To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

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thedoc
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by thedoc » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:10 am

Just kill everyone and be done with it. There is really no dilemma.

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:14 am

Even better, since everyone dies, what we're really talking about is accelerated killing so I see no dilemma here. It's going to happen.

PhilX

prof
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Post by prof » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:39 pm

.
Last edited by prof on Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

prof
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by prof » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:53 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:14 am
E... veryone dies, what we're really talking about is accelerated killing .... It's going to happen.

PhilX
I used to wonder why Henry Quirk was at an Ethical Theory site. Based on a couple of recent posts, now I wonder as well as to why some others are at an Ethics site :?: :?:

Are they searching for a good theory of Applied Ethics, one which explains ethics and how and when it is appropriate to apply it? Has one of us - see above - totally given in to cynicism and depression?

Let's hope not.



And, no, Henry I am not selling anything (except maybe ideas.) I gave a pdf file of the book away free here in an earlier thread. Here again is the link to it:
http://wadeharvey.myqol.com/wadeharvey/ ... nce....pdf
So you don't have to shell out ten bucks; it is free-of-charge.

The noncognitivists, in the past, also took the position that ethics is all rationalization, that an ethical statement is like a sneeze or a hiccup. They have been refuted time and again by weighty philosophers of note. ...such as Mary Mothersill and Peter Glassen. If anyone cares to learn, here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-cogni ... ts_against

Dubious: thank you for sharing your ethical theory with us. Can you make it a little more systematic, though? The times demand a bit-more of a rigorous theory to counter the chaos and confusion - to which our political "leaders" contribute. [We have what Bill accurately spoke of as the most-dangerous man in the world running the United States. That '' "tweeter-in-chief" is a Con-artists' con-artist, if not altogether a madman.]

Your views?

prof
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by prof » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:11 am

Dubious wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:19 am
prof wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:38 am


The principles offered as guidelines to living a quality life can easily be extended to cover mammalia as well as humans; however the author believes it will be enough of an accomplishment to live in harmony with regard to the treatment of our fellow-humans.

I don't agree in the least. If people are ethical ONLY amongst themselves while abusing, poaching and killing animals, often in a really horrendous manner or torture dogs to death to soften them up before the coup de grâce...along with many other such instances BUT otherwise judged by their ethical "treatment of their fellow-humans", then the word "Ethics" is not only an oxymoron but a curse against humans.

... would that keep me from being a potential victim by those who aren't [so ethical] and if not, what would all my "devotion to Ethics" have been worth?


Hi Dubious

I failed to communicate well; thus there naturally is here a misunderstanding of my position. Please permit me to attempt to clarify "where I'm coming from."

By the time society's members judges everyone "by their ethical treatment of their fellow humans," to quote what you wrote, Dubious, that will be the right time to extend the radius of the ethical compass further and begin an intensive campaign to educate about the plight of animals and how we treat them :!:

Hence it's a practical choice I make as an educator as to what has 'top priority.' First sensitize the public to the point where we care enough, and are aware enough, about consideration to each other, about the benefits of cooperation for attaining worthwhile goals - on which there is a consensus that these goals are desirable and quite moral.

After that - which is plenty tough enough - the strategy is to heighten awareness about animals, extending the same principles to them as we do to each other. Most Ethicists with whom I have consulted agree with this approach.....


How do the rest of you Forum participants feel about which comes first? Or about the practicality of getting the majority of the population to care about animals as being as important as people? ( Even in India, where it is part of the Hindu religion to care abut cattle, many, many people eat meat from beef sources.)


I asked Dubious: Are you a "good example", a role model?
He replied:

Even if I were ALL of what you mention, would that keep me from being a potential victim by those who aren't and if not, what would all my "devotion to Ethics" have been worth?


The science of Ethics teaches by implication that we not be concerned about victimhood. Instead it shows how to attain peace-of-mind. I have confidence that you will be able to handle it when someone attempts to make you into a victim. You will use your cognitive assets at that point, and will know what to do. {This goes for another poster too, who believed fearfully that - once he became devoted to ethics - the selfish people will take advantage of him - . ...Only if you let them!}

Let's all of us avoid paranoia if we possibly can. Okay?

