Thursday, May 04, 2006

Moral-Ethical Mind-Games

To read a wonderful article about philosophy, morals, and ethics in which several "no win" situations are presented and you are asked how you would respond, go here: What If...

I answered:
1. No. 2. No. 3. No. 4. No.

Keep in mind that the questions are "should" you do such and such, not "would" you. "Should" indicates a moral imperative-i.e., duty, obligation, requirement, responsibility. "Would" indicates personal choice.

Would I?
1. Yes. 2. No. 3. No. 4. No.

My explanations (spoilers):

Whereas I have no right to sacrifice someone else's life to save another's, I have every right to sacrifice myself. And being a follower of Yeshua, I would. However, being hooked up to another person against my will and choice to have him feed off my life would be a major violation of my rights. After helping the man get healed, I would probably kick the doctor very very hard in the balls, give him a hearty fuck you, and hope he doesn't have someone to hook himself up to to take away the pain.

Every life is infinitely valuable, therefore one more or one less neither adds to nor subtracts from the value of life. A single person's life is just as worthy and just as valuable as 60,000 lives. So the question "Can it ever be morally acceptable to kill an innocent person if that is the only way to save many?" is a resounding no. This doesn't mean if we have the opportunity to save more than one life we shouldn't take it, only that if it comes down to saving many at the expense of one, the many have nothing over the one--the one has every right to live that the many do. The difference between taking the one's life to save the many and letting the many die instead of taking the one's life is the difference between committing murder and being helpless to prevent others from being killed.

4 Comments:

Blogger rel said...

Dave, I agree that if someone takes action to change a scenario than they are responsible for the results. On the other hand, I don't think saving one life or a thousand is more moral than the other, but one choice would be a better than the other. Whatever that person chooses is the best they could do and I don't think I would have a right to condemn them. -Ariel

10:50 AM  
Blogger slaveofone said...

Not sure what you mean by "condemn", but someone who takes the life of an innocent human being is guilty of murder. It doesn't matter if taking the innocent's life will result in good for others - it is still murder of someone who does not deserve it and whose right to life has been violated permenantly. If someone believes it is better to kill the innocent so the other can live, fine, as long as long as they are adaquately punished for their crime against innocent human life.

2:32 PM  
Blogger rel said...

Your absolutely right! I agree! That wasn't well thought out on my part.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those are tough questions, I think, because mainly you're dealing with the lives of people. whether or not they are innocent is irrelevant. jesus didn't come to save the righteous, but the sinners. So regardless of whether or not they are "innocent" persons (not exactly sure what you mean by that) we are in every situation like those required to think of the lives of everyone-so you're right there. I think these people just consistently come up with impossible situations that don't matter. In the long run, who cares? What is the purpose of the survey? Every life is valuable and we as followers of Christ are required to consider them. After all, he considered our lives. Right?

8:07 PM  

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