moral good


Constitutes the natural end and perfection (in the supernatural order, the supernatural end) of the highest vital appetite of man’s rational nature. God, the source of all created being and goodness, is also the last end of man, the Supreme Good “Who satisfieth thy desire” (Psalm 103). Imperfect goods of particular appetites are really good only when. ordained to the attainment of man’s perfection or last end. These are generally classified as: (a) external goods, (b) goods of body, and (c) goods of soul. While the goodness or badness of many acts is determined by positive law, yet ultimately, the distinction between good and evil is a natural one, right rational nature constituting the proximate norm of morality and the Divine Nature or Reason the ultimate norm. An act is morally good when directed by reason to man’s ultimate end, i.e., when in conformity with right rational nature; otherwise it is evil. Some objects are naturally suitable, others unsuitable, to human nature. Hence there exists a distinction between moral good and evil, which has its origin in the nature of things; acts such as blasphemy, idolatry, lying, etc., being intrinsically evil, others such as the worship of God, pursuit of truth, etc., being by their very nature good. Although some actions, such as walking, etc., considered in the abstract, may be termed indifferent, yet every concrete human act is either morally good or bad to the extent that it conforms to the moral law, or leads towards or away from man’s final end. This quality of moral goodness, which may be increased or diminished, is dependent on three factors: (a) the object of the act itself, (b) the purpose or end of the agent, and (c) the circumstances of the act. To be morally good all three elements of the act must be in conformity with the standards of morality, while if one of these determinants be evil the act itself will be morally bad.

MLA Citation

  • “moral good”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 February 2013. Web. 26 July 2016. <>