Split: Questions regarding value of human life. | INFJ Forum

Split: Questions regarding value of human life.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by enfp can be shy, Nov 27, 2009.

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  1. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Some supporting questions:
    1. How much money could convince you to kill a man?
    2. Would you trade the lives of 100 rapists and serial murderers for saving the lives of 1'000'000'000 people? If not 100, how many? Would you trade them for curing cancer? (which may save potentially infinite amount of lives in the future)
    3. Suppose there's a switch. If you don't touch it, 5 random people die, if you press it, 1 random man dies. Would you press the switch?
    4. Suppose now, you stand behind a fat man. If you push him in front of some train, he'll die, but the train stops. If you do nothing, the train passes by and will kill 5 people. Would you push the fat man in front of the train to save the other 5 men?
    5. Imagine the closest member of your family, or just the one you love the most on the world. Would you kill 1'000'000'000 people to save them, or would you let them die?

    I know, harsh issues.

    Let's see my own theory. I believe human life counts as infinity, no matter of the case. If it's the worst monster-killer beyond repairment, if it's a 120-year old man in vegetative state, it doesn't matter. But it matters, if it's a close relative/loved one of yours. Sorry, it seems unfair, that's the way I feel. So here are the responses:
    1. Infinity.
    2. No. I wouldn't trade 1 worst murderer for saving the rest of the world.
    3. There's no inaction here, if you do nothing, you still "kill" people. I say there should be a random choice, by dice or coin, because on both sides of the equation you have infinity.
    4. Same as above. (but I'll have more problems pushing a man in front of the train, than pressing a switch, even if it causes essentially the same harm)
    5. Yes. I'd think 9 times before hurting even a fly, but if it's about protecting the lives of very close loved ones, and there's really no other way to save them, I might agree even to mass genocide. I can't completely justify this decision. It just only feels right. I believe such level of commitment should be universal, i.e. others to do the same in my place. As an example, many animals seem to be ready to kill anyone to protect their family (sometimes they overcome the natural fear and can kill or scare much stronger animals, or large groups of attackers).

    Unfortunately, point 5 is very easily abused by many political regimes around the world. It's so easy to keep the population under control, when most of them have too much to lose. People can't think clearly, because they are too dependent on their loved ones, who are also kept dependent. Thus every good citizen becomes a potential mass murderer, who would vote for the next world war. It's very sad.
     
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  2. Gaze

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    You should post these questions in a separate thread.
     
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  3. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    1. How much money could convince you to kill a man?

    No amount of money could convince me to kill anyone.

    2. Would you trade the lives of 100 rapists and serial murderers for saving the lives of 1'000'000'000 people? If not 100, how many? Would you trade them for curing cancer? (which may save potentially infinite amount of lives in the future)

    No. In the unlikely event that 100 lives could be traded for 1'000'000'000 or the cure for cancer, then it would be the choice of those 100 people, but I'd never ask someone to sacrifice themsleves, and I certainly wouldn't force them to.


    3. Suppose there's a switch. If you don't touch it, 5 random people die, if you press it, 1 random man dies. Would you press the switch?

    No. If a simple switch could do those awful things, then the responsibility would lie with its creator to stop it. I wouldn't be able to actively participate in such a horrible scenario.

    4. Suppose now, you stand behind a fat man. If you push him in front of some train, he'll die, but the train stops. If you do nothing, the train passes by and will kill 5 people. Would you push the fat man in front of the train to save the other 5 men?

    I would probably jump and hope I'm fat enough myself.

    5. Imagine the closest member of your family, or just the one you love the most on the world. Would you kill 1'000'000'000 people to save them, or would you let them die?

    One day the person I am closest to will die, and no amount of bloodshed will prevent it. Life is sad, and that would be an awful situation, but I would not kill so many people just to sustain one life and my own temporary happiness.
     
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  4. Gaze

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    1. How much money could convince you to kill a man?
    - None.

    2. Would you trade the lives of 100 rapists and serial murderers for saving the lives of 1'000'000'000 people? If not 100, how many? Would you trade them for curing cancer? (which may save potentially infinite amount of lives in the future)
    - no, i wouldn't trade anyone's life. A life is a life, however poorly or badly lived.

    3. Suppose there's a switch. If you don't touch it, 5 random people die, if you press it, 1 random man dies. Would you press the switch?
    - no. life and death is not in my hands.

    4. Suppose now, you stand behind a fat man. If you push him in front of some train, he'll die, but the train stops. If you do nothing, the train passes by and will kill 5 people. Would you push the fat man in front of the train to save the other 5 men?
    - no, because that's killing someone. I will not justify killing someone.

