Hierarchy of Good

Stephen C. Rose
Feb 5, 2015 · 3 min read

From Universal Good and Evil.

If you read the graphic above you will soon see that each good and each evil is something we all do, either in the harmless manner of letting a thought pass through us, or by means of expressions (words, messages, tweets) and actions. It is utterly key to understand that every human being begins with this hierarchy firmly within them. There is nothing more universal than conscience — that is: the science that is WITH us. Within. Pervasive. A source of all that is positive and negative.

The hierarchy of good is nothing more than a description of the expressions and actions we do that manifest, show forth, perform the simple principle of good: PROTECTION FROM HARM.

There are smaller and larger ways of protecting from harm and they are all noted here. At the top are the actions that show we can be — and are— loving and free, that we can act in ways that show forth that love and that freedom. At the bottom is the foundation of a life that can tend toward the good. Self-respect and critical thinking are essential.

Why do we call this a spectrum or hierarchy? Simple. All of us are lights that register on the screen of values depending on the vagaries and wanderings of our mind. If I am a prisoner with a life of crime for a resume, I am perfectly aware that self-respect is a hard row to hoe and that critical thinking is not easy when I am looking over my shoulder to avoid a harmful confrontation. If I am a secure and wealthy soul who has the luxury of time and the resources needed to go good, I may turn out by this chart to be worse on an objective scale than the prisoner. That is achieved by any person of power whose resources and actions enable the promulgation of harm.

Knowing good and evil is our link to freedom and to the divine within us. Call this anything you like or nothing. It is how we are made, with a capacity to know what hurts and what does not. We may devise means of avoiding the matter. Religion has done that for ages. It ignores or distorts values. It avoids and distorts universality. Nowadays, we do it by creating cultures that woo us to new and fancier superstitions, conspiracy theories and the like.

Let us not speak falsely. We are in the era of big data. At some point, someone will think to put all this spectrum into a Harm Meter whose function will be to assess the actual culpability of everyone on the planet. The safest conclusion anyone can make is that just as the freedom to reduce harm is present, so too is the inevitability of doing harm.

This is why a sense of penitence in the face of the world where harm is more than present, where it is common and hurtful, is necessary. Daily seeking of forgiveness is a key discipline. Daily receipt OF forgiveness is what keeps our freedom to act decently oiled.

On that note, read well. These words contain keys to a world of decency and hope.


Stephen C. Rose has written a number of books(Fiction/Non-fiction). You can tweet him here.

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