What Is Goodness?

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Goodness is the very heart of the whole reign of moral values. It is by no accident that the term "good" means moral value as such, and also the specific moral quality of goodness. Among the different moral values there is none which embodies more completely the entire reign of moral values, than goodness; in it we find the purest and most typical expression of the general character of moral goodness as such. It is the center of all morality, and at the same time, it’s most sublime fruit. Its central importance in the moral sphere is, therefore, of a completely different type from that of the fundamental attitudes previously mentioned: reverence, fidelity, awareness of responsibility and veracity. For, apart from their own high moral value, …show more content…
He is the stern, cold man who is never moved by compassion, whose ear is deaf to all petitions, who tramples on everything without consideration, and for whom other men are mere figures placed on the chessboard of his plans. He is not a deliberate enemy of other people, but completely hard and uncharitable. In no way does this type take into account the natures of other men as spiritual persons, as sensitive and vulnerable creatures. He ignores their rights and claims as personal beings; he treats them as if they were mere objects. He represents a classical type of the pure egoist. He reminds us of certain slave-dealers, or of Landvogt Gessler in Schiller's "William Tell." Instead of the inner freedom of the charitable man, we find in him an inner compression and hardening of the heart. In place of openness and accessibility to his fellowmen, we find him closed in upon himself and impenetrable. Instead of response to the positive value of the other's happiness and the negative value of his suffering, we find refusal of any response; instead of solidarity with the other person (i.e. the capacity to transcend oneself in order to suffer and rejoice with others), we find total imprisonment in self, an icy and brutal gaze looking beyond others. Instead of the victorious, selfless superiority of the man who is at the service of all, and never seeks anything for himself, we find the inferiority of the brutal …show more content…
He is the man who by-passes his fellowmen with a blighting lack of comprehension; the man who lives for his own comforts and enjoyments; he, too, is a typical egoist, but he has a different complexion from the hardhearted man. He is neither hostile toward others, nor brutally and unrelentingly hard, but he is filled with indifference toward his fellowmen. He may be moved by fearful sights, he experiences disgust and horror when facing illness, he cannot bear the sight of blood, but all this is but a nervous reaction to an aesthetically shocking object. For he flees from awful sights and seeks pleasant scenes, while the good man hastens to help. On the other hand, this type of man is even more cold than the hardhearted man. The hardhearted man, it is true, has an icy coldness, he does not know the voice of the heart; he is heartless. Yet he does know the fire of hatred, the cold burning of vengeance, of rage. He is not indifferent. He is not invulnerable. He is familiar with the irritation caused by offenses and humiliations, but he does not know what it means to be wounded to the heart by lack of charity, injustice, and, above all, by the sufferings of our fellowmen, and other objective negative values. The indifferent man, on the contrary, has not the sternness and brutality of the hardhearted man; he cannot even be pierced by insults; only that which is disagreeable and uncomfortable bothers him. He is

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