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Hardwired to be hypocrites

Wnope
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4/2/2013 8:31:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is a lot of talk about the application of philosophical moral systems to everyday life. For instance, can we operate in day-to-day life without some coherent intellectual normative grounding?

The question should be reversed: How can we operate in day-to-day life WITH coherent intellectual normative grounding?

The issue is neurological:

Under Dual Process Theory (Described below), multiple moral schemas (namely utilitarian vs. emotion-based) simultaneously compete for "conscious attention" and the winner becomes the "moral cognition."

Deciding the "winner," however, tends to be based on factors that are NOT philosophically relevant.

The following is the result of fMRI tests of subjects response during the "Trolley Problem."

"First, we have the switch dilemma: A runaway trolley is hurtling down the tracks toward five people who will be killed if it proceeds on its present course. You can save these five people by diverting the trolley onto a different set of tracks, one that has only one person on it, but if you do this that person will be killed. Is it morally permissible to turn the trolley and thus prevent five deaths at the cost of one? Most people say "Yes."

Then we have the footbridge dilemma: Once again, the trolley is headed for five people. You are standing next to a large man on a footbridge spanning the tracks. The only way to save the five people is to push this man off the footbridge and into the path of the trolley. Is that morally permissible? Most people say "No."

These two cases create a puzzle for moral philosophers: What makes it okay to sacrifice one person to save five others in the switch case but not in the footbridge case? There is also a psychological puzzle here: How does everyone know (or "know") that it's okay to turn the trolley but not okay to push the man off the footbridge?

According to dual-process theory of moral judgment, our differing responses to these two dilemmas reflect the operations of at least two distinct psychological/neural systems. On the one hand, there is a system that tends to think about both of these problems in utilitarian terms: Better to save as many lives as possible. The operations of this system are more controlled, perhaps more reasoned, and tend to be relatively unemotional. This system appears to depend on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with "cognitive control" and reasoning.

On the other hand, there is a different neural system that responds very differently to these two dilemmas. This system typically responds with a relatively strong, negative emotional response to the action in the footbridge dilemma, but not to the action in the switch dilemma. When this more emotional system is engaged, its responses tend to dominate people's judgments, explaining why people tend to make utilitarian judgments in response to the switch dilemma, but not in response to the footbridge dilemma.

If you make the utilitarian judgment sufficiently attractive, you can elicit a prolonged competition between these two systems. Consider the crying baby dilemma: It's war time, and you are hiding in a basement with several other people. The enemy soldiers are outside. Your baby starts to cry loudly, and if nothing is done the soldiers will find you and kill you, your baby, and everyone else in the basement. The only way to prevent this from happening is to cover your baby's mouth, but if you do this the baby will smother to death. Is it morally permissible to do this?

According to the dual-process theory, this dilemma is difficult because it, like the footbridge dilemma elicits a strong negative emotional response ("Don't kill the baby!"), while at the same time eliciting a comparably compelling utilitarian response from the other system ("But if you don't kill the baby, everyone dies.") Difficult dilemmas like this one tend to elicit increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region associated with "response conflict." And when people make utilitarian judgments in response to these difficult dilemmas, they exhibit increased activity in anterior regions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex."

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu...
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 9:23:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Throwing a guy off of a footbridge would not stop a trolley... but I get the idea, would you violently sacrifice one person to save five. The problem with the trolley question is that, when you're throwing a guy off of a footbridge, you're choosing to sacrifice him instead of yourself. Why not throw yourself off of the footbridge? I mean, you really can't make a significant utilitarian reason to spare yourself over this person, so your emotions basically dictate that you will not sacrifice yourself. And, since you're sparing yourself, you also have strong emotions against sacrificing this other person.

Wouldn't the purely utilitarian decision be to let more people die, being that the population is too high? I mean, if you need to save five people there is already an emotional decision being made.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 9:28:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Haha, agreed. I'm always flabbergasted by the moral infancy of the masses.

Harvard provides a fascinating discussion on this very dilemma:
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 9:37:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

It's essentially self-defense.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 9:57:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

"As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why."

It's presumed you aren't fat enough to do the job.
APB
Posts: 267
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4/2/2013 10:00:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If I could throw the switch to sacrifice 1 adult, male stranger in exchange for saving 5 more, I probably wouldn't. Why should I care?

If one of those people was somebody I knew, found attractive, or felt some degree of protectiveness/sympathy for (e.g. a small child), I'd sacrifice any number of random strangers to save them.

