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Sacrificing an innocent life

mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:21:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
to save 2?.. sure.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

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"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Indophile
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1/14/2011 3:27:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

As long as you are scenario-building, to take it further, I can postulate then that those 10 ppl died soon after, or did bad things leading to other ppl getting killed, etc. etc. What then would you say to justify your actions?

(I know this was an obvious response, but still...)
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mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:27:32 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

As long as you are scenario-building, to take it further, I can postulate then that those 10 ppl died soon after, or did bad things leading to other ppl getting killed, etc. etc. What then would you say to justify your actions?

(I know this was an obvious response, but still...)

I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
lewis20
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1/14/2011 3:38:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

So you'd kill one person to save 9?
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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1/14/2011 3:38:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:27:32 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

As long as you are scenario-building, to take it further, I can postulate then that those 10 ppl died soon after, or did bad things leading to other ppl getting killed, etc. etc. What then would you say to justify your actions?

(I know this was an obvious response, but still...)

I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

Ditto,

you cannot act based on knowledge that you don't have.
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Indophile
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1/14/2011 3:39:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.

That's the point. You don't have any reason to believe that there's anything else going on. But in your scenario, if I divert the train, I will be responsible for murdering 1 person. If I had let it be, then it'd just be an accident. The blood (figuratively) of those 10 ppl will not be on my hands. Who am I to decide? I don't suppose the 1 guy who dies will be happy about you pulling the switch on him...unless he specifically instructed you to do so. In that case, he sacrificed himself, and I'm not talkiing about such a situation.

What I was talking about was sacrificing an innocent person without his/her knowledge for whatever reason...
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Ore_Ele
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1/14/2011 3:40:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have a question that kind of stems from this. Does the quality of the death have any factor in it? Or the quality of the life?

For example (for quality of death), you can let 10 people die peasefully in their sleep (let's say carbon monoxide posioning), or you can save them by killing 8 people is extremely painful and slow ways.

Or (regarding the quality of life), let 10 children die, or 10 grandparents die.
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mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:42:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:38:07 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

So you'd kill one person to save 9?

if I knew them.. and cared for all involved (about the same)...

I'd make it so that the train kills less of them.

(granted, either way I'd be in a horrible state of mind afterwards... but I'd certainly rather less people I care for die.. as I said.. it would hurt me that I'd done it.. but I think Not doing it would hurt more)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Ore_Ele
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1/14/2011 3:42:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:39:49 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.

That's the point. You don't have any reason to believe that there's anything else going on. But in your scenario, if I divert the train, I will be responsible for murdering 1 person. If I had let it be, then it'd just be an accident. The blood (figuratively) of those 10 ppl will not be on my hands. Who am I to decide? I don't suppose the 1 guy who dies will be happy about you pulling the switch on him...unless he specifically instructed you to do so. In that case, he sacrificed himself, and I'm not talkiing about such a situation.

What I was talking about was sacrificing an innocent person without his/her knowledge for whatever reason...

Inaction is still on your hands (partially). You are choosing to not take an action and you are responsible for that choice.
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Sieben
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1/14/2011 3:43:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
^No way make it even greyer. Grey area is always cool.

What if you could kill 999999 people vs 1000000, except the former would die with an average pain rating of 5, while the latter would die with 4.99. Also you are drunk and there's a 50% chance the demon who's doing this will ignore your decision.

Derp grey area derp derp derp
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mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:44:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:39:49 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.

That's the point. You don't have any reason to believe that there's anything else going on. But in your scenario, if I divert the train, I will be responsible for murdering 1 person. If I had let it be, then it'd just be an accident. The blood (figuratively) of those 10 ppl will not be on my hands.

I would say you didn't "murder" anyone.

you tried to make it a less horrible situation... though it'll be horrible either way..

Who am I to decide? I don't suppose the 1 guy who dies will be happy about you pulling the switch on him...unless he specifically instructed you to do so. In that case, he sacrificed himself, and I'm not talkiing about such a situation.

What I was talking about was sacrificing an innocent person without his/her knowledge for whatever reason..

that's what I was talkin bout too..
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:46:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:42:04 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:39:49 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.

That's the point. You don't have any reason to believe that there's anything else going on. But in your scenario, if I divert the train, I will be responsible for murdering 1 person. If I had let it be, then it'd just be an accident. The blood (figuratively) of those 10 ppl will not be on my hands. Who am I to decide? I don't suppose the 1 guy who dies will be happy about you pulling the switch on him...unless he specifically instructed you to do so. In that case, he sacrificed himself, and I'm not talkiing about such a situation.

