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A moral dilemma

unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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3/1/2012 11:37:19 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Before I answer this, I have a moral dilemma for you...

Let's say that there's a pandemic. You live in country A, with 400,000 people in it. Country B is also afflicted with this disease, and has 1 billion people. Only one country may have the cure, while the other perishes.

If you were the leader of country A, would you sacrifice the needs of the few for the needs of the many?
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/1/2012 11:40:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Autonomy is never justified when the rights of others are threatened. Viruses mutate rather quickly, so the best hope of staving off the threat is to vaccinate everyone. Concepts of "herd immunity" fail because of viral mutations.

A good example of this is Nigeria's polio outbreak. Every single nation around Nigeria had compulsory immunization for polo, but for religious reasons, Nigeria made it voluntary. The virus then mutated and began spreading to those other nations.

When the right to liberty harms the right to life of others, liberty must be curbed.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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3/1/2012 11:48:03 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
If they refuse the vaccine and then continuing to behave in a manner which endangers others they are aggressing against them.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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3/1/2012 12:13:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:37:19 AM, Ren wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Before I answer this, I have a moral dilemma for you...

Let's say that there's a pandemic. You live in country A, with 400,000 people in it. Country B is also afflicted with this disease, and has 1 billion people. Only one country may have the cure, while the other perishes.

If you were the leader of country A, would you sacrifice the needs of the few for the needs of the many?

If I were a non-partisan party, I'd save the most number of people.

However, as the leader of country A, I'd feel compelled to act within my role as looking after the best interests of my citizens, and would ideally hold a referendum on where the cure would go, if allowed. If not, I would save country A.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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3/1/2012 12:19:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:40:56 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Autonomy is never justified when the rights of others are threatened. Viruses mutate rather quickly, so the best hope of staving off the threat is to vaccinate everyone. Concepts of "herd immunity" fail because of viral mutations.

A good example of this is Nigeria's polio outbreak. Every single nation around Nigeria had compulsory immunization for polo, but for religious reasons, Nigeria made it voluntary. The virus then mutated and began spreading to those other nations.

That's exactly what I was basing the question on. I was reading Hitchens' book again, where he describes Nigeria, and thought that it poses an interesting conflict between the rights of the individual and the health of the group.

When the right to liberty harms the right to life of others, liberty must be curbed.

Interesting. Would you support torturing a known terrorist in a ticking timebomb scenario for the same reason?
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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3/1/2012 12:26:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Alright, as promised...

At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Well, the way that it would be handled in reality (and, what is likely the best conceivable way to handle it), is to quarantine those individuals and let them die on their own in isolation. Then, burn their bodies.

This way, both parties are given a choice, but the decisions of one need not affect those of the other.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/1/2012 12:35:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 12:19:19 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:40:56 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Autonomy is never justified when the rights of others are threatened. Viruses mutate rather quickly, so the best hope of staving off the threat is to vaccinate everyone. Concepts of "herd immunity" fail because of viral mutations.

A good example of this is Nigeria's polio outbreak. Every single nation around Nigeria had compulsory immunization for polo, but for religious reasons, Nigeria made it voluntary. The virus then mutated and began spreading to those other nations.

That's exactly what I was basing the question on. I was reading Hitchens' book again, where he describes Nigeria, and thought that it poses an interesting conflict between the rights of the individual and the health of the group.

When the right to liberty harms the right to life of others, liberty must be curbed.

Interesting. Would you support torturing a known terrorist in a ticking timebomb scenario for the same reason?

Torture would be an ineffective solution in that scenario, and torture is a violation of bodily integrity, not just of liberty.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/1/2012 12:44:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 12:35:54 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Torture would be an ineffective solution in that scenario, and torture is a violation of bodily integrity, not just of liberty.

oh please..

How bout dirty harry stepping on injured, sicko, guys arm to learn where said guy buried some young girl alive (knowing she has limited air supply) o.O

Torture might work.. and in certain circumstances I would approve or even carry it out myself.

However.. Making it official policy... and widespread practice is tough.. b/c then it might be used in MORE than the limited circumstances in which I'd have it done.

I'd say keep it illegal.. but people, like CIA, will do it anyways when the situation's real dire.. and when it would seem most likely to help.

But keeping it illegal will keep abuse of torture low.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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3/1/2012 12:45:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 12:35:54 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 12:19:19 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:40:56 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Autonomy is never justified when the rights of others are threatened. Viruses mutate rather quickly, so the best hope of staving off the threat is to vaccinate everyone. Concepts of "herd immunity" fail because of viral mutations.

A good example of this is Nigeria's polio outbreak. Every single nation around Nigeria had compulsory immunization for polo, but for religious reasons, Nigeria made it voluntary. The virus then mutated and began spreading to those other nations.

That's exactly what I was basing the question on. I was reading Hitchens' book again, where he describes Nigeria, and thought that it poses an interesting conflict between the rights of the individual and the health of the group.

When the right to liberty harms the right to life of others, liberty must be curbed.

