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Violating moral principles to save your life

Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
TREssspa
Posts: 567
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2/16/2016 6:16:17 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I too would not share the blanket.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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2/16/2016 6:57:43 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

Im not quite sure I understand the scenario. You don't die when sharing right? What's bad about sharing then? Because it's a person from the opposite sex?
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
Heterodox
Posts: 293
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2/16/2016 11:33:08 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I have no moral rules.

Yes, I would lie if it meant saving my life. I would lie if it simply meant I didn't have to do something I don't like. However, lying itself can become something I don't like (having to explain). So, usually it's simpler to not lie and not do the thing I don't like.

The blanket-depends. How big is the blanket? Wouldn't it be more efficient (generate more heat) to share the blanket? Also, is she hot? If so, that might entice me even more to share the blanket (and do other heat generating things).
A1tre
Posts: 223
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2/17/2016 12:23:28 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

I think you should choose your morals in a way that you would never give them up no matter what the situation. This can mean it is moral for you to lie because you are creating a lot of good by saving your life.
To break your morals is a sign you havn't quiet thought them through yet, or it means you lose selfrespect as you have indeed done something wron gaccording to your own opinion.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority.

Even though it can be a virtue to sacrifice yourself for someone else in some situations, I would disagree in saying others lifes alway take priority over your own morally speaking.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/17/2016 1:01:53 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Tragically, I can think of many people who prioritize themselves.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

If he's my childhood friend, he's not likely to betray me. This comes off more like a case of it being so easy to hate, say, gay people until you realize someone close to you is one. It's easy to hate something you cannot identify with. So in this case, I doubt honesty would result in a negative outcome for me.

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I see no reason sharing the blanket is immoral.

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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2/17/2016 1:05:04 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

I would definately save my own life.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I would lie without any guilt Whatsoever. It would simply be stupid to tell the truth and undermine the cause you supported as it may lead to the exposure of the people you are helping.

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I'm not married or in a relationship so have absolutely no moral concern about sharing the blanket. If i was married or in a relationship i would feel bad about sharing the blanket but would still do it without hesitation to avoid death.

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
PeacefulChaos
Posts: 2,610
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2/17/2016 3:11:45 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

um ...

Sharing a blanket with someone isn't immoral. It's not like you're cheating on your spouse. You're sharing a blanket.

That's a little like saying sharing food with someone of the opposite sex is immoral.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:36:56 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 6:16:17 PM, TREssspa wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I too would not share the blanket.

How about the first situation?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:37:56 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 6:57:43 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

Im not quite sure I understand the scenario. You don't die when sharing right? What's bad about sharing then? Because it's a person from the opposite sex?

Yeah, that. It would be a gross impropriety, though one could argue that because you're saving your life, your action is justified - that's the dilemma on which my post is centred...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:38:11 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 11:33:08 PM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I have no moral rules.

Yes, I would lie if it meant saving my life. I would lie if it simply meant I didn't have to do something I don't like. However, lying itself can become something I don't like (having to explain). So, usually it's simpler to not lie and not do the thing I don't like.

The blanket-depends. How big is the blanket? Wouldn't it be more efficient (generate more heat) to share the blanket? Also, is she hot? If so, that might entice me even more to share the blanket (and do other heat generating things).

I hope you're trolling...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:41:23 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 12:23:28 AM, A1tre wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

I think you should choose your morals in a way that you would never give them up no matter what the situation. This can mean it is moral for you to lie because you are creating a lot of good by saving your life.
To break your morals is a sign you havn't quiet thought them through yet, or it means you lose selfrespect as you have indeed done something wron gaccording to your own opinion.
That's an interesting opinion. :) What's the normative moral theory that you believe in? Is it deontology? (Sure sounds like it...) If you believe that morals can be expressed as propositions, what may be some of the moral laws that you personally follow and believe to be universal? (Hope you don't mind that I'm asking too many questions...)
My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority.

