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Last updated: May 6th, 2011

What is good?

It's hard to define good, just like it's hard to define evil. Generally, something is good if it is valued by someone, or if it serves some function or purpose (whether or not it is appreciated), and at the same time, if it does not cause evil by harming or destroying some other good.

Whether or not something is good depends on your frame of reference: it's good for a predator to eat its prey, but this is obviously not good for the prey being eaten. However, in ecology, the predator-prey relationship may be beneficial to the ecosystem as a whole, and thus may be indirectly beneficial to the population of prey as a whole. In human systems, these relationships get even more complex.

If the notion of good depends on reference frame, is it still a useful concept?

Yes! Within most people's value systems, there are certain actions and behaviors which fit into a clear sense of good and evil, right and wrong, even if much of life exists in a gray area.

Things I believe are good:

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