Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is Supreme Good?

  1. Jul 30, 2003 #1
    Or you may call it The Highest Morality.
    I was told that no matter how good are you, you can only satisfy some people, and some not satisfied. So, supreme good can never exist.
    IS my logic correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I think so. Some people's interests are directly opposed to others, so that to make one set happy you automatically make the other set unhappy.

    The utilitarians said you should try for the "greatest good of the greatest number." But that is undefined; you have two variables, number and degree of happiness, and the function joining them could have various maxima and minima. There's no guarantee that both would reach a maximum for the same action.
  4. Jul 30, 2003 #3
    I don't focus on trying to make anybody happy, because that's not my responsibility. I think to the degree that we understand ourselves, then to that degree we know how to be happy ourselves, and then it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. Neither do I think it's possible to be happy be trying to please everyone else, not without being delusional anyway. :smile:
  5. Jul 31, 2003 #4
    'Supreme' is a funny word, and in a way I agree that supreme good is impossible. But one could also claim that, relative to the observer, the 'supreme good' is whatever is necessary and proper for his own survival and well being (keeping in mind that helping others would fit into this category because it always comes back to you, or at least makes you feel good about yourself).
  6. Jul 31, 2003 #5
    I disagree, I think that you merely proved that given a number a choices, it is impossible to tell what is truely the best, you can only decide what you think is best. I do believe that in any given nontrivial circumstance there is only one right and who cares how many wrongs. I think a variation/implication of Godel's incompleteness theorem proves this.
  7. Aug 1, 2003 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A cat (aspecialy mine).
  8. Aug 1, 2003 #7
    Yes, but who decides what's right and what's wrong? All right and wrong would be relative to the person deciding, would it not? What is right for one person would be wrong to another, and thus supreme good is relative to the individual, and outside the human perception the words good, bad, right, and wrong are simply inapplicable.

    I dont see how Godel's theorem would prove what you said, please elaborate.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook