. It is the desire
that drives all people. What an individual
does is for their own pleasure
- it may be that the pleasure is over time
, or in the distant future
may cause them more pain
in the immediate
sense but will ultimately
cause pleasurable events.
If a person does something charitable, it is because the helping of
other people gives that person pleasure. Others find pleasure in the
domination of other people pleasurable. Some people find the concept
of Paradise after death to be the ultimate pleasure; thus any
sacrifices they have in this life are worth the ultimate pleasure
of eternity. It is not necessary to believe in Paradise after death
to do good things for others. Is not just the sight of a smile on
another's face from one's actions worth it to some people? Is it
necessary that there be some greater reward?
What is Good is that what allows for pleasure. Some people find
pleasure living in a society. For them, that which preserves and
enhances the society is Good and that which destroys it is not Good.
Others find living their life in apart from others to do as they please
giving them pleasure. To the later group, society is not Good, as it
imposes constraints upon their actions. Some people take pleasure in
creating, others in destroying. Some people take pleasure in advances
of science; others despise its advances. To each individual, Good has a
different meaning - who am I to say what is Good beyond my own pleasures?
Thus, each person's actions are for what they consider to be Good. This
by no means, is a new idea.
No evil as such can be desirable, either by natural appetite or by
conscious will. It is sought indirectly, namely because it is the
consequence of some good.
--St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, Pt. 1a, qu. 19, a. 9
Every man, from the laws of his own nature, necessarily seeks or avoids
what he judges to be good or evil.
--Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, Part 4, Proposition 19