Total Posts:74|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Kill one to save others

XStrikeX
Posts: 51
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:24:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Is it morally right to kill one innocent person to save others?
For example, you're standing near a train track. A train is rushing towards five people who are accidentally frozen on the track. However, if you pull a nearby switch, the train will change directions and veer right towards one single person.
My debate teacher disagrees with my opinion, but what's yours?
~<3 Domo
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
XStrikeX
Posts: 51
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:33:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

5 people you know nothing about... We'll assume they're innocent.
~<3 Domo
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:33:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Assuming all things are equal, then the # of people saved vs killed is the answer. However if the train is going one way then one does not hae the right to make it go another way, unless its what the train is supposed to do. Assuming that has no impact on the morality, I would say save the 5.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:34:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:33:17 PM, XStrikeX wrote:

5 people you know nothing about... We'll assume they're innocent.

Ok, I stick with my original stance then.
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:35:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.

Yes, age is a factor. If its 5 old people looking like they will die within the week anyway (or otherwise unhealthy) and one young healthy person then kill the 5.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
XStrikeX
Posts: 51
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:36:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:35:12 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.

Yes, age is a factor. If its 5 old people looking like they will die within the week anyway (or otherwise unhealthy) and one young healthy person then kill the 5.

How about if there is a bridge hanging over the track and there is one really fat person standing there? Do you push him over to magically stop the train and save the five people?
~<3 Domo
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:41:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:36:44 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:35:12 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.

Yes, age is a factor. If its 5 old people looking like they will die within the week anyway (or otherwise unhealthy) and one young healthy person then kill the 5.

How about if there is a bridge hanging over the track and there is one really fat person standing there? Do you push him over to magically stop the train and save the five people?

Eh, depends on how many people were harmed in the train. Fat people tend to not be as healthy, and I'm assuming the others are healthy, so if no one else was harmed then I would say go for it.

However I would be against intervening in life/death situations, unless it did not kill others.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
XStrikeX
Posts: 51
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:44:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:41:34 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:36:44 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:35:12 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.

Yes, age is a factor. If its 5 old people looking like they will die within the week anyway (or otherwise unhealthy) and one young healthy person then kill the 5.

How about if there is a bridge hanging over the track and there is one really fat person standing there? Do you push him over to magically stop the train and save the five people?

Eh, depends on how many people were harmed in the train. Fat people tend to not be as healthy, and I'm assuming the others are healthy, so if no one else was harmed then I would say go for it.

However I would be against intervening in life/death situations, unless it did not kill others.

You really like to determine your answers by stalking people, eh?
~<3 Domo
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:47:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
For anyone that would have switched the train to save the 5 people and kill the 1--
Would you kill an innocent person so that his organs could save the lives of 5 other people?
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:47:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:36:44 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:35:12 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:33:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:32:15 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/6/2010 10:28:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I'd say it is since you're saving more people in the process.

Depends on worth of the person. If its 5 rapist/mass murders, and one jesus-esque person then let the train do society 5 favours.

Yea, I suppose that's a good point. If they're criminals of some kind then I would have no problem killing them if the other single person was a child or some kind of good person.

Yes, age is a factor. If its 5 old people looking like they will die within the week anyway (or otherwise unhealthy) and one young healthy person then kill the 5.

How about if there is a bridge hanging over the track and there is one really fat person standing there? Do you push him over to magically stop the train and save the five people?
(from something I read)
Interesting bit from neuroethics says that the fat man situation yields more activity in the bit of the brain associated with response (action) while the other conflict (all random people) yields higher activity in the part of the brain that deals with higher cognitive function (thought). More people are likely to act upon the fat man scenario according to the study conducted.

There are various factors that would change how I would handle the situation. Though they are all random people, the age/appearance of the one may change how I react. I would still likely kill the one to save the five. Never knew one body could halt a train..
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
XStrikeX
Posts: 51
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:49:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
(from something I read)
Interesting bit from neuroethics says that the fat man situation yields more activity in the bit of the brain associated with response (action) while the other conflict (all random people) yields higher activity in the part of the brain that deals with higher cognitive function (thought). More people are likely to act upon the fat man scenario according to the study conducted.

There are various factors that would change how I would handle the situation. Though they are all random people, the age/appearance of the one may change how I react. I would still likely kill the one to save the five. Never knew one body could halt a train..

Just pretend...
~<3 Domo
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:51:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:49:55 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
(from something I read)
Interesting bit from neuroethics says that the fat man situation yields more activity in the bit of the brain associated with response (action) while the other conflict (all random people) yields higher activity in the part of the brain that deals with higher cognitive function (thought). More people are likely to act upon the fat man scenario according to the study conducted.

There are various factors that would change how I would handle the situation. Though they are all random people, the age/appearance of the one may change how I react. I would still likely kill the one to save the five. Never knew one body could halt a train..

Just pretend...

Yeah, I know. I still gave my response.

How does your debate teacher defend their claim?
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 10:57:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:47:04 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
For anyone that would have switched the train to save the 5 people and kill the 1--
Would you kill an innocent person so that his organs could save the lives of 5 other people?

Depends on what kind of a person they are. If they deserve death <rapist, murderer> then yes. If they are virtious, no unless they wanted me to.
I doubt I would in any real life scenario since I'm not a surgeon nor plan to be.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:00:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago

You really like to determine your answers by stalking people, eh?

Eh, too many variables. You can't just say "yes/no" to something unless you know everything.

