Morally excellent or admirable, virtuous, righteous. ‘The good’.
This one is a bit more tricky. I don’t think anyone sees themselves as immoral. People don’t commit crimes because they think what they’re doing is bad. Even Hitler thought he was doing ‘the right thing’, though he chose horrific ways to go about it. In that sense, we all think we are morally excellent. Even when we suspect what we’re doing is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, we will justify it to ourselves as right or good. Because good people do bad things, and bad people do good things, all the time.
A long time ago, I had a brief fling with a married, well… separated (listen to the justification) man. Turned out he wasn’t as separated as I would have liked to believe. When he told his wife about what he’d done, she was devastated. But they started to talk, properly, honestly, for the first time since their children (now adults) had been born. And instead of leaving his wife properly, as had been the intention behind telling her, they started to grow closer again, started sorting out all the misunderstandings and hurts that had driven them apart in the first place.
I did a ‘bad’ thing. But it caused a ‘good’ thing. And long term, it was good for me though I couldn’t see it at the time. It made me stop yearning for unavailable men. I needed to sort that shizzle out, if I was ever to have a happy relationship. I grew myself up a bit. Within a year I met my husband to be. We’ve been happily married for seven years now.
So what if we dropped ‘good and ‘bad’? What if there were just actions, and consequences. Calling someone morally bad or wrong allows us to separate from others, to judge them…. And to pretend we never had a similar thought.
Have you never said ‘I could kill him for….’?
In the end, the issue with being morally good or bad comes down to perception. If a poet never performs at an open mic, does that make their poetry good or bad? If they are never judged, is it just poetry?