Putting yourself on the side of good, and following through on that commitment.

a.k.a. goodness

The decision to be on the side of good, not evil. Some virtues are neutral: good and evil people both need to be strong, persuasive, etc. Other virtues are really only important for people who want not only to be successful but to be good, and perhaps have corresponding inverted Machiavellian virtues (e.g. deception, ruthlessness) more appropriate to the evil. Some people apparently think they can best succeed as villains (literature loves them, e.g. Shakespeare’s Iago or Richard III).

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • evil
  • maliciousness
  • wickedness

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “[B]y desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don’t quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil — widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower.” —George Eliot
  • “Without love and benevolence life has no attraction.” ―Cicero
  • “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” ―Hannah Arendt