Even though it can be a virtue to sacrifice yourself for someone else in some situations, I would disagree in saying others lifes alway take priority over your own morally speaking.
You're right about that, since there are situations in which saving yourself is justified, such as when the other person is a terrorist or rapist or whatnot. Excluding the possibility that the other person is a bad person, however, I think we all agree that the other's life takes priority.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:42:52 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 1:01:53 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Tragically, I can think of many people who prioritize themselves.
(
In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

If he's my childhood friend, he's not likely to betray me. This comes off more like a case of it being so easy to hate, say, gay people until you realize someone close to you is one. It's easy to hate something you cannot identify with. So in this case, I doubt honesty would result in a negative outcome for me.
I see, that's reasonable. What if you're in some other situation where lying would definitely lead to your death, though? How would you choose?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I see no reason sharing the blanket is immoral.
^See my response to Fkkize above...
In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:47:49 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 1:05:04 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

I would definately save my own life.
Even if the other person is your father? Your best friend? A selfless person who has devoted his life to helping the poor?
In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I would lie without any guilt Whatsoever. It would simply be stupid to tell the truth and undermine the cause you supported as it may lead to the exposure of the people you are helping.
True. How about another situation where you just have to lie about to save your life, but that not telling the lie will have no other direct negative consequences other than your death?
In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I'm not married or in a relationship so have absolutely no moral concern about sharing the blanket. If i was married or in a relationship i would feel bad about sharing the blanket but would still do it without hesitation to avoid death.
So you believe that in this situation, your own life overrides propriety?
In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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2/17/2016 3:50:36 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:11:45 AM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

um ...

Sharing a blanket with someone isn't immoral. It's not like you're cheating on your spouse. You're sharing a blanket.

That's a little like saying sharing food with someone of the opposite sex is immoral.

There's a huge difference, because sharing a blanket almost guarantees that you'll touch each other at some point, unless the blanket is huge and neither of you has the habit of tossing and turning while asleep...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
TheFlex
Posts: 1,745
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2/17/2016 4:01:16 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

I like A1Tre's response to this. If you're not confident in your own morals, do you really have those morals?


Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Highly depends on the situation here, really. I don't automatically place someone's life above my own.


In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I lie in this situation. I'm working for a cause greater than myself. If they're my closest friend in this situation they're likely to hear me out and sympathize with me even if caught. Even when caught, I might be able to use them to my advantage.


In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?


In this situation I share the blanket. I see nothing immoral about it even with a high risk of death. Even if I die from hypothermia I die knowing I tried to save someone in the exact same situation. Now if the person is someone I hate they get no blanket.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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2/17/2016 4:17:37 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:47:49 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/17/2016 1:05:04 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

I would definately save my own life.
Even if the other person is your father? Your best friend? A selfless person who has devoted his life to helping the poor?

Yes for sure. If I die my life is over I don't want that. Maybe if I had children in the future I may consider dying for them to live but unless I have children I can't really answer as I don't know how I would feel in that scenario.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I would lie without any guilt Whatsoever. It would simply be stupid to tell the truth and undermine the cause you supported as it may lead to the exposure of the people you are helping.
True. How about another situation where you just have to lie about to save your life, but that not telling the lie will have no other direct negative consequences other than your death?

Of course I would lie! I have told many lies in my life to protect me from much smaller things then my execution!

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I'm not married or in a relationship so have absolutely no moral concern about sharing the blanket. If i was married or in a relationship i would feel bad about sharing the blanket but would still do it without hesitation to avoid death.
So you believe that in this situation, your own life overrides propriety?

For sure yes. As I'm currently single I wouldent even view the incident as improper and would have absolutely no moral guilt.

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/17/2016 5:03:10 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:42:52 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/17/2016 1:01:53 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Tragically, I can think of many people who prioritize themselves.
(
In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

If he's my childhood friend, he's not likely to betray me. This comes off more like a case of it being so easy to hate, say, gay people until you realize someone close to you is one. It's easy to hate something you cannot identify with. So in this case, I doubt honesty would result in a negative outcome for me.
I see, that's reasonable. What if you're in some other situation where lying would definitely lead to your death, though? How would you choose?

