Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lesser of Two Evils

What is this concept of "the lesser of two evils?" It is an idea most commonly used when a person has to choose between two (or I guess it could be more than two) choices, all of which are unfavorable. This choice is sort of an act of damage control. I understand that this phrase might be useful in pointing out the stickiness of a situation, but I would like to point out how, if taken literally, the idea is a contradiction in terms. I would say that "good" is the lesser of two evils. And I guess you could also say that "evil" is the lesser of two goods, but really there is no such thing as "the lesser of two evils" because if we have a choice between two things and one is the better choice, than it is "good" in this sense, by definition. "Evil" is the bad choice, by definition.

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