Goodness means different things for different grades.

For 1st-grade merely material things, goodness is measured by conformance to a perfect archetype. The more a thing resembles an ideal, the better it is.

Now what then is “perfection” on the 1st level? It is suitability to a (human) purpose. A perfect knife cuts with wonderful efficiency. A perfect chair is extremely comfortable. Then a “good” knife is one that cuts pretty well if perhaps imperfectly. And that’s all there is to it.

For 2nd-grade rational beings, goodness has the property of being relative and is directly linked up with happiness.

Goodness is metaphysical if it refers to human nature; moral, if to personality; and physical, if to narrow happiness. Call any such good relative proximate.

In particular, physical goods consist potentially of <desire, plan, execution>, and actually of <vision, comprehension, fruition>.

Relative ultimate goodness refers to true happiness, which is a combination of perfected nature, virtue, and narrow happiness.

Most practical ethics is concerned with relative proximate goods.

For the 3rd-grade God, goodness is not happiness-sought-by-a-rational-being, but that whose self-diffusion creates out of nothing beings that seek happiness.

This goodness is absolute.


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