Some Interesting Philosophy Concepts from the show The Good Place
Although the concepts are not easy to fathom, we try to brush up our knowledge of some of the essential lessons that we came across about the subject during the show.
The Good Place is one of the most enlightened comedies to be made in recent times. Not only does it tickles you, but also gently prods your inner self towards some of the most profound lessons in philosophy without sounding pedantic. The protagonist, Eleanor, wants to earn a place for her in the ‘good place’ in the afterlife. In the process, she is helped by Chidi Anagonye through lessons of moral philosophy.
Creator Michael Schur has tried to dabble with one of the most complex concepts of our times-philosophy and brought it up in a comical manner in a dystopian setting of life-after-death.
- The Doctrine of Double Effect
This is one of the recurring concepts of the show. Aquinas says that if your ultimate intention is noble and morally upright, then it doesn’t matter. There are one or two moral side effects along the path. Remember when Eleanor reminds Chidi about their relationship in the previous reboot by showing him the videotape, she wants him to recall the pleasant memories. However, the memory makes Chidi emotionally nervous with constant stomach aches and hamper his decision making.
- Happiness Pump
The show talks about the Happiness pump, an idea propagated by Joshua David Greene in the book MMoral Tribes, a psychology professor of Harvard University, which talks about pumping happiness into the world, making yourself a scapegoat in the process. The show has a character called Doug Forcett, which is shown as a perfect example of maximizing the planet’s goodness. To secure a ticket to ‘the good place’ in the afterlife, he practically forgets to live happily. Forcett eats only radishes and lentils to save the environment, lets people bully and mistreat him, tests cosmetics on his face to eradicate animal cruelty and mortified when he accidentally kills a snail. The idea is to reveal that fierce commitment to utilitarianism is a terrible blunder no matter how fascinating it is in theory.
- Moral Desert
The theory works on our belief that good deeds shall ultimately reward our good actions in the future. Eleanor’s act of exhibiting good behaviour in anticipation of a divine incentive is identified as the idea of Moral dessert (dessert). This might be true because people tend to be self-centred if they aren’t driven into a chain of expectations from others.
The series’s very premise is based on self-improvement and eternal progression towards being better than before, even if you have been a total ‘jerk’ in life.
Food for thought, maybe?