Comment: I would still wager that secret societies..

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I would still wager that secret societies..

on the balance of their merits would prove bad most always. Although, unlikely to be all bad, the secrecy serves to mask the parts that are bad and perpetuate the behaviors others would deem bad. Perhaps, in times where virtue can be found in organizations of minority beliefs, gangs or resistance groups, then their would be elements of good maintained by secrecy. But this would imply competing conceptions of what is good. It also implies that arguing for your competing conceptions of goodness in the open is of less value than being secretive about it. Although the former is likely true often, the latter is probably rarely true.

I think secret organizations could only be morally justified in times where you would have to commit yourself to being a criminal, or a vilified individual, just to maintain your own sense of moral goodness. This probably isn't going to apply to some college fraternity, which at its best just hides the drugs, sex, alcohol and general shenanigans that goes along with being an adolescent.

Kennedy said something I believe fully. He said,

"The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are are cited to justify it."