Zen Quote #3

When you judge something as good or bad. You are not defining the thing, you are defining yourself.

It is only good because you see it as good, and bad because you see it as bad. Is this blog good or bad? If you say it is good, it is good because you like what is said here. If it is bad, it is bad because you do not like what is said. The good and bad lie with you.


25 responses to “Zen Quote #3

  1. Hmmm..Is it wrong to kill innocent children? Some will judge that it isn’t. Should we then punish them according to someone elses measurement of morality?

  2. @Jimmy
    In general cultural morality outweighs personal morality. This needs to be so if we wish to live in a community.

  3. @Jimmy
    If a person sees killing innocent children as good ,then to him it is good. To everyone else it will be seen as bad because they would not do such a thing themselves. They would also see it as good to imprison or execute the person who likes to kill innocent children. While the person who likes to kill innocent children will see his imprisonment or execution as bad. With things of morality the majority usually wins.

  4. This quote gave me pause, to thin, to absorb, and realize how true this is. This wisdom comes at a time, when I am seeing BAD. Thanks to this post I am attempting to step back and take another look and reconsider what I am looking at.

  5. @Marica
    May I suggest “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”?
    I an reading it now. This post is a modification of a line for the book. If you can see past the oddities, you may find understanding. I have found a little…

  6. zebulonthered,

    Thank You for your recommendation. I will look into this.
    I am, a rather broad minded old broad, who has at last learned to step back and view the whole picture.

  7. MenAfterGod.com

    I understand what is good for me might not be good for you. What if I possess the knowledge of a placebo and the real thing? Then would I not know what was bad and leave you still wondering?

    “Lov’n the Lord & Liv’n the Life…”

    Stop by anytime: http://www.menaftergod.wordpress.com

  8. @MenAfterGod.com
    You don’t need to leave a link… Your name is a link…

    I am sorry but you will have to explain yourself better. I am not sure what you mean.

  9. MenAfterGod.com

    Yea, I know about the link. But I go to a lot of different blog providers and I just got in the habit of leaving my mark.


  10. MenAfterGod.com


    We don’t always know what is good for us. Sometimes a harmless placebo will trick a person into feeling better. And some placebos have killed people in clinical experiments.

    We can say something is good or bad, but that does not alter the inherit nature or matter from good or bad.

    ex.penicillian is good. but it can kill my wife. and it was too mild to cure me or even make a difference. so I can say it’s good, but that doesn’t change it’s properties for her or me.


  11. @MenAfterGod.com
    Penicillin is neither good or bad. It is good to someone who wishes to get well, if it helps them get well. It is bad for someone who is allergic to it, if they do not wish to die. In both examples the good and the bad lie with the individual. Not the thing.

  12. MenAfterGod.com

    What about chemo? Doctors pump you up with poisons to over power cancer to cure you. Man, i don’t think I could or would do it. Guess I would die. Is chemo good or bad? The persons cured might think so. But wha if you die anyway?


  13. The chemo “Q” is a good question. My friend who was Dx’d with lung/liver cancer in Nov died last week. She has been taking chemo since Dec. 31st, and had no side effects at all.. was doing great. Then a week ago Wed. she woke up wandered out to the living room, laid down on the couch and just died. Was it good? Was it bad? I was Dx’d at the same time with Barrets esophagus, and am told this is a pre cancerous condition. I am sure that should the condition change to cancer, I am not at all interested in treatment.
    For me, the GOOD, will be to do my best to enjoy my time without being pumped full of more poisons.

  14. @MenAfterGod.com
    Ok Glen, I think you are missing the point…

  15. @Marica
    I am sorry for you lost. 😦

    I am glad you understand the point here. Also, I hope your condition does not change to cancer.

  16. OK, one more shot at this. If you don’t buy this concept then please redine your basis for good & bad.

    A good person can not make a (bad) thing good. Chemo is posion/bad. But if the patient is strong enough to survice the treatments than it appears the chemo is good. But it is still a posion. It still did more damage then good.

