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Christians - Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

#61Moorish_IdolPosted 6/11/2013 8:52:21 PM
If I had to choose between the two, then 100 deaths is least bad.
#62kozlo100Posted 6/11/2013 9:53:28 PM
Moorish_Idol posted...
If I had to choose between the two, then 100 deaths is least bad.


Ok, so that's back to where we were before, you do have to choose between the two, one way or another. Choosing to try to bring about the situation that would have occurred had you not been there is choosing 1000 deaths, not 100 deaths.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#63Moorish_IdolPosted 6/11/2013 10:22:45 PM
I don't see our situation as simple as that, though. :P

You have created a new problem with two outcomes, one of which is clearly "better" (Do I want 10,000 deaths or 100 deaths?).

The original problem has the complexity of 10,000 deaths being inevitable up until I am introduced, at which point I can cause 100 people, who were not originally destined to die, die in their stead.

I know you say that the original problem doesn't matter after my introduction, but I don't agree with that. I usually don't like to bring outside sources into philosophy debates (because I like to think on my own, or at least appear that way), but I just read the Wiki on the Trolley problem mentioned early in this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

Of note, after the utilitarian view (which is yours, I believe), it says:
An alternate viewpoint is that since moral wrongs are already in place in the situation, moving to another track constitutes a participation in the moral wrong, making one partially responsible for the death when otherwise no one would be responsible.

Not sure if that makes more sense than what I have typed so far, but that is essentially what I've been arguing. Moral wrongs existed before my involvement, so I do not participate in order to remove responsibility from myself for immorality. Essentially letting nature, fate decide.
#64Slade867Posted 6/12/2013 5:40:41 AM
Not sure if that makes more sense than what I have typed so far, but that is essentially what I've been arguing. Moral wrongs existed before my involvement, so I do not participate in order to remove responsibility from myself for immorality. Essentially letting nature, fate decide.

If you're looking to avoid being culpable in anyone's death, then why would you intervene in the example I out forth. In that example you are specifically causing deaths. Maybe those people would have died anyway, but you, specifically, would not have killed them as you did by pressing that button. So, what do you see as the difference?
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Would you rather be a force for good or a force for change?
#65kozlo100Posted 6/12/2013 9:21:17 AM
Moorish_Idol said

Yea, I think I understand where you're coming from now. I don't agree, but that's fine, we don't have to.

I do want to thank you for explaining it to me though, this has been one of the better discussions I've had here in a while.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#66Moorish_IdolPosted 6/12/2013 12:01:38 PM
Slade867 posted...
If you're looking to avoid being culpable in anyone's death, then why would you intervene in the example I out forth. In that example you are specifically causing deaths. Maybe those people would have died anyway, but you, specifically, would not have killed them as you did by pressing that button. So, what do you see as the difference?

First, I want to say that the nature of moral problems is such that you can't and shouldn't approach every problem the same. Whereas I would see my involvement as wrong in the TC's dilemma, I saw my uninvolvement as wrong in your dilemma. I don't think it's logical to expect neutrality in every situation.

The difference is that, as I explained in my response to your question, both targets were destined for death. In the TC's, only one target was destined for death.

In your problem, sacrificing one achieves the greater good (only one dies). In the TC's, sacrificing the village is not necessarily the greater good because it's sacrificing a population who wouldn't otherwise be affected at all.
#67Moorish_IdolPosted 6/12/2013 12:01:43 PM
kozlo100 posted...
Moorish_Idol said

Yea, I think I understand where you're coming from now. I don't agree, but that's fine, we don't have to.

I do want to thank you for explaining it to me though, this has been one of the better discussions I've had here in a while.

Just another quick point: my own responsibility isn't the only thing leading me to inaction; but also my uncertainty about whether sacrifice is appropriate here. The Wiki kinda makes it sound a bit like a self-centered position so I want to clarify that.

Thank you too for the good debate. It was fun, and you made me really reanalyze my position, which is always welcome.
#68kozlo100Posted 6/12/2013 12:13:21 PM
Yea, I understood that factor. For my side, the uncertainty is unfortunate but unavoidable. You do the best you can with the information you've got. In our example, sociology and statistics being what they are, I feel pretty confident that both groups of people contain good folks and bad in roughly equal proportions, and make my decision on that basis. It could be wrong, but it probably isn't, and that's enough for me.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#69Slade867Posted 6/12/2013 12:17:13 PM
Moorish_Idol posted...
Slade867 posted...
If you're looking to avoid being culpable in anyone's death, then why would you intervene in the example I out forth. In that example you are specifically causing deaths. Maybe those people would have died anyway, but you, specifically, would not have killed them as you did by pressing that button. So, what do you see as the difference?

First, I want to say that the nature of moral problems is such that you can't and shouldn't approach every problem the same. Whereas I would see my involvement as wrong in the TC's dilemma, I saw my uninvolvement as wrong in your dilemma. I don't think it's logical to expect neutrality in every situation.

The difference is that, as I explained in my response to your question, both targets were destined for death. In the TC's, only one target was destined for death.

In your problem, sacrificing one achieves the greater good (only one dies). In the TC's, sacrificing the village is not necessarily the greater good because it's sacrificing a population who wouldn't otherwise be affected at all.


So it's not about keeping your own hands clean, but about not killing people whom, but for your involvement, would have lived, correct?

The people who die from your actions will die sooner than they otherwise would have. Does this affect your decision at all?
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Would you rather be a force for good or a force for change?
#70Moorish_IdolPosted 6/12/2013 7:53:24 PM
kozlo100 posted...
Yea, I understood that factor. For my side, the uncertainty is unfortunate but unavoidable. You do the best you can with the information you've got.

Yes, that's why I would hand the button to you. :P

You are right about the probabilities, though.