178. Do a little evil to do a greater good?
Last night I rewatched Ridley Scott’s ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. Its hero, Ballian, turns down the offer to marry his love, Sybilla, Queen of Jerusalem, and rule the city, made to prevent the warmongering Guy de Lusignan from taking the crown and destroying the precarious peace between Christians and Muslims. The moral Ballian refuses, as his acceptance would mean Guy’s execution, a compromise he will not make, despite Sybilla’s warning: ‘A day will come when you’ll regret not having done a little evil to do a greater good’. As a consequence, thousands die and Jerusalem is lost to Sal’addin. I can equate Ballian’s choice to Biden’s in the current US election, issuing guidance to his campaign not to canvass door to door because of coronavirus. This is morally laudable, but it risks dooming the US to 4 more years of Trump’s rule. Should Biden do a little evil, endorsing door to door canvassing, to assure a victory that would bring much greater good to Americans and the rest of us by extension?
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