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The Boat Problem

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9/25/2015 4:48:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2015 4:46:40 PM, YYW wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:44:54 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:40:37 PM, YYW wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:39:48 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:38:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:32:55 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:29:12 PM, YYW wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:21:36 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 9/25/2015 4:18:10 PM, YYW wrote:
An act is different from an omission, dude.


And morally, too, because acts are different from omissions. The state of mind for an affirmative doing of something is totally different from the possible states of mind for failing to do something that you maybe should have.

It's still an affirmative. You make a conscious choice not to act. You're walking to work one day and you pass a house where a kid is banging at the window screaming for help. You see him, hear him, and instead of calling 911, just keep on walking. (Yeah, rough example, but I came up with it on the spot). You made a conscious choice that directly led to this kid's harm/death.

This is why, say, leaving your baby in the bath while you go answer the phone only to come back and find it drowned is negligence but not murder. You didn't make an active choice not to help the baby.

Yes, but the affirmative act in an omission is "not to do something that would prevent the deaths of others" and NOT to "cause the deaths of others."

The basic point is that unless you set into motion the physical forces that put those people in peril, you cannot be reasonably held liable for their deaths.

There's the legal terminology again. Held liable. No, unfortunately, you can't be. Morally, you should be.

Dude, the moral and the legal are not mutually exclusive. The legal is the way it is, in this case, because this is what's both moral and fair.

It's true that they're not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes they are, or at least, they're not hand-in-hand. Many Muslims consider it immoral to drink alcohol, but it's not punishable by law in Western society.

I didn't say that if something is legal then it is necessarily moral... but that is what you're rebutting here.

I know you didn't. You just said that the moral and legal aren't mutually exclusive. I argued an instance where they could be because I believe they are exclusive in this instance as well, or should be. I think this positive omission is immoral but legal, and you argued it was both legal and moral.
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9/25/2015 7:54:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2015 4:25:13 PM, YYW wrote:

Both; Western law, moral philosophy, and theology all recognize the distinction between an act (affirmative doing) and an omission (non-doing), as well as the self-sacrifice exception to laws/moral norms/commandments against killing.

- Does the Christian tradition makes the same distinction also. Meaning, prohibits killing the one to save the many, & allows killing oneself to save the many?

Yeah, in fact if you are, for example, a parent and you fail to save your kid, who was, for example, drowning in a river, you could be charged with negligent homicide (that is to say, for the crime of failing to act)

- Indeed. Negligence.

although generally the law does not impute a duty on people to save others (with the exception of Vermont, which imposes a nominal fine on those who can save others at little risk to themselves and fail to do so).

- There is something similar in Islamic Law as well.

idk... different people have different ideas about what killing is. But, it is settled (in definitions, laws, moral philosophy, etc.) that killing is an affirmative act, as distinct from negligent homicide, which is an omission.

- We refer to all acts of killing, positive or negative, as killing (Q'atl), & then we categorise these acts into their appropriate framework.
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12/14/2017 6:01:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/22/2015 5:59:52 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
This isn't quite the same as the Trolley Problem. I see it as an advanced application of the same type of moral thought, though.

Credit to the show Fate/Zero for this idea because I'm not a plagiarist.

Let's say that there are two boats at sea containing five hundred people and you. Now let's further stipulate that these 501 people are the last humans on the planet. Ship A holds 300 people. Ship B holds you and 200 other people. Holes have opened in the bottoms of both ships, and you are the only one who can fix them. For the sake of this moral thought process, both ships will sink in the same amount of time, meaning you will only have time to fix one ship. Which ship do you fix and why?

One final note: if you choose to save the ship with 300 people (raw utilitarian calculation), the other 200 capture you and demand that you fix their ship first. As long as they live, they will not allow you to escape to the other ship. Now what do you do and why?

For anyone who doesn't know in the anime he would kill them all.
Posts: 4,650
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12/15/2017 6:51:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/22/2015 7:03:48 PM, SNP1 wrote:
There is also kill the 200 and save the 300.
I like the way you think.
"How true it is that words are but vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes."

"Nobody wants to be in your sig." ~Emilrose
Posts: 149
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6/21/2018 2:15:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Posts: 12
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7/5/2018 7:30:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
My solution may be a bit ruthless, but it gets the job done.

I take the ship with 200 people, discover if they have any loved ones, and put them on the ship with 300 people. Now either they force me to fix their ship, killing their parents, children, friends, etc, or they let me fix the ship with 300 people saving more people. I'm willing to bet they would rather they die than know they caused the death of their loved ones.