Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Avatar4321, Mar 10, 2011.
Is there ever a time where a sacrifice of ones principles leads to the greater good?
That's actually not the pertinent question.
The real question is..... IF someone is willing to sacrifice their principles for the "greater good", did they ever really believe in those principles to begin with?" I would suggest that the answer is a definitive.... "NO"
Altruism, the moral code of humans for most of there existence, demands that man sacrifice for a greater good (that "good" being either God, society, or the state).
Sacrifice, by definition means to give up a higher value for a lower one. It is immoral to give up a higher value for a lower one for no other reason than someone or something other than yourself.
I think you're playing with words here. If one sacrifices himself to save 100, how is that a lower value? You can't just take the defintion of a word that fits your thesis, you have to take in the totality of its meaning coupled with what was intended when it was said.
Sometimes principles ARE expediency. I often get the feeling when someone says "I have principles", what they really mean is "I don't have to think about this one". I don't believe in leaving your brain in neutral over an "ism". Look what that did in the last century.
Yes, in some cases Expediency IS the principle. Not in a whole lot of cases, though.
Someone who does actually have principles WILL have many times when they do not need to take extensive periods of time to think over a topic because their principles have already determined what the appropriate answer/reaction is to a given question or situation.
If a principle is tied to an "ism" and cannot stand on its own merits outside of that "ism" then I have to probably question the validity of that principle to begin with. Though I do agree that LiberalISM, FeminISM, InterventionISM, and SocialISM definitely have done a whole lot of damage to America in the last 100 years.
If intervening to save 100 strangers amounts to my suicide, then such intervention would be deeply immoral because it constitutes a clear sacrifice. My highest value is my own life, and I hold no responsibility for the lives of others (just as others have no responsibility to my life).
It's not a thesis. It's the definition of the word.
It's a good thing the whole huiman race doesn't believe as you do or we wouldn't have made it as far as we have. What if cave men ran instead of staying to protect the women and children from predators? We'd have been extinct in a few generations.
YES, it is a thesis, because you're cherry-picking a defintion that fits your argument. Your notion of sacrifice, isn't what would be considered the norm in situations such as the one I laid out.
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