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Untergang
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 5:31:29 AM
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Hi respected teachers,

I am not sure what "for good" means in this sentence from the Ramsey Campbell novel "The Nameless".
This scene is at a reincarnation beleiver sect meeting, they say that everyone is essentially good and being human equals being good.

'"But the good that is in us can be corrupted," the young man shouted. "We must guard against those who would destroy it. There are always those who have turned their back on their humanity, on everything they could achieve for good."'

Does "for good" mean here the idiom "forever" or just simply it is literally good?
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 7:41:01 AM
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It literally means "good": some people have become bad and turned their backs on goodness.
Untergang
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 8:51:49 AM
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Thank you for the answer.
Could you answer another question, please?

What is the difference between 'for good' and 'for the good'?

Maybe the first means goodnes and the second the good people but I don't know.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 9:02:14 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Years ago the word "good" used like this, used to take a capital letter. It stands for a quality - such as Love, Justice, Honour do. The quality is goodness.

If you use "the" the sentence is incomplete. The good of whom? The good of what? What kind of "good"?

Without a preposition it means the quality of 'good-ness' and is understood to mean the good of humanity/the planet/society etc.
Untergang
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 9:31:43 AM
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Thank you again!

I just thought that you can use 'the good' same as you can write 'the rich' or 'the poor' meaning the rich people or the poor people.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 9:40:05 AM

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You can use "the good" in that way it's not a common way we say things though, but as many things in English what "the good" means depends on the context.

There is also the phrase "the great and the good", which means the important people.

Knowing the subjects Ramsey Campbell wrote about I doubt this cult were up to much good, many of his stories are set in the Lovecraft Cthulu Mythos.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Untergang
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 12:18:09 PM
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Joined: 7/10/2016
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Thank you for the explanation.
This cult is just a side episode in the novel. The protagonist is searching for clues and she hopes that she will find some at this fringe religion meeting.
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