjoyed your response to my question! I half wondered if people would not take the short route on responses - simple yes or no answers. I really enjoyed reading through this response and thank you for the time you spent writing it!
Perception is reality.
I believe I'm a good person. I don't try to take advantage of others nor attack others because of my differences with them. Live and let live!
Very few people see themselves as being a "bad person".
Even members of the KKK, ISIS, or The Third Reich don't think of themselves as being "bad people". (They) feel their "cause" is a just.
Someone who goes to work everyday, takes care of their family, and pays their taxes might consider themselves to be a "good person".
While another might say this person is "selfish" or even greedy for not doing more to help others and therefore they are not a "good person".
If you're not recycling or doing things to reduce your "carbon footprint" to combat global warming, or making sacrifices to charities or whatever this may keep you from being on the "good person" list in the minds of some people. Good/bad are judgment calls by others.
Still others may say if you are not following the 10 commandments or striving to live your life according a religious doctrine you're going to hell. Therefore by de facto it means you're a "bad person". In their eyes a "good person" is someone who has given their life to the lord.
Both "good" and "bad" are in the eye of the beholder.
Nevertheless if someone has a healthy amount of "self-esteem" odds are (they're going to believe they are a good person).
Proverbs 23:7 " As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he".
"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."
A good person is not a "perfect person".
No, I don't. I believe that no matter how much "good" I do in the world, I could always do better.
I also believe those who think they are good are fooling themselves. Jesus said, "There is none good but my Father which is in Heaven."
Many times throughout the Holy Bible we see where men have failed and fallen, sometimes at the expense of innocent lives.
Christ said, "If you love your life then you will loose it, but if you hate your life, then you will save it." In other words if you love yourself and become proud, that is not good because pride goeth before the fall, but if you hate yourself, in other words, try not to live by your own standards but by Christ's standards, then your life will be saved forever in Heaven.
So, if I try to be a good Christian then I will do the things that make a good person. I always tried to live like that, that is how I was brought up and how I raised my children. I hope I am a good person in the eyes of God. I think if you love God more then yourself, that automatically makes you a good person.
In so far as we are children of God; in so far as we are made in His own image, then we are all are good. I see people outside of work who are actually very nice, but in a work situation, they are trying to deal with situations in the only way that they know, and do present a different persona.
Actually we ourselves know how far down the road we are usually, as the inner voice generally talks to us in a way that we can understand. So I know that I'm trying, for example, but something tells me that I could do better. I know a spiritual man who used to say that at the point of death, each Soul feels that it has wasted time.
This voice of which I speak is always talking to us, but largely we procrastinate, or are dealing with our own demons which hides our beauty, and we behave in ways which are not so good.
Finally it is neither religious affiliations nor actions that determine how we feel. Selfless actions will expand our hearts and most certainly help. Still, that sweet feeling of beauty or Light is an inner experience and comes with the growth of the Soul and its experiences or Graces from the Divine. Much peace.
I think that the best answer to this is: "ask my wife".
We are from different generations,and have different nationalities (from different continents) and different outlooks (atheist - shock, horror! - married to a Buddhist), both with degrees but in different disciplines (modern languages against natural sciences) and with different interests .... In fact that we should have very little in common. But it works extremely well - we will have been happily married for 14 years as of next week.
One thing that she has learned though from living with an intellectual is that I will not shout at her, I will not physically hurt her (unlike what happened to her with her previous boyfriend), I will reason out our problems unemotionally in both our best interests, I will treat her as an equal partner no matter what, and I will encourage her to make the best of the talents that she possesses. She is more affectionate than I am, but that does not mean that I am not very fond of her.
That is me in a microcosm. It reflects how I react to the world. I may seem aloof and a bit distant (but I see no advantage in letting your emotions get the better of you), but I am concerned in a positive, pragmatic way.
And in 67 years I have never yet once come close to breaking the civil law. I have standards that I expect of myself, and sometimes wish that I could expect of others, but none of us is perfect and we have to be realistic about that.
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