At Why I Hate Everything, I mostly try my best to talk smack about contemporary media and people. But today is a bit different. It is not a person or a group of people or a product that I am complaining about, rather it is a specific argument I hear too much of. So as I do my best to tear down an argument, think of this as a sort of one-sided debate.
‘Doing good’ so that you can go to Heaven is not a selfless act – it is working the system. It’s simple Game Theory. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not evil to do good to serve your self interests. It can be totally benign. You may see doing good as working out for others and working out for yourself – everybody wins! But make no mistake, if you are worried about the rapture and all that then you are worried about your own soul. Nothing wrong with that- I would just like to make the motivation clear without making a judgment call.
Likewise, people who are now good because they have hit rock bottom are suspect. While it’s impossible to make a blanket statement that can cover what is in someone’s heart now, the simple fact is that the person changed because being bad wasn’t working for them anymore. They felt repercussions, saw the light, and figured out a way for their life to be better. They figured out how to survive.
There’s nothing outright wrong with any of this. The point where I start to get rubbed the wrong way is when people try to convince me to be a good person so my soul can be saved. I am not in the business of determining what happens to anyone’s soul. Me? I’d rather be good because it is the right thing to do. I would rather be good in my natural state, without thinking of myself or the repercussions. I don’t avoid murdering people to not get thrown in jail, rather I don’t do it because it is a horrendous act against humanity. Likewise, not being an evil son of a bitch, or ‘doing good’, shouldn’t need ‘avoiding Hell’ as a motivator. Being good at gunpoint just doesn’t seem very noble.