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The “Greater Good”: A Raw Deal for Muggles

Whenever you hear someone advocating “for the Greater Good,” run away as fast as you can. Either that, or take the person on aggressively. Be aware that that concept has been used by people throughout history to commit some of the worst, most heinous crimes against humanity. Adolph Hitler immediately comes to mind. His goal was to purify the human race by eliminating those he considered to be subhuman, or those he saw as a threat to his vision of purification and domination.

Perhaps more than anyone else in modern history, Hitler espoused and implemented the theory of utilitarianism, based on the ethics of the “greatest good” for the “greatest number”1—an ethical code that can be attributed largely to the 19th century British philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. It was Bentham who famously said, “It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong.”

For most of the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s, a large portion of the people of Germany bought into the idea, or were coerced to go along with it out of fear. As a result, countless millions of people died or were harmed during World War II and, specifically, the Holocaust. And still, after all that suffering, much of humanity has not learned the valuable lesson about social theories that supposedly place the welfare and rights of a community or nation above those of the individual, as if you could easily separate the two.

More to the point, in her science fiction novel The Book of Ivy, author Amy Engel asks…

How do you measure the life of one person against the greater good? Can it ever be the right thing to sacrifice an innocent person? And how do you know what the greater good really is?3

Political philosopher Michael J. Sandel of Harvard University, said it well when he wrote…

First, individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and second, the principles of justice that specify these rights cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life. What justifies the rights is not that they maximize the general welfare or otherwise promote the good, but rather that they comprise a fair framework within which individuals and groups can choose their own values and ends, consistent with a similar liberty for others.4

Hitler is only one of many Greater Good proponents throughout history that have caused immeasurable death, destruction and misery. Those in the United States who argued against the abolishment of slavery during the 18th and 19th centuries could do so on the basis that the institution served the Greater Good—that the majority of Americans (slaves excluded, of course) benefited from cheap slave labor. The fact that the most basic of human rights was denied to the slaves was of no consequence… first, because the slaves were considered to be subhuman anyway, but second, because under the utilitarian Greater Good thinking, what mattered was the welfare and happiness of the majority.

Under such a mentality, anything could be justified so long as the interests of the greatest number of people were served. In other words, the ends justifies the means. It doesn’t take much to see how such an ethic could lead to big problems, as exemplified by Nazi Germany… or even Harry Potter.

For those familiar with wizarding lore, you may recall that “for the Greater Good” was the phrase that the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald used to justify his “global wizarding war” in the 1940s designed to overthrow the Ministries of Magic in Europe and install a wizarding empire on Earth that would enslave humans (“Muggles”).5 6

The following excerpt from a letter written by the young wizard Albus Dumbledore to his friend Gellert Grindelwald provides a critical insight into Greater Good thinking.

Gellert—Your point about Wizard dominance being FOR THE MUGGLE’S OWN GOOD—this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counterarguments. We seize control FOR THE GREATER GOOD. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more.5

It’s not exactly the kind of vision the Founding Fathers had in mind for United States of America, either when they penned the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. It’s arrogant, demeaning, cryptic, and certainly undemocratic. It sounds more like… fascism.

Think about it the next time someone argues you or your children absolutely must get vaccinated and give up your informed consent rights (… and by extension, your civil and human rights) for the sake of the so-called Greater Good. Consider the slippery slope to which this utopian ethic leads.


References:

1 The History of Utilitarianism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Sept. 22, 2014.
2 Ziccardi MJ. Portraits in Philosophy. 2012.
3 Engel A. The Book of Ivy. Nov. 11, 2014.
4 Sandel MJ. Liberalism and Its Critics (Readings in Social and Political Theory)NYU Press Dec. 1, 1984.
5 For the Greater Good. Harry Potter Wiki.
6 Global wizarding war. Harry Potter Wiki.

31 Responses to The “Greater Good”: A Raw Deal for Muggles

  1. NiteRN Reply

    April 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    The “informed consent” is required prior to taking the mandated vaccinations for healthcare workers, it also states that there is no recourse available if you have a reaction to the vaccination. Double-edged sword. Then you are “punished” by having to wear a mask or be fired if you do not comply. Where are our rights with this philosophy?

  2. Robert Reply

    December 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Despite people’s dissatisfaction with all aspects of government, somehow, the CDC still has an approval rating over 60% and in some reports I have seen 75%…higher than NASA.

    A slippery slope is not dangerous to the ignorant…to the ones so arrogant who believe the slope will never effect them or their loved ones.

    I am constantly amazed at how ignorant people continue to be…how self-serving that even when faced with true stories of actual harm, affliction and death caused by vaccinations, they simply consider it “collateral damage” in the war against disease…because in their mind, the vaccine has somehow saved many more lives than the one lost.

    I have challenged people who say the X shot helped me…..simply by saying…”How do you know? You would have to know you were exposed to the very disease you were vaccinated for after receiving the vaccination, and then you would have to not get the disease…”

    But that is the issue isn’t it…

    We wipe our shopping carts…we wash our hands…all in the name of sanitation…because uncleanliness spreads disease right? Yet talk to someone about how modernization of our sanitation and nutrition has actually been the catalyst behind our infectious disease reduction and they scoff…

    The good news is (and I encourage all who believe in the danger of vaccinations to continue trying to enlighten, despite how insulting people are) that the people who are anti-vax or pro-choice vax will not change their mind back, but those on the fence will start to research and make up their own minds….

    The government can do what it wants because the people have allowed it. Mandated vaccines has been passed in California…of all places…and it will continue through ever state…once they are done with children, they will start moving to adults, as they already are with Nurses, and Day care and Preschool workers. Laws are coming our way to mandate vaccines for everyone.

    Our only defense? Educate…preach….keep talking about it…stand you ground…don’t insult, but just use logic as much as possible and show proof.

    Hopefully, at some point, there will be enough people who see the slope as slippery…

  3. Joy H Reply

    December 24, 2015 at 10:58 am

    We need to unify. This comment is directed towards the anti-God and specifically anti-religion and anti-Christian commenters: Let us focus on what we have in common– the desire for individuals to choose what is right for their bodies and the bodies of their children (for us pro-lifers that means the lives in wombs as well). Just because you are so against anyone telling you there is a God, what to do, or that we are all going to be held accountable for our actions (some in this life and definitely all of us at the end of our lives) does not mean you can negate God-believers’ intelligence, our humanity, our ability to reason, our compassion for other humans, and shut us up. According to Genesis 1, we are all created in God’s image and have value. So even though your ignorance due to blind hatred of religion makes you irritating (IMO), you have value and I am to respect your value as a human life. I have wisdom enough to look past your blind hatred and selfish disgust and see that it is better for us to agree to disagree and be civil on other issues and unify in our efforts to fight against forced vaccination and fight for informed consent to be upheld. It would be civil and wise for you to do the same. We have enough problems in this country (U.S.) with division by class and race. Let’s grow up, learn to have civil discourse with those who don’t have the same worldview as us and find what we can agree on and compromise to start unifying again. I’d like to live in a United States.

  4. Fred CB Reply

    December 24, 2015 at 3:27 am

    “The “greatest good” for the “greatest number”1—an ethical code that can be attributed largely to the 19th century British philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.It was Bentham who famously said, “It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong.”