You mean where not lying would lead to me death? Then I'd lie in most cases. Lying is a minor sin.

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I see no reason sharing the blanket is immoral.
^See my response to Fkkize above...

You're not having sex with the other person. You're sharing a blanket. Since it's cold, you are probably both still wearing all your clothes anyway. Nothing immoral there. If anything, you're saving a life, which is always a moral good.

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
PeacefulChaos
Posts: 2,610
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2/17/2016 6:46:44 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:50:36 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

There's a huge difference, because sharing a blanket almost guarantees that you'll touch each other at some point, unless the blanket is huge and neither of you has the habit of tossing and turning while asleep...

Touching someone is not immoral.
Heterodox
Posts: 293
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2/17/2016 9:30:54 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:38:11 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/16/2016 11:33:08 PM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I have no moral rules.

Yes, I would lie if it meant saving my life. I would lie if it simply meant I didn't have to do something I don't like. However, lying itself can become something I don't like (having to explain). So, usually it's simpler to not lie and not do the thing I don't like.

The blanket-depends. How big is the blanket? Wouldn't it be more efficient (generate more heat) to share the blanket? Also, is she hot? If so, that might entice me even more to share the blanket (and do other heat generating things).

I hope you're trolling...
Wasn't, but after looking at some of the other people's responses, I could see where you might think that. You people are definitely odd compared to the people I know.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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2/18/2016 1:20:14 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
I think it first deserves to be said that if your ethics function doesn't have "continue living" programmed in as one of the primary directives, you're probably doing something terribly, terribly wrong. What good is ethics, after all, if not as an instrument for preserving and enhancing your living experience?

In the first situation, you obviously lie. It's not even a dilemma. If your "friend" is of such a disposition that they would haul you in as a traitor, if not execute you on the spot, there is no friendship. The true lie is not, in this case, answering dishonestly: the entire illusion of friendship has, from some point in the past to the present moment, been founded on a lie of omission. Barring some kind of terribly improbable Hollywood "Oh, how wrong I have been all along" transformation on the part of the childhood friend, the appropriate course of action is clear.

In the second situation, there isn't really a right answer. There are a couple weird things going on with this one:

1. The only case in which the person's biological sex matters is if you estimate >50% chance of getting laid if you save your life. But, given that, in your internal model of ethics, saving someone's life just so you can get to fuckin' em is an illegal move, I can't see why you would include this detail.

2. It's not immediately clear to me why sharing the blanket is immoral. Do you conceive of all ethical actions as being self-abnegating (or at least indifferent to your interests)? If so, what good is ethics?

But--what would I do? I'd probably try sharing the blanket for a little while, seeing if it could keep us both alive (I'm taking for granted that, if we could both be preserved, the added warmth of having the whole blanket, instead of just half, has to be negligible). If it became clear that only one of us could make it, I'd probably find a creative way to kill the other person--spare them the misery of a slow death, at least--then take the blanket.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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2/18/2016 1:21:00 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 1:20:14 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I think it first deserves to be said that if your ethics function doesn't have "continue living" programmed in as one of the primary directives, you're probably doing something terribly, terribly wrong. What good is ethics, after all, if not as an instrument for preserving and enhancing your living experience?

In the first situation, you obviously lie. It's not even a dilemma. If your "friend" is of such a disposition that they would haul you in as a traitor, if not execute you on the spot, there is no friendship. The true lie is not, in this case, answering dishonestly: the entire illusion of friendship has, from some point in the past to the present moment, been founded on a lie of omission. Barring some kind of terribly improbable Hollywood "Oh, how wrong I have been all along" transformation on the part of the childhood friend, the appropriate course of action is clear.

In the second situation, there isn't really a right answer. There are a couple weird things going on with this one:

1. The only case in which the person's biological sex matters is if you estimate >50% chance of getting laid if you save the stranger's life. But, given that, in your internal model of ethics, saving someone's life just so you can get to fuckin' em is an illegal move, I can't see why you would include this detail.

2. It's not immediately clear to me why sharing the blanket is immoral. Do you conceive of all ethical actions as being self-abnegating (or at least indifferent to your interests)? If so, what good is ethics?

But--what would I do? I'd probably try sharing the blanket for a little while, seeing if it could keep us both alive (I'm taking for granted that, if we could both be preserved, the added warmth of having the whole blanket, instead of just half, has to be negligible). If it became clear that only one of us could make it, I'd probably find a creative way to kill the other person--spare them the misery of a slow death, at least--then take the blanket.
mrsatan
Posts: 418
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2/18/2016 10:42:25 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:37:56 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/16/2016 6:57:43 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

Im not quite sure I understand the scenario. You don't die when sharing right? What's bad about sharing then? Because it's a person from the opposite sex?

Yeah, that. It would be a gross impropriety, though one could argue that because you're saving your life, your action is justified - that's the dilemma on which my post is centred...

So you think suicide is more acceptable behavior than spooning with a stranger for non-sexual purposes? That's essentially what giving the blanket away is in that scenario.
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/19/2016 5:20:24 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 4:01:16 PM, TheFlex wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

I like A1Tre's response to this. If you're not confident in your own morals, do you really have those morals?
I don't regard the possibility of exceptions as a sign of lack of confidence in your morals. There are always situations where moral principles come into conflict, where a lesser rule has to be sacrificed for a greater one.

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Highly depends on the situation here, really. I don't automatically place someone's life above my own.
Yes, I agree - like I said to A1tre, the other person could be a terrorist or child molester or whatever. However, I think the 'default' position is to place the other person's life above your own, when there are no other factors involved.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I lie in this situation. I'm working for a cause greater than myself. If they're my closest friend in this situation they're likely to hear me out and sympathize with me even if caught. Even when caught, I might be able to use them to my advantage.
Again, I'd like to change the situation a bit: Assume that you only have to lie about something that is morally neutral, and telling the truth will have no other negative consequence than your death. Would you still lie?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?


In this situation I share the blanket. I see nothing immoral about it even with a high risk of death. Even if I die from hypothermia I die knowing I tried to save someone in the exact same situation. Now if the person is someone I hate they get no blanket.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/19/2016 5:23:47 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 4:17:37 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 2/17/2016 3:47:49 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/17/2016 1:05:04 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

I would definately save my own life.
Even if the other person is your father? Your best friend? A selfless person who has devoted his life to helping the poor?

Yes for sure. If I die my life is over I don't want that. Maybe if I had children in the future I may consider dying for them to live but unless I have children I can't really answer as I don't know how I would feel in that scenario.
I didn't intend to use this thread to argue for a specific moral viewpoint, but I think you may want to rethink this...
In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I would lie without any guilt Whatsoever. It would simply be stupid to tell the truth and undermine the cause you supported as it may lead to the exposure of the people you are helping.
True. How about another situation where you just have to lie about to save your life, but that not telling the lie will have no other direct negative consequences other than your death?

Of course I would lie! I have told many lies in my life to protect me from much smaller things then my execution!
Okay. In more trivial situations, then, what justifies lying to protect yourself? At what point do you consider lying to be immoral and/or unjustified?
In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I'm not married or in a relationship so have absolutely no moral concern about sharing the blanket. If i was married or in a relationship i would feel bad about sharing the blanket but would still do it without hesitation to avoid death.
So you believe that in this situation, your own life overrides propriety?

For sure yes. As I'm currently single I wouldent even view the incident as improper and would have absolutely no moral guilt.
All right. So again, I'd like to ask a question similar to the above - in what situation, if any, do you think propriety should override your life?
In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/19/2016 5:35:16 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 5:03:10 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/17/2016 3:42:52 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/17/2016 1:01:53 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Tragically, I can think of many people who prioritize themselves.
(
In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

If he's my childhood friend, he's not likely to betray me. This comes off more like a case of it being so easy to hate, say, gay people until you realize someone close to you is one. It's easy to hate something you cannot identify with. So in this case, I doubt honesty would result in a negative outcome for me.
I see, that's reasonable. What if you're in some other situation where lying would definitely lead to your death, though? How would you choose?

You mean where not lying would lead to me death? Then I'd lie in most cases. Lying is a minor sin.
I see. In what situation, then, would you not lie?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

I see no reason sharing the blanket is immoral.
^See my response to Fkkize above...

You're not having sex with the other person. You're sharing a blanket. Since it's cold, you are probably both still wearing all your clothes anyway. Nothing immoral there. If anything, you're saving a life, which is always a moral good.
I see. So I'd like to ask a question similar to the one above: In what situations would you consider propriety as overriding your own life?
In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
TheFlex
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2/19/2016 5:39:12 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/19/2016 5:20:24 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/17/2016 4:01:16 PM, TheFlex wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

I like A1Tre's response to this. If you're not confident in your own morals, do you really have those morals?
I don't regard the possibility of exceptions as a sign of lack of confidence in your morals. There are always situations where moral principles come into conflict, where a lesser rule has to be sacrificed for a greater one.

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

Highly depends on the situation here, really. I don't automatically place someone's life above my own.
Yes, I agree - like I said to A1tre, the other person could be a terrorist or child molester or whatever. However, I think the 'default' position is to place the other person's life above your own, when there are no other factors involved.

I honestly default to putting my life above anyone else's given I don't know anything about them.


In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

I lie in this situation. I'm working for a cause greater than myself. If they're my closest friend in this situation they're likely to hear me out and sympathize with me even if caught. Even when caught, I might be able to use them to my advantage.
Again, I'd like to change the situation a bit: Assume that you only have to lie about something that is morally neutral, and telling the truth will have no other negative consequence than your death. Would you still lie?

So if I tell the truth I die? I lie. Maybe I'm too hung up on the bolded part?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/19/2016 5:41:48 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 6:46:44 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 2/17/2016 3:50:36 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

There's a huge difference, because sharing a blanket almost guarantees that you'll touch each other at some point, unless the blanket is huge and neither of you has the habit of tossing and turning while asleep...

Touching someone is not immoral.

Sleeping under the same blanket, however, will probably involve more touching than, say, a tap on the shoulder (which is acceptable). It may also arouse suspicion in others, if someone passes by and recognises one of you, lol...

Anyways, I'd like to ask you the same question: In what situation would you consider propriety to override your life?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
TREssspa
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2/19/2016 5:43:59 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/17/2016 3:36:56 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 2/16/2016 6:16:17 PM, TREssspa wrote:
At 2/16/2016 5:02:04 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
In The Meaning of Life, Chinese philosopher Yin Haiguang wrote that when our basic needs cannot be satisfied without breaching moral rules, we need to engage in a 'moral war of resistance': Lose as little moral territory as possible, and recover them as soon as possible.

My question is, to what extent can we breach moral rules to save our skin?

Now, in a situation where it's either your own life or someone else's, I'm pretty sure we unequivocally agree that others' lives take priority. But there are other situations I'd like to consider here.

In the first situation, your best childhood friend is working in the army. Your government is a tyrannical, oppressive one, and your sympathies lie firmly with the resistance. You've provided them with supplies and shelter. Now you meet your childhood friend, and after a while, you start discussing politics. He asks you a question like, 'You would never help those scum, right?' If you don't answer or give an honest one, you're sure you'll be caught and executed. Would you lie to save your life?