What I was talking about was sacrificing an innocent person without his/her knowledge for whatever reason...

Inaction is still on your hands (partially). You are choosing to not take an action and you are responsible for that choice.

I don't do Moral Responsibility... (beyond that you're an idiot if you walk away from things you care about/give up/ be weak and try to ignore reality)

I think it's a simplistic way of looking at things.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Indophile
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1/14/2011 3:48:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:42:04 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:39:49 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:33:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:32:47 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I acted as best I could with the knowledge that I had.

tried my best...

I think Acting on the information you've got is better than not acting at all.

unless you have reason to believe that there's something else going on...

then you might be wary of acting.

That's the point. You don't have any reason to believe that there's anything else going on. But in your scenario, if I divert the train, I will be responsible for murdering 1 person. If I had let it be, then it'd just be an accident. The blood (figuratively) of those 10 ppl will not be on my hands. Who am I to decide? I don't suppose the 1 guy who dies will be happy about you pulling the switch on him...unless he specifically instructed you to do so. In that case, he sacrificed himself, and I'm not talkiing about such a situation.

What I was talking about was sacrificing an innocent person without his/her knowledge for whatever reason...

Inaction is still on your hands (partially). You are choosing to not take an action and you are responsible for that choice.

One can assign blame however one wants, but I'd sure not want to be the one guy on the other track!

This is what I mean. You never know what will happen in the future, so wouldn't it be best if you let things happen the way they are happening and not make such moral decisions? This scenario can be extrapolated to any lengths and then be justified as a necessary evil.

I'd think choosing not to murder anyone should trump anything. Faced with such terrible decisions, it should be to reduce one's intervention, I'd say.
You will say that I don't really know you
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mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:51:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:46:33 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I don't do Moral Responsibility... (beyond that you're an idiot if you walk away from things you care about/give up/ be weak and try to ignore reality)

I think it's a simplistic way of looking at things.

or, if not Simplistic... just ridiculous... and reliant on a notion of Objective/universal morality.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Indophile
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1/14/2011 3:52:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:43:46 PM, Sieben wrote:
^No way make it even greyer. Grey area is always cool.

What if you could kill 999999 people vs 1000000, except the former would die with an average pain rating of 5, while the latter would die with 4.99. Also you are drunk and there's a 50% chance the demon who's doing this will ignore your decision.

Derp grey area derp derp derp

No grey area, as I said. You don't make any such value decisions at all. If x+1 number of ppl are going to die, and you have a choice to save them by killing x (which can even be 1) number of ppl, you don't take that choice.
You will say that I don't really know you
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mattrodstrom
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1/14/2011 3:56:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
if someone does something that I wouldn't have them do...
something I would say they Ought not do...

then I will act to try to prevent them (or others) from doing such things in the future...

that is how you hold someone responsible for actions...

if there's no chance of their doing it again (or others doing it b/c they saw that that guy got away with it)... if they're now on the moon all by themselves and nobody else knows that they got away with doing something that I would not have them do.. then I really don't care to hold them responsible...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Ore_Ele
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1/14/2011 4:26:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:48:39 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:42:04 PM, OreEle wrote:
Inaction is still on your hands (partially). You are choosing to not take an action and you are responsible for that choice.

One can assign blame however one wants, but I'd sure not want to be the one guy on the other track!

Nor would you want to be 1 of the 10 on the first set of tracts.


This is what I mean. You never know what will happen in the future, so wouldn't it be best if you let things happen the way they are happening and not make such moral decisions?

How is that best? It allows 10 people to die instead of 1. This argument could be extended further that no one is on the other tracks, and simply because you don't know where those other tracks might go, they might go no where, they might go right into a wall and kill hundreds of people on the train, that it is best to just let those 10 people die. If that is the case, you're making the case, that your own existance is meaningless, and if it is, why are you bothering on an internet forum?

This scenario can be extrapolated to any lengths and then be justified as a necessary evil.

I'd think choosing not to murder anyone should trump anything. Faced with such terrible decisions, it should be to reduce one's intervention, I'd say.

So, if you were on one of the plane in september 11th, 2001. You'd recommend not trying to stop the terrorist? Just let them do what they are going to do?
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Walrasian_Equilibrium
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1/14/2011 4:33:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:43:46 PM, Sieben wrote:
^No way make it even greyer. Grey area is always cool.