If the 1 person on the alternate route was somebody I disliked, I'd flick the switch to kill them.
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 10:01:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:00:35 PM, APB wrote:
If I could throw the switch to sacrifice 1 adult, male stranger in exchange for saving 5 more, I probably wouldn't. Why should I care?

If one of those people was somebody I knew, found attractive, or felt some degree of protectiveness/sympathy for (e.g. a small child), I'd sacrifice any number of random strangers to save them.

If the 1 person on the alternate route was somebody I disliked, I'd flick the switch to kill them.

And then the situation becomes people dying because of your sentiment, rather than for logical reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,392
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4/2/2013 10:22:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the only real lesson of the trolley car thought experiment, other than that Michael Sandel has an coyly dark sense of humor, is that casuistry is the real moral bedrock of our sense of right and wrong. We hold principles, but depending on the circumstance, the weight of those principles relative to others varies according to the context of a situation. The problem, then, is not with determining which moral theory/system is most appropriate (I abhor Kant, but am equally frustrated by utilitarian consequentialism) but in weighing the moral worth of principles called into question by particular cases.
Tsar of DDO
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 10:43:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

Definitely a hard question. I don't think there's necessarily an answer to it.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 10:44:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:43:33 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

Definitely a hard question. I don't think there's necessarily an answer to it.

(Not because morality is grey, but because both possibilities are justified in my eyes).
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/2/2013 10:58:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

I can think of few things less intuitive conditions than a sociopath who kills just to save other people and might sacrifice himself for a child.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 11:10:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:58:49 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

I can think of few things less intuitive conditions than a sociopath who kills just to save other people and might sacrifice himself for a child.

Thanks. I've heard this test described as one for sociopathy before, and always thought it a rather broad and brutish diagnostic to employ.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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4/2/2013 11:15:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

He already outlined what would constitute a person or group of people that he would save over himself. I don't understand how this adds to anything.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/2/2013 11:15:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:10:46 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:58:49 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

I can think of few things less intuitive conditions than a sociopath who kills just to save other people and might sacrifice himself for a child.

Thanks. I've heard this test described as one for sociopathy before, and always thought it a rather broad and brutish diagnostic to employ.

Only a trained psychologist can diagnose actual sociopathy/psychopathy.

An individual can display sociopathic behavior consistently, but some therapy might lead to them gaining, for instance, a sense of remorse (found with a lot of ex-gang members).

At the risk of the true Irishman fallacy, a "real" sociopathy/psychopathy has an actual neurological deficit/damage in a part of the brain related to empathy and susceptibility to punishment.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 11:16:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

You're talking to a kid who was pretty brutally bullied, so you aren't helping your case very much.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/2/2013 11:20:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:16:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

You're talking to a kid who was pretty brutally bullied, so you aren't helping your case very much.

For the record, the victims of violence, especially systematic violence at an early age, have a tendency to externalize their own cognitive dissociation between physical violence and pain leading to less sympathy/remorse when hypothesizing about inflicting the same kind of violence upon others.

One of those ironic "date the a guy like the father that beat you" things about humans.
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/2/2013 11:37:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:15:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

He already outlined what would constitute a person or group of people that he would save over himself. I don't understand how this adds to anything.

I'm just probing.

I mean, sure he outlined that, but... say everyone in Africa would die (except those he cares about, if they are in Africa) if he didn't sacrifice himself. He said he values himself over any number of random strangers, but would he really allow a whole continent to die to save himself?
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 11:45:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:37:00 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:15:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

He already outlined what would constitute a person or group of people that he would save over himself. I don't understand how this adds to anything.

I'm just probing.

I mean, sure he outlined that, but... say everyone in Africa would die (except those he cares about, if they are in Africa) if he didn't sacrifice himself. He said he values himself over any number of random strangers, but would he really allow a whole continent to die to save himself?

I think that you're assuming that people are, for the most part, good. I don't believe that; if it were true then the pages of human history would not be drenched in blood. I think that most people are morally neutral, and more than willing to be instruments in the hands of others, more than willing to commit atrocities for no other reason than to feel like they belong. Truly moral people are the exception to the rule.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
APB
Posts: 267
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4/2/2013 11:50:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 10:01:58 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:00:35 PM, APB wrote:
If I could throw the switch to sacrifice 1 adult, male stranger in exchange for saving 5 more, I probably wouldn't. Why should I care?