    Is it right to give credit to Bentham and Mill for such thought re the ‘greater good’?? Caiaphas the High Priest, during the time of Christ promoted the same view point. It is recorded of him in John 11:49-50 where we read, “Caiaphas, being the high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider it expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish”. It is evident that Caiaphas had in mind his view of the ‘greater good’

  5. Karen Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    The government should not be able to force us/our children to take any kind of vaccinations. It is my body and these are my kids and I should have the say-so as to what is given them. If someone else wants to poison their kids, let them make that choice. However, vaccinations are not as healthy as people think. The govt. is putting things in it to change the DNA/genetics making the next generations sicker and infertile. Do your homework. I remember an interview with a doctor that had to leave the country in fear for her life because they wanted to stop her from leaking out information. She stated that the “powers that be” would be culling the population through the vaccinations. Our body can defend itself just fine if we keep all of the junk out of it. We really don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves for letting the govt. and other organizations get so far along. The majority of the population has a “let the other guy do it” attitude, so nothing gets done. It’s time to give our country back to God. Only He can fix our mess.

  6. Nomad Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Your right on the money Mark regarding vaccines with the majority of people living in fear. And what agency is the impetus of this fear? Answer: The CDC. The CDC is the PR branch and workhorse for the pharmaceutical industry. BILLIONS of dollars from vaccine revenues guaranteed and the CDC does all the advertising and fearmongering…what a deal!

    The propaganda machine of the CDC is incredibly powerful with the human race. Fearmongering is one of their fundamental principles in applying the protocol that everyone must be immunized for the “greater good of society.” You could clearly see this fearmongering in full force with the Measles situation that occurred at Disney. The fear was substantial enough to frighten the California Legislators into eliminating the personal/religious vaccine exemptions for all school-aged children (SB277).

    You also see this with the emerging trend of the vaccinated “terrified” of the unvaccinated/undervaccinated. Convince people that the “science is settled” on vaccine safety and effectiveness. Dismiss and suppress all science showing the dangers of vaccines. Joseph Goebbels couldn’t have been more impressed with the CDC’s propaganda machine!

    If you want more insight to the CDC empire – read this piece from investigative reporter Jon Rappoport (it’s mind-boggling!): “CDC caught in billion-dollar scheme to sell vaccines.”

    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/cdc-caught-in-billion-dollar-scheme-to-to-sell-vaccines/

  7. Alona Mendoza Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    If I were to comment the way someone else here did, I’d say: The God-less mindset of the Corporate Money/Mammon-Worshipping Right has once again put the profit of corporations – including Big Pharma – above the sanctity of human life – especially the lives of innocent children, & it isn’t surprising that they’ve done that because they care much more about pre-borns than they do about children once they’re born whose parents need help providing basics such as nutrition, housing & education because they’d rather deny children those things than to stop such evil practices as letting Fortune 500 corporations like ExxonMobil get away w/ paying ZERO taxes… But…I’m not going to comment that way. Instead, I’ll point out that this movement is stronger w/ all of us who believe in it being on-board rather than letting ourselves be divided by politics. This issue is a health, constitutional rights & bioethics issue, & proper science standards for “safe & effective” should neither be a Democratic thing nor a Republican thing.

  8. Colorado Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Stop being nice to the initial poster. He’s taking a defeatist attitude, having lost faith in representative governance. Rather, it’s time to dig deep and renew your sense and purpose of patriotism, and demand your representative governance back. The answer to the argument about the greater good, lies in our own governmental structure, which is a Republic. We are a democratic republic, but we are not a true democracy. That is because majority vote is not allowed to force a choice upon a dissenter, in an absolutist fashion. It’s a general ethical principal that is in place to prevent tyranny of any sort. The republic is unified, in the way that; We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. / Money talks. Vote with your wallet.

  9. ugh Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Zero to Hitler in 3 sentences? Really?

  10. Helen Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Steve Saborn,
    If only this movement did not attract so many loonies and mysogenous halfbrains it’ll have more respect from the people you are trying to “educate.” The comments from someone like this pro-lifer with zero politial education and a ton of misdirected rage MUST BE DELEATED. For the movement’s “Greater Good”:). Seriously, why does the antivaccine movement keep on attracting such crap?

    • Steve Sanborn Reply

      December 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      What is the link between the pro-life people and the anti-vaccine people ? The love and protection of children.

