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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Philosophy, morals & ethics: Best Interests vs Greater Good, which life code would you accept & what is patriotism

Just to let you know, this post will heavily involve politics. So, please click on the links wherever they are.

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:
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory my chains are broken.

Or, if neither satisfy you:
I will do what I must to keep the balance.
The balance is what keeps me together.
There is no good without evil but evil must not be allowed to flourish. 
There is passion, yet peace.
Serenity, yet emotion.
Chaos, yet order.
I am the wielder of the flame, the protector of balance.
I am the holder of the torch, lighting the way.
I am the keeper of the flame soldier of balance.
I am a guardian of balance.

Do NOT scroll below here until you're done reading this, did some thinking and decided with code to follow.

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 and

Some do criticise the Jedi, often for their rather questionable inner workings. Go see this for details.

What is patriotism?
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” - Theodore Roosevelt, found credit of
(Skip to 5:50 for this one).

To me, in America and perhaps other places, the definition of the word "patriot" is sometimes a bit skewed. Often, I see that people who identify as socio-politically conservative also stick on the label "patriot", though I've seen people who identify as socio-politically liberal consider themselves "patriotic" for supporting Obama.
However, the people that I'm describing are often left wing/right wing tribalists; self-proclaimed conservatives hold beliefs that are, from the perspective of those who know the truth, not as clean-cut as they present themselves to be, and Obama supporters have no idea what Obama really did, and both usually have dismal knowledge of real issues.
I do not doubt that these people care for their country. It is just that I am critiquing how they care for their country.

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