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The Assassin Dilemma

n7
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3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Obbe
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3/3/2016 7:46:49 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Morality is subjective, and I question whether or not all behaviors should or could be justified in that sense. The entire modern world we live in is built on the broken backs, lost lives and forgotten dreams of an incomprehensible quantity of individuals. Is it justifiable? Does it matter?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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3/3/2016 7:55:12 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

I guess it depends on who and how many he killed.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
famousdebater
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3/3/2016 8:05:18 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

By 'extra money' does that mean all the money earned or just anything left over?
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
John Galsworthy
autocorrect
Posts: 432
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3/3/2016 8:13:34 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 8:05:18 PM, famousdebater wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

By 'extra money' does that mean all the money earned or just anything left over?

Yeah, and he's not going to make a profit starting out - what with all the knives, guns, poisons, fake ID, disguises, transport, accommodation and so on and on. So, is he justified in dipping into the charity plate to fund his dubious career choice?
famousdebater
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3/3/2016 8:42:13 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:

Though given the information that I have I'd probably say no, the assassin isn't justified.

Do you do human experimentation on medication when it could potentially be unsafe? No. Even if these experiments will ultimately save more people it is considered inhumane and as a violation of human rights to do this. So why would apply the concept of utilitarianism here? Innocent people are being killed here. It still violates the right to life. Although that really depends on your interpretation on human rights, etc, because some people find the death penalty to be moral and if you believe that the death penalty is moral and justified then that does create problems with answering no.
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
John Galsworthy
Sidewalker
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3/4/2016 12:50:39 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Of course not, the choice to be an assassin isn't based on donating to cancer research, he could choose a different profession and still donate to cancer research, donating to cancer research doesn't bear on the choice.

This isn't really a dilemma.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
tejretics
Posts: 6,093
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3/4/2016 1:06:29 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

How many did he kill vs. how many did he save? Also, could he have done it in a way that didn't involve killing?
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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3/4/2016 1:08:53 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 8:42:13 PM, famousdebater wrote:

**This is a post regarding a more generic principle that you talked about, rather than the specific dilemma**

You believe that infringing on the right to life is never justified even to protect the right to life of others?

Also, see this: http://house.wikia.com...

Once you've read it, please answer: to you believe Chase's actions to be justified?
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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3/4/2016 1:09:19 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 1:08:53 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/3/2016 8:42:13 PM, famousdebater wrote:

**This is a post regarding a more generic principle that you talked about, rather than the specific dilemma**

You believe that infringing on the right to life is never justified even to protect the right to life of others?

Also, see this: http://house.wikia.com...

Once you've read it, please answer: do you believe Chase's actions to be justified?

Fixed.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Deb-8-A-Bull
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3/4/2016 1:52:47 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 1:51:41 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:
No one knew he was a assassin, justified do sent mean nothing.

doesn't mean nothing
n7
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3/4/2016 4:07:58 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 1:06:29 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

How many did he kill vs. how many did he save? Also, could he have done it in a way that didn't involve killing?

Let's say he killed 50 people.

In 2012, there were an estimated 13,776,251 people living with all cancer sites in the United States. http://seer.cancer.gov...

He would've saved all of them from potential death, plus everyone worldwide. He could've have done it without killing, killing is the only marketable skill he has.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
tejretics
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3/4/2016 4:47:18 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 4:07:58 PM, n7 wrote:
At 3/4/2016 1:06:29 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

How many did he kill vs. how many did he save? Also, could he have done it in a way that didn't involve killing?

Let's say he killed 50 people.

In 2012, there were an estimated 13,776,251 people living with all cancer sites in the United States. http://seer.cancer.gov...

He would've saved all of them from potential death, plus everyone worldwide. He could've have done it without killing, killing is the only marketable skill he has.

