Friday, May 19, 2006

The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number...Is Cruelty by Another Name

Chuck Colson and Mark Earley have launched a "War on the Weak" series over at

From Part One:

...This combination of utilitarianism and Darwinism changed the way elites thought about the poor and the vulnerable. Instead of feeling an obligation to care for them, they increasingly felt free to target them in the name of the “greatest good.”

The most obvious example of this was the eugenics movement, started by Darwin’s cousin, which, in the name of “racial betterment,” sterilized and even killed those it deemed “defective.” But this targeting did not end with eugenics.

There are still many instances where a vulnerable class is being asked to sacrifice its well-being or even, as with embryos, its very existence, for the “greatest good.” These include children, families, the sick, prisoners, and the elderly. Over the next couple of weeks, Mark Earley and I will chronicle some of the more egregious examples of this targeting of the vulnerable in this series called “War on the Weak.”

Because it’s time for another blunt truth: Happiness obtained through the suffering of others is cruelty by another name.

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