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Moral Decisions

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posted on May, 13 2010 @ 03:50 AM
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Scenario one:

You are standing on a train platform. A stray carriage is hurtling towards 5 workmen. You notice a lever that will change the track of the carriage, if you pull it you will divert the carriage saving the 5 workmen, however, in the process by changing the track you kill 1 person on the diverting the track.

what do you do?

Scenario two:

You are on a bridge over the train track. The same carriage is .ing towards the 5 workmen. The only way you can stop the carriage and save the workmen is to throw a heavy weight in front of the carriage. The only option is to throw a fat man who is also on the bridge into the path of the oncoming carriage.

What do you do?




posted on May, 13 2010 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
Scenario one:

You are standing on a train platform. A stray carriage is hurtling towards 5 workmen. You notice a lever that will change the track of the carriage, if you pull it you will divert the carriage saving the 5 workmen, however, in the process by changing the track you kill 1 person on the diverting the track.

what do you do?

Scenario two:

You are on a bridge over the train track. The same carriage is .ing towards the 5 workmen. The only way you can stop the carriage and save the workmen is to throw a heavy weight in front of the carriage. The only option is to throw a fat man who is also on the bridge into the path of the oncoming carriage.

What do you do?


1.live with it you saved 5 lives.
2. i wundt do that and let the train carriage go



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 03:56 AM
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I watch and I watch.

And then I wonder how a truly amazing and meaningful experience I just had, seeing so many deaths and all of that.

Morality sucks, it retains you from not only having fun but also from learning.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:09 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


I pull out my pocket Cam, lick my lips and film the catastrophe. I then run home upload it to YouTube title it as "Jigglypuff and Naruto AMV" and become an instant Internet celebrity.

I spend the rest of my life on my own tropical island living off of the third party ads revenue happily ever after.

Oh an I totally disable comments so as to not start a never ending philosophical question of what would you do.


[edit on 13-5-2010 by Izarith]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:20 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Scenario one:

If I would pull the lever, by my actions I would be directly responible for the death of the one guy.

The five guys were already in harms way, by fate, without me interfering.

I don't think I would kill one guy to save five others.

It's not my place.


Scenario two: Idem.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


The sad thing is that if I would act in one of those two situations I would be accused of death by accident/murder, even if I save more lives than it costs.

So I think I wouldn't act in either case, not going to jail for saving lives.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:31 AM
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I have no clue... I would hope I would make the right choice and save as many lives as posible, but fear I might dither and not react quick enough.

But you never know until you've been there and I hope to never be in that situation of chosing one life over another..



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:34 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 

Deliberately killing the individual, as in scenario 2, is out of the question.

But unless the individual in scenario 1 is tied to the track, you cannot know that he will die. Possibly pull the lever, giving a warning yell at the same time.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:44 AM
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A real life decision had to be made by Winston Churchill in WW2. Hitler had started firing V2 Rockets in to Britain.

Britain had cracked the codes of the destinations of the rockets and were able to feed back coordinates to the Germans.
Churchill ordered coordinates to be sent back for South London, The Germans believed the coordinates were for Central London. So when the Germans launched their rockets with what they thought were the coordinates for central London, the rockets fell in south London.

South Londoners were sacrificed for the greater good of the nation.

[edit on 13-5-2010 by woodwardjnr]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:54 AM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
Scenario one:

You are standing on a train platform. A stray carriage is hurtling towards 5 workmen. You notice a lever that will change the track of the carriage, if you pull it you will divert the carriage saving the 5 workmen, however, in the process by changing the track you kill 1 person on the diverting the track.

what do you do?

Scenario two:

You are on a bridge over the train track. The same carriage is .ing towards the 5 workmen. The only way you can stop the carriage and save the workmen is to throw a heavy weight in front of the carriage. The only option is to throw a fat man who is also on the bridge into the path of the oncoming carriage.

What do you do?

Do you take Philosophy classes by any chance? That question seems to be an essential when dealing with the subject of "Morality". (Although, it is presented in different forms.)

How about I stand back and let the carriage decide?
(I remember somebody in one of my classes gave an answer like that.)

[edit on 13/5/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 05:12 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 




Scenario one:
Scenario two:


Same answer in both cases: Shout at them to move because there's a carriage coming.

To try to answer your question more within the intended framework, my answer is that I would generally feel uncomfortable causing the death of someone to prevent the death of others. It would not simply be a numbers game. My involvement is a factor. Me killing one person is not necessarily better than five people dying through no intention of my own. Oh, it might be. But it might not. Fewer deaths might not always be the preferred option. Life and death is not the end-all-be-all of value judgements, and numbers do not make decisions for me.

So let me give you:

Scenario three:
Two people have just been poisoned and will die in the next few seconds if they don't receive antidote. You have the antidote to give them, but you only have enough to save one of them, and dividing it between them will be insufficient, resulting in both of their deaths.

What do you do?

My answer:
Pick the one I most want to save and give them the antidote.

You'll notice that I gave no description of the two people involved. Withno way to differentiate the people, it's very simple, isn't it? But now play in your own mind with different descriptions of those two people. One is your mother, one is a stranger. One is white, the other is black. One is rich, the other is poor.

Do these scenarios change your answer?

In my case it doesn't: pick the one I most want to save, and give them the antidote.



[edit on 13-5-2010 by LordBucket]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 05:40 AM
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I would yell: "Hey, get off the tracks", thus saving everyone



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by kingofmd
I would yell: "Hey, get off the tracks", thus saving everyone


It's a loud busy station, all your yelling does is confuse the workmen, just before the carriage plows into them. you had the chance to of saved 5 human beings



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 05:48 AM
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OK, I will be the first to state unequivocally that I would save the greatest number of lives in both cases without hesitation based on the principle of triage. I would always make the hard decision to sacrifice one for the good of many. I would make that one myself rather than a third party, but if that would be impossible, I would nevertheless choose one, not based on whether it was a man or woman or fat or skinny but just simply I think its a moral imparitive to save 5 by sacrificing 1 in most situations. To deny this is to shy away from a clear view of the situation and yourself in it. If you object to the good old fashioned words "ethics" or "morality" for some misplaced reason, you can perhaps think of it in terms of "compassion" or "humanity."

You cannot opt out of that type of situation; refusing to act is also an act that brings great moral burdens. You must act quickly, delibrately, in full awareness and with the knowledge that you are working to effect the least-worse-case scenario. Chillingly, you may end up blamed or even "sacrificed" yourself by the system, but men who understand will always revere the same spirit and join you in the same sort of act when they have to. In truth you will have done the correct thing.

There may be mitigating circumstances, but given the scenario as layed out and assuming no fundamental character differences easily discernable between all the subjects, I don't see how any moral being could act otherise than to decisively make the sacrifice and face up to the consequences with full honesty and equinmity.


[edit on 5/13/10 by silent thunder]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 06:20 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 





I don't see how any moral being could act otherise than to decisively make the sacrifice and face up to the consequences with full honesty and equinmity.


Then maybe you should expand your view.

The person you would sacrifice wasn't in any danger, what gives you the right to pull the lever and kill him?

Fate, or chance got the five men in harms way, how moral is it to play god over peoples lives?



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 06:52 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Scream bloody murder for them to get out of the way & while doing that, jam the lever in 1 direction & then the other to try & slow down the carriage. PRAY.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 06:54 AM
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my bad....

I read the .line as Moral diseases..



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 07:09 AM
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For those having trouble deciding, maybe consider the following:


Scenario one:
You are standing on a train platform. A stray carriage is hurtling towards 5 workmen. You notice a lever that will change the track of the carriage, if you pull it you will divert the carriage saving the 5 workmen, however, in the process by changing the track you kill 1 person on the diverting the track

- is your position in relation to the carriage important? (are there other people closer? Will you need to risk your life by changing the leaver?)
- does the fact that it is stray matter? What if a person was on it and attempting to harm that group of 5 people? (would doing nothing make you feel less guilty knowing somebody was on it?)
- how sure are you that your actions will be successful instead of harming more people? (does this have a baring on whether it is right or wrong to pull or NOT pull the leaver?)


