What Is Good?

Good is the adjective describing something pleasing, desirable, and favorable. Often, it is used as an informal way to describe something in terms of its appearance or function, but it also can refer to a quality that makes it desirable for a specific purpose.

The term good is derived from the Old German word for gathering, which suggests a pleasant and friendly place or thing to be. It can also be a verb meaning to collect something, such as a group of people or goods.

Varieties of Good

In the Greeks, the different kinds of good were grouped according to their characteristics and uses in life. Among them were perfective good, which made man more of himself; delectable good, which he enjoyed or enjoyed in some other way; and useful good, which was used to improve the qualities of his body and his faculties.

Ontological Good and Moral Good

The ontological good is that which, in its proper context, serves as a means to the ultimate end of man. On the other hand, if a certain act is bad for him or for others, it is not the ontological good because its use is not in accord with the goal of man’s life.

This distinction between the ontological and moral good is important in that it allows us to see that some things are good for man’s development while other things are not. This is important because it provides the basis for man’s free act of choice.

Ultimately, what makes something good is not just its character but its value. For example, a good food is a healthy food for a person. But a good food is not necessarily the most convenient food.

Another important factor in deciding whether or not something is good is its rivalry. It is not good to consume something that has been spoiled or to have it available at a time when it is not in season.

Rivalry is a basic characteristic of many types of goods, but it is not a feature that can be changed by technology or costs. It can, however, be a factor in selecting what to consume and when to consume it.

The main concept of the moral good is that it consists in the relationship of man to his ultimate end, which is related to God. This relation exists in the total being of man, as well as in his acts and in his habitual dispositions. This is a relation that is only fully developed and vivified by grace, and it will be achieved only when the whole man’s total being, his acts, and his habitual dispositions are related to his last end, which is to live in union with God.