What if you could kill 999999 people vs 1000000, except the former would die with an average pain rating of 5, while the latter would die with 4.99. Also you are drunk and there's a 50% chance the demon who's doing this will ignore your decision.

Derp grey area derp derp derp

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HatedeatH
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1/14/2011 4:37:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:27:32 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

As long as you are scenario-building, to take it further, I can postulate then that those 10 ppl died soon after, or did bad things leading to other ppl getting killed, etc. etc. What then would you say to justify your actions?

(I know this was an obvious response, but still...)

If the 10 people were criminals and the 1 person was a good person then I would probably save the 1 person.
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Sieben
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1/14/2011 4:43:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If I asked you to kill 10 people to save 1, would the answer to that question be the same as the answer to this question?
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lovelife
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1/14/2011 4:44:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:43:46 PM, Sieben wrote:
^No way make it even greyer. Grey area is always cool.

What if you could kill 999999 people vs 1000000, except the former would die with an average pain rating of 5, while the latter would die with 4.99. Also you are drunk and there's a 50% chance the demon who's doing this will ignore your decision.

Derp grey area derp derp derp

I'd go for the 1000000
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Ragnar_Rahl
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1/14/2011 6:07:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It can't be justified, but sometimes it can be someone else's fault (you aren't bound to observe human shields).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/14/2011 6:14:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:25:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
if there's a train with two sets of potential tracks.. one with 10 good people i know(where the train's headed)...

and one with 1 good person I know (where I can send it)...

I'd say it would be best to switch the tracks... to save the difference of 9

And thereby save the idiots who didn't check the train schedule/punish the smart dude who did.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Indophile
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1/14/2011 6:23:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 4:26:56 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:48:39 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/14/2011 3:42:04 PM, OreEle wrote:
Inaction is still on your hands (partially). You are choosing to not take an action and you are responsible for that choice.

One can assign blame however one wants, but I'd sure not want to be the one guy on the other track!

Nor would you want to be 1 of the 10 on the first set of tracts.
Definitely! Only difference being, if I was 1 out of 10 I would be dying due to fate, bad luck or whatever, but if I was the one on the other track, I'd die due to some idiot deciding that it'd be better if I die rather than those other people. In which case my kin could sue the idiot.


This is what I mean. You never know what will happen in the future, so wouldn't it be best if you let things happen the way they are happening and not make such moral decisions?

How is that best? It allows 10 people to die instead of 1. This argument could be extended further that no one is on the other tracks, and simply because you don't know where those other tracks might go, they might go no where, they might go right into a wall and kill hundreds of people on the train, that it is best to just let those 10 people die. If that is the case, you're making the case, that your own existance is meaningless, and if it is, why are you bothering on an internet forum?
Not at all. You were the one who brought up the train scenario. I was just commenting upon the sacrificing of an innocent life. Where those other tracks go, comes into the picture only when you switch the tracks. However, if there are no people on the other tracks, it makes sense to switch them. The driver can obviously apply the brakes and bring the train to a halt, unless as you said there is a wall right after the rail intersection (which would be kind of stupid, and impossible too. No track ends in a wall, as far as I have seen them, unless it's the end of the line, which means the train would be already quite slow)

Not my argument at all, and I'd certainly not argue for existence being meaningless.

This scenario can be extrapolated to any lengths and then be justified as a necessary evil.

I'd think choosing not to murder anyone should trump anything. Faced with such terrible decisions, it should be to reduce one's intervention, I'd say.

So, if you were on one of the plane in september 11th, 2001. You'd recommend not trying to stop the terrorist? Just let them do what they are going to do?
How is this even valid? First of all, stopping the terrorist will count under self-defense, and that is totally right. Secondly, the terrorist is not "innocent". Thirdly, the terrorist is directly trying to murder me as well as the other ppl on the plane, not as if the ppl on the plane are dying due to some plane malfunction.
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PARADIGM_L0ST
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1/14/2011 6:46:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/14/2011 3:18:56 PM, Indophile wrote:
Can it ever be justified?:

Yes, for utilitarian purposes. Let's say there's another airliner hijacked and headed for Washington or NYC. We can either have another 9/11 where thousands and thousands of people die, or we can scramble F-22's and shoot down the plane. es, 100 or sweet and innocent people die, but what's the alternative? Those sweet and innocent people are going to die anyway unless they can manage a solution on their own.

Might as well sacrifice the few for the sake of the many.

In rare instances, such as this one, I believe one can morally justify it.
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