Imagine the German doctors who dedicated their lives to just and virtuous goal of caring for the health and wellbeing of their patients, only to wind up serving in the concentration camp selection lines some having to drink themselves blind just to be able to show up for work, but show up they did.
It is even true that people can choose to do things that they believe are wrong for others while trying to benefit themselves. Those again who have committed crimes, which, although great, are not unpardonable—who in moment of anger, for example, have done violence to a father or a mother, and have repented for the remainder of their lives, or who have taken the life of another under like extenuating circumstances—these are plunged into Tartarus, the pains of which they are compelled to undergo for a year, but at the end of the year the wave casts them forth—mere homicides by way of Cocytuspatricides and matricides by Pyriphlegethon —and they are borne to the Acherusian Lakeand here they lift up their voices and call upon the victims whom they have slain or wronged, to have pity on them, and to receive them, and to let them come out of the river into the lake.
As we said above: "You cannot build gas chambers and ovens for the millions before you have first resorted to being discourteous to at least one person. The ordinary thoughts of the people, which breath in the exercise of routine habits, make up the soul of a nation.
In effect, no body knows death; no body can tell, but it may be the greatest benefit of mankind; and yet men are afraid of it, as if they knew certainly that it were the greatest of evils. In the examined life there are no Republicans or Democrats, no atheists or theists, and there is no "other" who does not belong in the discussion.
You lead me through the field of my own knowledge, and then by pointing out analogies to what I know, persuade me that I really know some things which hitherto, as I believed, I had no knowledge of. This type of example gets as close as possible to an example of moral weakness that stands apart from ignorance.
A Clear and Present Danger In the United States, our freedom of speech is embraced as part of the foundation of our existence. When the effective distribution of resources is critical to the survival and thriving of a group, stealing, or any unjust distribution of resources, disrupts the flow of resources defined by a group's vision of cooperation.
The most useful element in our learning from Nazi history is that the Nazis were ordinary human beings with the same capacities for justice, virtue, and beauty as anyone.
The strength and well being of a society is largely determined by the capacity of its members to work cooperatively together towards common goals a common good.