|This article is about the Tau philosophy. For other uses of Greater Good, see Greater Good (disambiguation).|
The Greater Good, or Tau'va (literally, "Good Greater"), is the founding principle of Tau society. The Tau'va system is based on a Caste System and is designed to allow for the advancement of the entire Tau society together towards a more successful, prosperous and easier existence in the future.
The Greater Good was first introduced to the Tau during the Mont'au (literally, "Death Age"), a civil war. It was during this time that the first Ethereals came to the Tau and united the Tau tribes under the idea of the Greater Good, which involved perfect harmony and the combining of each Caste's strengths to counter the many weaknesses their culture had. Within a few years, Tau culture had become dominated by the Greater Good and they began the long march towards technological advancement.
The Greater Good now guides the Tau in their conquest of the galaxy. The principle forces the Tau into a two-minded state, one to expand their empire for the Greater Good, and to absorb other races and their cultures into their own, which could have disastrous effects. The ideal of the Greater Good seems to be appealing to some races, and stranded units of the Imperial Guard soldiers are said to have surrendered themselves and now live in the Tau empire, being named Gue'vesa.
During war against other races, Tau Commanders often urge their enemy leaders to stop resisting the Tau Empire and promising that they will be allowed to retain their faith as long as it works in accordance with the Greater Good.
Ritual of the Ta’lissera
This ritual bonds the members of a team together in a microcosm of the Greater Good, wherein each individual sheds his individual identity in favour of his role in the group. Those who undertake the Ta’lissera are said to be “bonded,” and the ritual is a solemn one indeed, in which each Tau spills a portion of his own blood as a sign of his devotion to the whole. Those who are not bonded view those who are with awe, seeing them as the ultimate adherents of the Greater Good. The Ritual of the Ta’lissera is carried out in many areas of Tau society, but is most frequently undertaken amongst Fire Warrior teams, who enter the crucible of war together and often stand or fall by one another’s deeds. The members of a bonded team will go to any length to aid one another, sacrificing their very lives if needed that the team might succeed in its mission. Members of a bonded team often carry ceremonial knives, while those piloting battlesuits paint a stylised knife device on their armour.