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More Moral Questions

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by daydreamer, Aug 24, 2009.

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  1. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    I got these from a Time magazine:

    1) It's wartime, and you're hiding in a basement with your baby and a large group of othwer people. Enemy soldiers are patrolling outside and will be drawn to any sound. Your baby starts to cry loudly and cannot be stopped. Smothering him to death is the only way to silence him and save the lives of everyone else in the room. Could you do so? Assume instead that the baby is not yours, that the parents are dead or unknown and that there will be no criminal penalty for killing him. Under those changed circumstances, could you be the one who smothers the baby if no one else would?

    2) You have two children, both of whom will die tomorrow without a kidney transplant. You are the only possible donor-but assume you can donate only one kidney. You have a crystal ball and can see that Child A will grow up to be a successful surgeon and will save many lives. She is so sick now, however, there is only a 50% chance she will survive the transplant. Child B will grow up to be a gambler, and while she will never hurt anyone, she will never help anyone either. There is a nearly 100% chance she will survive the transplant and live a healthy life. To whom would you give you kidney, to Child A or Child B?

    If you like these 2 questions, let me know so then I'll post the other 2 in the magazine I'm typing off of.

    These are not mine, I did not create them.


     
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  2. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Create soundproof padding around the baby, with whoever is nursing her to ensure that no sound escapes. Use basic engineering principles to ensure this.


    Kill a healthy donor who has a high donation survival chance. Use their kidney.
     
  3. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I hate when Normative Ethics is cast in this rather horrific light. As my philosophy teacher said often about ethics he hated the idea of applied ethics as it was so hard to parse.

    These statements are obviously (consequentialism) or utilitarian in nature. The idea that we could balance pro vs con. That some how we can measure out if an action is worth doing if enough people benefit no matter the cost to one person.

    So no I don't have an answer for you. I tend to learn to deontology / and Viture ethics.

    Not trying to slam on your thread. Just frustrated to see ethics respresenting in such a way.
     
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    #3 Blind Bandit, Aug 24, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  4. OP
    daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    Sorry :(
     
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  5. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    Not your fualt I should have made a new thread.

    Please don't let me deraill this thread. That was not my intent.
     
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  6. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    By that time my hide out buddies and I would have found out how many are on patrol, when they switch shifts, their routes, their weaponry, their weaknesses... and begun picking them off already in a stealthy fashion. Read Dragonseed by Pearl Buck.

    I'd donate both my kidneys and give both my children a chance to live, only after ensuring that a trusted relative will raise them afterwards. Say I have a bad kidney and can only donate one and then die anyway.. I'd donate to the one who had are more likely chance to survive, and disregard the crystal ball.
     
    #6 acd, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  7. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    You don't have to smother a baby to death to quiet it. If I had to under some circumstance kill a baby to save my life, I don't think I could do it.

    I don't know. Can't I give them each half a kidney?
     
    #7 Faye, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  8. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I think in both instances I would probably cry a lot and be too indecisive to decide what to do in time, realistically. I mean, I could pretend to come up with a good, heroic scenario, but in real life, that's probably what would happen.
     
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  9. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I think if you were faced with an extreme situation like this, GO, your brain might switch modes. Your emotions would not dominate you, and you would be rational enough to do what needed to be done.

    You might be surprised how the human mind works like that. I've been in situations where, looking back, I'm astonished at how cool and collected I was. It's only afterwards I have an emotional reaction.
     
  10. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    You might be right -- I have done that in the past. Although I'm not sure I would like it much after the fact. I still think the second choice would remain a hard one.
     
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  11. ec3khrl

    ec3khrl Community Member

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    1) "One" is lesser than "everyone else"...
    Besides, I will definitely feel much worse about myself if I am the one end up dead. No reason not to kill the baby.

    2) I won't give it to any of them as I only have one single kidney to give away. I prefer to donate it at a later date to somebody else WITHOUT A CRYSTAL BALL, so I am not making any moral judgment on their lives.

    Just leave it to chance, those will live when they get to live.

    Yea, the crystal ball just kills them both..



     
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