One just discusses what is the greatest good for the greatest number and without mentioning God at all, hasn't one really been talking about God, if one believes? Do you see what I mean?One that interestingly (serendipity? Synchronicity? Moving of the Holy Spirit? You decide.) connects with this.
Her question, intentionally or not, is cast in terms of a modern ethical system: utilitarianism. It's a system so compelling John Rawls had to refute it by using its own terms against it. But there are other ways to respond to utilitarianism, and Tena's is one of them.
I mean to put these observations in stark contrast to one another, because both are true, and compelling, in their own ways. The idea that so long as we speak of the greatest good for the greatest number, we speak of God; and the idea that so long as we care for the least among us, we care for God.
And above all, the idea that we cannot afford to stand in judgment over the actions of another. We may feel, well, compelled to; but compulsion does not equal justification.
I know I'm leaving this hanging. It's Mother's Day, and I have other obligations myself. But I hope to return to this soon.