Interesting. Would you support torturing a known terrorist in a ticking timebomb scenario for the same reason?

Torture would be an ineffective solution in that scenario, and torture is a violation of bodily integrity, not just of liberty.

What would you do in a ticking time bomb scenario? What would the more effective solution be?
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/1/2012 12:57:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 12:45:57 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 3/1/2012 12:35:54 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 12:19:19 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:40:56 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

Autonomy is never justified when the rights of others are threatened. Viruses mutate rather quickly, so the best hope of staving off the threat is to vaccinate everyone. Concepts of "herd immunity" fail because of viral mutations.

A good example of this is Nigeria's polio outbreak. Every single nation around Nigeria had compulsory immunization for polo, but for religious reasons, Nigeria made it voluntary. The virus then mutated and began spreading to those other nations.

That's exactly what I was basing the question on. I was reading Hitchens' book again, where he describes Nigeria, and thought that it poses an interesting conflict between the rights of the individual and the health of the group.

When the right to liberty harms the right to life of others, liberty must be curbed.

Interesting. Would you support torturing a known terrorist in a ticking timebomb scenario for the same reason?

Torture would be an ineffective solution in that scenario, and torture is a violation of bodily integrity, not just of liberty.

What would you do in a ticking time bomb scenario? What would the more effective solution be?

I would attempt to negotiate with the individual, discover his motives, and compromise with him. Even if he is tortured, he could probably weather the pain and wait for the bomb to explode or he could give false locations.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/1/2012 1:04:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 12:57:51 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
I would attempt to negotiate with the individual, discover his motives, and compromise with him. Even if he is tortured, he could probably weather the pain and wait for the bomb to explode or he could give false locations.

what if, as in the movie "Dirty Harry" you know the guy's beyond reasoning with..

what if, as in the movie, the guy knows you mean business.. and is scared of you.. and might be under the impression he'll get worse later if he steers you wrong with false locations and whatnot.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/1/2012 1:06:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 1:04:14 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/1/2012 12:57:51 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
I would attempt to negotiate with the individual, discover his motives, and compromise with him. Even if he is tortured, he could probably weather the pain and wait for the bomb to explode or he could give false locations.

what if, as in the movie "Dirty Harry" you know the guy's beyond reasoning with..

what if, as in the movie, the guy knows you mean business.. and is scared of you.. and might be under the impression he'll get worse later if he steers you wrong with false locations and whatnot.

in certain circumstances Torture seems as though it may pay off.. and, when the dude's a scumbag... I'm more than willing to trade some pain to him to avoid others coming to harm.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/1/2012 1:10:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 1:04:14 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/1/2012 12:57:51 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
I would attempt to negotiate with the individual, discover his motives, and compromise with him. Even if he is tortured, he could probably weather the pain and wait for the bomb to explode or he could give false locations.

what if, as in the movie "Dirty Harry" you know the guy's beyond reasoning with..

what if, as in the movie, the guy knows you mean business.. and is scared of you.. and might be under the impression he'll get worse later if he steers you wrong with false locations and whatnot.

I am not going to base my judgment on a conservative propaganda film.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/1/2012 1:14:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 1:10:51 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
I am not going to base my judgment on a conservative propaganda film.

not asking you to base your judgment from the film..

I'm asking you to respond to the situation presented in the film, using your judgment, and explain yourself.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Contra
Posts: 3,941
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3/1/2012 1:16:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You guys are not thinking of the whole torture problem:

Consider the "ticking time bomb" scenario.

If you happened to find the perpetrator, how likely is it that you haven't found the bomb?

If you torture, you are only going to get bad intelligence. When John McCain was tortured, he gave his torturers the names of the Green Bay Packers, not his flight crew.

We also lose our moral high ground if we torture.

We have a much harder time winning the hearts and the minds of the world we live in.

I don't see any justification for torture.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/1/2012 1:21:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 1:10:51 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
I am not going to base my judgment on a conservative propaganda film.

the film provides a hypothetical situation.

Responses to hypotheticals allow for seeing someone's manner of judging in action... see just where the judgment's coming from.. what it's based upon.. what's relevant to it and what's not.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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3/1/2012 2:16:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

There's a general rule of common sense "don't sactify the ridiculous". When the cost of the ethic outweighs the benefit of the ethic, it is reasonable to forfeit the ethic. If the entire society is threatened the cost of the ethic is far greater than any benefit the ethic can provide.
sadolite
Posts: 8,834
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3/1/2012 9:26:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/1/2012 11:29:55 AM, unitedandy wrote:
Just thought I'd pose a dilemma for those who are liberals in the general sense (i.e. those who believe in the primacy of the individual over the state).

Suppose there is an outbreak of a virus. This virus is life-threatening, but can be cured with a vaccine provided by the state, if everyone participates. But there are a number of people, who for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine, thus threatening the whole group. Should the state continue to value the autonomy of the individual, or would they be justified in forcibly administering the vaccine?

That's easy, first banish them like lepers and then shoot on site if seen trying to return.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%