Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Thought on Human Nature and the Greatest Good

How do we get it so society can foster the greatest good?

What is the greatest good?

Can we as a society achieve the greatest good if the greatest evil is not also possible?

To me, at this point in my life anyway, it seems that the greatest good is where every citizen a part of society is not selfish in the least bit, is not prideful in the least bit, and where love reigns king. Unlimited industry, innovation, and creativity would be fruits of the greatest good. The greatest good is all about constant building, creation, and freedom.

The greatest evil is where there is no individuality and therefore no individual choices that build unity. Selfishness and pride reign king and so with them come unbridled lusts and passions that can never be quenched. Nothing can be created because all is torn down. No ideas are your own.

I believe the ability to achieve the greatest good and the greatest evil is born in each of us. That's what makes us different from the animals upon this earth. We have two natures. One nature, the nature we typically call 'human nature' is selfish and like an animal we only want to have our passions and lusts quenched. And because of what makes us different from animals we can go beyond the limits of animals in our attempts to quench those passions and lusts. Human nature is what tempts us to be greedy, to steal (and not just physical possessions), to think only of ourselves. It wants to destroy, not build. It wants all to be enslaved to it. It cares less for truth, and only seeks to bend it and obliterate it.

The other nature, I don't know if it has a name, but it is the part of us that dreams, that builds, that nurtures a child, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, a neighbor, a stranger. It is the part of us that wants to end needless suffering. That wants to clothe the naked, feed the poor, and lift our brother. It wants to build and not destroy. It finds power in self-restraint. It finds power in working within boundaries that set you free. It wants all to be free and beautiful. It wants to know all truth. It wants balance.

I believe we each have these natures within us. Both natures can be taught, but a portion of both come born in each of us when we enter this world.

With all this nature all up inside ourselves, we are empowered as beings that can act and not be acted upon. We can choose which nature we wish to give in to. Most of us give in to a little of both. The better you are the less you give in to the destructive nature and the more you give in to the building nature. Few of us have mastered the building nature, but many if not most favor that nature, and some are better at different aspects of the building nature than other aspects.

What we call 'human nature' seems to be the one that we easily fall into, and the other nature, is the nature we all want or desire to have. I feel that, especially when I give in to human nature, the good nature is what pulls me out and helps to lift me to cast off my 'human nature.'

So it seems in order to create the greatest good, the better of our two natures needs to be able to reach its highest potential. For that nature is good.

How do natures increase?

They increase through choice, action, or lack of action. This goes for both natures. The difference comes with the nature of the choices, actions, or non-actions that we make.

It seems that the greatest good comes when we are free to make those choices or those actions or non-actions that increase our ability to make more choices, actions, or non-actions. That is the nature of 'good' choices.

The greatest evil on the other hand seems to come from making choices, actions, or non-actions that eventually limit future choices, actions, or non-actions. That is the nature of 'bad' choices.

If you create a society where choice, especially the choice to do good, is taken from you either entirely or given to someone else to make on your behalf, you then are limited on your current and future choices, actions, or non-actions, which is a perversion of good choices. But if you create a society where you are free to make good choices for yourself, you then find more and more good choices that you can make. Those good choices, in my current opinion, are endless.

So back to the original question: Can you achieve the greatest good without the possibility of the greatest evil? Can you make choices, actions, or non-actions available to society without also making available choices, actions, and non-actions that limit future actions?

Is that how balance, and opposition, is achieved while still accomplishing the greatest good? Where the possibility of the greatest evil is left available as a choice? A choice that is consciously refused?

Right now, to me, that seems to be the way to allow for the greatest good. Yet there also seem to be limits on the choices that lead toward the greatest evil that should be enforced by a society. It doesn’t appear to be just to allow evil actions of one person that harm another. Society seems to be able to restrict those while still allowing for the greatest good. Although, even that may limit the greatest good possible.

So until each person is characterly grown up enough to make good choices even when they have the ability to make the most evil of choices we are limited on the greatest good we can accomplish as a society.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Preacher Calls Off Burning Korans


A much needed sigh of relief has come.

The beauty of this country is that we do have freedom of religion and freedom of speech, with that you can make great decisions that produce the greatest good possible or make disgustingly offensive hypocritical decisions.

This wide spectrum of possibilities is what makes our country so great, especially since it seems that 9 times out of 10 we choose to use our freedom in support of the good and not the bad.

I love America.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

America is Great!

I was reminded the other day by someone who has immigrated to this country, about how great the United States of America really IS, ‘is’ as in present tense. Not ‘was’ as in past tense.

I think too often I listen to negative remarks and overlay them on my own perspective. These are negative remarks I have heard from friends, family members, reporters, commentators, republicans, democrats, tea partiers, independents, conservatives, liberals, and my own lips. It doesn't matter where you stand politically, 'both' political sides seem to be using negative perspectives to try and get more power than another side.

I'm sick of it. I miss loving my country for the optimism it promised.

I think I used to be a much more positive person in my youth. I tried to stay away from prejudging or hopeless thinking. Now, unfortunately, I seem much more comfortable embracing both.

I want to do better.

We as a people can do better.

We in America are part of the largest economy in the world, built upon the amazing industry of those who have gone before us in our free market. We are the richest country in the world.

We have the freedom to speak and to gather. We have the freedom to practice our religion or not practice any religion. We have the ability to make of ourselves anything we CHOOSE! We can provide our children with the same optimism and freedom. We have the ability to do the greatest good possible in the entire world!

Now, there are problems, and those problems must be addressed. But they must be addressed with hope (that's for the Obama fans) and with a steadfastness to protect individual rights.

Problems should be addressed with the idea that we can overcome our problems. That our problems do not define us, but instead it is our resolution for doing what's right, our creativity, and our industry that defines us.

America is great! It embodies the hopes and dreams of countless people. It is beautiful and inspiring. It is a land of milk and honey.

I love being an American.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


BYU IS INDEPENDENT! (in foosball)

I am justifying this post because although this situation was not governmental politics (which is generally the focus of my posts) it was political, and for me a BYU fan, it was highly exciting news.

So after days of rumors and almost for-sures, BYU (a private college located in Provo, Utah) officially declared its independence in football!

Here are the key details as I know them:

BYU signed on an 8-year contract with ESPN
- ESPN will broadcast at least three games
- ESPN has exclusive rights to broadcast any BYU home game
- BYU reserves same day broadcast rights for all home games (BYU-TV)

BYU and Notre Dame will meet six times between 2012 and 2020

BYU will have at five games with WAC teams in 2011 and four in 2012

BYU will play all other sports (basketball, baseball, ect.) with the WCC (West Coast Conference)

BYU's sports not included in the WCC agreement (cause the WCC doesn't play these sports) are softball, swimming, and track (which they are currently looking for a place for these sports to play)

So in short, I'm excited for BYU. This will be fun (I hope) and I will love not being as limited to what BYU games I can or cannot watch due to what channel I do or do not have (BYU-TV is available in most markets AND online).