Categories : Life Strategies The Daily Grain


Here is something that I want to absolutely refute and that is that things should be done for the greater good.

The greater good could be the utterly wrong thing, the greater good could be the utterly wrong direction.

As a great example somebody once sent me an email with a logic and moral exercise as a test and it was this: that there was a train coming along the tracks and there was a group of children playing on the track that the train was using. And there was one child who obeyed all the warning signs and was playing on an unused track.

And so now the signal person has a dilemma, do they shift the train onto the unused track and save the child, rather kill the child that obeyed all the rules or let the train remain on the track that had the greater number of children. So the balance is one single child who was doing the right thing or a great number of people who were doing the wrong thing.

What would you choose?

So if you chose the greater number of children I would assume you would be in the majority because that is equivalent to the greater good. But it was the wrong thing, right? Those children if they had been going by the book they would have been on the unused track and they would be safe.

So it reminds me also of Portia’s plea to Shylock in the Merchant of Venice where she said, she was pleading with him to not take his pound of flesh, even though he was allowed to by law, and she said “Do a little wrong, do a great right” and here’s the opposite argument and where someone is being asked to break the law for a great right.

You have all sorts of situations and scenarios but the bottom line is this, if actions are given their natural consequence then, to my mind, the greater good is served. Because the message that we give going with the majority, even when the majority is wrong, the message that we send is: it’s alright to be wrong as long as your numbers are sufficient.

And this creates a very wrong world.

This creates a world where innocents are sacrificed for the greater good just because the larger number was on the side of the wrong.

Think about this in your life even if right and wrong is between your emotions and between your choices – never ever choose the greater good.

Choose what is right, choose what is fitting.