Nothing Can Be Good or Evil in Itself Essay

903 Words 4 Pages
Nothing Can Be Good or Evil in Itself


"Truth, beauty, and goodness are not eternal, objective realities which man discovers, but are the creative products of the human mind as it exercises its 'will-to-power'. In other words, man is a creator of values." (Nietzsche) So what is good and evil, but that defined by man and therefore a purely subjective concept. Could we, society, have one without the other? By determining what is good, we in turn determine what is evil. How do we know what they are; that is if they really exist? One must first try to define what good and evil are before attempting to question their existence.

What is good? Is it the selfless act of a volunteer at a homeless shelter or an honest and truthful
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His actions were good, not just because they were intended to be good for the whole society, but because society viewed them as being for the good.

Good must also be addressed in terms not related to human actions. In the eyes of our society, a flower would be undoubtedly considered good, or a symbol of good. However, there is nothing in a flower that makes it good, other than its ability to be pleasing to society. The flower does not have the ability to make an overt decision to cause evil; therefore we view it as being good. Of course, Webster's dictionary doesn't quite cover this concept of good and tends to cause some confusion when addressing it.

So, what is evil? Is it Hitler's near annihilation of the Jewish people during World War II or the senseless massacre at Ti'enneman Square on mainland China? Again we turn to Webster's dictionary, which states evil as causing distress or harm, a source of sorrow, and the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing. (Merriam-Webster) Evil would be any intention to cause an undesirable effect upon one's self or on another person. So by saying that the intentions of a person are not to cause good we automatically assume that they are out to cause evil.

For instance, religious and political leaders of Dr. Martin Luther King's time resisted all efforts on his part toward equality because he would be attempting to change an accepted way of life. King…