Assuming they are all clones and led an equal life, with equal health problems, then saving more would be best.
Unless you wanna get into population control :p
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
juvanya
Posts: 613
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:20:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:36:44 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
How about if there is a bridge hanging over the track and there is one really fat person standing there? Do you push him over to magically stop the train and save the five people?
Hes fat. Hell probably cushion the train.
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:49:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:47:04 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
For anyone that would have switched the train to save the 5 people and kill the 1--
Would you kill an innocent person so that his organs could save the lives of 5 other people?
Key word: Innocent.
I know the innocent person is innocent, but I don't know whether the other five are.
As such, I will have to save the innocent.
Now, if I knew nothing about them, I would kill the person myself. Tough thing to do, but it would be even more morally bankrupt to let the five other die. It's a form of murder either way, and the only justification is how many you murder from one choice to how many you murder on the other.
I miss the old members.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:56:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
It is best to leave it to chance. If there's time, do a coin toss. If you don't leave it to chance then you will have to live with the guilt of having the intent to kill a person and a decider of who lives and who dies. Leave it to nature to sort it out.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:58:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 11:56:52 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
It is best to leave it to chance. If there's time, do a coin toss. If you don't leave it to chance then you will have to live with the guilt of having the intent to kill a person and a decider of who lives and who dies. Leave it to nature to sort it out.
What if it lands on it's rim?
I miss the old members.
Rob1Billion
Posts: 1,338
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/6/2010 11:59:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The act of murder, which you would be committing, is reprehensible in all cases except when the murdered is in the act of murder themselves (i.e., killing in self-defense). The act of saving someone's life is exemplary. Trading an exemplary act for a reprehensible one is an interesting philisophical question, and doesn't usually come up in real life; one most likely will never have to make a choice of this kind even if they live to be a century old.

The act of saving a life, while exemplary, is not a clean-wash for murder; it falls far short actually. For example, if I saved someone from sure death today, and murdered someone in cold blood tomorrow, there would be few if any people who would simply cancel the two out and treat me as if neither event occured - and rightly so. Increasing the amount of "saved" lives will of course increase the weighting against the one murdered person, but as you increase the number of saved people the example approaches absolute ridiculousness; it would take the action of an extremely successful sociopathic maniac to be able to create such a dilemma and any moral culpability involved would be his or hers alone. So, in conclusion, your professor is absolutely right; the action of taking a life far morally outweighs the action of saving it. If this still doesn't sate your curiousity, think of it this way: the act of murder would be solely on your shoulders; the act of failing to save a life requires actions other than yours which set it into motion. This is where the bulk of the culpability is lost.
Master P is the end result of capitalism.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 12:10:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/6/2010 10:24:26 PM, XStrikeX wrote:
Is it morally right to kill one innocent person to save others?
For example, you're standing near a train track. A train is rushing towards five people who are accidentally frozen on the track. However, if you pull a nearby switch, the train will change directions and veer right towards one single person.
My debate teacher disagrees with my opinion, but what's yours?

You have no right. He's not responsible for their not bothering to find out the bloody train schedules and not dealing with the temperatures that lead to "accidental freezing." And his buddy who may be nearby would be fully justified and quite motivated to shoot you the minute you touch that switch.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
20000miles
Posts: 53
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:13:17 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
So noones answered Laissez-Faire's counter question:

"A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor."
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:17:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:13:17 AM, 20000miles wrote:
So noones answered Laissez-Faire's counter question:

"A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor."

Depends on the 5.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
20000miles
Posts: 53
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:22:48 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:17:20 AM, lovelife wrote:

Depends on the 5.

Let's assume they're innocent young persons that have done nothing to forfeit their rights to life.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:23:39 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:13:17 AM, 20000miles wrote:
So noones answered Laissez-Faire's counter question:

"A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor."

Don't even f***ing think about it doctor.

(and "no one would suspect the doctor" is a magic wand situation that renders the hypothetical into an alternative metaphysics, very different from the real ones, which would require thinking up a whole new morality from scratch, starting with a better understanding of the nature of the magic in this alternative universe).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
20000miles
Posts: 53
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:27:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:23:39 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Don't even f***ing think about it doctor.

(and "no one would suspect the doctor" is a magic wand situation that renders the hypothetical into an alternative metaphysics, very different from the real ones, which would require thinking up a whole new morality from scratch, starting with a better understanding of the nature of the magic in this alternative universe).

Your answer isn't unusual. Most would answer "flick the switch" in trolley, but answer "don't kill the man" in transplant. The results seem perplexing since you could save 5 lives in transplant but opt out of doing so.

I don't quite follow your magic wand argument.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:31:37 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:27:25 AM, 20000miles wrote:
At 9/7/2010 1:23:39 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Don't even f***ing think about it doctor.

(and "no one would suspect the doctor" is a magic wand situation that renders the hypothetical into an alternative metaphysics, very different from the real ones, which would require thinking up a whole new morality from scratch, starting with a better understanding of the nature of the magic in this alternative universe).

Your answer isn't unusual. Most would answer "flick the switch" in trolley, but answer "don't kill the man" in transplant
My answer is unusual in full context, because I am not in favor of flicking the switch

I don't quite follow your magic wand argument.
Morality depends upon metaphysics.
A certainty that you will not get caught without any reason to have such a certainty is a different metaphysics and a different epistemology from reality. Those differences probably mean other differences. One needs the full context of information about that universe before one can formulate a morality for living in it-- real morality only applies to, well, reality, and hypotheticals are only valuable to the extent they reflect characteristics of reality, which this one doesn't.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/7/2010 1:32:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/7/2010 1:27:25 AM, 20000miles wrote:
I don't quite follow your magic wand argument.

The magic wand refers to the common practice of ethical hypotheticals to magically change the way reality works in order to impose limits on the scenario. It renders ethical judgements largely void and useless for anything outside the specific hypothetical itself. Since the scenario does not deal accurately with reality, conclusions based upon any answers can not accurately infer to anything consistently outside the hypothetical itself.

The same goes for the trolley/train hypothetical which does not allow the actor to do anything other than the two choices presented.