Friday, August 31, 2012

What Does It Mean to be Good?

When we say that someone is "good", what do we mean? Beowulf was considered a righteous man. What does it mean to be "righteous"? What do you think: was Beowulf a good man? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
 Please submit your response by Sunday, September 9th, at midnight.

34 comments:

  1. When someone is refered to as "good" I think of that person being respectful and kind even when they're not expected to be. Usually I think of that person as someone who would go beyond what is the "norm" and maybe stand up for someone who is getting picked on or even someone who just picks up random garbage on the ground. A righteous man is a person who is extremely faithful to god and always uses moral actions. I believe Beowulf was a good man because when he heard that the danish village was being terrorized by Grendel he wanted to help the king and be his friend. He also cared very much about his people when he was king of the Geats. Beowulf wanted to rid people of the fear that they had from Grendel or the dragon.
    -Stephanie Kramer

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  2. In my opinion, a good person is someone who puts others before their own self. A good person has not only a selfless personality but is also considerate of their own family members. A good person is able to choose the right choice of the evil one and is aware of their decision. When Beowulf went to Denmark it was out of goodness in his heart and the desire to help others. However, it wasn't all about the consideration of others, it was also his righteous drive. A righteous person does things in the hopes of being guided by a greater being than their self. Beowulf looked to God for the hope of safe travels and also success in his endeavors. Beowulf is a mix of both good and righteous.
    -Jacquelyn Johanns

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  3. Since good and evil is completely subjective to ones beliefs, I guess a righteous man is one who stands by his principles. Anyone who is earnest enough to live by what he believes can be considered righteous in my opinion. Beowulf stood by his principles, so Beowulf was a righteous man. He believed in good, and his people. He defended his people to the very end. To me, this made him a righteous and good man.

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  4. I believe that everyone has their own definition of what it means to be "good". To me being good is doing something that makes not only you feel good about yourself, but makes others feel good as well. I think that Beowulf was a righteous man as well as a good man. He wanted to be a upright and moral person, but he also wanted to do things that would benefit other people, such as killing Grendel and the dragon. He not only cared for himself, but also the well-being of others. He cared about himself but was also able to be selfless.

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  5. @John Kruse I love your picture.
    More importantly your comment is what I was going to put down. Good and evil is eye of the beholder. Beowulf is a very good person due to his beliefs.He may be a killer but the "people" he kills are completely evil and are killing the innocent. How can you put someone that gets rid of the very definition of evil. This would be like saying the guy that puts a serial killer in prison is evil for taking away his freedom.

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  6. When a person is said to be good it means that they always make ethical decisions. They are honest, kind, and caring just to name a few traits. They think about others and would always help someone in need. When we say that someone is righteous it means that they make moral decisions and are role models that others can look up to. I think Beowulf was a good and righteous man and he proved that with his actions. He made the decision to go to Denmark to help others when they were in need. This proved that he was brave and cared about other people. He also made his own decisions such as going after Grendel's mom without anyone telling him. He always made the right decisions and thought about others.

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  7. It's funny, isn't it, how Beowulf is looked up to in so many ways. Because nowadays, if you kill in one's defense, there is no "good" seen within. Unless it's our military, killing in self defense is still frowned upon and it wouldn't hold up in court. Yet this man was such a righteous hero, but why? Because he killed a creature that was a threat? Granted, that creature was killing his people. Still, why does that make him a hero? Why is killing someone to show that killing someone is wrong, so glorified? Well it makes him a hero because this is a story. Reality is that if I went out and put some armor on, wielded a sharp sword, and went after and murdered somebody who had taken my friends and families lives, I would still have to pay the consequences. Karma is not something we should take upon ourselves. I guess I just don't see him as this hero that he is magnified to be. I think that sometimes, being a good and righteous person is taking the high road. And in this case, I don't look up to Beowulf at all as a hero.

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    1. Although I somewhat agree with your statement, might I point out that Beowulf was killing things that weren't human, thus granting him immunity from such laws as murder. Its technically a monster, or a beast...

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  8. I believe Beowulf was righteous. He is portrayed in the epic as a powerful warrior that no one else can compare to. He travels across the sea to help out a small mead hall on a hill. Even though he has the intention of killing a monster to gain fame that doesn't change the fact that he did save them from the oppression of Grendel. Later in the story when he fights the dragon he and another warrior once again save the people by slaying a creature. He may just want to slay beasts and be remembered, but the effect of his battles are peace for the people.

