would you sacrifice your life for a stranger? | INFJ Forum

would you sacrifice your life for a stranger?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    say you're walking down the street one day and come across a horrifying sight. a stranger is standing idly by in the middle of a busy road while a huge truck rushes towards them, about to run them over. you're close enough to them to be able to push them out of the way, but by doing so you'll be putting yourself directly in the path of the truck, and will surely be killed. would you try to save them?


     
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  2. Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf Airborne all the way!

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    no idea
    probably would :mjedib:
     
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  3. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    First, this type of utility questions are kind of bullying people's morals, rather than solving problems. For example, the solution to this problem is really: better transportation system.

    Second, I'm never capable of such sharp utility assessment in real-life examples of such situations. Everything happens too fast. In the books, in the movies, in plays, operas and ballet, the story tellers tend to persuade the public of such moral choices of reality. In practice, it's more of a story-telling than reality. In reality, I will have to make a decision so quickly that I wouldn't even understand how it happened, and what happened. I may save both of us, or end up killed, or fail both of us, or remain paralyzed by the shock. Whatever I'd do, it would only plague me with guilt or unnecessary pride, if my culture teaches me that such types of assessments are relevant. They are not.
     
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    #3 enfp can be shy, Mar 31, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  4. 88chaz88

    88chaz88 Back for a limited time only
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    No. I can't see why anyone would unless they're feeling particularly suicidal. It sounds cruel but at the end of the day if someone's not able to take care of their own life why should you risk yours?
     
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  5. LadyINFJ

    LadyINFJ Community Member

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    I doubt that I would risk my life if it is sure that I will die. I still have work to do in this life. But it is a very difficult dilemma, because in case the life of the very few people I really care about is in danger, most probably I would risk my life without a second thought.
     
  6. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    oh they're only hypotheticals, "in an ideal world" sort of thing, obviously in the real world there'd be many more factors to consider, and therefore probably many alternative choices. i'm surprised you used "bullying" to describe these kinds of questions though! imo morals have to be tested once in a while, if only in theory, otherwise you won't really know where you stand on certain issues. your reflexive response would tell you a lot about what you truly believe, even if it is markedly different from what you'd do given a real life situation.
     
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  7. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    I say yes with my F and a big I have no clue with my T.

    I agree with entp that in reality you wouldn't know what you would do and anything you would would be based a split second reaction not a moral decision.

    I would disagree with the idea that guilt or "unnecessary"pride would be bad thing though, guilt is a natural repsonse to pain and death and well if you succeded under this scenario, there no chance for pride.
     
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  8. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    When I said that, I meant also other utility questions, which are even more vicious. For example, would you push a fat huge stranger in front of a train to save the life of other 5 strangers, or say, 5 children. Of course, people find a workaround to that question: they sacrifice themselves. But then comes another twist; only the fat and huge stranger can really stop the train with his dead body, you couldn't. Then what?... Or who would you eat on a boat, while starving; would you volunteer to be eaten by your starving friends, would you cut a limb etc, etc. Sick SAW stuff. Quickly shows that the whole moral justice pressure often deteriorates towards, um, even psychopathy; I apologize.

    The reason I eventually learned to protest against those questions is: it is better to think how to prevent them from happening, rather than what one would do when there's already a severe crisis. People all around human history have made all kinds of such decisions; and in the end of the day, some centuries later nobody really cares what they've chosen, and nobody judges them anymore. They are neither heroes, nor despised anymore. Relatively good decision making under severe time pressure and extreme conditions, or Occam's razor, is irrelevant to most aspects of life, and quite overrated. The tendency is to reduce the need for it.
     
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  9. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    enfp: no need to apologize, it's ok, you're right, pondering such questions can be useless, especially if they degenerate into the absurd. but if they are merely hypotheticals, why would you care about how to prevent them? odds are they'll never happen, and if they do, they probably won't happen to you. this doesn't negate the (potential) value of hypothesizing about them, as if they could happen.
    also~ it's true, years later it won't matter what choice you've made, whether it was the right one or not, whether anybody judges you for it. but at the time it still will, and your conscience will still carry the burden of whatever choice you've made, probably until the end of your life. a crazy decision like killing one child to save 10 others in a hypothetical scenario might not have any practical value, however, it can tell you much about what your moral limitations are, and even what you consider crazy :p
     
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  10. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    I've done something similar before. As I was crossing a busy road in the city centre, a guy was limping across the other way on crutches, and a bus was heading right at him. He wasn't going to make it across before the bus got to him, so I turned back and shielded him until he got across. Fortunately the bus did stop in time, but it occurred to me afterwards that I could have gotten myself killed. I just acted first and thought about it later, so it wasn't even a conscious decision about right or wrong. The guy didn't thank me at the time, and I was perhaps surprised by that, but not concerned. I think he felt embarssed that another guy tried to protect him, but I've no regrets, and I'm still here, so all is well.
     
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    #10 Puck, Mar 31, 2010
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  11. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    thanks for sharing that story, it's what i expected to happen in a real life situation: you'd jump in and help, and think about the potential consequences afterwards. (well not everyone would, but I suspect many here might). quite a brave thing you did though, regardless, although not at all unexpected, given your gracious disposition ;)
     
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  12. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Nope. Never.
     
  13. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    knowing you, you would throw a few more people under the bus for the cause of depopulation.
     
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  14. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Yes, i will try to push him out of the road.

    It looks like helping someone on internet. How do you help to whom you don't know at all? You try to read their problem and then think about best solution for them. You can read that they want to solve their problem and they had lost their sight to identify the right path.

    So you'll show spread some light to show them right path or save their life.
     
  15. The Jester

    The only difference is that you're sacrificing your life.
    I usually don't do that when I'm helping someone on the internet.
     
  16. Roger

    Roger ...

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    NO doubt. I agree.
     
  17. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    ENFP can be shy has a point - it is difficult to know how one would react.

    However, I think it more likely that I would risk my life if the person was a child or a teenager, a mother, an elderly man or woman, etc.

    I doubt that I would risk my life (in a split second reaction) if it were just an ordinary man or woman - because I would be expecting them to realise their danger and jump clear on their own.
     
  18. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I agree with this. I got flagged down once...a car had gone off a steep embankment on a slippery road and a lady had apparently seen it, stopped her car, and was trying to get help. I stopped and went down after the driver. All kinds of bad things could have happened...but they didn't. I never gave the risks any considered thought at the time (it did flash through my mind though).

    I think it is a tribal thing, perhaps, to protected and aid. I didn't know the person at all, but at that point it didn't matter...there was a familial instinct to go and I did.
     
  19. WhiteWolf

    WhiteWolf Community Member

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    I think I would have the same reaction as Elf, act without thinking firt.
    But if I know I was going to die while saving that person (so I had the time to think about it for a sec), it would depend on who.
     
  20. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    No. I'd favour self preservation in this scenario. I'd consider the other person's fate their own misfortune.

    I'd feel equally uncomfortable about anyone wanting to sacrifice themselves to save me in the same situation should the roles be reversed. I'd be grateful if they did of course, but if it was my misfortune, then I should be the one to die.
     
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    #20 Jasmine85, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
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