My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position [imposing “the good”] would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under of robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likely to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on the level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
reply to post by greencmp
You make this thread title sound like Lewis condoned this type of thing. He says that in the situation where good men (our politicians) are imposing their will upon us for "the good" we'd be better off under the tyranny of a robber baron because at least they'd have their greedy hunger satisfied once and a while and we'd get a break. Instead, under the "good" men, we are "cured" of our own will and put on the level of infants, imbeciles and domestic animals. Lewis was criticizing the "good" men here.
I think it is worth reminding everyone that the worst tyrants throughout history have been true believers and thought that what they were doing was for the good of the people.
Such findings accord closely with the well-docu-mented observation that people who support hierarchy are drawn to hierarchical institutions and that the more extreme the actions of these institutions, the more extreme the individuals that are drawn to them (e.g.,Sidanius, Pratto, Sinclair, & van Laar, 1996).
It's a very bad thing indeed, the people who turn a blind eye to those who wish to stifle individualism and liberty.
They defer logical thought in reference to the actions of our so-called leaders claiming that they must know better than we do, deciding upon what we can eat, where we can talk freely, what plants people choose to imbibe, ect.
I personally believe overwhelming urges to exert force on the life of others is an illness. So I'll say the same thing the authoritarians say of those lovers of liberty out there, "they're sick, they need help".
That help should be removal from office via the vote.
en.wikipedia.org...edit on 8-4-2014 by TurtleSmacker because: (no reason given)edit on 8-4-2014 by TurtleSmacker because: (no reason given)
originally posted by: ketsuko
Look up pathological altruism sometime. It's enlightening and plays into this conversation to some degree.
It's the idea that you can be so focused on either denying self or doing good that you actually do harm. Think about the doctor who ruthlessly orders tests or procedures even when the family may object for the patient's own comfort. An example my be something like this:
My grandmother had Felty's disease and it finally caused her a heart attack that would have necessitated open heart surgery. Given her age and the Felty's, the doctor was honest with her. He told her that if she wished, he would perform the procedure, but that given her situation she had maybe a 20% chance of surviving it, less of surviving to recovery, and then, if she did, there was maybe a 10% of regaining her independence after all of that.
My grandmother thought about it decided not to opt for the surgery preferring to enjoy what time was left saying good-bye in comfort.
A doctor who was pathologically altruistic might urge her to have the surgery believing it was his goal and for the best to attempt to heal her no matter what the cost might be to her, even if it might wind up killing her, because she was going to die anyway.
It is also said that people with anorexia can be some of the most empathic and self-effacing people around. They are that accomplished at self-denial, so much so that it can kill them.
You get people with the greater good attitude no matter how painful attitude into power, and you begin to see why C.S. Lewis is so wise about the tyranny of good intentions being perhaps the worst of all tyrannies. So, several million died ... but they didn't really mean it and it was all for the greater good. Right?