"If you've got a good reason it's not evil, right?"
That seems to be the question of the week. Ever since Sirius posted his Grim Truth (or perhaps since they met Hermione and Boot and started to see how they were treated), students have been struggling with fitting this new information into their view of themselves as good, moral people. It's funny, because by raising these kids to believe that this twisted system is good/moral (and therefore teaching them to value morality rather than things like power and money), the society is actually setting them up for a crisis of faith.
Book-Slytherins knew that they and their families were thought of as "bad" by some and had sort of internalized that perception (while also having their own personal justifications for why they did what they did, like money or power or preserving pureblooded wizard lines). They already knew that some of the means to accomplish their goals were going to get people hurt. They knew that some people disagreed with them and they were used to blocking out criticisms and arguments from the other side. They had a developed a thick skin and a stubbornness about their beliefs.
In this world, though, even though the Slytherins *act* more callous in many ways, they may actually be more open to persuasion from the Order. They are not
used to hearing arguments against their way of thinking (since people who openly argue are in jail, or are at least kept away from Pureblooded children), and so they are listening to them instead of blocking them out. They are not
used to being thought of as cruel or bad by anyone, so when they hear that they stop and think about how their actions fit with their idea of right and wrong. They do not
have certain goals that they want to achieve by any means necessary; their top goal, again, seems to be being good people.
Over the next couple months, I predict most students will take one of two paths. Some will forgo rationalization and just decide to have faith in society (believe Hermione's blood is brown
), and then block out all further opposition or outside influence. Others are going to have a major overhaul of belief systems, and start agreeing with a lot of what they are hearing from Sirius and Hermione. Will there be a middle option, where some people just stay in a state of confusion and uncertainty for months and months, or where they change some minor beliefs but keep the major ones the same? It will be interesting to see the path that each kid takes.
P.S. Welcome, Ginny!