What Defines Good? (Philosophy)

What is it that defines good? According to Webster’s dictionary, it is defined as “being positive or desirable in nature “. Is good then a subjective value to be determined by each individual according to what they find desirable? If that were the case it would mean that there is no such thing as good or evil, that man’s life has no meaning, that there is no existence outside of consciousness; that the world is nothing but an accidental playground of pure, unbridled nihilism and that we are the devil’s children with empty, cackling, infinite nothingness as our total sanction and final purpose. While looking to any form of mainstream media at various interludes might depict this to be the case, rationality tells us quite differently; and although my overall faith in the human race is sometimes lacking I highly doubt that such a concept accounts for the inner beliefs of anyone but a psychopath.

If good is not subjective – determined by the consciousness of whomever one is asking – is it then intrinsic? Are certain things simply good in and of themselves, requiring no sanction? The intrinsic theory of values unfortunately is responsible for almost as many horrors as the ridiculous concept of “public interest” (social theory of ethics). The intrinsic theory of values provides the logical base for the idea that since certain things are simply good and certain things are simply bad, it doesn’t matter how they are achieved. For instance: terrorism is bad and safety is good, thus whatever must be done to combat terrorism and guarantee safety must be moral. According to the intrinsic theory of values, the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II was perfectly moral, and according to the intrinsic theory of values it would also be perfectly moral to throw every Muslim on earth in front of a firing squad…or in a gas chamber.

Value cannot be characterized independently of reality nor of consciousness. It must as fact of matter be a seamless integration of both, using total rational consciousness to build its meaning with the building blocks of reality; primary axioms which exist and their logical corollaries. This is objective value. Existence exists, consciousness exists, life exists, and man’s life exists. As such man’s purpose is to live free, to thrive, and above all, to create. Good is what forewords life; evil is what spins life out of control to its demise, the concept of irrationality, the idea that life and its corollaries, including principles of non-aggression and self -ownership, do not matter and are not subject to the laws of existence.

 

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