    5. Imagine the closest member of your family, or just the one you love the most on the world. Would you kill 1'000'000'000 people to save them, or would you let them die?
    - why would you kill so many people to save one? That doesn't even make sense. Each life is valuable.

    At the end of the day, i've heard it said, it's not how long you live, but how well.
     
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  5. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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  6. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I'm voting with Helpful Elf and Restraint. Who are we to judge the value of anyone else's life?
     
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  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    People tend to forget the global picture when it comes to life.

    Everyone is eventually going to die, its only a matter of when.

    As such, what is inherently valuable in human life is time.

    This is very evident when you meet people who are terminally ill and suffering. The amount of time they have left makes little difference compared to the quality of time. If they are in pain every minute they are alive, then an additional 10 years of life would hold little value to them, but 10 minutes of painfree time to spend with their loved ones may be infinitely valuable.

    While questions like in the OP are certainly interesting, they don't measure the value of human life. They measure the subjective opinion of anyone who should choose to answer on how they value the lives of others. Of course, you aren't going to find many INFJs who would feel entitled to play with the lives of others, but if you really want to ask questions which give some indication of the measure of how an individual values another human being's life, then try using the INFJ's martyr complex...

    If you had the power to give your own lifeforce to someone, thereby shortening your own life, but increasing theirs, how much time would you give a....

    dying child?
    dying elderly person?
    dying person in a vegetative state?
    dying serial killer in a maximum security prison?
     
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  8. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    Good questions Satya. Crap.

    You're bringing up the question of the Quality of human life.

    Oh, man. Will have to think about it more.

    Edit: DRAT YOU SATYA! AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!

    err, I'm just kidding! I don't want anyone to be dratted if that's harmful!

    grrrrr. :)
     
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    #8 Moxie, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  9. OP
    enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    These questions shouldn't be answered. I apologize.

    I used them as part of my own response in the other thread, nothing more. (I haven't imagined them, they are popular in human studies right now.)

    They seem interesting at first. But later you realize the correct reaction is to reject them completely. In a sane world nobody should have to think about this. Like Sophie's Choice - choose which of your two kids to die - what kind of choice is this? It's not a choice, it's torture; and one of the worst tortures imaginable.

    Someone will say that everybody needs to be prepared for such scenarios. I strongly disagree. You don't have to. There are even more horrible, infinitely horrible scenarios to think about, but better not spend your time doing that. Sorry again.
     
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    #9 enfp can be shy, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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  10. Gaze

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    Edited:

    As much as i'd love to play the martyr and believe i'd give my lifeforce completely for anyone, anytime, it depends.

    First off, these are idealized responses:

    dying child? - if it was my child, most of my lifeforce of course - i would want to be alive long enough to make sure he or she would be ok. If it was someone else's child, half my lifeforce.

    dying elderly person? - 25% of my lifeforce if it would allow them to have a dream come true they never had the opportunity to fulfill. If their quality of life would be helped or improved by it.

    dying person in a vegetative state? - it depends on the quality of life. If the additional life force would add a better quality of life for their final moments.

    dying serial killer in a maximum security prison?
    - A life is a life. Depending on age, idk. Honestly, this is harder. I don't know tbh. I still wouldn't care to watch the person die. But i'd give them enough life force to allow time to research cures or alternative treatments. If it would benefit society to see this person recover, if they can give back in a unique way only they can for the benefit of everyone, and this benefit is greater than the benefit to the justice system of being punished for the crime, then yes i've give them some of my life force. Maybe they can accomplish more with the time they've been given.

    (my responses are a bit naive . . . so take it for what it is . . . idealized responses)
     
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    #10 Gaze, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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  11. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I wasn't really expecting anyone to answer those questions. I admire your honesty.

    The reality is obviously that we can only choose how we use our own lives. This exercise allows us to understand our subjective opinions on what makes a life valuable. Youth? Experience? Productivity? Humanity?

    Just about anyone would give a dying child more chance at life because they have yet to experience all that life has to offer. And you said yourself that an elderly person might use some extra time to experience one more thing.

    That touches on my personal belief in the matter. What gives quality to the time in our lives is the experience we obtain from it. I think the ultimate value to human life is experience. How a person uses or misuses that experience determines the overall value of their life. A dying child's life is most valuable because, by no fault of their own, they have yet to achieve the experiences of life and a serial killer's life would be least valuable because they have misued their opportunities to experience life and have stolen that opportunity from others. For a serial killer's life to have any value, you suggested they would need to provide something to contribute to the experience of others.
     
