Last night at the Open Full Moon ritual, I encountered one of those strange ethical dilemmas that make me think for hours on end...without coming to a satifactory conclusion. You know the type. In this case, I was easedropping...I am a writer and I cannot help doing so...plus I just got done talking to this person about Golden Dawn.
Without going into details, the bottom line in this case is a conflict of needs. One person's needs are in direct conflict with another person's needs. This brings up the whole "How do you figure out who's needs are more important?" dilemma.
In this case, there would be no way to be able to have both people as members. One of them has to lose...that is how much of a conflict there is.
Fortunately for me, I do not have to really worry about this dilemma. There is a Trump in play here. One of the people is already a member; the other person is only an applicant.
It may not be fair, but the needs of a current member outweighs the needs of a potential member. It does not matter how valuable the applicant could be; it does not matter what they bring to the table; the Trump stands. It does not matter how useless the current member is; it does not matter what they don't bring to the table; the Trump stands.
Of course, this may not be true of all lodges. This may just be a reflection of the lodge culture that I came up the ranks in. Maybe in a system where only the Co-Chiefs have any say in the matter, the more valuable person would win.
(Please note that this applicant may or may not be more valuable than the current member; it does not matter; the Trump still stands either way. I have my own opinion who is the more valuable person, but that does not matter; the Trump controls what will happen in this decision. It could be my own needs involved, and it would not matter; the Trump would still be in play.)
Bottom line is that lodges are supposed to serve their membership. It is not the potential membership that they work for, but rather those who are already in the fold.
Now some people will call this unfair. After all, this Trump is enforced by the voting process of the lodge which is controlled by the current active membership of the lodge...enlightened self-interest would so kick in here. This is just one of the more darker aspects of how lodge culture works.
Someone can scream all they like that the system should serve the needs of everyone. But it doesn't and probably can't. We are bound by no law that says our membership should be open to everyone...and in this case, I am glad of that because there would be no way to meet the special needs of both parties. Sad, but true.