Cumberland Times-News

January 24, 2014

People do good out of love, not for fear of punishment

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— This is a response to a letter sent to the editor from an individual from Ohio (“There's a reason for this violence and disrespect,” Jan. 17 Times-News).

I am not usually one to speak up about such things, but I felt I had to in this circumstance.

The writer noted the rise in violence and disrespect in our modern culture, and stated that it was our disregard for Biblical law that resulted in it.

I want to make a sort of rebuttal to that argument, but want to make it understood I do not deny that there are indeed problems.

But I'll say this, if one says that they, or people in general do good only because they fear earthly or divine punishment, then they are not truly moral people.

I don't treat people with respect and compassion because I fear being punished, or because I think I'll receive an eternal reward.

I try to be kind and considerate because I legitimately do not get pleasure from the suffering of others.

I acknowledge that they share a common experience with me on this planet, that they too feel pain and have people they love.

Society's violence and greed comes from its materialism, and the loss of that acknowledgement. All societies, all over the world have had similar laws against killing and such, because humans at their core do not want to live in such a world.

I do good because of my love and appreciation for my flesh and blood fellows on this earth, not for fear of a vengeful deity.

Daniel Beck

Clearville, Pa.