Chapter 4
Good or Bad?

Bear with me as I ask you to answer a couple more true-or-false questions. These questions are longer than the previous questions, but, if you read them carefully, I think you will find them to be not very difficult. Please consider whether the following statements are True (T) or False (F), based on your personal shopping habits:

7. ____   “If I were to be shopping for a loaf of bread, and if I were given the choice between a fresh loaf of bread and an old moldy loaf of bread (the loaves are otherwise similar and cost the same), I would buy the old moldy loaf of bread, not the fresh loaf of bread.”

8. ____   “If I were to be shopping for a chair, and if I were given the choice between a chair that appears to be in good condition and a chair that has a broken leg (the chairs are otherwise similar and cost the same), I would buy the chair with the broken leg.”

I hope you didn’t have too much trouble deciding. I presume that you are probably like me: For me, both statements are definitely False! Why would I care whether or not the bread is “fresh” or “old and moldy”? Why would I prefer a chair that doesn’t have a broken leg? Isn’t it simply because, when it comes to bread, “old and moldy” is bad while “fresh” is good? Regarding the two chairs, isn’t a “broken leg” a bad feature, while “in good condition” is a good feature? Don’t we almost always prefer something to be good rather than bad?

This brings us to two more self-evident truths:

Some things are good,
and some things are bad.

Good things should normally be embraced,
while bad things should normally be rejected.

Of course, it may be appropriate for someone to fix the broken chair, so that the chair becomes good once again. The old-moldy bread may make good compost (but not good bread). So we see that the concept of good and bad can get complicated. However, that does not nullify the self-evident truths mentioned above. The terms “good” and “bad” have real meanings, and are used to describe real things with real consequences that really matter to us.

For Further Reflection:

Contents | Next