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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by Dubious » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:58 pm

Hello professor! Interesting conversation while confessing I disagree with much of what you say!
prof wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:11 am
By the time society's members judges everyone "by their ethical treatment of their fellow humans," to quote what you wrote, Dubious, that will be the right time to extend the radius of the ethical compass further and begin an intensive campaign to educate about the plight of animals and how we treat them :!:
...again, it's not a conclusion I would come to. Such insights proceed in parallel not sequentially.
Hence it's a practical choice I make as an educator as to what has 'top priority.' First sensitize the public to the point where we care enough, and are aware enough, about consideration to each other, about the benefits of cooperation for attaining worthwhile goals - on which there is a consensus that these goals are desirable and quite moral.
...which will never be consummated in whatever "fullness of time" granted to us. Ethics, if you're going to equate it to a science, must work in parallel and not only include as "input" that which is specific to ONE species. Even as ethics is refined in progressive stages it must in unison discover how it manifests itself to other creatures.

To think WE are the first chapter in ethics to be completed before the second commences is thoroughly misleading and self-refuting; it doesn't add up! If ethics is the "measure of man" established by his behavior on this planet, it should likewise encompass those beings that accompany his presence.
The science of Ethics...
I only half agree with that designation; there is nothing in nature which determines ethics to be a "science" although a systematic approach is not uncalled for especially as supervised by the "underpinnings" of science itself.
The science of Ethics teaches by implication that we not be concerned about victimhood.
...also here I don't agree. Ethics is not or should not be one-sided. It demands Justice for malicious acts which in turn demands retribution. The latter, after all, keeps the former in "equilibrium".

In fact to make myself perfectly plain and possibly appear subhuman in the process, I believe the worst kind of acts humans have proven themselves capable of should be rewarded with an equal amount of suffering when that kind of criminal is executed with not the slightest degree of mercy allowed to ameliorate it. They should suffer in their last moments as their victims, human or animal, have suffered in theirs.

I have no idea why this should be contrary to ethics. Ethics is not ethics unless it contains the powers of retribution. If not true, it devolves to a mere "to do" list.

prof
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by prof » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:20 pm

.

In the book How To Live Successfully, introducing the emergent science of Ethics, a full chapter is devoted to Justice. See especially Ch. 14, pp. 59-61. A link to this document is here;
https://www.amazon.com/LIVING-SUCCESSFU ... B01NBKS42C

commonsense
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by commonsense » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:13 pm

If you think that killing is horrific, then killing many is many times more horrific than killing just one.
Last edited by commonsense on Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prof
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by prof » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:06 am

If we resolve not even to kill one, then we won't kill many.

Why don't we at least commit ourselves to harmonious human relations, rather than to some of its opposites. The opposites are conveyed by the values and beliefs in the phrases: "Anything goes." "Any means to an end." "Kill or be killed." "Do what's expedient." "Be an opportunist." "Hypocrisy is okay." "What's in it for me first? "Look out only for Number One."

Why not lead a trouble-free life? Why not minimize conflict and friction? Why not "grease the wheels" when it comes to human interaction? How? Put belief systems (BS for short) lowest in your order of priorities. They are sets of ideas that isolate you from others. Examples of belief systems are religions, communism, nazi-ism, rankism, and many of the other "isms." Instead seek to unify; to be ecumenical, to be inclusive.

What is highest? People and Love. Next down on the hierarchy of values is material - the possession of some things, such as clothing, food, and shelter. Next, below this, are unsubstantiated opinions, dogma, isolating belief systems - which result in needless friction.

Below that is incongruity, illogicality, chaos and confusion. {Here one finds the brainwashing techniques which our Divider-in-Chief is using to constantly divert us and spread confusion. Jim Jones also used these methods.}

In each human interaction we either create value or we destroy value. Why not create value - and thus get more value out of life. How? Offer someone a sincere compliment. Make someone smile. Boost someone up. Be kind. Be considerate. Seek win/win relations, mutually-beneficial interactions.