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  9. When we say someone is "good" it means that they are nice, respectful, and a genuine person. They do things while thinking of the consequences and while thinking of other people. When someone is "righteous" it means that they do things that they believe is right. I think that Beowulf was a good and righteous man because he always helped others when they needed to be protected. Beowulf also always stuck to his morals, did what he thought was the right thing, and did what he thought he needed to do. Beowulf showed he was a good and righteous man when he put himself in danger while fighting Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon. He knew that some action had to be made in order for everyone to be safe so he risked his life to help others.

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  10. I think that Beowulf is a good person. He stood up to evil when no one else could or would. There is no doubt that he is very brave. But is he righteous? He did in fact protect other people from evil monsters but was it all because he wanted to protect them or did his own love of glory and fame also play a part? I think both the want to be a hero and the goodness of his heart has to do with the battles he won.In the end though i think Beowulf had good intentions to help others which makes him righteous because his good deeds were not done out of selfishness.

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  11. Was Beowulf a good person? I believe so yes. He did come across the whale road and save the people!! But the question here is, Was Beowulf a righteous man? If you ask me it could go either way here. Yes, because he did go in and kill a horrendous monster, and, No, because he was just trying get his name remember through the test of time. So Beowulf can either be good/bad and righteous/non-righteous.

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  12. Being a good person means to always be respectful of everyone around you. It means that you always put others first, and always make decisions based on how they effect others. It means that you are always looking out for others and are willing to protect them, no matter what it takes. I believe that Beowulf was a good person. Even though he wanted fame, he still traveled to Denmark and fought Grendel to save the people of Denmark. Doing so, that took a lot of courage, bravery, and strength. He did this to protect the Danes, even though it wasn't easy, and that it what a good person would do.
    -Amy Larson

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  13. In my mind someone who is considered “good” is a person who puts others before himself. Their motivations should not be for the popularity or the fame of doing a good deed; it should be purely for others. Beowulf wanted to defeat Grendel not only to stop him from murdering innocent people but he also wanted the fame and the title of a hero. So I think he was a good man for putting others’ lives before his own, but his motivations weren’t entirely good. To be righteous means to do what you think is morally right. I believe that Beowulf did what he thought was right. He thought that he had to go out and slay Grendel and the dragon. But like Sammy said if someone were to go out and kill a murder, even out of self-defense, there would still be consequences for that person. I guess there is just a difference between the times.

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  14. In my opinion I consider someone to be "good" if they got out of the norm to do something for others and no expect anything in return. A person is someone who goes out of their way for others, and not caring what society has to say about it. Being kind, generous, and respectful to others, even if the person doesn't deserve it. I do believe that Beowulf did do good deeds for his people, but he only did them for the fame. I believe that if he would not have any fame from this, Beowulf would not have put his life on the line for the people. Being a ruler with so much power, he would have found other strong men to do the work for him. But because he knew the fame he would get out of it, he decided to take on the deed himself. And he know is considered a hero for it. I believe that what he did was very brave of him, but his intentions were not in the people best interest.

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  15. When you scratch the surface of what it meens to be good, the first thing you think is that a lot of good deeds have been done, but the more you think about it, the less you care about the deed and more you care about the reason. A favor only meens something to you until you find out that the favor is expected to be returned some day. Beowulf is the one who expects you to make him famous for saving your life. He does not ask to lead the entire city into battle against the monster, Grendel. He says he will defeat him with only the few men he brought because that story sounds better and will be told to more people. Beowulf is not righteous, but arrogant and greedy.

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  16. To me being "good" is having a positive attitude, being respectful and having high morals. Each person’s morals may differ but, so does the definition of "good". I think righteous is acting honorably and fairly for everyone else first. I absolutely think Beowulf was a good man. He didn't say anything negative while fighting the monsters and he went to help the Danes without being requested to do so. Beowulf cared for not only his people but the Danish before his own well being.

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  17. In my opinion, when someone is to be considered a 'good' person, it means that they have morals and put others before themselves if need be. Beowulf was a righteous man because he believed in doing what was fair, honorable, and had commendable intentions. Even though his desire for fame played a large part in his quest to slay monsters, Beowulf was a good person because he took the fear away from the people.

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  18. To me good means you stand up for what you believe in. To be righteous you have to not only be good, but also have the will and determination to fight for your beliefs until the end. A good person can give up easily, it takes a righteous person to bring victory to the good. Although Beowulf was looking for glory, he is ultimately a good and righteous man.

