Why good & bad don’t exist

Disclaimer: You are now reading a post in the ‘raw’ section. This means that this post is raw, from my brain to yours. Which means it’ll be mostly opinions, personal views, and so on. No research, only my truth. Just keep that in mind while reading! 

Oh- and little to no photos!  

The idea of good and bad has been around us for ages. The distinction between right and wrong, good and bad are even cultural universals, meaning they are used & know everywhere over the world, found in all cultures. Even though we’ve all been raised with the concept as the base of our behavior, is it even real? Is there are proper ‘good’ and a clear ‘bad’?

‘Good and bad’ is found among religion, politics, cultures. But if you’d compare all beliefs against one another, they aren’t all the same. Does that mean just one conception is right and all the others are not? Or does it mean that the whole concept of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ might not be as black and white as we might think? 

I think good and bad, right and wrong are not the true bases of our lives. I don’t even think they actually exist. I think they are designed by man and thought to children. Not because one person just decided to do so and brainwash everyone, I do think wherever it started, it came from true belief. But I also think it can limit our views and cause misunderstanding.  

So, what do I think does exist? And how does a black and white view limit our lives? And most important, what can we do about it? Read along to find out! 

DESIRABLE/ UNDESIRABLE 

If our actions aren’t good/bad, what are they? They are desirable or undesirable, depending on the goal you’re trying to reach. It all depends on your values and your goals. Think about it: 

  • If you want to live in a clean home (goal), it’s desirable to clean every now and then 
  • If you aim to buy a big house, it’s desirable to get a job that pays well 
  • If you wish to have friends, it’s desirable to be nice to others 

And so on. It also works the other way around. Let’s take something bad.. Like murder. 

Murder is –of course- seen as bad. Because if your goal is a peaceful world, murder isn’t very desirable. But let’s say you don’t care about that peaceful world. What you care about, is *insert name* to not breathe anymore. And thus, murder would be your desired action. (Note: not recommending anyone to start murdering all of the sudden) 

But if there isn’t any good or bad, how come you go to jail for murder? Because not only we, as individuals, but also bigger entities like the government have certain goals & values. Like peace. Like respect. Like keeping others alive. And thus,1 they punish people whose actions do not align with said goals. Not particularly because they are bad, but because they are not contributing to the goal.  

It’s quite desirable, too, to have a global view on good and bad. At least, that is if your goal is to live in harmony with one another.  

ON A PERSONAL LEVEL 

The change in view on good and bad also has an effect on a more personal level. The main aspects for me, and the ones I’ll be addressing, are: our emotions, behavior, and judgment.  

Emotions 

Here’s the thing. If we stop believing in good and bad, we also have to stop making the distinction between good and bad emotions. Happiness is no longer ‘good’ and sadness is no longer ‘bad’. They just are.  

All emotions are here to be felt. All emotions are useful. All emotions have helped humankind to be where we are now.  

Not just happiness. Not just joy. Not just love. Anger, sadness, and grief have their own functions. They have their own beauty, too. The issue we have with them is not the emotion itself, it’s our resistance to it. It’s our label of ‘bad’ that stands in our way to fully experience and learn from these emotions.  

So, stop fighting them! See them for what they are; just another emotion to be felt, to be experienced. Let yourself be sad. Let yourself be angry. It’s a human thing. It’s part of the human experience. It’s not ‘bad’.  It’s not ‘good’ either. It is.  

Whether it’s desirable or not, that depends on the moment, the intensity, and the capability to deal with it. If your goal is to live a balanced life, crying is desired every now and then. If your goal is not to have a burn-out, it is also desirable to not feel stressed 100% of the time. But being stressed every now and then isn’t gonna make you burnout. So, don’t label all the stress as ‘bad’.  

Behavior 

This is gonna go pretty similar as the emotions-part went, haha! No behavior is ultimately ‘good’ or ‘bad’. (Sounds familiar?) Since I’m not keen on boring you with the same story, I’ll just head on over in an example: 

Take procrastination. Generally seen as a ‘bad’ habit to have. Yet at most, it is undesirable. When you want to get your work done, for example. But it also sparks us with energy & focus and makes place for creative solutions. So, is it ‘bad’? Or is it just not really useful at all times? 

When you accept that behavior isn’t good/bad, but actually just behavior, you can also be so much kinder to yourself. When you procrastinate, you aren’t being ‘bad’. You are, at most, showing behavior that isn’t useful to your goal. Which should be good to change, for sure, but isn’t something to beat yourself up about!  

Judgement 

If there is no such thing as good or bad, there shouldn’t be any judgment about others doing good or bad either. If there is no fundamental verdict on behavior, we shouldn’t put others up for it. For we know now, they aren’t doing good or bad, they are simply doing.  

Whether their actions are desirable for their goals, or for your goals, is, of course, to be seen. The thing is, it doesn’t make them any more or less of a human. There is no scale from good to bad. There is no need to put a label of good-bad on every action, emotion, or behavior. 

There it is. My argumentation to why we should part with our commitment to good/bad. Do you feel the same?  

I’m curious about whether you liked this type of post or not! It’s less traditionally structured and more a ‘message straight from my brain to yours’. Let me know in the comments!  

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2 Comments

  1. Anton
    28/08/2020 / 10:18

    I like this raw blog. Makes me tink about my own opinion

    • SunDances
      Author
      28/08/2020 / 13:55

      Thank you!! Glad I sparked something in you

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