What Is Good?


Generally speaking, what is good? Good is something of value that satisfies a human desire or need. Philosophers have refined the term in many different ways, describing God as the Absolute Good and the Supreme Good as the ultimate goal of man and the universe. Metaphysical analysis has also defined good as a form of desire, enumerating the transcendentals, and identifying its qualities. However, there are many differences between these two conceptions.

For instance, the Greek philosopher Aristotle characterized good as rational judgments which lead to happiness. But the earliest Greek philosophers did not develop the idea of a separate, independent object of good. Epicureans, on the other hand, viewed good as the enjoyment of relative bodily pleasure, while Stoics considered good to be the perfection of human nature. In the earliest Greek philosophy, the concept of good was more abstract, with various definitions indicating its different functions.

A good example of a tangible object is a washing machine, which cleans clothing well and saves water. Another example of good is a comfortable chair that can comfortably accommodate a larger individual. In modern English, good is a general adjective, and can refer to an activity or state. The adjective “good” is derived from an ancient German root meaning “gathering,” and originally referred to a healthy or fitting object. As a result, good is often used to describe things that aren’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing or functional.

Moral goodness is the goodness of man in the context of his relationship with the ultimate end. In moral philosophy, it can be defined as the good in his total being, his acts, and his habitual dispositions. When sanctifying grace is present in man, the whole being can be related to the ultimate end. But, this radical orientation of the whole man to the ultimate end does not suffice for an adult. Ends are achieved through the acts of agents. Man is an agent in this process of developing himself and giving expression to his primary principle of being.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats lowers the risk of certain diseases. Walnuts, for example, contain 160 micrograms of folate per serving, which is more than enough for women to consume every day. Other sources of good fats are vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds. However, trans fats are linked to an increased risk of disease. They are found in many processed foods, including margarine, sugar-laden confections, and ice cream.