  11. Jo Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    The “greater good” means the ‘greater good’ for those in power; the propaganda war makes everyone think it means for the greater good of the common people, which is malarky, to put it charitably.
    Remember: Truth in movies, lies in the ‘news’.

  12. Steve Sanborn Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 11:54 am

    The God-less mindset of the Marxist Left have given us the legal slaughter of millions of preborn babies….so the damage done to thousands of children by vaccines , has no meaning to them.

  13. Sue Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Thank you, Mark, for your comment. Very well spoken. I am a truth-seeker myself, as well as someone that tries to explain the truth, and I am with you….It is exhausting! A lot of it is just common sense and being able to discern things…..People either just don’t see it or they don’t want to see it. I think people are plain brainwashed. They have become so influenced by mainstream media, biased newspaper articles, slanted language, trickery in all industries…Big Food, Big Pharma, and “Monsatan”. I work in the healthcare industry where there are forced vaccinations or you don’t have a job. Meanwhile, all of these vaccines for the “greater good” are contributing to more dollars into the
    “sick care” system. I could go on for days about this flawed industry and every other industry that Mark mentions. The healthcare system keeps you sick, keeps you coming back, gives you false hope. You need to take control of your own health and find someone who can heal you, not treat the symptoms with drugs or surgery and come back in two weeks!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!! If you want to lose this Great Country, keep doing what you are doing. Hang on every word you hear from these industries. ABC, CBS, NBC and all the rest of mainstream media are filled with slanted verbage to make you think and feel a certain way.

    You need to be questioning everything and think for yourselves! Stand up for your rights, or you will be completely controlled by these industries and our crooked government.

    • Abe Reply

      December 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Sue,
      Great comment. For the most part most of these comments are pretty good. Although I can see the spin right or left. People need to see that there is no difference between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

      I see this year people in health care have been uniting in various spots across the USA, and refusing to be vaccinated. I think NVIC or Vaccine Impact even covered it.
      United We Stand Divided We Fall. Aesop was spot on to.

      A lot of people are getting over there fear of authority. When the whole nursing staff at one hospital refuses the flu vaccine, what will the “Authorities” do? LOL They’d be stupid to fire every body, or have everybody quit at the same time.

      I’ve used this tactic in non union shops before, and not even over pay but stupid policies. It does work.

  14. Kenna Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Great article!
    Mark, I am 33 and a mother of 3. I hear you and so do others. Don’t give up! That is the worst thing anyone can do. I agree with your post 100 percent. Please don’t give up for my children’s future. Thank you for posting your passion. We share the same concerns and frustrations.

  15. Consuelo Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Reminds me of the line from English dramatist Terrence Rattigan:

    “All the great crimes are committed in the name of public tranquility.”

  16. Kris Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Well said, Mark!

  17. Ann-Marie Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

    The government wants to play the role of God and usurps His authority. All human life is valuable and should be protected in every situation.

  18. Ann-Marie Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    The government wants to play the role of God which usurps His authority. Every life is unique and valuable and should be protected in every circumstance.

  19. Mark Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Informed consent? How can anyone truly have unbiased knowledge of “informed consent” when the foundations of medical science is flawed, when pharmaceutical companies rig their own “studies”, when government agencies, that are supposed to be unbiased and protect the public, have been infiltrated and infected by Big Pharma and when politicians are bought by lobbyists of said companies?

    Human nature is a mish-mash of greed, the search for truth, and other traits. History should have taught us our nature becomes a matter choice only when we transcend ourselves. Societal and religious beliefs overrule this desire to transcend ourselves, keeping most people ignorant, biased and unable to see the truth, no matter how small or large that truth is.

    So it is with the issue of vaccines. The majority of people live in fear, perpetuated through religion, politics, and “medicine”. It is a constant bombardment thru the media that is controlled by the very same people who own Big Pharma, Big Food and Big chemistry. Why some of us see thru the Emperor’s New Clothing and others do not has remained a mystery to me; especially these days when so much information is available.