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  19. In my opinion being a good person means that you stick up for what is right even when others may not agree with your point of view, it means that you try your best at all that you do and that you work to be the nicest and most respectable being that you can be. It means that you put your kindest self out there even when its not necessary or deserved. A righteous person is someone who is morally right, they do the right thing according to their morals. I think that Beowulf was a good man because when he heard of Grendel he knew it was the right thing to go and help out with the situation even though he was not expected to.

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  20. Really, we can’t all be “good” in everyone else’s eyes. In my opinion being good is pursuing one’s own goals and beliefs. If you feel like you are doing what is best for you then you should think of yourself as a good person. (Of course this can be twisted into many different ways) In Beowulf’s case he was considered to be a hero by his fellow Geats, therefore making him righteous in my opinion. He not only carries out his ambitions, but also goes out of his way to improve others lives. He doesn’t care whether he’s considered to be a hero at all. That, in my opinion, makes him a good and righteous man.

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  21. I think that most people would consider a good person to be someone who is honest, giving, caring, and respectful. We may say someone is a good person when they offer to do something unpleasant out of the kindness of their own hearts. We may also say a soldier is a good person, because they fight for our freedom and risk their lives for us. To be righteous you must do things for good reasons. Beowulf was not exactly righteous. In return for his good deeds, he wanted fame. So he didn't just do it for the right reasons. But I also think Beowulf was a good man because he fought evil monsters and eventually died for his people.

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  22. When someone is thought of as being a "good" person, that person probably possesses characteristics such as being trustworthy, honest, humble, loyal, loving, and so on. Beowulf also possesses many of these characteristics. Beowulf was also thought of as being a hero, and I think that that title suits him well. In order to be a hero, you have to put others needs before your own, fight for what you believe in, and most of all, not be a self- proclaimed hero. And Beowulf wasnt. He thought of himself as a protector and a leader, not some larger than life superhero like Unferth. I think another thing that makes Beowulf a hero is that he was righteous. And being righteous means that you don't flaunt yourself, or what you do. You act in a humble manor, and you put others neorealism yourself. Which Beowulf did many times, especially when he fought the dragon. He asked his men to come along, but not to fight, because it wasn't their battle to win or lose. He just wanted his men to be there to support him, whether he died, or lived on.

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    1. That neorealism word was supposed to be needs... I did this on an iPad.... Stupid autocorrect.

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  24. To me a good person is someone who has morals, is just and takes action to help others. Regardless of if it’s expected or not. Beowulf takes action to help guard against all three monsters. He is just and moral, fighting for what is good. Since Beowulf fits into this set of characteristics, I would say he is a good person.

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  25. I think someone who is good is someone who puts others in front of themselves for the better of all. A righteous person is someone who does things that are very morally right. I think Beowulf was indeed a good man because he tried to do what was morally right such as when Grendel was attacking and the king was in need. He also stood by his morals even when his men fled from the dragon he still was willing to die to help save his people.

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  26. To answer such a question, first we must ask ourselves this; what makes someone evil? Is it blatant disregard for the law? Or is it a simple judgment call on behalf of society's image of what is wrong and right. Or is it something a little bit deeper. When your intentions, down to the very core, are set in place to cause people pain or suffering, I would say thats where you could be called truly evil. Now back to the original question; what it means to be good. To reinstate with an ulterior motive, being good is all based around your intentions. There is an old saying that says the type of person you are is how you act when no one is watching, and I think that holds a lot of merit in this discussion. You can walk around with this facade to everyone that you are a nice person, and treat people correctly to everyone's face, yet when all their backs are turned your true colors shine. If this post made any sense at all, I would like to think you got what I was trying to say.

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    1. I suppose I didn't really touch on the whole "Beowulf" discussion...

      Beowulf is an interesting character. When you psychoanalyze it, you realize its not only incredibly illogical, but also highly implausible. There just aren't people in the world who act as such a glorified crusader. He is close to perfect of a man not only in stature but also well-being. Putting all the monsters and the likes aside, there just is not people that are willing to sacrifice everything for the good of a town that isn't associated with themselves at all. But if you can learn to look past all that, sure, he was a "righteous" man.

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  27. Beowulf was good because good and evil are opposing forces, always contesting each other and trying to break the balance between the two. Being that the monsters killed out of hatred and jealousy they were obviously evil, because those are sinful traits and being Beowulf was opposing them, that would make him good...
    So yeah he was good and stuff.

