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Sun Sep 30, 2018, 08:51 AM

Would you kill one to save many?

Thou shalt not kill. Right? Death is death. Murder is murder.

You know the old question. If you could go back in time and kill Hitler before he came to power, would you? I think most people, unless you are a Nazi, would say yes. It would turn you into a murderer of course but most people would be able to justify those actions to themselves.

But what about the situation where perceived future action is just guess work? How do you define many? 5, 10, 100? How many lives saved would be worth it to turn you into a murderer? Or is murder never justified?

Could you kill one to save 100 children from your home town? But would you do the same if the children lived on another continent?
What if the one was virtuous and the many were naughty?

What if the many were of a different faith construct or race from you and the one reflected your belief systems and ethnicity?
Would you kill one to save many? Maybe morally, ethically and intellectually you could justify it. But then the next question of course is, could you? Could you kill one to save many?

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Would you kill one to save many? (Original post)
Soph0571 Sep 2018 OP
beachbum bob Sep 2018 #1
Voltaire2 Sep 2018 #3
Voltaire2 Sep 2018 #2
Post removed Sep 2018 #4
SCantiGOP Sep 2018 #5
MineralMan Sep 2018 #6
Voltaire2 Sep 2018 #9
MineralMan Sep 2018 #10
Iggo Sep 2018 #14
MineralMan Sep 2018 #7
Voltaire2 Sep 2018 #8
MineralMan Sep 2018 #11
qazplm135 Oct 2018 #16
Cartoonist Sep 2018 #12
marylandblue Sep 2018 #13
Iggo Sep 2018 #15

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 09:00 AM

1. yes. Its more sinful to allow the many to be killed, if sin could be measured, its obvious

 

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 09:42 AM

3. I have no idea what sin is. It is less wrong

to kill one innocent person than to kill many.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 09:40 AM

2. Ah Trolley Puzzles.

Itís best to leave Hitler out- clearly awful people obscure the moral dilemma.

The classic trolley puzzle has 5 innocent people tied to the track and about to be run over and killed. Only you can save them and the only way to save them is to divert the trolley to another track, but 1 innocent person is tied to that track and will be killed.

If you do nothing 5 people die. If you act one dies.

In reality we as a society make these choices frequently.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 11:41 AM

5. No, they didn't

What the fuck are you talking about?

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Response to Post removed (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 11:51 AM

6. They saved no lives. They killed in retribution.

Only if the person they killed was the only person who performed abortions might they have saved lives. That was not their motive. They killed to punish.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 12:40 PM

9. Even that assumes that a fetus is a life that can be saved.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 01:01 PM

10. That's true.

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Response to Post removed (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 11:29 PM

14. What the ever loving fuck?

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 12:00 PM

7. Personally, I would not.

Since I cannot predict accurately what an action like that might do, I would not take that action.

On the other hand, if I believed that people would die without action against an individual, I would warn of that as best I could.

My personal ethics would not allow me to take a human life based on a hypothetical belief.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 12:38 PM

8. In the classic trolley puzzle there is no doubt

about the outcome for either inaction or the one action available to you. If you do nothing 5 people certainly die, if you act 1 person certainly dies.

Given the hypothetical situation most people agree that saving the 5 is the correct choice.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 01:03 PM

11. In reality, however, most people would freeze and do nothing.

so, five would die. In other cases, people would offer "thoughts and prayers" and walk on.

Fortunately, most of us are never faced with such a dilemma.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 12:58 PM

16. The trolley problem really reveals two base type of ethics

(Understanding there are way more than just two base types and exceptions will be present, and understanding that most folks will fight the hypo to avoid making a choice).

1. Utilitarians who once all of the hypo fighting is done will choose ordinarily to kill the one to save the five. Tied to this is a belief that inaction is still action, thus you are morally responsible once you have control of the trolley whether you act or don't act. These are folks who believe that at least sometimes the ends do justify the means.

2. People who believe it is actions that matter and thus any action that causes evil is evil (i.e. the ends never justify the means). Killing one person is evil, even if you save five people to do it. You weren't responsible for the trolley being on the path it is, but if you act, now you are responsible for killing the one person.

And of course when you change the facts of the trolley problem into the removing the organs of one person to save the lives of five people, everyone seems to say no, even those who are in group 1. Logically, there's not much of a difference, but if feels different emotionally and ethically.

And of course, if that one person is a loved one, most people are not going to pull that lever. Which shows the limitations of ethics.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 03:30 PM

12. Fortunately, it never comes up.

That's one of those hypotheticals no one will ever experience. Really, six people tied to a track and only you can make the decision? All other examples of this choice are equally improbable. This is just an exercise in which we can speculate, but why bother? Should it ever become a reality, the answer you give now will not necessarily be the one you make under pressure.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 04:39 PM

13. A more realistic version

We have about 40,000 car accident deaths a year. If the top speed limit were reduced to 30 mph, the number killed would be close to 0. Now that you know you could save thousands of lives just making everyone drive slower, would you support legislation to lower the speed limit? If not, why not?

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 11:42 PM

15. I'd be tempted to kill the guy who keeps tying all these people to the railroad tracks...

...and forcing me and others to decide how many of his victims will die.

For all I know, after I pull the switch or don't, I'm the one guy tied to the tracks in the next episode.

Yeah, fuck that guy. He's got to go.

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