Goodness (was Re: [Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means')

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at
Sat Apr 29 13:07:48 CDT 2006

On 4/29/06, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at> wrote:
> > Do a thought experiment. You reward the murderer with money. Put
> > yourself in the murderer's situation. A large sum of money would do
> > you good. so you extrapolate that the large sum of money would do
> > the
> > murderer good, and so the murderer would be motivated to commit the
> > crime again. But letting and encouraging a murderer to commit
> > murder
> > isn't really good because he could in principle some day kill you.
> Please define "good".

ok, let me rephrase. You reward the murderer with money. Put yourself
in the murderer's situation. A large some of money would be something
a murderer might desire (on average). When a carnal desire (like
desire for wealth) is fulfilled, more of such desire arises (again, a
statistical observation). so giving money would be encouraging the
murderer to continue his ways. If a murderer is allowed and encouraged
to continue murdering, then in principle he can kill you one day.
Survival instinct is a hardcoded thing in most living organisms
(again, pratyakSa), therefore you will come to the conclusion that
encouraging the murderer is not in your own interest (not conducive to
survival), and therefore giving money is not a viable option.

There, ethics without the use of some esoteric "good". simply as a
consequence of mental extrapolation of stimulus-response conditioned
by the survival instinct built into the human body. But ofcourse, this
is a nAstika approach.

In fact it is YOU who are attempting to pack ethics in a box (Sruti
texts) and displaying it in a museum for eternity. "Good" is defined
by evolution. This is in direct contradiction with the belief that the
Sruti texts as they exist are complete and absolutely true always. So
here I am taking a nAstika stand.
Aditya Varun Chadha | | +91 9840076411 (M)
Room#1024, Cauvery Hostel | IIT Madras | Chennai - 600036 | India

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list