Are Good and Evil Justifiers of Actions?
In most contexts, the word good refers to the act that ought to be favored when faced with a decision between different possible actions. Good is usually regarded as the opposite of evil and is therefore of central interest in the study of philosophy, religion, ethics and morality. A good person is a person who behaves morally according to the dictates of moral reason. Bad people are those who do immoral acts, or else those who fail to act at all.
The concept of good and evil is a relative concept, as is the relationship between good and bad. It is thus mistaken to assume that there is a clear-cut distinction between good and evil. The basis for this perception may be found in the fact that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ have different meanings under different circumstances. In general, it is believed that good is that which promotes and tends to promote moral goodness, while ‘bad’ is that which tends to destroy moral goodness and/or leads to wrongful action.
The concept of moral goodness and badness thus enters into the equation by providing a means to distinguish between the right and the wrong, or, to put it differently, to distinguish between right and wrong. According to some moral philosophers, to be morally right is to treat others fairly and likewise to behave in a way that is just and right. This may include treating children, fellow humans, animals, other humans and other animals, with respect. To be morally wrong is to do something that is wrong in one’s estimation, no matter how other people perceive or treat it.
There are good actions and bad actions, right and wrong, and moral goodness or badness. In general, it appears that a range of situations falls somewhere in between these two extremes, hence the expression’morally right’or’morally wrong,’ rather than ‘right and wrong.’ This idea is central to consequentialism, a theory that states that the moral evaluations and actions that we do are caused by the actions and events that follow after the decisions to do them. According to this view, what you do today determines what you will do tomorrow, and how your actions and reactions will turn out. According to some further philosophers, it also may be that what you do today has a definite effect on the future, and what you do today may also have a definite affect on the future.
For some people, even things that seem to be bad are good in disguise. Some people believe that killing someone to stop them from hurting others is not really murder, because the victim was trying to stop a crime, and had given up his life for that. However, killing an innocent human being to protect those you love is morally justifiable if done in self-defense, as in the case of a mother protecting her child from harm.
It seems that there are good and evil that exist parallel to each other. Although there may be a grey area, it appears that good deeds and bad deeds often co-exist and balance each other out. Nevertheless, as we all know, good and evil are associated with one another in most religions. It is interesting to note though that there are many who claim that there are no good or evil, but only choices between good and evil. And this is where philosophy comes in. Philosophy is the attempt to bridge the gap between good and evil.