Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When Good People Do Bad Things

Writing an essay for a creative writing class spurred this ...

There are lots of really stupid people at Columbia. (And they're worse than regular stupid people because they think they're smart and they're pretentious and know-it-all-like as well as being stupid. But I digress.) Overall I have been thoroughly impressed with Columbia students. They are smart and intelligent and ambitious. I'm convinced that they will be the movers and shakers of tomorrow.

And, yet, as college students they do a lot of things that, umm, aren't exactly Torah sanctioned. Things that are considered pretty bad--even abominations--by Torah standards. And I'm not all into the judging thing--I think people should do whatever they want, none of my business, God will judge. But at the same time, I want to insist that they're good people. Maybe they're good people doing things I believe are wrong--even really bad--but good people all the same. They are.

Are they?

5 Comments:

At 10/18/06, 1:21 AM, Blogger yakki said...

I'm familiar with the type of people you're discussing, ha - aren't we all...

I think the question is whether or not They think what they are doing is wrong :) We can't change other people, as much as we'd like to sometimes. Anyways we should cultivate our own gardens first imho.

 
At 10/19/06, 12:50 PM, Anonymous WWT said...

There's one point missing: Are you talking about Jews or non-Jews?

Non-Jews can do things that Jews cannot. Non-Jews are bound only by the Noahide laws, not everything in the Torah.

 
At 10/24/06, 8:42 AM, Blogger Scraps said...

Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. People have bechirah, and they choose their path to walk on.

Besides for that, there are two different aspects of people--their middot and their actions. In some people, their actions reflect their middot. But at the same time, I think that it's possible for a person to have essentially good middot (i.e., be a "good person") while still doing things that, as you put it, G-d would not sanction.

 
At 10/26/06, 12:39 AM, Blogger Eli7 said...

I mean, a lot of them are Jews -- it is Columbia. But I don't mean people who don't eat kosher or don't keep Shabbos. I mean people who do things the Torah is pretty clear about. When theTorah calls something an abomination...

 
At 11/1/06, 9:14 PM, Anonymous WWT said...

I wonder: Are you talking about frum and/or Orthodox Jews doing these things? Depending on who these Jews are and what they people are doing, you may be holding non-Orthodox Jews to an unfair standard.

I'm not Orthodox, but I still observe Shabbat -- though in a manner that differs from the strict, Orthodox one. I don't eat pork or shellfish, but I mix milk and meat.

My level of observance is based on my own theological understanding of the Torah, which I developed after studying.

Now, if these Jews are worshipping idols in their bedrooms and murdering people -- than that's a different story, of course. But if you're saying it's an abomination to eat a cheeseburger, then that might be a little harsh.

 

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