Scenario two:
You are on a bridge over the train track. The same carriage is .ing towards the 5 workmen. The only way you can stop the carriage and save the workmen is to throw a heavy weight in front of the carriage. The only option is to throw a fat man who is also on the bridge into the path of the oncoming carriage.

- do you judge the "fat man" as having a less worthy life because he is fat?
- if the "fat man" planned to murder his ex-wife the next day, would ending his life seem more moral?
- would you feel better if you grabbed the guy and jumped down together? if he died and you lived, would you feel more guilty?
- if the "fat man" was somebody you had a bad grudge against, would "choosing" him as the person to sacrifice be the same as murder? Why, or why not?

[edit on 13/5/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
Scenario three:
Two people have just been poisoned and will die in the next few seconds if they don't receive antidote. You have the antidote to give them, but you only have enough to save one of them, and dividing it between them will be insufficient, resulting in both of their deaths.

What do you do?

My answer:
Pick the one I most want to save and give them the antidote.

You'll notice that I gave no description of the two people involved. Withno way to differentiate the people, it's very simple, isn't it?

But now play in your own mind with different descriptions of those two people. One is your mother, one is a stranger. One is white, the other is black. One is rich, the other is poor.

I really liked your scenario. Practical, clearly expressed and thought-provoking.


In my case it doesn't: pick the one I most want to save, and give them the antidote.

I think you are being dishonest with yourself at this point. You also need to be more specific about why you would choose one over the other. What is it about the one victim that makes you want to save them? Are you saying that if you made the mental decision to save person A, but realised person B was somebody that you know and like, would you not change your mind just before and rather save person B? Or would you feel morally obliged to stick with your first choice?

[edit on 13/5/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 




I really liked your scenario.


Thank you.



I think you are being dishonest with yourself at this point.


No. Not one bit.



You also need to be more specific about why you
would choose one over the other.


I thought I was clear: desire.

Whomever I want to save is the only I'm most likely to choose.



What is it about the one victim that makes you want to save them?


Could be anything. Maybe she's cute. Maybe he's well dressed. Maybe they have a way of smiling that reminds me of someone I know. The motivating factor would simply come down to personal preference: mine.

Who do I feel more desire to save? They're the one who gets saved.



Are you saying that if you made the mental decision to save person A, but realised person B was somebody that you know and like, would you not change your mind just before and rather save person B?


I'm not sure I understand the significant of your question...but the before and after of the realization you're describing is only a changing of preference, not a changing of value system used to make a decision. If my first instant snap-judgement is "Wow. Person A looks like a cat person. I think I'd like to save the life of a cat person today." then I'm simply choosing them based on personal preference. But if my next thought is: "OH! Person B is a good friend of mine. I just didn't recognize him because that hat he's wearing covers half his face. I'll save him instead. Sorry cat person." Again, the method of value judgement is the same: personal preference.



Or would you feel morally obliged to stick with your first choice?


What? No, not at all. The thoughts of yesterday should not bind me today. Morality is an external system of rules some people use to short circuit their own free will.

I choose what I choose because I choose it. Not because I feel like I'm "supposed to" choose it.

And that is the basis of my message here. If you want to save the girl solely because you think she's pretty, that's your choice. If you want to save your friend over a stranger solely because he's your friend, so be it. But choosing someone (or something) you don't want simply because you allow this entirely artificial construct you call "morality" to impose itself upon you...is silly.

I find abhorrent the idea that people would choose based on fear of what others might think of them. Or based on fear of having to justify their choices to themselves later. Imagine someone choosing to save the life of a stranger over the life of a good friend solely because they don't want to live with the guilt of choosing based solely on a personal connection.

There's nothing wrong with making choices in accordance with your preference. Saving the life of a person you want to save is not the same a murdering someone you don't care about.

[edit on 13-5-2010 by LordBucket]



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