What characterizes good?
The concept of good, by definition, has two defining characteristics. The first one is the presence of perceivable benefits to either the person (personal good) or the community at large (community good) (Howing, 2016). The second characteristic of good typically involves the absence of harm to either the individual or the community. In other words, good is achieved when either a person or a group of people benefits from something without losing anything. Achieving material or emotional gains at the expense of others is viewed as egoism, whereas allowing another to gain something at the personal expense is called a sacrifice.
What is right depends on what God says is right. Do you agree?
The idea of equating the words of God with absolute good depends on several assumptions. The first assumption is that God exists. The second assumption is that God is benevolent. The third assumption is that God is omnipotent, therefore capable of seeing the repercussions of every action before it even happens. This notion, however, faces criticism from both modern and ancient philosophers. Epicurus, an Athenian philosopher, doubts the nature of God as benevolent and omnipotent, since if God represents good, then evil would not exist (Ryrie, 2017). Therefore, I disagree with the notion that what God says is always right.
Howing, T. (2016). The highest good and the notion of the good as object of pure practical reason. Berlin, Germany: De Gryuter.
Ryrie, A. (2017). The ethics of atheism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.