Example (to get you in the mood):
Suppose a terrorist has planted a bomb in a city in a secret place, and it's due to go off soon. If the bomb explodes it has the potential, depending on it's location, to kill thousands of people.
Fortunately the police have captured a man involved in the bomb plot, and have evidence that this man knows where the bomb is. All traditional means of interrogation have failed, and the clock is ticking.
The question is... would it be okay for the police to justifiably torture the bomb plotter? Would the Greater Good of saving lives be enough justification for torture, in your opinion? What about torturing his wife so that he gives up the location? His kids?
I'm not asking for a specific answer to that example, I personally don't like that thought experiment.
You have a good friend who you've known for quite a number of years. Your friend is moving to another country, one that you're unlikely to visit, and the chances are you're never going to see her again. You wish her a tearful goodbye, so long.
On the way to the airport, your friend's car crashes, and she dies! This is unknown to you, but another one of your friends finds out about this. Your other friend decides that it is best to not tell you about her death. He figures that you will get upset, naturally, because of her death and he knows that you probably wouldn't have seen her again.
You may get annoyed that your friend never tries to email/keep in contact with you, but your annoyance and the process of losing a friend through never seeing her is no way near as bad as the hurt that you would feel if you lost her through death.
So the question is... Is your friend right to deceive you for the greater good? Is the lie (or absence of important truth) justified by the fact that it saves you a great deal of sadness?
So there's two examples...
Do you think that the greater good is the most important thing? Do you think that any action is acceptable if it aims for some greater good? Do you think that some things (like torture for example) are always wrong? What things (if any)? What does your religion (if you have one) say on the matter?
What do you think the greater good actually is?
(Don't dare quote each question and reply survey style... These are just things to consider.)
If you see any problems with the two examples, point them out...
Anyway, the actual point of this thread is to ask: How important do you think the consequences of an action is in determining whether it's right or wrong morally? Or: Is any action okay if it aims at the Greater Good?