I’d like to present my approach to this topic, because it is sometimes brought up in discussions about religion, and because I’d like to know your approaches.
In my opinion, there are good and bad ideas, good and bad actions, but there are no good and bad people. Any individual is too multi-faceted, too ambiguous and too subject to change to be defined in such simplistic terms. Moreover, it is logically impossible to define someone as “good” or “bad” even within any subjective evaluation scale. Even if someone had very bad ideas and committed very bad actions most of the time, he/she also did something good, and what’s more important, nobody is doomed to repeat the past actions but able to change at any time. And obviously, nobody is so perfect to be called 100% good. There is nothing inherently evil or inherently positive in the way people are wired.
To sum it up, everybody has potential to love, to enjoy beauty, to explore the world and make personal and global discoveries. And since anyone’s life is a many-sided and continuous process, no person should be labeled as “bad”. I see no problem telling people they are good though, this little trick helps them develop better ideas and translate them into better actions. But in essence, there is not much meaning behind this definition.
What is your approach to the idea of good people / bad people according to your religious/irreligious worldview?