What Does It Mean to "Be Good"?
A man came up to Jesus and said, “Good teacher …”
Jesus responded, “Why do you call me good?” (Mark 10:17–18)
What does it mean to be “good” in today’s anti-religious culture? You’d think that would be an easy answer, but it’s a lot more complex than it seems. What is good for one is detrimental to another. Electric cars are good for the environment, but the mining for the ores used to make the batteries is destroying parts of our environment – never mind the fossil fuels being burned to produce the electricity to power up those batteries.
Putting an end to sweat shops in the Pacific is a good thing. Then the shoe manufacturers pull out of the region and the economy completely tanks and there’s no living to be made at all.
The patient has an illness that is almost certainly terminal, but if the doctor tells the patient the truth, they’ll give up hope, which shifts the “almost certainly” to absolute certainty. Is the doctor “good” if she tells the truth and the patient dies? Or is she good if she lies and the patient rallies with hope?
There are consequences, both intended and unintended, for everything we do … including being good.
This week, the Conversation looks at what it means to be good … and can we be “too good”?
Missed the Conversation? You can listen to it here.