The Good Place on NBC is currently one of the greatest shows on television. There’s no debate about it. All of the critics agree, the audiences across the world agree – it’s a cultural phenomenon. Rotten Tomatoes called the first season an “absurd, clever, and whimsical portrayal of the afterlife,” and the second season “even funnier than its first.” Even philosophers have praised the show for getting a widespread mainstream audience interested in their field and for accurately portraying most of the philosophical concepts that they address. There are so many things that make the show great – we get an outsider perspective on the human race and our culture and our society through the omniscient, otherworldly being that is Michael, we get to toy with the ethics of artificial intelligence in scenes that feature Janet etc. But most importantly, we get to ponder the afterlife and where we’ll end up after we die (if we end up anywhere). The show even helps us to ponder this by inviting us into Chidi’s moral philosophy lectures. According to the Guardian, “moral philosophy is the beating heart of the program.” The newspaper also said that The Good Place has “made philosophy seem cool.” In that spirit, let us figure out if you’re going to the Good Place or the Bad Place after you die. Take the quiz if you dare to find out!
How would you solve the “trolley problem?”
There’s an episode of The Good Place that addresses a philosophical question known as “the trolley problem.” You’re on a trolley headed toward a crowd of people and you have the choice between letting them die and it’s not your fault or changing tracks and killing one person but you did do it. What would you do?
How do you feel when one of your friends succeeds?
Let’s say one of your friends gets a huge promotion at work or comes into a lot of money or even something outrageous like getting their book published or something like that. How do you feel about that newfound success?
Would you take in a Syrian refugee family?
The Syrian refugee crisis right now is terrible. In the points system that decides whether you get into the Good Place or the Bad Place, taking in a family of Syrian refugees is worth 282,803.09 points. Would you do it?
Do you donate to charity?
One of the main things we’ve learned about morality from The Good Place is that your motivations matter. If you do good things just to seem like you’re a good person, it won’t count. So, do you donate to charity?
Are there solar panels on your house?
Solar panels can be a bit of eyesore. They don’t look good on your roof. But it is an environmentally friendly way of powering your house. It doesn’t use up any of the Earth’s dwindling natural resources. So, do you have solar panels?
If you see a spider in the house, what do you do?
Spiders are really creepy and it can be alarming to find one in your house, in the bathtub or crawling along the skirting boards. But they say they’re more scared of you than you are of them. What do you do if you see one?
Which team do you prefer?
Jason loves the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re his favorite sports team. For some reason, he expects that low rent team to win the Super Bowl one day. It’s kind of sweet. Out of that, the Cleveland Browns, and the New York Yankees, which do you prefer?
Do you remember people’s birthdays?
It can be hard to remember when people’s birthdays are, but it’s really nice if you do remember and you get them a present. Using Facebook doesn’t count, by the way, because that’s just cheating. Do you remember people’s birthdays?
Do you make an effort with your in-laws?
It’s worth more than 100 points to get into the Good Place if you make the effort to research the interests of your in-laws to facilitate conversation with them. Do you make an effort to get along with your in-laws?
Do you donate blood?
People need blood. It’s pretty much the only thing keeping us alive. It gets pumped around our veins and that’s how we manage to do stuff and live. So, do you donate blood to people who need more of it?
What size candy do you hand out on Halloween?
Halloween is a lot of people’s favorite holiday. You dress up in cool costumes and have a blast with your friends, watching scary movies and eating candy. Kids particularly love it, because they get to trick or treat. What size candy do you hand out on Halloween?
Are you a vegan?
Veganism makes up a lot of what gets you into the Good Place. To be fair, it is more ethical to just be a vegan. It means there’s no blood on your hands and less animal slavery and murder in the world. But meat is good. Wings! Nuggets! Etc! Are you a vegan?
Do you hold the door for people?
Men holding the door open for women has become a feminist issue, because it implies that women can’t open doors for themselves and need a big, strong man to do it for them. But it is polite. Do you hold the door for people?
Do you bring your own bags to the grocery store?
It’s bad for the environment to get new bags to put your groceries in every time. They can dispose of them and it pollutes the world. Bad, bad, bad, bad. Do you bring your own bags to the grocery store?
Did you tweet about David Bowie’s death?
When David Bowie died, the world of music was left with a gaping hole that will never be filled. His work is tantamount to genius and he had one of the most original sounds in the world. Did you tweet about it?
How angry are you?
It gives you big points for the Good Place if you are able to keep your cool in the face of adversity. It’s worth a bunch of bonus points if you keep your composure in line at a water park, for example. How angry are you?
Do you use ‘Facebook’ as a verb?
It’s okay to use ‘text’ as a verb, because it works that way, and Twitter comes with its own verb in the form of ‘tweet.’ But have you ever had the gall to use the word ‘Facebook’ as a verb?
Do you let people merge in traffic?
Some people have insane road rage. They don’t let anyone merge and they don’t stop to let people out and they don’t even stop for red lights sometimes. There are some really terrible drivers out there. Do you let people merge in traffic?
You see a house fire – what do you do?
Let’s say you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, just like any other day, and then you see a house on fire. First, you freak out, because there’s a house on fire. But what do you do next?
What do you do when your friend is sad?
It can be hard to figure out what to do when your friends are sad and perhaps crying. If you’re not massively close with them, it can easily become an awkward situation. What do you do when your friend is sad?
Do you enjoy helping others?
If you help someone out just so they will help you, it doesn’t really count, because your motivation was selfish; it wasn’t to help them. If you don’t help people at all, then that’s even worse. Do you enjoy helping others?
Do you talk in the movie theater?
People who talk during a movie in the movie theater are just the worst. They ruin the experience for everybody else. But to them, it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t make a difference. Are you one of these terrible, terrible people?
Are you nice to people in the service industry?
A lot of customers like to take out their grievances on the waiters and the bartenders of this world when something goes wrong and it’s really not fair. They’re just doing their jobs! Are you nice to people in the service industry?
Are you a cynic?
Cynical people are the worst. They can’t enjoy anything, they think everything sucks, and they are just a complete drag all the time. The opposite side, where they love everything, can be just as annoying – but it’s not as bad. Are you a cynic?
Where do YOU think you belong...?
This is a tricky question. There’s a lot of factors to consider. Are you a good person or a bad person? Was that affected by your culture? Were your motivations to do good things always right on track? It’s tricky. Where do you think you belong?