    A bad apple is never good.

    Rotting flesh is never good.

    Now let me make a quick exclusion, bad cheese can have stages of good & bad. Cheese could be one of those things that it’s worth or goodness is determined by the receivor.Some cheese needs to go bad to gain flavor that some concider good.

    In one of the earlier comments above, someone stated that killing children is never good. Altough sad, the act would be bad,but the preception of the people commtting the sacrifice would see it as good. But would that actually change the condotion? The kid is dead, the parents still suffered a lose.

    I suggest that there are degrees of good & bad.


  17. To Marcia;

    I am sorry for the lost. It’s never easy to lose friend.


  18. @Glen
    “A bad apple is never good.

    Rotting flesh is never good.”

    I would tend to agree with you here, but that is because I do not enjoy either of these things. If I were a fly or some kind of bacteria, I might think you were crazy for saying such a thing.
    An apple is just an apple. Flesh is just flash. Actions are just actions. Everything is truly neutral . We as individuals define what is good and bad.

    The “degrees of good and bad” you see is a reflection of you. If you thought differently about anything you see as good or bad, then the “degrees” would look different because you would be different.

  19. Hmm, I see. You are on a much deeper level than I preceived. I was locked in to the concept of good & evil. Which good is always good and evil is always evil/bad.

    Yes, I could agree with you, that if taken to the extreme one might find a postive note from just about anything. No matter how horrific.

    This has been an enlightening discussion. I have gained a little more understanding of the riff in thinking between Atheist vs Chritian.

    “Lov’n the Lord & Liv’n the Life…”

  20. @Glen
    Thank you, Glen.
    You have shown more patience then most Christians would. But I am afraid that you still are not getting it. 🙂 The rift you speak of is bigger than you think. I am not talking about searching for a “positive note” in the negative. I am saying there is no positive or negative quality inherent to anything. I am saying that we place the labels on things in our minds. You and I would not eat a rotten apple because we see it as bad. Bacteria on the other hand would love to eat it, they see it as good. Who is right?
    You would eat a nice juicy steak. You see it as good. I would not because I am a vegetarian. I see it as bad. Who is right?
    A lion will kill and eat a human child. Is that good or bad? The loin sees it as good, a meal to live another day. The humans see it as bad, a loved one gone forever. Who is right?

  21. @Glen
    Not all atheists would agree with me on this. We do not have a set list of believes or standards. We try to think on our own and come to our own conclusions.

  22. zebulonthered :@GlenNot all atheists would agree with me on this. We do not have a set list of believes or standards. We try to think on our own and come to our own conclusions.

    I’m glad you said this. People receive information differently and thus different interpretations are just a matter of course. People also stero-type which can throw up mental blocks right at the front end of a conversation.

    I thank you for your patience. Not all Christians, nor Ahteist want to take the time to communicate their ideas to anyone who might not agree 100%. But there in lies the problem in world communications. It’s the’ “that’s just the way it is, if you are too dumb to understand, then right there is the validation for my point.”

    If I become so arrogant that I believe the wisdom I poccess is beyond reproof, then am I truly open-minded. Or a free-thinker? Is there hope for debate?

    If people don’t take the time debate, then new ideas will never come into being.


  23. @Glen
    I don’t think debate often leads to new ideas. It seems to me that most of the time debate just leads to anger and hate. What we need is less debate and more conversation. In a debate both sides try to prove they are right. What good is that. in a conversation both sides are trying to understand the other.

  24. Good & Bad: Until I came here, I thought Athiest were Bad. I thought being Christian was Good. Through this site and discussion, I am learning that not all Christian beliefs are good, and Athiests are not bad.

    Zeb: The above comment (Not all atheists would agree with me on this. We do not have a set list of believes or standards. We try to think on our own and come to our own conclusions.)
    Opened a door for me that I had not previously been aware of. Thank You.

  25. @Marica
    I am glad I could help. 🙂

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