Has this post given you something to think about?
Your responses are welcome!

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:42 pm

Double post, mod please delete.
Last edited by GreatandWiseTrixie on Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:42 pm

I think the main question here is, is reincarnation real and if so, where does the consciousness go?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:52 pm

There is no soul, just meat, glorious, self-directin' meat.

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re:

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:20 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:52 pm
There is no soul, just meat, glorious, self-directin' meat.
Making a thread about this, stay tuned.

Mnemoriam
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Re: To kill one or to kill many - a dilemma

Post by Mnemoriam » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:36 pm

Hello,

My intention when entering this board was to listen a lot first before commenting on other people’s threads, simply because I have no philosophical training whatsoever and I don't want to sound silly while not conveying my thoughts properly.

However, this thread is too much for my desire for passivity.

(It may sound as if I am an Objectivist because I have been using Objectivist concepts and expressions, but that’s not true. I am only doing what I said it was my intention in another thread: to use one philosophy as a framework for understanding others. And, until now, I think it is a very useful idea.)

What the OP represents is the epitome of the “primacy of conscience” that Ayn Rand talks so much. For him, “one conscious individual's life is as precious as hundreds”, so, when facing the option to kill one and save hundreds, opt for doing nothing because your “orientation” should be “to maximize value”. So, by refusing to act on a concrete case in front of him for the sake of his wishful theory of “mutually-beneficial interactions” he asserts he would be maximizing value. Value for him is not killing one person for sure and allowing fate to decide if 100 will die. Value for him is the utmost cowardice for me. This kind of willing inaction scares the hell out of me.

He asks “Why not lead a trouble-free life?”, “Why not minimize conflict and friction?”, as if it were just the case of wanting to do so or wishing that things were better.

If this kind of people would stick to discussing their ideas at boards like this one, the damage would not be so big. The problem is when some of them actually go for political positions — there they can do a lot of harm. And they do! Much more harm than the guy who is threatening to kill 100 people in the OP’s "thought experiment", i.e., nonsensical dream.

By evading reality altogether, this kind of people not only preach love and urge you to “make someone smile” (which, floating isolatedly in a cloud, I would totally agree as great advice) from the comfort of their home-offices, but also condemn those who are “actually in the arena” doing what has to be done to ensure he gets to have a home-office in the first place. And what’s worse is that their benevolent souls would not even sentence a “murderer” like me to the death penalty — they would give me life in prison, which is much much more inhumane. Hammurabi knew much better.

The OP says that “In each human interaction we either create value or we destroy value”: well, I think that if his ideas flourish, we’ll be destroying value here. Because rapists, murderers, genocides, and pure evil people will always exist, in spite of his wishes, and simplistic “seek win/win relations” advice will do nothing but allow them to thrive.

I admit: I tremble while writing these words. I tremble because I am invested in them with my life. What is the OP invested in? What is the OP invested WITH?

I know my arguments are very weak. I am not a philosopher like you guys. But this thread has pumped up my motivation to become one because I need to learn how to counter this type of people with the right words and actions.

But the OP can be sure that, while I learn, I will face no dilemma when choosing between (a) saving his family's life and killing a criminal, or (b) indulging in wishful immoral inaction.

M.

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bahman
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Re: Re:

Post by bahman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:18 pm

prof wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:40 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:49 pm
"
Kill someone I hate to save a group of strangers?

Yep.

Kill a stranger to save a group of strangers?

Depends on my mood at the time.
You know, Henry, people would have a better quality of life if they would give up hating. They will give up hating when they know their Ethics; know how to comply with it, and devote themselves to it.

When I say "Ethics", I mean scientific Ethics ...the science of Ethics.
See: https://www.amazon.com/LIVING-SUCCESSFU ... B01NBKS42C

Also, would you agree that Ethics ought not depend upon moodiness? Maybe Ethics should have principles. And maybe we ought to live by them?

Comments?
.
Hating is not necessary bad as loving is not necessary good. It all depends on circumstances and we have to know how to deal with our emotions.

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