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When is Good Good?

The possession of a good will makes all other virtues good. The possession of good talents such as bravery, or wealth can be used for evil as easily as for good. A brave man may use his bravery to pursue evil ends such as if he shoots a police officer to prove his bravery to his fellow gang members. This shows that bravery, of overcoming our fear to act, can be evil. We all know bravery can be good, for example a man who saves a drowning child who has broken through some ice. The difference in these two uses of the characteristic is that one had a good will while the other did not. The good man did not want to drown or freeze personally, but his desire to save the child, overrode his aversion to these consequences of his actions. Whether the child actually lived or not does not change the fact that the man acted righteously. The consequence does not make the act good or bad. The will of the man makes it good.
Because the common virtues we hold dear can also be used for evil purposes, we cannot say that the mere act that displays the virtue is always good. Conversely characteristics typically thought of as negative can also be good. Stubbornness is one example. A child can be stubborn about getting a piece of candy and can cause his mother to be greatly embarrassed, while a stubborn child can also persist in showing love to an indifferent parent. The good will of the second child to show love to another person, makes the characteristic of stubbornness a positive trait.
These acts done when it is not convenient or rewarding are a beacon to others to the goodness of the actor. The goodness of our acts is visible to us and brings us happiness. We know we did well when it was difficult and unrewarding to ourselves. We act as we wish others to act towards us when we have a good will. This qualifies the will as good and the only thing beneficial to society without exception.
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