Best Interests vs Greater Good
I am getting a bit tired of people who use the terms and ideas of "Bests Interests" and "Greater Good" interchangeably, with hardly a second thought. So, I wanted to talk about the differences that I see between the terms:
Best Interests: something that someone WANTS.
Greater good: something that is the best for an individual and/or group, usually society has a whole.
I'm sure that there are plenty of people who believe that an individual's best interests are good for them. But, this isn't always the case.
For example, let's say an individual wanted drugs for nonmedical reasons. It would be in their best interests of this individual to be able to get drugs for recreational purposes. But it is the greater good for them to not get these drugs for nonmedical reasons.
Now, I am willing to deregulate drugs to take criminals out of business and thus, end the drug war.
For people who are against drug use, I would compare this to "Killing a wolf with a knife", which meant that you didn't like it, but you had to take the wolf down, and you were unable to get your hands on a firearm to more quickly, conveniently, and humanely kill the wolf at the time. (This is a reference to "Ken Burns: The Civil War", when it was said that before the American Civil War, slavery in America was like holding a wolf's ears while it's trying to bite you; you didn't like it, but you didn't dare let it go.)
But, there are less simple issues.
For example, for the greater good, should we make all middle eastern countries get secular governments, or, for the people's best interests, if they want, let the people keep theocratic governments? Which way do you think we should go?
Similarly, for the greater good, should we try to change cultures to achieve gender equality, eliminate involuntary body modification, certain taboos, animal abuse and so on and so forth, or for the best interests of people, should we leave them pure and as they are? Which way do you think we should go?
Another example is Japan and its weapon laws; for the greater good of its people, should we repeal Japan's laws that restrict civilian ownership, possession, and use of firearms, ammunition, knives and swords, and maybe mandate weapon ownership? Or, for the people's best interests, keep the status quo? Again, which way do you think we should go?
This is a serious question that I want answered.
Now, which of the 3 life codes you accept:
Surprise, surprise! This actually came from Star Wars. These are the codes of the Jedi, Sith, and Gray Jedi respectively. Personally, in this case, I would choose the middle road, and go with the Grey Jedi and the way they do things. The main reason for this is that I consider myself to be "Neutral Good" is becuase while I am willing to work with authorities for the greater good. But, depending on the circumstance (authorities wouldn't do enough about something, me and/or my group or the group I'm working with is unable to get necessary equipment to combat evil due to regulations, etc), I would bend or break the rules. For more details, read http://uncelebrity.blogspot.com/2011/11/9-character-alignments.html and http://easydamus.com/alignment.html.
Some do criticise the Jedi, often for their rather questionable inner workings. Go see this for details.
What is patriotism?