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  28. I think that being good and being righteous go hand in hand. They are similar, but they aren't the same. Being good has more to do with outward actions and responses and being righteous has more to do with what's going on inside a person and their motives. If you are righteous, you will have good motivation and want things for the right reasons and being good means you will have the outward action to show it. You can't have one without the other. But both require good morals, you can't be either if you aren't "right" with God or line up with what is considered good.

    I think Beowulf was a good man because he went to fight for the right reasons and he had reverence and respect for God the whole time. He was fighting for God when he was fighting Grendel because Grendel was described as God's enemy. God was also the one given credit for granting Beowulf the victories in his fighting.

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  29. Since this blog is late and I want some points, I am here to prepare you for the most amazing blog posting of all time. In fact, it is so amazing it must be posted in two parts.
    Ying and yang. War and peace. Heads and tails. Good and evil. As many science geniuses will tell, for every positive reaction, a negative one takes place. This principle applies to good and evil. Yet, unlike the other previously mentioned examples, the line between good and evil isn’t always as clear as day. What is good? What is evil? These questions remind me of a debate a friend and I had over the summer.
    In the summer, I go hiking with my friends quite often. It is a good way to unwind and some of the best conversations in my life have taken place in these hikes. One day, we started to talk about Tim Tebow of all people. We discussed the role he played in media and eventually got on the topic of how people in today’s society seem to value negative attributes of people. I told my friend that it makes sense for many reasons but one of them is due to how right and wrong are quite subjective. To my surprise, he strongly disagreed with me. He believed that we all are born with the same compass that tells us what is right and wrong and that life’s experiences help solidified our knowledge of good and evil. His example was that the act of murder is always wrong and evil. I disagreed however. I told him that right and wrong is very much in the eye of the beholder. Playing off his example of murder, I pointed out the fact what if the murder saved millions of life (i.e. someone like Osama Bin Laden). He told me that, no matter whom you are, murder is evil and wrong. There was nothing subjective about it. I told him that I disagreed and that an act that helps the general people is moral and good-even if it is an act such as murder. We argued for hours until we both agreed to disagree.
    I believe that this conversation showed one thing-good and evil are subjective (within reason) by person. To me, a good act is one that helps not just the person doing it but the general public as well. Soldiers who defend our country commit good acts that help keep us safe from threats even if they cost the soldier something personal (and perhaps the ultimate price). Teachers do not teach to benefit themselves; they do it to help educate the students for a better tomorrow. To be good, I believe that one must be selfless and have more than their own well-being in mind.

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  30. (Part 2)
    Righteous and good are very similar words. They both involve doing what is best at the time. I feel like righteous also implies more of a large scale impact than goodness does. What I mean by that is that, while good is just what seems helpful for people in general, righteousness often thinks of the bigger picture with its actions and results in legacies. When people devote themselves to an ideal, they become more than a man-they become a legend. Goodness is a much smaller scale of righteousness. Batman helping stop the Joker is a good act for the people of Gotham but Batman’s righteous is shown when he fights for the morals and save Gotham from a horrible faith time after time again. I guess to sum up my view, a righteous act is always good but a good act is smaller and therefore not always righteous.
    However, Beowulf is both a good and righteous man. Beowulf’s defeating of Grendel and his sacrifice at the hands of the dragon were not just acts to slay individuals monsters but to benefit his (and other) people for generations to come. As the movie Schindler List’s puts it, “He who saves one life saves the world entire.” Beowulf gave the ultimate price for his beliefs. It appears that people sometimes think that he was not a good or righteous man for the ego he processed but my belief is that egos fuels fire that makes so many good things in the world come to fruition. Would Thomas Edison have founded the light bulb if he wasn’t determined to succeed? Would professional sports players be as successful as they are without their motivational egos? Ego is a word that often gets a negative connotation when I believe there are actually positives to it. To say that Beowulf isn’t a good and righteous man who set is own legacy with actions that saved generations is, to me, a wrong idea.
    No human is perfect. We all have our flaws and we all have our strength. Beowulf-while not a perfect man- was a good and righteous hero. He singlehandedly saved not only the people of his time but generations of people to come. Beowulf is a fictional symbol of what is good in this (and the old) world.
    Hopefully this post will get some points! ;)- Grant Simon

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  31. I think that a good person is someone who cares about others before there self. Beowulf was not a good person because he was going around killing things to make him self look good instead of to protect others from the monsters. In conclusion this is late.

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