The philosopher I used is Immanuel Kant. He was very practical in his
thinking of goodness. A quote of his was "I ought, therefore I can". His view
was good anything is under good will . He believed good will was the primary
goodness, good in its purest form, and that it couldn't be corrupted. Good
feelings and good intentions and actions can be interpreted in different ways;
man can corrupt these things into evil...even though it still might be good in
that man's eyes. What he's really trying to say is that good will is good in
its objective form. Therefore, it defines goodness. A few examples of forms of
goodness that could be corrupt are intelligence, courage, and resolution.
These things can be very good, but can be used for evil as well.
The short story I would like to allude to in order to connect these
themes and ideas is "A Good Man is Hard to Find". The title even has "good" in
it...and according to Kant, goodness in its purest form is good will. The
question now would be, does the Misfit have good will? Is what he is doing good,
objectively, and purely? He is purging and purifying the world. He is Christ
like in many senses. He is purifying the world by purging it of its
evil...relating to the Old Testament. God decided that the human race was too
evil to survive, so he flooded it. God killed, as well as the Misfit. This
isn't the same as Christ, though; it just adds to the religious element.
Christ's mission was to try and rid the world of evil, and sacrificed for it.
The Misfit sacrificed his freedom initially, was "reborn" again by escaping
from jail, and become a Christ like figure again...he's now reborn, and his
mission has an even stronger exclamation point on it, just like Christ's after
he was resurrected. The literal differences are obvious; Christ never held
anyone at gunpoint, let alone kill old ladies (no matter HOW hateful). But the
allusions above illustrate that the Misfit was indeed... [continues]
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"Kant: Goodness." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Kant-Goodness-2975.html.