Do all people really desire what is truly good?

It seems as though some would like to claim that impulses are synonymous with Divine Truth. Some authors have even gone so far to to assert that those impulses are the same as Divine Revelation and therefore are always directed to the Supreme Good. But we know from St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine that this is not true at all. For example, Aquinas writes that all do in fact desire APPARENT good but not all desire what is TRULY good. St Augustine writes in City of God that pagans mistake their irrational impulses for the Truth. Is it not dangerous to read books of such novelty that they contradict the Church Fathers?

Do all people desire what is truly good? Not hardly. Human experience should tell us that. Just look about you. It’s nice to quote the Saints but logic should tell us the truth.

God Bless.

No, there is a war between good and evil taking place in every person. Through the grace of God, the good can win over the nature we inherit from Adam and Eve.

One dogma of faith is: The Devil possesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam’s sin.

In the literal and trivial sense, that cannot be. Half the people who have ever lived are living right now. We can see that they have their cultures and biases and different values. I don’t know if even half of the world has ever heard of Jesus and the hope of the Resurrection. No, innately they do not have the full message of salvation and so cannot desire what is truly good. Were that it was true that they had it and wanted to do what is truly good.

Some of these answers come across as so judgmental .

Yes I know many who do truly desire what is truly good. I know I do .And we strive to live that.

The word being used is DESIRING. And our fault if folk do not see Jesus in us.

Fairly certain that your estimate of total number or people that have ever lived being less than 14.5 B is wrong.

What people truly desire is happiness. Good will lead to this but people (including myself) are often tempted to evil, for the short term happiness they receive.

Seek the good, it will lead eventually to happiness. For heaven is the ultimate happiness.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit