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January 14, 2006 / TildeWill

The Greater Good

The other day I was mulling over the idea that if we do negative things with good intentions we can still be considered good. Where as if we do positive things things with negative intentions, then we’re still considered evil. I started to wander down the path that our intentions dictate how we are perceived, and then my mind took a side-step.

I wondered what would be ideal. The first thing to come to mind was that if we all acted for “the greater good” then everything would always work out. To act on the behalf of the majority seems like a solid plan. But then if everyone acts on behalf of the majority, then the needs and wants of the minority are never addressed. So should we then act on behalf of the minority all of the time? Certainly that doesn’t make sense either.

So if there is no suitable hard and fast rule to optimize happiness, then how does one determine when he should consider the majority, and when he should consider the minority? I suppose the answer is the same as cause of the question: Emotion. We differ on what we want because of our emotions. If we all acted the same and thought of what was logical and for the greater good, then there would be no issue. However, we are all unique [fortunately], and our emotions set us apart. So clearly our emotions are what must be used to drive our decisions.

What’s scary is that it means the “stereo-typical emotionally driven woman” had it right all along, and that my approach of logic is ill advised.


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