Is thinking that there are no good people / followers of five precepts in this world a wrong view? I read this in some where but I forgotten it.

It is hard to see that kind of people other than Buddhist monks. This is a reason for some people to not to follow buddhism. Some times I feel the same way. Is this a wrong view? Do you meet real Buddhists in real life other than monks? I always try to remember that the metaphor of lotus pond.

Kind regards.


If we may agree that good requires the skillful, then:

AN3.69:9.1: There are these three skillful roots.
What three?
Contentment, love, and understanding.

Contentment, love, and understanding are worth cultivating for their own sake without needing to assess others. Indeed, the Buddha says quite clearly that:

MN8:12.12: ‘Others will have wrong view, but here we will have right view.’

Good people acting out of contentment, love and understanding are to be found in all faiths. Good people inspire us all.


I think this world is full of good people. THE first I can think of is my parents and there are many friends. The idea of "Good" is subjective. What I call good may not be the same as what you call good. The observing five precepts is a gradual training. It can have many levels. Not killing a human is not the same as not killing a virus.


Believing that good people exist is like believing that young children will mature in wisdom and intelligence. Sometimes it's hard to watch a two year old in the middle of a tantrum and think "someday this little screaming monster will be a doctor, or a saint, or someone's loving spouse", but every small child has that potential in them.

Everyone wants to be good (or at least want to think of themselves as being good). Most people only have a vague idea of how to be good; many people are confused on the very idea of what being good means. That's what the dharma is for: to turn people's heads so they are looking in the right direction when they look for good. but clearing up that confusion is a difficult task in the best of circumstances, and most people don't have access to the best of circumstances. Give them he same forbearance one might give to a child.

There is no value in assuming people are not-good. All that will do is ruin our own practice: making us cynical and jaded; leading us towards unhealthy egotistical states where we aggrandize ourselves or our masters over and above the unenlightened riffraff. We cannot lead people with a stick, or draw them forward with bile and vinegar, so we have to develop that sweetness within ourselves that sets asides such sour thoughts.


It appears the world has relatively few good people who (per SN 55.7) both consciously follow the five precepts & speak in praise of the five precepts.

For example, there are relatively more people who more or less instinctually follow the five precepts but they don't teach their children the five precepts and they allow their children to transgress the five precepts.


From Dhammapada:

  1. Few among men are those who cross to the farther shore. The rest, the bulk of men, only run up and down the hither bank.

  2. But those who act according to the perfectly taught Dhamma will cross the realm of Death, so difficult to cross

Extremely few go all the way to Nibbana.

But it's not right to say that there are no good people. There may be many good people, but they may not be trying to escape suffering.

By "good people", I mean people who try to practise the four brahmaviharas - loving kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), empathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). One could practise these without trying to attain Nibbana.

For example, anyone who tries to help another person is obviously showing compassion.

What about the five precepts?

A monk (a full time, professional practitioner of the Dhamma) needs to practise the five precepts as perfectly as possible, as explained in the section entitled "The Moral Foundation for Jhana" by Ven. Gunaratana and also as explained in this answer.

However, a lay follower of the Dhamma may commit themselves to the practice of the five precepts but they may not strive to practise it perfectly.

Here's one example:

The lay follower who does not practice the five precepts perfectly, will not kill humans and most animals, but may occasionally kill a mosquito.

I'm sure we can find similar examples for the other four precepts.

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