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“FOR THE GREATER GOOD”: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

I was raised to be fiercely independent. That’s not always been to my benefit, since I have, at times, used my independence unwisely. But on the strait and narrow, being fiercely independent is the best way to proceed. In fact, I would say it’s the only way to proceed.

Jesus was also fiercely independent. That’s not to say he wasn’t 100% reliant on God; that’s only to say that he wasn’t reliant on people. You can’t rely on people the way you can rely on God. You can partially and occasionally rely on people for things that are not that important, and only when God gives you the go-ahead to rely on them, but otherwise, it’s best to remain fiercely independent when it comes to humans, though fully dependent when it comes to God.

I wasn’t raised to question, but I learned to do that, anyway, as a natural extension of my independence. One thing God encourages from his children is questioning. Because his law and his will are perfect, God has no problem explaining either of them to those who ask in sincerity. He enjoys sharing his wisdom. That’s why he inspired so many people through the ages to write and preserve his Word in scripture. Being fiercely independent and a fierce questioner makes me highly attuned to sniffing out BS, and boy, is there a lot to sniff out these days.

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent baited and then trapped Eve by deceiving her about what was “good”. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was, according to the serpent, “good”, not only because the fruit was good to look at, but because it would increase Eve’s knowledge to the point where she would become like a “god”. That God had expressly warned Eve not to eat that particular fruit (on pain of death) was dismissed by the serpent as a minor detail that could easily be side-stepped and should be side-stepped, since God, with his selfish prohibition, was obviously keeping Eve from being the best she could be.

The devil is superb at inverting God’s Truth. In fact, it’s what he was created and equipped to do. He is the tempter, and his temptations will always lure you into what is ultimately bad for you, though he dresses it up as something good.

Case in point is the annoyingly grating and now unfortunately omnipresent phrase “for the greater good”, lifted straight from the communist propaganda playbook. It’s as hollow as it is grating, which is probably why it’s become the latest rallying cry for the superficially virtuous and openly evil alike.

There’s no such thing as a “greater good”. It’s a fictional construct that has no basis in reality. Even from a logical standpoint, it’s nonsense: wouldn’t a “greater good” just simply be a “better”? Jesus tells us that no-one is good but God, and no-one can be better than God, so there’s no such thing as a greater good. It is a nonsensical phrase.

Collectivist societies, like cults, thrive on guilting their adherents into sacrificing whatever may be to their own benefit in order to allegedly benefit others. Only, the others never actually benefit, either, because they, too, are being guilted into sacrificing, more or less for the same reason. In a society that aims to do all “for the greater good”, none of those sacrificing for this hollow and inane directive ever benefit. It’s what is known in more profane company as a “circle jerk”.

Here’s a classic Canadian example of “for the greater good” in action. A sidewalk is shoveled just wide enough for one person to walk on it. On either side are three-foot-high slushy, dirty snowbanks, pocked with dog pee and poop. Along come two people, from opposite directions. They have no problems walking along the sidewalk when they don’t have to be in the same place at the same time, but as they approach each other, they face a dilemma: They both can’t walk on the shoveled portion of the sidewalk together in order to pass each other. So what do they do? How can they resolve this seeming impasse?

I have witnessed this countless times, so what I write here is a true example of “for the greater good” as it plays out in reality in Canada – instead of negotiating that one person will remain on the sidewalk while the other climbs up on the snowbank, BOTH CLIMB UP ON THE SNOWBANK, getting their shoes or boots full of slushy snow in the process and their clothing and hands soiled with the dirty snow. Meanwhile, the disputed portion of the sidewalk remains completely clear and untrodden by either party. This is what “for the greater good” looks like in reality: a clear sidewalk flanked by two miserable humans with dirty hands and cold wet feet, slip-sliding up and down a poopy snowbank.

I’m glad I was raised to be fiercely independent and encouraged by God to question everything. I do not believe in “for the greater good”; I believe in optimal outcome for all parties involved, like God does. Based on optimal outcome for all parties involved, this is how you negotiate a single-lane sidewalk flanked by snowbanks: When you see someone else coming from the other direction, you don’t wait until you meet up and then scramble onto the filthy snow to get past each other; you courteously stand and wait at whatever shoveled driveway or street corner is positioned before the impasse point. One person stands and waits, and the other walks through the narrow passage until both of you are at the driveway or street corner, which is broad enough for you to easily pass by each other.

Again – you change your strategy to benefit both of you; you don’t wait to be forced (or allow yourself to be forced) to do something that you know in your gut is to your detriment. You change your strategy, and in so doing, everyone benefits, with a benefit that is clearly perceived by all parties involved.

There is no such thing as “for the greater good”. It’s just a nonsensical pie-in-the-sky slogan brought to you by the same serpent that hoodwinked Eve.

Please don’t fall for it.

Be fiercely independent and question everything, like Jesus.