matt grant

a spade

What makes a spade good?

If it fulfils its purpose as a spade. If it is efficient at digging holes, effective at moving soil from one place to another and sharp enough to cut into the ground.

These are the principals for evaluating a spade. They deal solely with the essence of what makes a spade a spade and so are how the spade can be judged.

There are other criteria we can apply. Such as whether it lasts a long time without needing to be repaired or replaced, whether it is capable of being mended should the need arise and whether it is comfortable to use in its function as a tool.

But none of these are specific to a spade. They do not deal with its primary purpose.

And so, even if we class it as good according to those criteria, it is not necessarily a good spade.

So it is with human beings. What makes a human being good?

If it fulfils its purpose as a human being.

And what is that purpose? What is the essence that makes something a human being rather than a spade?

A question to think about.