It would have been "justified," but not the most moral way to do it via utilitarianism.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,251
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3/4/2016 6:15:01 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
I assume it's taken for granted that the people he's assassinating wouldn't themselves go on to improve the human condition by a greater amount, and that the only way the assassin could raise the required amount of money was by being an assassin? If so, then this is just the standard "Do utilitarian concerns take precedence," and I think they do.
Chloe8
Posts: 2,614
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3/5/2016 10:26:50 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money

I would give this person the death penalty as it's not fair to kill someone even if it's to benefit others. The only exception is if the person killed is threatening you or other people.
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matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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3/6/2016 10:27:58 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

You would have to know the specifics of who he killed and why. Obviously, someone assassinating Hitler would be moral.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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3/7/2016 2:38:55 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

It's easy to make a better world when others don't have an option to resist.
mrsatan
Posts: 429
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3/8/2016 6:06:13 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Do two people absolutely outweigh one person I value? I would say not, so in the absence of more information, it's pretty hypocritical reasoning. Kill people so that people won't die. Self refuting justification.
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.
n7
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3/8/2016 3:42:25 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/8/2016 6:06:13 AM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Do two people absolutely outweigh one person I value? I would say not, so in the absence of more information, it's pretty hypocritical reasoning. Kill people so that less people won't die. Self refuting justification.

Do only two people have cancer? It's killing people so less people will. Not self refuting at all.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
TheFlex
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3/8/2016 6:47:14 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/4/2016 4:20:10 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
This is just a "does the end justify the means" question.

This.

Also, plot twist : He assassinated the person who was going to invent the cure before the research was funded.
mrsatan
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3/8/2016 8:39:07 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/8/2016 3:42:25 PM, n7 wrote:
At 3/8/2016 6:06:13 AM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Do two people absolutely outweigh one person I value? I would say not, so in the absence of more information, it's pretty hypocritical reasoning. Kill people so that less people won't die. Self refuting justification.


I made a typo in that post. Was supposed to be "in value", not " I value".

Do only two people have cancer? It's killing people so less people will. Not self refuting at all.

The 2:1 was an arbitrary ratio, so no need to get hung up on it. It could be 10,000,000:1 for all I care.

Unless the assassin can see the future, he doesn't know what he's preventing the people he kills from doing. I sincerely doubt anything can justify that.
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.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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3/8/2016 11:29:58 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/8/2016 6:47:14 PM, TheFlex wrote:
At 3/4/2016 4:20:10 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
This is just a "does the end justify the means" question.

This.

But it's an entertaining form of the question!
Also, plot twist : He assassinated the person who was going to invent the cure before the research was funded.

You can make up for it by assassinating the person who was going to be the next major genocidal dictator.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
n7
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3/8/2016 11:46:39 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/8/2016 8:39:07 PM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/8/2016 3:42:25 PM, n7 wrote:
At 3/8/2016 6:06:13 AM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Do two people absolutely outweigh one person I value? I would say not, so in the absence of more information, it's pretty hypocritical reasoning. Kill people so that less people won't die. Self refuting justification.


I made a typo in that post. Was supposed to be "in value", not " I value".

Do only two people have cancer? It's killing people so less people will. Not self refuting at all.

The 2:1 was an arbitrary ratio, so no need to get hung up on it. It could be 10,000,000:1 for all I care.

I can understand the feeling, but is it based on more than that? Why should that 1 person trump the millions of lives?
Unless the assassin can see the future, he doesn't know what he's preventing the people he kills from doing. I sincerely doubt anything can justify that.

Maybe he doesn't know, but he still has the intention of funding medical research which brings about massive potential. However, I can think of a way in which he could almost know for certain that his funding would bring about a cure. If cancer research is underfunded and the assassin was friends with a scientist who knew he could develop a cure, he would be reasonably justified in believing that his work would lead to a cure.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
mrsatan
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3/9/2016 8:08:02 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/8/2016 11:46:39 PM, n7 wrote:
At 3/8/2016 8:39:07 PM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/8/2016 3:42:25 PM, n7 wrote:
At 3/8/2016 6:06:13 AM, mrsatan wrote:
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

Do two people absolutely outweigh one person I value? I would say not, so in the absence of more information, it's pretty hypocritical reasoning. Kill people so that less people won't die. Self refuting justification.


