Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, Just War theory and other such hot topics.

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bobevenson
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Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:44 pm

Let's say you are driving at the speed limit at night on a dark street, and a young boy suddenly darts out from between parked cars and you hit him. He's laying in the street. You've had a few beers, but are not what you would consider intoxicated. What do you do?

mickthinks
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by mickthinks » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:53 pm

Your thread title suggests you are going to provide us with moral guidance here, Bob, but in this OP you appear to be asking us for advice. That is a strange thing, for someone who believes himself to be a divinely inspired prophet, to do.
Last edited by mickthinks on Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobevenson
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:57 pm

mickthinks wrote:Your thread title suggests you are offering moral advice to other members, but in this OP you appear to be asking for their advice, Bob. That is a strange thing, for someone who believes himself to be a divinely inspired prophet, to do.
Oh, no, I have the ethical answer to my theoretical question, but first I want to know what you would do in this situation.

mickthinks
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by mickthinks » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:18 pm

Ah! You want to know whether we need your advice about a hypothetical situation none of us is in.

No one needs hypothetical advice, dude! You don't have to be a divinely inspired prophet to work that out.

Ginkgo
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Ginkgo » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:24 pm

bobevenson wrote:Let's say you are driving at the speed limit at night on a dark street, and a young boy suddenly darts out from between parked cars and you hit him. He's laying in the street. You've had a few beers, but are not what you would consider intoxicated. What do you do?
Alcohol is a non-issue in this case. If someone is injured you do what any decent person would do and call emergency services.

bobevenson
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:27 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
bobevenson wrote:Let's say you are driving at the speed limit at night on a dark street, and a young boy suddenly darts out from between parked cars and you hit him. He's laying in the street. You've had a few beers, but are not what you would consider intoxicated. What do you do?
Alcohol is a non-issue in this case. If someone is injured you do what any decent person would do and call emergency services.
What do you mean alcohol is a non-issue. You've had a few beers, haven't you?

bobevenson
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:30 pm

mickthinks wrote:Ah! You want to know whether we need your advice about a hypothetical situation none of us is in.

No one needs hypothetical advice, dude! You don't have to be a divinely inspired prophet to work that out.
Why don't you give me your answer then?

Ginkgo
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Ginkgo » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:42 pm

bobevenson wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:
bobevenson wrote:Let's say you are driving at the speed limit at night on a dark street, and a young boy suddenly darts out from between parked cars and you hit him. He's laying in the street. You've had a few beers, but are not what you would consider intoxicated. What do you do?
Alcohol is a non-issue in this case. If someone is injured you do what any decent person would do and call emergency services.
What do you mean alcohol is a non-issue. You've had a few beers, haven't you?
What I means is the fact you may or may not be over the legal limit doesn't come into the decision. In actual situations I understand that some people are tempted to leave the scene of an accident. In some cases they actually do leave.

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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:07 am

Ginkgo wrote:What I means is the fact you may or may not be over the legal limit doesn't come into the decision.
Is that something you read somewhere? If you found yourself in that situation, tell me exactly the series of events as you see them.

Ginkgo
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:15 am

bobevenson wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:What I means is the fact you may or may not be over the legal limit doesn't come into the decision.
Is that something you read somewhere? If you found yourself in that situation, tell me exactly the series of events as you see them.

I would like to consider myself as an ethical person. If I were ever in that situation, like a lot of people I would be worried that I could be over the legal limit for alcohol. I would hopefully put that thought aside and render assistance to the injured person. As soon as possible I would call or get someone to call emergency services.

I know this is only a hypothetical situation, but I would probably do what is legally required.

Is there a point to all of this Bob?

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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:41 am

Ginkgo wrote:
bobevenson wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:What I means is the fact you may or may not be over the legal limit doesn't come into the decision.
Is that something you read somewhere? If you found yourself in that situation, tell me exactly the series of events as you see them.

I would like to consider myself as an ethical person. If I were ever in that situation, like a lot of people I would be worried that I could be over the legal limit for alcohol. I would hopefully put that thought aside and render assistance to the injured person. As soon as possible I would call or get someone to call emergency services.

I know this is only a hypothetical situation, but I would probably do what is legally required.

Is there a point to all of this Bob?
Oh, yes, there's a point to all of this. Let's face it, you didn't do anything wrong. The kid was 100% at fault, and in an AEP society, most people would probably do exactly what you said. But in today's society, the only rational thing to do is check to see if there are any witnesses, and if not, drive to the nearest pay phone, and in a disguised voice, call 911 and report the accident and location. Otherwise, your life as you know it will have ended. Investigation for DUI and a possible charge of vehicular homicide. Loss of driving privileges and skyrocketing insurance rates. Heavy media coverage and hate mail. Family lawsuits filed against you, etc., etc., etc. But, yeah, if you are ever in this type of situation, do it your way, my friend.

Simon
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Simon » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:51 am

Oh, yes, there's a point to all of this. Let's face it, you didn't do anything wrong. The kid was 100% at fault, and in an AEP society, most people would probably do exactly what you said. But in today's society, the only rational thing to do is check to see if there are any witnesses, and if not, drive to the nearest pay phone, and in a disguised voice, call 911 and report the accident and location. Otherwise, your life as you know it will have ended. Investigation for DUI and a possible charge of vehicular homicide. Loss of driving privileges and skyrocketing insurance rates. Heavy media coverage and hate mail. Family lawsuits filed against you, etc., etc., etc. But, yeah, if you are ever in this type of situation, do it your way, my friend.
Consequentialism is not the only basis for ethics - and I would go further to argue that this situation is yet another example demonstrating the weakness of the consequentialist approach. In this situation most other perspectives (deontology, virtue, duty of care etc.) would care for the injured and admit their role in the incident.

Ginkgo
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:24 pm

Simon wrote:
Oh, yes, there's a point to all of this. Let's face it, you didn't do anything wrong. The kid was 100% at fault, and in an AEP society, most people would probably do exactly what you said. But in today's society, the only rational thing to do is check to see if there are any witnesses, and if not, drive to the nearest pay phone, and in a disguised voice, call 911 and report the accident and location. Otherwise, your life as you know it will have ended. Investigation for DUI and a possible charge of vehicular homicide. Loss of driving privileges and skyrocketing insurance rates. Heavy media coverage and hate mail. Family lawsuits filed against you, etc., etc., etc. But, yeah, if you are ever in this type of situation, do it your way, my friend.
Consequentialism is not the only basis for ethics - and I would go further to argue that this situation is yet another example demonstrating the weakness of the consequentialist approach. In this situation most other perspectives (deontology, virtue, duty of care etc.) would care for the injured and admit their role in the incident.
Yes, I am a Kantian when it comes to ethics and I hope that aspect came through in my post.

bobevenson
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by bobevenson » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:49 am

In other words, your course of action is based on what somebody said 200 years ago, not what Bob the Baptist is telling you here and now, pointing out the present institutional evil you would be faced with and the consequences thereof that you would pay.

Ginkgo
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Re: Bob's Ethical Advice Column

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:02 pm

bobevenson wrote:In other words, your course of action is based on what somebody said 200 years ago, not what Bob the Baptist is telling you here and now, pointing out the present institutional evil you would be faced with and the consequences thereof that you would pay.

I know this is only a hypothetical, but you are actually advising me the break the law. You realize this, don't you?

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