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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Sun Apr 30 02:05:02 CDT 2006

I have given some arguments only to clarify a viewpoint. In case I
have offended list sentiments, I'm sorry, and please let me know.

--- Aditya Varun Chadha <adichad at> wrote:

> 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.

You appear to be saying that good = something that gives pleasure or
that which helps preseve one's body. etc.

This is called the "utilitarian theory of ethics", and is indeed the
most common worldly view.

According to this view:

1) Free Fornication is a good thing.

2) Eating dead bodies as they are a source of vitamins, minerals and
proteins is a good thing.

3) But studying the Vedas does not result in any directly perceptible
utility and is therefore "useless".

So when you promote the study of the Vedas to women, be sure to tell
them that, "According to my view, there is no problem with women
studying Vedas. But also according to my view, there is no use of
anyone studying the Vedas. Besides, free fornication and controlled
cannibalism are good things."

Good luck with that! If the women who're interested in studying the
Vedas are of the mindset that I think they have, they will run away
from your view!


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