While talking to a friend of mine I was forced to think a bit deeper about right and wrong, and the higher concepts of good and evil. You see the motivation behind a deed is what actually puts it into one category or the other. Now you have the concept of good, and good to me is the one that is based on intent. You do good deeds because they are the good thing to do. For a deed to truly be a good deed the only motivation needs to be the deed. Now right and wrong can have selfish intent, and you can do the right thing and also have it be the good thing. However you can do the right thing and it can not always be the good thing.
I wonder how many people I lost there. I know its weird in my head sometimes too. To break it down as Barney as I can though, I will say this, you do good when you are not motivated in anyway way by the threat of punishment or the hope of reward. Good things are those universal truths that we hold in our hearts as a species and cross over cultural boundaries. Things like you don't rape dead kittens and then light them on fire. This is a universally shitty thing to do, therefore evil. People stop these things from happening because they share a level of suck in all cultures. You do not stop the pedophile bestialitist necrophiliac pyromaniac because you are looking for a reward, justification, or fear punishment. You do this because it is the good thing to do.
Doing the right thing however is cultural and usually motivated by cultural conditioning. These are those things you do to look good in the eyes of your culture, or too not look bad in the eyes of the people you share the culture with. These are things like helping a little old lady across the road. In some cultures this is not done because the old and infirm are looked at as a burden on society. We do this because if we know there is a reward, even if it is only the praise of that little old lady. Praise is still a reward. You don't shove the lady in oncoming traffic thereby ending the aches and misery of old age, because of the punishment you would receive. This is conditioning because in some cultures it could be justified by intent.
Now the killing of the elderly might sound extreme but think about the debate with Dr K in Michigan about assisted suicide. Thing about if that is the right thing or the good thing. You see good deeds are rare, but you can still do the right thing more often than not. To be truly good though you need to think about the intent of the deed and see if it has motivation of a selfish nature. Now that this is a little more clear, and by that I mean as clear as mud, perhaps an understanding of what is right and good is what we need as a people. I think understanding those inalienable truths that are self evident will help us be better people.
You see I am not a fan of people sticking their nose in my shit. I also do not like to get other peoples shit on my nose. I am a bit of an anarchist at times. Actually I looking forward to the total collapse of the government that comes with the Zombie Apocalypse. When this happens people will really understand the different between what is right, and what is good. It really comes out when survival is the question.
So that being said, before the semblance of order collapses on itself, think about the difference between right and good. Now before you get on your damn soap box and start going on about the sanctity of marriage, the entitlements you are due from the government, or any other bit of business that requires you to shove your nose into other peoples business, ask yourself are you doing the right thing, or the good thing. Are you trying to impose your culture and concepts of right on others? If so why the hell would you do that? If everybody thought like you the world would be pretty damn boring. If the world thought like all those asshats that want to support their concept of right, well then the world would be pretty damn stupid. I hate stupid. Remember that whole war on stupid, so don't be stupid.