in the movie star trek iii, captain james t. kirk, in saving his first officer and friend, spock, laid out the philosophical statement “because the needs of the one… outweigh the needs of the many.”
what does this statement mean in our society? from a ten commandments’ perspective, the statement bears some importance.
the ten commandments represents both a community buy-in as well an individual buy-in to a moral code of conduct. thus, there is an interplay between the two. individuals acting morally can translate to a moral society. however, a moral society, one can argue, cannot always translate into moral individuals. in that situation, individuals may deter immoral conduct solely based upon of a fear of being caught and retribution. further, in the moment of a societal breakdown, the floodgates of immoral conduct hit such a society.
thus, you can make the argument that developing a one’s moral needs in the long term leads to the goal of helping the many. the basis is that in that the one, with satisfied needs of moral development, has the power to transform the many. thus, helping individuals with their moral development will transform the greater society.
the story of the exodus involves god taking the one, addressing his needs. prior to the burning bush and his meeting with god, moses had a zeal for fighting for his people. he lacked, however, a voice of authority. god give the one, moses, this voice and satisfies the reluctant moses to take on the task. in doing so, the needs of the one transformed into the freeing of a people from bondage and idolatry into a moral nation. the exodus story goes further with respect to this concept. it is moses who then trains individuals to act as judge, leaders and teachers within a society. thus, there was a top down approach of using the one to satisfy the needs of the many. thus, the needs of the one was the means to create a nation.
o’ captain, my captain, what do we learn from your wisdom?
for all of us, it only takes helping one to start making a difference. if successful, it is possible that the one assisted can produce more assists.
as it is said, saving one life is equivalent to saving the world. likewise, changing another’s life can also be equivalent to changing the world.
in closing, live long and prosper.