Degrees of goodness

I was talking the other day to someone about degrees of goodness.  We all like to think of ourselves as good in principle, whether it’s charitable work, looking after someone or just not being a bad person in general. But is it so black and white? Just because you do charitable work does that make you a good person? If you swear about someone does that make you a bad person. OK, so murdering certainly sends you to the deep dark depths, I’m sure. I consider myself a good person most of the time, but even I have succumbed to dark thoughts when someone has wronged me, but does that make me a bad person? Can you truly have good thoughts all the time?

Which got me thinking, is there something like a points system for going to heaven or hell? Gain enough points and you’re up the stairs, not enough and you are down below. Do you lose points for saying something like “I can’t stand her” or even thinking it? Which begs the question where is the cut-off point? Is there such a thing as heaven and hell? What about if you are in between heaven and hell in the points system, what happens to you then? But then is it just actions that count or do thoughts as well, in which case I’m probably a borderline subject. I could be undoing all my good charitable work with my thoughts. Then if I take into account all the bad people in this world, of which we hear about constantly in the media, then maybe I’m not such a bad person.

The point to all this is “don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself”. If you can say that you have abided by this rule then I think you’re pretty safe and a good person. As to whether there are degrees of goodness, then I think there are but that is open to everyone’s own interpretation.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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