    After 45 years of trying to explain the truth to people I have become exhausted and cynical. I have observed the breaking down of this once great country and am not hopeful its citizens will rise again to defend the principles our Founding Fathers fought so hard to establish. Nero is once again playing his fiddle while this country burns to the ground. He has done more harm than good and the people are deaf, dumb and blind to it all. There are no worthy candidates to hold the office of presidency as they are all liars and manipulative, saying only what will get them elected. Wake up Americans! Please wake up.

    • heatherfchang@yahoo.com Reply

      December 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Agreed, I have come to similar conclusions, people must educate themselves and unfortunately must people do not have the inclination to seek the truth. I have stopped telling people that I do not vaccinate my children because they start thinking that I am ether irresponsible or crazy.

      • Kim Reply

        December 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

        Could not have stated it any better than Mark. VERY well put; I feel the same way.

    • Abe Reply

      December 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      That’s why I don’t listen to anyone with a vested interest. LOL But I guess that’s why I’m an odd duck.

      When I go to the VAMC and they bring up a vaccine, They always start out saying “I know you’ll say no, BUT I’m required to ask you”.

      Most people would take it as the Gospel Truth.
      That’s why your comment is SO spot on Mark!

    • Jennifer Reply

      December 24, 2015 at 9:44 am

      I too have become cynical and tired of explaining why we do not vaccinate……my question is this how can anyone pursue life liberty and the pursuit of happiness if the vaccine caused brain damage or death???? I do feel a strong conviction to protect my child but when the warning labels indicated a side effect as “death” then if I give the vaccine to my child how am I really protecting my child if it is possible that he or she could die???? And the doctors cannot tell you if your child will die as a result of the shots and the doctors cannot tell you if your child will have any adverse reactions at all……my child is 4 years old he is perfectly healthy 100% vaccine free and has never had an antibiotic or tylenol or advil…..Rex is living proof you do not have to be vaccinated to be healthy and he does go to school with other children so its not like he lives in a bubble!!!!

      • Steve Sanborn Reply

        December 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Jennifer….you are 100% correct.

    • Richard Sacks Reply

      December 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Good points Mark. I have looked in detail at the history of vaccination and evaluated the theories on which it is based. I think the truth is it has been a total scam from the beginning. The presence of antibodies as an attempted defense by the body against the insult of injected toxins, this is not correlated with immunity at all. Is this really too hard for people to comprehend? Of is it that people cannot imagine the fake medical system is operated at the top levels by individuals with purely evil intent? The current medical industry does a good job at a few things like accident repair and the very few necessary surgeries (there aren’t many). As far as disease is concerned, and certainly with vaccines, it is a total disaster, and now the leading cause of death in America. I do private holistic health research and consulting and people have been thoroughly brainwashed and controlled by fear. But the way things really work is not that hard to understand, and people can learn. The problem is those in power at the top levels are cold blooded killers, and they are in charge of “medicine.” Very few can admit what is the real state of affairs, not just in medicine, but throughout society. The vast majority of problems threatening to annihilate humanity are indeed man-made, but not by the average person. They are intentionally perpetrated by the “leaders,” most of whom are not visible to the public. The secret they must rush to make sure we never discover is that there is so much hidden power for good in even one awake individual, it could make the hoped for destruction our leaders want, impossible to achieve. Vaccination is in reality one of many programs they have in motion to make sure we stay so sick and unconscious we will no longer pose any threat to the completion of their plans. This is a pretty serious situation but we have much greater forces on our side than those of the negative hierarchy. The deciding issue will be our own consciousness. Love to everyone on Christmas eve.

    • Tammy Reply

      December 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Awesome spoken words. Just what people should hear. I totally agree with you Mark. Thanks for putting in your belief.

    • TeeJae Reply

      December 27, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • tom Reply

      March 9, 2016 at 11:34 am

      very well said. In couple of sentences, there is a very clear description of what is going on in the U.S and pretty much around the world

  20. Drimey Reply

    December 20, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    It really all depends on two words. Informed consent.

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