Survey Results Pt. 3 “What Does Good Mean?”

Today I continue to look at the answers various friends gave when I asked, “What does good mean?”

Answer #2. Good means being loving and considerate toward other people.

This answer is my second favorite because it says more than the previous ones about what being good consists of. Here we have the traditional Christian answer. It comes directly from Jesus: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

“Being good” does mean being loving and considerate toward others. Jesus also says, “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31). We should rise to the same standard that we have for other people. And by thinking about our own needs we can anticipate the needs of others.

Of the characterizations of goodness, this is the best we have seen so far. But this answer is still not a definition of “goodness.” We can understand “being loving” as “doing good toward others.” Therefore, all we have said is, “It is good to do good toward others.” It is an important point, but it leaves two questions unanswered:

1) What is the good for others?

2) Does an action need to be good for someone else in order to be good?