Good always wins

Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

I have a question. It's going to sound dumb, and maybe it is. But you might find it interesting too.

Why is it that in literature, movies -- and I guess society in general -- Good is always portrayed as acceptable and wonderful while Evil is always the bad guy?

You will never read a novel where the Evil Prince is actually loved and lives happily ever after. If the cowboys wipe out the Indians, the audience will not cheer.

Am I saying Evil should be the hero? No, but I want to know why writers and artists with their great imagination do not create something different? Mix it up a little. Unsettle some nerves. Make people think. Put them out of their morality box.

I know you will give me the names of a handful of novels or movies where the villain comes off as cool. Or where god-awful deeds are seen as right and acceptable. I'm interested in seeing what examples are out there. But these are rare exceptions.

So why does Good get such a good rap? Whoever does PR for Good is a genius. I'm just curious, what's so good about Good? Do we recognize it instinctively? Are we born with a basic moral compass uninfluenced by family, society, religion?

I think Good is great. I believe in Good as much as any other person. Call me naive (and have I not proven that often enough?), but on balance Good has been winning since the dawn of Homo sapiens. Humanity as a whole, has become more and more humane.

Cheh midoonam. Just a feeling.


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The Prince

What good? Or bad?

by The Prince on

There is no good or bad by itself in the universe. Is a rat bad? Is a dog good?  Is earthquake bad? Is rain good? The nature or the universe, by itself, is neither good nor bad. It just is. Simple. 

Good or bad do not exist without us, humans.  We came up with this shit!  It is totally a human concept. We created Evil and then came up with Good to clean up the mess. Somewhere in this mess, those of us who did good, by trying to clean up the mess, felt proud of themselves for being so good, and thought they deserve more or better than the rest of us because they did so good.  And guess what? That created more Bad! It’s like me shitting on the floor in the middle of my family’s living room, and after the stench becomes so awful that no one can tolerate it, I would go and, sort of, clean it up. I then will go around with my head held up high, claiming that I did something good! Look everyone! I am a good person! I cleaned up my own shit!!

The things that we humans have huge stuck piles of, are our egos and arrogance. The reserve is limitless!

The question should be: “ Where and why in the hell did we come up with evil that we needed good so bad?” Why couldn’t we just be? Like the universe?       


Anahid Hojjati


by Anahid Hojjati on



Bad, Bad Boys

by Faramarz on


این چیز ها رو تو فیلم ها و کتاب ها میگن که دل خلق خدا رو خوش کنن

And when it comes to women, bad, bad boys (alley cats) almost always win! I think



i am a bahai too

why "good always wins."

by i am a bahai too on


Thanks for your thoughts.

Although collectively we all seem to have had a murderous past (in the historical sense, vis a vis your post regarding history) shouldn't we want to diminish the tendency? 

In my little American town there isn't much crime. Rule of law is an ordinary uncelebrated fact. Education is relatively high, incomes are acceptable if not spectacular. However, several miles down the road in the "big city", there is spectacular poverty. Along with it, crime, drug abuse, murder and failing schools.

Right now, its seems the unpoken goal of my town is to hang on to the little it has and hope that problems in the city don't come roaring down the road after us. Is it possible that if we were more concentrated on the "substantial", the "good," i.e., getting more food delivered to hungry and malnourished people, if there was less prejudice, less argument, less insult, more education, more conviviality . . . if we didn't always to see the enemy strictly as "enemy" or "undesirable" but as a human being. . . .

 . . . there would be fewer murders? less loss? less deprivation and perhaps, the growth of a certain kind of space that allows progression, development and social well-being? As it is, we keep hoping that politicans and humanitarians will solve these problems for us.

You are right, a murder is not ameliorated by high ideals.  But even a murderer can be rehabilitated or forgiven.  Too many crimes are the product of low education, poverty, desperation and ignorance. These are all brought about by the glaring gaps that exist in our social fabric.

More substance, more good, might lessen societal "evil."  If this is true, then there is an argument that "good" is a hallmark of civilization and ultimately, a survival technique. It might explain why "good always wins." It 's the hardwiring we have, but its still requires  good programming.


Niloufar Parsi

many 'good' questions!

by Niloufar Parsi on

something to do with the 'selfish gene' and our survival i would guess. i suspect morality is really only a subset of 'best practices' for our survival.

this is where i would question the false dichotomy that exists in western culture between 'rationality' and 'morality'. morals are probably a rational mechanism for survival, even if we get it wrong sometimes or even often!

could be why morality is so flexible.


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

"i am a bahai too": Thanks for your note. I'm not sure if it makes any difference if Evil exists or it's actually the absence of Good. Is murder the absence of goodness or an evil act? Either way...

I do like the idea that as you say, we're hardwired for good. Let's hope so.



by YeahLikeWhatEver on

"The bitch is indifferent. Whips, bring me whips! " - de Sade

Try reading the Bible. It's full of lovely rape, murder etc. and I gather quite a popular book....


"Last night I drowned in a puddle"


Good doesn't *have* to be *compared* w/ bad or vice versa.

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred

Jahanshah Javid

Your questions

by Jahanshah Javid on

Comrade, sorry I didn't answer your questions. I don't think I can. It seems if something is good it has to be compared with bad or else it would become meaningless by itself. As for God, I don't believe in it and so that also takes care of Satan :)


Good is popular w/ good people and bad is popular w/ bad people

by Anonymouse on

JJJ are you teaching 1st grade here?  What are you saying?  Of course bad is bad with bad people.  Don't bad people go to movies?  Yes they do and they do the bad stuff in the movie, on purpose.