I made a typo in that post. Was supposed to be "in value", not " I value".

Do only two people have cancer? It's killing people so less people will. Not self refuting at all.

The 2:1 was an arbitrary ratio, so no need to get hung up on it. It could be 10,000,000:1 for all I care.

I can understand the feeling, but is it based on more than that? Why should that 1 person trump the millions of lives?

It shouldn't, nor did I say it should. I simply don't see what makes more inherently superior to less.

Unless the assassin can see the future, he doesn't know what he's preventing the people he kills from doing. I sincerely doubt anything can justify that.

Maybe he doesn't know, but he still has the intention of funding medical research which brings about massive potential. However, I can think of a way in which he could almost know for certain that his funding would bring about a cure. If cancer research is underfunded and the assassin was friends with a scientist who knew he could develop a cure, he would be reasonably justified in believing that his work would lead to a cure.

Doesn't matter. People often say "the ends justify the means". Personally, I consider that a load of bull. The "ends" can only justify the means if they are a direct consequence of the means. In which case, the "ends" and the "means" are really one in the same.
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.
Vaarka
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3/9/2016 3:13:56 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/3/2016 7:40:34 PM, n7 wrote:
Let's say an assassin donates all his extra money to cancer research and in doing so, they have received enough funding to discover a cure. Was the assassin justified in his profession? What if he went into this business with the intention of donating money to cancer research?

It's really not justified. What we're talking about is a man killing the lives of many random people, most of which had probably done nothing in their life to deserve being killed, taking their money, and then donating it to cancer research. Sure, a cure was found, but the assassin is nowhere near justified.
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A1tre
Posts: 223
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3/17/2016 9:43:44 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Let"s turn things up a notch. Assume a mad scientist hidden away in a laboratory was developing a super bio-weapon that would exterminate humanity in it"s entirety. Is it moral for the assassin to kill that scientist before he gets the chance to finish developing his weapon?

As a deontologist who says human life may never be taken, will you answer no to this question and let humanity be eradicated?
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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3/19/2016 1:17:13 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/17/2016 9:43:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
Let"s turn things up a notch. Assume a mad scientist hidden away in a laboratory was developing a super bio-weapon that would exterminate humanity in it"s entirety. Is it moral for the assassin to kill that scientist before he gets the chance to finish developing his weapon?

As a deontologist who says human life may never be taken, will you answer no to this question and let humanity be eradicated?

Deontology allows space for justifiable killing.

We could form the maxim "Killing is permissable when the victim is intentionally endangering the human race."

This maxim meets Kant's Categorical imperative - we could universalize this without contradiction and we are acknowledging the dignity and free will of the person we kill. Our action is motivated by a respect for the dignity of the constituents of humanity. The motivation for killing lies precisely in the disregard for dignity by the victim, so that the act of killing is inseparable from an end goal of respecting human dignity.

Catholicism is a largely deontological system and allows for just wars and recognizes that capital punishment may be necessary in times of crisis.

In the OP, people are being used as means to an end: they are being killed in exchange for money with the goal of saving a greater number of people. As other people have noted, there is nothing about the end goal that necessitates the killing, a respect for human dignity is not inseparable from the act of killing. The assassin's victims are simply tools for the assassin to achieve his goals.

So I think your hypothetical is actually turning it down a notch.

We might restructure your hypothetical:

Assume a mad scientist is locked away in a laboratory was developing a super bio-weapon that would exterminate humanity in it's entirety. The scientist has hidden the encryption key to his lab within the body of an unknown individual in a fully occupied 100 story apartment building. Is it moral to kill and disembowel the occupants of the building in an attempt to stop the scientist before he gets the chance to finish developing his weapon?