What Motivates People Do Good? Essay

716 Words Nov 9th, 2015 3 Pages
What Motivates People to Do Good? The American author Kurt Vonnegut once noted, “Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.” Puritanism stems from Puritan ideals while Humanism stems from Enlightenment thinking. The Puritans, God fearing people, focus more on the afterlife and godly approval. Humanist, God respecting people, believe that humans can gain God’s graces through commendable acts towards others. In today’s society, people do good to benefit the world around them, however many still act in some extent to procure rewards from their God.
Humanistic thought can be found within current government structures. The United States government allows admittance of refugees fleeing religious, political, and other types of persecution (U.S Department of State). Granting citizenship and refuge stems from a desire to help fellow human beings. The U.S. government hopes to better the world by providing a safe haven for the needy, a very humanistic based thinking. The U.S government, a major world leader and representative of millions, shows humanistic principles, saying a lot about why the masses do good. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson writes, among other grievances, “He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the good of the people” (Jefferson 98). In this expression of unjust treatment by the British, Jefferson hits a key belief that the government…

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