The lesser of two evils or the greater of two goods: which is chosen more?
How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m going to choose the lesser of two evils?”What does that say about one’s ethics or values? Does it mean that there is no “good” as a choice?
People, sadly, are used to this phrase and attitude. Have we “lost hope” for a “good” option for choice? Maybe any good has been foreshadowed by too many evils?
Who or what will do the least harm seems to be the deciding factor in making many decisions.
Choosing the lesser of two evils:
1. Dissuades us from looking for a good, by taking an easy way out.
2. Is more outcome based than based on values.
3. Is still choosing evil
4. Is based on what /who will cause the least harm.
5. Puts into question one’s commitment to resolve an issue permanently.
6. Puts the ultimate responsibility on someone else.
Choosing the greater to two goods:
1. Causes one to actively “look for ”a good ” in the midst of trouble.
2. Tends to be values based and principle driven option.
3. Is the choice to “go against the grain” of what others think should be decided.
4. Involves different decision making skills and leadership skills.
5. To be proactive in the pursuit of “good” is to take responsibility for the choice.
6. Brings the issue to a better and positive resolution.
Which, then, is more values based?
Why do we never hear: “Let’s chose the greater of two goods?”