In the second situation, you are in a situation where you're alone with someone of the opposite sex. He or she is not related or married to you. It's extremely cold, and you're sure that without a blanket, you likely won't survive the night. However, you only have one blanket. Do you choose to use the blanket yourself (extremely selfish - I'm sure nobody would do this), share the blanket with that person (which is also immoral, but not as bad as the first choice) or let the person alone use the blanket?

In the first situation, I would lie to my friend. In the second, however, I would not share the blanket.

Do you think my positions are inconsistent? Both involve violating moral principles, but my responses are different. I can't put my finger on why I chose these instinctively, but it might be because in the first case, my friend will never know I lied, whereas in the second case, the other person knows I've committed a wrong. Or maybe it's because I have a nobler goal in the first situation (to aid the overthrow of a tyrant), whereas I can't say the same of the second.

Another question: How would you choose?

I too would not share the blanket.

How about the first situation?

I never lie.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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2/19/2016 6:03:17 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 1:20:14 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I think it first deserves to be said that if your ethics function doesn't have "continue living" programmed in as one of the primary directives, you're probably doing something terribly, terribly wrong. What good is ethics, after all, if not as an instrument for preserving and enhancing your living experience?
It very much depends on whom you ask. Plato and Aristotle would certainly agree that ethics requires continuing life, of course, since their ultimate goal is eudaimonia, which obviously can't be achieved without life. Yet a religious person might say that you continue after death, and sacrificing your life for ethics puts you in heaven. Kant's notion of ethics is built on 'good will', so the ultimate goal seems not to be living, either, but simple adherence to his deontological laws. Mencius explicitly stated, through a famous analogy, that righteousness should override life; Confucius said something of a similar vein.
In the first situation, you obviously lie. It's not even a dilemma. If your "friend" is of such a disposition that they would haul you in as a traitor, if not execute you on the spot, there is no friendship. The true lie is not, in this case, answering dishonestly: the entire illusion of friendship has, from some point in the past to the present moment, been founded on a lie of omission. Barring some kind of terribly improbable Hollywood "Oh, how wrong I have been all along" transformation on the part of the childhood friend, the appropriate course of action is clear.
Interesting point; to some extent I agree with you. However, if you do tell the truth, it becomes a moral dilemma for the friend, because there's a conflict between his responsibility towards the ruler as a subject, and his responsibility towards you as a friend. The latter doesn't necessarily override the former; it depends on what theory of morality you follow...
In the second situation, there isn't really a right answer. There are a couple weird things going on with this one:

1. The only case in which the person's biological sex matters is if you estimate >50% chance of getting laid if you save your life. But, given that, in your internal model of ethics, saving someone's life just so you can get to fuckin' em is an illegal move, I can't see why you would include this detail.
I don't think sex is necessarily involved. I'd say that sleeping with someone of the opposite sex who isn't related to you or your partner is bad (I'm using 'sleep with' in the literal sense); if one were, say, to be staying with a friend of the opposite sex and there's only one bed, the right thing to do is obviously to sleep on the couch.
2. It's not immediately clear to me why sharing the blanket is immoral. Do you conceive of all ethical actions as being self-abnegating (or at least indifferent to your interests)? If so, what good is ethics?
This is a Cody post haha, I knew I had to have a dictionary ready... Anyway, I think absceticism is a virtue, as long as you're doing this because your rational and sympathetic mind takes over your bodily desires. The purpose of ethics, IMO, is first to develop your greater qualities, and to diminish your lesser ones; then, after having cultivated the self, the purpose of ethics is to spread these principles to others, and use the principles to govern effectively. The final and ultimate goal is peace and prosperity throughout the world, though that isn't happening anytime soon.
But--what would I do? I'd probably try sharing the blanket for a little while, seeing if it could keep us both alive (I'm taking for granted that, if we could both be preserved, the added warmth of having the whole blanket, instead of just half, has to be negligible). If it became clear that only one of us could make it, I'd probably find a creative way to kill the other person--spare them the misery of a slow death, at least--then take the blanket.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...