Spock Said it Best!
In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) shares his inimitable logic with Kirk (William Shatner). Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk responds, “Or the one.”
How much nicer would the world be, if like Spock, we could put our egos aside and employ some of his flawless logic? Why is this relevant in the midst of a global pandemic? It has never been more important. Your actions, right now, affect everyone, not just you. It is the duty of each and every human being on this planet to do the right thing, not for themselves, but for the good of the many.
Millennia before Gene Roddenberry created Spock, philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), expressed a similar ideology in his essay, “The Aim of Man” from the Nichomachean Ethics. In his discussion about the “highest good” Aristotle wrote, “Even supposing the chief good to be eventually the aim for the individual as for the state, that of the state is evidently of greater and more fundamental importance both to attain and to preserve. The securing of one individual’s good is cause for rejoicing, but to secure the good of a nation or of a city-state is nobler and more divine.”
John 11:50 states, “Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” (Caiaphas referring to Jesus’ impending death)
In Native American cultures, from their very beginnings, the tribal nature of their community was that the needs of the tribe (the many) outweighed the needs of the few or the one. An Iroquois maxim (circa 1700-1800) states, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
For British philosopher and founder of modern utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, (1748-1832) the “fundamental axiom” of his philosophy was the principle that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”
While most people have risen to the challenges of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic by doing the right thing, the scammers, liars and self-serving thieves have also emerged in full force. If it were in my power to rid the universe of such a scourge, I would gladly do so, even if it led to my own demise.
To quote the Dalai Lama, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” He also said, “It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.” (Hmm, very Spock-like, yes?)
Think about your actions. Do the right thing for the good of the many, not the few or the one. Stay home. Wear a mask when you go out. Spend your time making a positive difference. Be of service to others.
Live Long and Prosper,
Celebration Discovery Church