The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Agree or disagree?

The greater good so to speak. what do you think?

  • I agree
    Vote A
  • i disagree
    Vote B
  • it depends
    Vote C
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Girl

  • *WARNING WARNING, those who are sensitive and super right wing, proceed with caution as this answer will trigger you*

    I voted disagree. I mean, I kinda have to lol Im Mexican, female.]
    This type of thinking leads to so many people suffering. Think about it, the "few" in a world with 7 billion people comes out to a lot more than we think. If we even only ignored the needs of 1% of the world, thats 70 million people disenfranchised. thats like a whole country. How is that ok? How can people justify that? Esepcially since its the children who end up being the bulk of those suffering. Smh. Im going to get angry if I continue thinking about this...

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    • Many suffering is not the few. Check you your argument next time. Most decisions never affect people on that scale with lethality. Sure it may discomfort and or disadvantage you but when a decision is made like that it usually falls between two choices and benefiting the many is almost universally​ the better option no matter how bitter it makes you (the truth is a bitter pill to swallow).

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    • @Adamnman do you need a hug or something lol

Most Helpful Guy

  • That would make the whole notion of "minority rights" non-existent. Taken literally, that would invoke the Tyranny of the Majority that John Adams referenced.

    The expression at least needs a lot of caveats and constraints. It is a potentially very dangerous and tyrannical one if thrown out too loosely to justify all kinds of acts which neglects the needs of the few.

    One of the better sides of humanity is that it can sometimes place the needs of the few on par with the needs of the many. An example would be a rescue team sent to save a small number of soldiers stranded in the wilderness.

    The better ones among us are often willing to do that if there is at least a fighting chance that the needs of the few and the needs of the many can both be satisfied, as long as the probability is greater than 0% (which it typically is).

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    • Probability and morally are intertwined as I see it. No one would save an elderly woman from being hit by a bus if they knew or simply believed their probability of successfully rescuing her was 0%.

      I would say the idea that the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" is only really legitimate when the probability of satisfying both sets of needs is determined, and rather accurately, to be 0% or close.

    • Probability and morally [/morality] are intertwined as I see it.

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What Girls Said 10

  • It's a says no that serves no purpose and meets no end.

    Any ideology that sets the needs of a group without first looking at the responsibilities of the individual is flawed and inherently evil.

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  • Sometimes you have to look out for the "little guy" like having the Americans with Disability Act, even though most people will not need special accommodations. Other times "the greater good" is worth personal sacrifice.

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  • Every person is important and their needs should be met. I think the elite should never run a country on the back's of the poor. However, I think every citizen's needs should at least be taken into account.

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  • I disagree. Everyone matters and no-one should be forced into things. Communism is ALWAYS worse for the poor in the long run.

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  • I have no idea atm, to out of it too think. :D

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  • I absolutely agree, whole-heartedly... however the desires of the many should not infringe on the rights of the few.

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  • nah that doesn t work all the time
    usually it s the privileged elite class that gets what it wants

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  • I completely agree with this, but for some reason the rest of the world doesn't. If a small group of certain people feel they should be treated a certain way, society will put the needs of everyone else behind them.

    I fucking hate this world.

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  • it depends

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  • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the British!
    Or something along those lines.

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What Guys Said 26

  • Life is every man for himself. Roll or get rolled over. I think most of the world's problems are rooted in us trying to have organized society, I just don't think humans are built for that, naturally. So we're all living and interacting in ways we were never meant to, so OF COURSE there's problems.

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  • I disagree.

    To me what matters is the context of what the many want and whether those many actually know what it is they truly want and whether what they want is actually good for them and the society/civilization as a whole.

    I mean if the many wanted to commit ritual suicide does that mean we should indulge them? when the few know better.

    But also the needs of the many should never trample on the rights of the few.

    And keep in mind the needs and or wants of the many are not always for the greater good.

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  • It depends on the context. The way this saying is usually used, I disagree. But I don't always disagree. Many (most?) of my political and social views are based on this idea.

    I usually call it as micro vs macro view. In the micro view, the individual is what matters. If someone you love is dying, that is the only thing that matters. It would seem cruel and inhuman to not care about them.

    But when talking about politics and many social issues that affect tens of millions of people, then the individual is irrelevant. That's not saying that individuals aren't important, but you just can't make large scale policy because of a few individuals. It must be made based on millions of people.

    A government would become completely non-functional if you tried to do things in a way that no individual gets hurt. No matter what the policy, some people will benefit and some will get hurt. There is no way around that.