Bad people go and rape and do bad things all the time and we hear about it on the news every freaking night?  Take a look at the crime statistics.  Why aren't they portrayed as good? They're portrayed as being bad yet they keep doing it more and more, imagine if it was portrayed as good!

Besides in many movies when they show the bad stuff (portray as bad) they show people liking it at the same time, enjoying it.  So it is in the eye of the beholder, do you see it as "bad" or "good".  Both examples are there. 

Everything is sacred

i am a bahai too

Examining "Versus"

by i am a bahai too on

As we mature and begin to think about the serious dicotomy of "good vs evil" we need to ask the question you are asking, Jahanshah.

Here is something to chew on; I have thought about the deeper implications of the following statement many times (Bahá'ís do not believe in the existence of evil as a separate entity):

"Evil is nonexistent; it is the absence of good."

"The intellectual realities, such as all the qualities and admirable perfections of man, are purely good, and exist. Evil is simply their nonexistence. So ignorance is the want of knowledge; error is the want of guidance; forgetfulness is the want of memory; stupidity is the want of good sense. All these things have no real existence.

In the same way, the sensible realities are absolutely good, and evil is due to their nonexistence - that is to say, blindness is the want of sight, deafness is the want of hearing, poverty is the want of wealth, illness is want of health, death is the want of life, and weakness is the want of strength."

-'Abdul Baha

Without going on and on about what I believe, yadda yadda, I simply want to pose the solution to the problem of "good vs evil" as a historially false dicotomy that has gotten us into enormous difficulty.  The "new" approach for our age might be to see what is substantially good for us, i.e., supportive of health and human prosperity.

The world's greatest problems lie within a substantial lack of certain qualities. Poverty is the opposite of wealth, ignorance the want of knowledge, selfishness the absence of generosity. We dwell on the existence of qualities (virtues) or the lack of them. Perhaps we can begin to make an argument that will lead us away from judging who is "right", who gets to eat and who gets to live.

Development is (in my opinion) a synthesis where we begin to approach the dicotomy of "good vs evil." There is either substance or there is none. There is either light or darkness. When I realize darkness is the lack of light but in itself has no substance, I might be pursuaded to light a candle.

We can philosophize about it but mass starvation or genocide are  "evil" in my eyes.  Examining lack of resource and beginning to offer substantial solutions with training, education and economic development will bridge this gap. When others who did not have begin to prosper; we all live better.

Jahanshah, I can't help it, I think we are hardwired for good. We are predisposed toward the substantial. Within a dearth of qualities, human beings will not proper. Without virtues, we die. Without good, we will cease. There are many case histories to prove the point.

What we might want to do in the "post-modern" world, is address the middle ground (the "versus"), which what you have started.


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

YeahLikeWhatEver, I love Shakespeare. But he's not answering the question. Why will there never be a movie where rape is not just condoned but celebrated?

Hmm... I just remembered Marquis de Sade. But he's an exception.

Why is it that the creative among us are constantly, always always promoting beauty and love and generally things that are good?

Go to your local bookstore. Try finding a book on how to be mean to people. How to torture. You won't find it even though I'm sure that they're out there somewhere, but extremely rare.

So why is Good so popular?


Bad, badder, baddest

by comrade on

I have to be careful with my words here. While, in that part of the world, you might as well conduct a personal research in the "Roma" culture, folklore, and "set of values".

Almost twenty years ago I read a book about Michael Milken, the infamous junk bond king, which started its first chapter with documented description of a community in ...,where killing, and stealing was considered a virtue.

Your points are valid, and my questions remain unanswered.   

"Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies."



Bad is not as bad anymore.

by Anonymouse on

The bad was bad during the old Cowboys and Indians hollywood movies. Ever since Dancing With Wolves the line between bad and good is broken and more and more people "pretend" to be bad.

I mean look at all the tattoos and chains hanging from jeans and bad looks that youth are now displaying.  You asked for examples of villains making it big, well these won Oscars, Denzel Washington in Training Day and Javier Barden in No Country for Old Men or even There Will be Blood.

Good guy becoming bad guy, Denzel Washington in John Q kidnapping and holding people hostage in the hospital so they could operate on his child.  And the mother of all bull crap "bad" the Saw series which is worthless but has a large following.

JJJ I don't get what you're saying though, why evil isn't portrayed as bad? Why is Pope portrayed as Catholic? vaat?! 

Everything is sacred


Confusing the Koon-fused and vice versa with a quickie

by YeahLikeWhatEver on



"Last night I drowned in a puddle"

P.S. A.C. Grayling's "What is good?" is a good guide for beginners....

Jahanshah Javid

Creative exercise

by Jahanshah Javid on

Comrade, the water I've been buying lately at the supermarket is called Szentkirályi, Saintly Crown or Holy Crown in Hungarian. Good stuff!

Everything including Good and Evil is relative. I just want to know why, for instance, there isn't a book for children where killing, stealing, cheating, hating... are presented as acceptable or even virtues. I want to know why this obvious reversal of moral values does not show up in literature, films... even as a creative exercise.

Is it that we are basically wired to always spread Good, exceptions aside?


Good, gooder, goodest

by comrade on


I don't know what they are mixing in their drinking water, in the former commie states, but your recent blogs have been alarmingly substantive.

This is my question: What defines "good"(and subsequently evil), in the first place. Can "good and bad" exist without judgment? Can good exist without evil?

Can you imagine God without Satan?

Forget what Wiki® says on the subject of Meta-ethics; I'm asking you, who just finished reading these lines... 

"Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies."