runaway train hypothetical - ends justify the means
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some say the ends never justify the means. here, i'd argue they do, and you have to keep things proportional. see proportionalism.
It might seem moral to kill the one man instead of the hundred. That would achieve both utility and proportionality. However, its far more involved than that.
DEONTOLOGY is the idea that the ends don't justify the means, and in my opinion, this is far more moral for two main reasons.
First, the train is going to hit the hundred people unless someone does something. The key here is "does something". If you let the hundred men die, it is an unfortunate tragedy. Actively choosing to kill the one man, however, is a choice. You are choosing to kill one man, whereas the death of hundred was not intended by anyone. Thus choosing to kill the one man constitutes participation in the moral wrong, making one partially responsible for the death when otherwise no one would be responsible.
Secondly, German philosopher Immanuel Kant theorized a "categorical imperative" to our actions. The first formulation reads, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction". Using consequentialism in one instance means you permit it to be used in EVERY instance. Imagine this: a leader comes to power, seeing his down trodden nation that he loves in pieces. He wants to liven his people into action. But how? Blame the whole of the nations problems on one group of individuals, and then slaughter them, he thinks. He knows they're not to blame. But he knows it will benefit his country in the long run. So he does it.
This example is a little extreme, and I dont mean to compare my opponent to Hitler. All I'm saying is that there needs to be a standard: the ends cant justify the means in EVERY situation, so the ends shouldn't justify the means in ANY situation.
propotionalism can be taken too far, or abused. i do not pretend to offer easy answers. even with the idea that we should act in a way that offers moral rules for all to act upon, propotionalism does just that. it's just not in prepackaged easy answers form.
i'd argue, step back and really think about what you are proposing. we let one hundred people die, just so one can live. it's an outrage. and all just so someone can think they followed some moral rule. in truth, theh probably just comforted themself in the nowledge of 'truth is absolute' etc etc mumbo jumbo. truth can be absolute and proportionalism be true. it may get less and less clear as the numbers decrease of those who might die or different scenarios. but that's just life. we can say at the other extrems that there is a right thing to do and simply acknowledge is won't always be so clear when that's the case.
Jeanpaulsarte forfeited this round.
Jeanpaulsarte forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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