    A conflict here is that when it comes to individual freedoms, those freedoms benefit everyone. So even though it's an individual freedom, it also serves to benefit the whole.

    It becomes a matter of interpretation and whether something really does benefit the whole. On the surface it may appear to benefit the whole, but if people give up a part of their freedom, or give up something else, is it really a benefit for the whole?

    You could say that if everyone gives up just a little "insignificant" freedom, then millions will benefit. But that's putting a price on freedom. Everyone loses something, so it negatively affects the whole.

    Very often this ends up comparing a tangible to an intangible. It's hard to put a price on something intangible like freedoms and rights. When the "benefit" to the whole is something tangible, and the value of what you are giving up is intangible, very often the tangible wins out simply because it can be measured, not because it's a net benefit.

    Whenever you weigh the many vs the few, you have to make sure you are really seeing the whole picture, not just the more easily seen and measured tangible. The needs of individuals are easy to see and understand. In the big picture it's very difficult, or even impossible, to truly see if it's a net benefit to the whole.

    Far too often this makes for bad public policy. Politically it's easy to sell something tangible. It's easy to sell something that evokes an emotional response because it's tangible and affects individuals. It's far more difficult to sell the big picture.

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  • Under normal circumstances I would disagree. However, there is some truth to this statement during times of emergency. For example, highways are sometimes shut down to protect first responders that are working at the scene of an accident. It may inconvenience thousands of drivers but most people would agree the inconvenience is worth it to prevent someone from being struck and killed by a vehicle.

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  • It seems logical but it usually depends on some other factors: i727.photobucket.com/.../spock-logic.jpg

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  • definitely agree

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  • This should not be black and white. I'd rather save one normal citizen over 5 homeless druggies.

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  • Interesting question. This is basically the "Trolley problem", it has some very far reaching consequences, most people choose the good puff the many over the good puff the few, unless the few is them. Goggle id's struggling with this exact problem with their autonomous vehicles. Try reading up about the Trolley experiment on Wikipedia.

    One a personal note, I try to favor the clever, regardless of whether they are the many or the few.

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  • everybodies need has an equal significance. the quantity of vertain needs doesn´t change that, thereby i´d say they don´t outweigh.

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  • I disagree. A need is not a claim to anything.

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  • OMG what a socialistic statement :-P

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    • Out of all seriousness, it depends on who "the many" are, and who "the few" are.

      Can;t endorse a buzz term as a be-all-end-all, everything is subjective.

  • Depends. If the "few" are disadvantaged then the many should accommodate them. If the "few" are the modern aristocracy, then fuck their needs.

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  • No. That's called communism. Dragging down the strong to the level of the weak so we can all be "Equal". "EVERYBODY GET'S A TROPHY AND WE'RE ALL WINNERS!!" Complete and utter bullshit.

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    • Equality does not exist in nature. Lion A is not "Equal" to Lion B. They must fight for every inch.

    • No, it depends on how the expression is executed. I hear what you are saying, and I completely agree that communism isn't good. But this statement could also be referring to utilitarianism.

      "Utilitarianism- the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority."

      Shooting a terrorists would be considered utilitarianism because it is beneficial to the masses, even though technically human life is being destroyed (which is generally considered immoral). But in this instance, it could be viewed as moral.

  • This idea is called act utilitarianism, by the way.

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  • Are you suggesting all of us in the global west be executed and our wealth transferred to the global poor?

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  • true morality is not inflexable and proscriptive. It is situational.

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  • According to whom? Who gets to decide what's "good" for me and what's "good" for everybody else?

    Same problem as Communism. Sounds good in theory until you get down to actually putting somebody in charge of deciding who gets what and how much to produce. Then it gets complicated.

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  • Absolutely! And people who believe that "everyone is special" has obviously never had to make hard choices.

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  • Not at all. Everyone's needs are equal, and should be treated as such.

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  • There is too much gray area in your question to give a good answer.

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  • Agreed. That's why we need to build the wall and impose strict immigration laws especially countries rife with anti American terrorism.

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  • On an even playing-field, sure. Otherwise, the needs of the strong outweigh the needs of the weak, however many or few are in either group.

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  • it sure did in Star Trek II: the wrath of Khan. And Spock was pretty chill about it.

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  • We as the common people should enforce hardcore democracy. No aristocracy allowed!

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  • Needs of the powerful, outweighs the need of the weak.

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  • Depends on what those needs are

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