    #11 Satya, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  12. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    1. How much money could convince you to kill a man? None. I would turn the offering party into the police.
    2. Would you trade the lives of 100 rapists and serial murderers for saving the lives of 1'000'000'000 people? If not 100, how many? Would you trade them for curing cancer? (which may save potentially infinite amount of lives in the future) None. I would turn the offering party into the police.
    3. Suppose there's a switch. If you don't touch it, 5 random people die, if you press it, 1 random man dies. Would you press the switch? I would only press the switch if it would kill the guy who made it.
    4. Suppose now, you stand behind a fat man. If you push him in front of some train, he'll die, but the train stops. If you do nothing, the train passes by and will kill 5 people. Would you push the fat man in front of the train to save the other 5 men? No. He's innocent.
    5. Imagine the closest member of your family, or just the one you love the most on the world. Would you kill 1'000'000'000 people to save them, or would you let them die? You will die. Everyone in your family will die. Everyone you know will die. Forgetting that is why people seem to feel so little joy in the time they have with others.
     
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    #12 Solar Empath, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  13. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    dying child? A lot, assuming I wasn't sentencing them to additional misery.
    dying elderly person? Do they want and need it? Some if they do, but they may be ready to go.
    dying person in a vegetative state? If they are staying in that state? none. If that is time as a normal person? Some. The amount would depend on what they needed and what I needed.
    dying serial killer in a maximum security prison? None. Rights remain only so long as an individual respects that right in others. A serial killer by definition does not respect others' right to life, and has forfeited that right for themselves.
     
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  14. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    1. How much money could convince you to kill a man? All the money in the world could never convince me.

    2. Would you trade the lives of 100 rapists and serial murderers for saving the lives of 1'000'000'000 people? If not 100, how many? Would you trade them for curing cancer? (which may save potentially infinite amount of lives in the future) No, I don't believe it's up to me to do that.

    3. Suppose there's a switch. If you don't touch it, 5 random people die, if you press it, 1 random man dies. Would you press the switch? What about touching it but not pressing it?

    4. Suppose now, you stand behind a fat man. If you push him in front of some train, he'll die, but the train stops. If you do nothing, the train passes by and will kill 5 people. Would you push the fat man in front of the train to save the other 5 men? No, I don't think I can live with myself knowing that I killed someone like that, even though it would have saved others.

    5. Imagine the closest member of your family, or just the one you love the most on the world. Would you kill 1'000'000'000 people to save them, or would you let them die? No, I wouldn't even kill one person to save a loved one unless I was defending my loved one against the person.
     
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  15. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I thought about this for a few hours, and decided that I wouldn't give any of them my life force. At first I wanted to give it all a way, and then thought about it more - threw in more and more examples to myself. Finally I decided that I am very thankful that it's not up to me to judge.

    And since it's not up to me to judge, I can't give any of my life force away. I'd want to take away the pain and misery people go through however.

    On the other hand, I have an extremely unpopular belief that life is not all that wonderful.
     
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  16. sookie

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    I have something to add for the debate. I would never intentionally do anything that would bring on someones death regardless of the circumstances. I really have to consider carefully about the life force question. Right now I am working very hard to help people with the struggles that they are going through in their lives. I am not sure how to answer.

    My question has to do how much we fear death. I have been working very hard to not be afraid of the death of people who are close to me. People in my life are aging. I have been terrified (stay up at night wide awake terrified) at the possibility of death. I wonder about this fear. I wonder if we fear death so much and it really is a part of life. As natural as birth. I remember reading something that talked about how birth was death to the babies life in the womb. I think it was in Readers Digest. We know what life is like now so there is not as much to fear than the unknown.
     
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  17. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    :( Well I basically had 2 mothers when I was a child (my grandmother raised me half of my childhood). Both are dead. I've lost 3 close family members to death in the last 5 years. So Death is a pretty big part of my viewpoint. I think it has had a serious effect on my life and worldview. I simply don't value the things that others do any more. I just can't seem to care about 'stuff' any more beyond paying the bills. I think the day to day kills what really binds people together.

    Like the ending of American Pie when the wife realizes the real value of her husband. I lived that with my mother. I wish more people could see through those eyes without losing someone.

    Those are the eyes I tend to see through now, and it makes me angry to see what people waste and squander emotionally.
     
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  18. Gaze

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    Yes, true. Not that the details aren't important but sometimes, we really miss the big picture. "Can't see the forest for the trees."
     
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  19. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    If you look at it on a chemical scale, a human body could be worth A LOT of money if time is taken to extract certain organics and proteins.
     
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  20. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    :m197:

    Remind me to never check your deep freezer.
     
    #20 Satya, Nov 28, 2009
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