Balancing individual rights and community needs is difficult

sg1 ghost comic

We see that in this pandemic and generally in US political culture. When do the rights of the individual matter as much as the needs of the group?

sg1 ghost comic
sg1 ghost comic

I like thinking like Spock that says “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Yes, this kind of utilitarianism can be dangerous, but at times we have to make hard choices in life. The people who insist it is their right to be free and do whatever they want are correct. People are free to choose. With that said, there are times where when the group’s survival is threatened we have to temporarily give up individual freedom to preserve the weakest members of the group.

Saving the weakest members of the group has a cost to the group. However, as a society, we say that we value life, don’t we? People call themselves pro-life. Why don’t they act like it? Any pro-lifer who is out there spreading the disease is not acting on what they claim to believe.

In SG1 there was an episode where Te’lk had to kill someone in a primitive tribe as punishment. He looked around and he killed the man with crutches. Not because he was cruel, but because the group could only escape to their hiding places as fast as the slowest member. By killing the slowest member, they could hide better in the future and avoid Te’lk cruel master. Te’lk was helping the group survive by sacrificing that person.

I am not suggesting we sacrifice anyone. I am suggesting that as individuals we can act in a way that ensures the group’s survival. We can sacrifice being inside and our freedom to choose if that helps others survive. We can sacrifice so that we limit the economic damage. We can choose to sacrifice because we love older people and value their wisdom. Find a reason to make your sacrifice mean something to you.

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There is an old saying. It is not good for the bee which is not good for the hive. We don’t exist by ourselves. We are a little bee that needs the hive to survive. Let’s start acting like it.