If one of those people was somebody I knew, found attractive, or felt some degree of protectiveness/sympathy for (e.g. a small child), I'd sacrifice any number of random strangers to save them.

If the 1 person on the alternate route was somebody I disliked, I'd flick the switch to kill them.

And then the situation becomes people dying because of your sentiment, rather than for logical reason.

That is 100% correct regardless of who is pulling the switch. When the adrenalin kicks in and you realise you have to make a decision RIGHT NOW, you will not be able to make a logical, ethical decision. You will go with your instincts, because that's the only part of your brain that's working at that moment.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/2/2013 11:51:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:20:00 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:16:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

You're talking to a kid who was pretty brutally bullied, so you aren't helping your case very much.

For the record, the victims of violence, especially systematic violence at an early age, have a tendency to externalize their own cognitive dissociation between physical violence and pain leading to less sympathy/remorse when hypothesizing about inflicting the same kind of violence upon others.

One of those ironic "date the a guy like the father that beat you" things about humans.

I wouldn't want to inflict violence on them. I just wouldn't lift a finger to help any of them, and I certainly wouldn't sacrifice my life, or a stranger's life, for them. Someone who bolsters their self esteem by hurting someone else is a despicable monster in my eyes and is of no value whatsoever to me.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/3/2013 4:49:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/2/2013 11:51:02 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:20:00 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:16:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:12:46 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 11:02:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:39:27 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 10:14:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:55:49 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:40:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:32:32 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 4/2/2013 9:25:25 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I've never understood the problem with pushing the guy off the bridge. The baby I can see, but I'd shove that poor unlucky bastard off first chance I got. What does that make me, a sociopath?

Really? Because I see less of a problem with the baby. The baby will die no matter what, so go ahead and shut it up so it doesn't get everyone else killed.

The baby is a problem because it's obviously of immense personal value to me. Plus I'll be dead regardless. But the question is whether I die taking everyone else with me, or I live with the horrible crime of having killed someone who I cared for very much on my conscience. Neither option is preferable, but in the end I would probably smother the baby. My life would just be pretty horrible from then on out.

In the bridge scenario the options are to live with one innocent death on my conscience, or five. I am the only person in a position to change the outcome, so I am responsible for whichever outcome occurs. In that situation the guilt would be assuaged by the fact that I saved the lives of four people who are of equal value to me as the one that I killed. If the person being pushed was my fiancee, that is when things would get fuzzy.

Obviously the baby's death wouldn't really be on your hands. What if someone else in the group did the deed? It would be to save the group, and the baby is dead either way, so really it's the people who are looking for you who are responsible for it's death.

As for the trolley, why not throw yourself off from the footbridge, that way you don't have to kill anyone? If your answer is no, I would not throw myself off, but I would throw this other guy off, I'd have to ask why.

Aside from the fatness aspect (I couldn't stop a shopping cart, much less a trolley), it's the fact that I value my own life more than that of a random stranger.

What if the only way to save these five people was to throw yourself off, and there was no stranger? Do you value your life more than the lives of five strangers?

I value my own life more than any amount of random strangers. I would only ever give up my own life in order to save someone who was of immense value to me, or a collection of people who were together of great value to me. The way I can see it I can only spend my life once, and I ought to do it in the way which preserves the greatest amount of value. A stranger has a small amount of value, by virtue of holding potential, but they are an unknown, and could just as easily be irredeemably evil as irreplaceably good.

Say they are school mates, but you are mere acquaintances, rather than complete strangers.

You're talking to a kid who was pretty brutally bullied, so you aren't helping your case very much.

For the record, the victims of violence, especially systematic violence at an early age, have a tendency to externalize their own cognitive dissociation between physical violence and pain leading to less sympathy/remorse when hypothesizing about inflicting the same kind of violence upon others.

One of those ironic "date the a guy like the father that beat you" things about humans.

I wouldn't want to inflict violence on them. I just wouldn't lift a finger to help any of them, and I certainly wouldn't sacrifice my life, or a stranger's life, for them. Someone who bolsters their self esteem by hurting someone else is a despicable monster in my eyes and is of no value whatsoever to me.

It's not that people who are bullied at a young age necessarily become violent, it's just a matter of how they are desensitized to violence against others.

Of course, it could just as easily go the other way where those bullied at a young age become hyper-sensitive to pain in others.

Using just that variable to predict behavior is, admittedly, like predicting food will taste good because you know sugar is in it.
R0b1Billion
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4/3/2013 10:10:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
bump
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.