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  1. #91
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    1. You or a random person?
    I choose to live. Let the random person die. Sorry, buddy. *pats on back*
    2. You or 10 random people?
    Sorry, guys. It was me or you, and... well, I don't wanna die. I'll make sure your families are taken care of though, okay?
    2. You or 100 random people?
    I know this probably seems unfair, but I've been told that I have the reading comprehension of 100 people combined, and there's a chance they might need that. Besides, my parents say they love me enough for 100 people, and that's good enough for me. So, see you all in Hades, I guess?
    3. You or 1000 random people?
    Oh, what's a 1000 people in the grand scheme of things? More people than that die of starvation in third world countries every day. Who's to say the world wouldn't be better off without some of you, or that most of you wouldn't have died soon anyway? New babies will be born soon enough to fill up the slots you leave behind, so... I think it's justified. Sorry I couldn't help you, though.
    4. You or 1 million random people?
    Just think how much more food we'll have to go around once you're gone. I know I'm running the risk of exterminating an entire culture here, but I think it's a risk we have to take. Desperate economic times call for desperate measures. I feel quite guilty, but I'm doing this for the good of humanity. I hope one day you'll all appreciate my sacrifice in not letting my empathy, pride or dignity get in the way of the common good.
    5. You or 1 billion random people?
    Don't you see? All our economic troubles will be over! Overpopulation problems will be solved, jobs will open up, and there will be more than enough food. The survivors can take all the stuff you leave behind, and that means we'll have more material goods to go around. Don't you want to give that to the world? I do envy you, but I'm willing to forgo my pride and allow YOU to have the glory. You'll always be remembered as the people who died to save the world.

    ...

    Were my responses particularly surprising, given my avatar? Really?

  2. #92
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Good exercise in rationalization.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  3. #93
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    You'll have to explain that since I believe in the exact opposite, namely that you have to earn the right to be treated a certain way.
    Well, I believe in justice, so if someone's done something they should reap the consequences to the full extent of the law. However, as soon as you start to devalue one life because of any choices they have made, you are now mapping out every life because of the choices they have made, good or bad. Since I believe human life is precious, I choose not to value my life more than your life more than Edgar's more than Liquid Laser's--and a consequence of choosing not to map out a heirarchy of worthiness is that even the most scumbag humans on the planet, as terrible as they are, their life is still a human life, and thus I value it.

    If you start to philosophically rank worthiness of any human life, you're placing yourself on the scale of people who philosophically agree with eugenics and genocide. Is this always a bad thing? I don't think so--there's value in appealing to a very pragmatic philosophy, it is simply not the camp in which I have set up my tent.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #94
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Well, I believe in justice, so if someone's done something they should reap the consequences to the full extent of the law. However, as soon as you start to devalue one life because of any choices they have made, you are now mapping out every life because of the choices they have made, good or bad. Since I believe human life is precious, I choose not to value my life more than your life more than Edgar's more than Liquid Laser's--and a consequence of choosing not to map out a heirarchy of worthiness is that even the most scumbag humans on the planet, as terrible as they are, their life is still a human life, and thus I value it.

    If you start to philosophically rank worthiness of any human life, you're placing yourself on the scale of people who philosophically agree with eugenics and genocide. Is this always a bad thing? I don't think so--there's value in appealing to a very pragmatic philosophy, it is simply not the camp in which I have set up my tent.
    Sounds fine in theory. But, we're forced to make these decisions in practice. Who gets the kidney? Who gets the heart transplant? Who gets resources? The 90 year old or the 12 year old? The citizen or the criminal?

    It would be an injustice to do otherwise.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  5. #95
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Now that's an interesting point. Religious people are compromised by their belief in a Deity. Would they be compromised by their belief in a larger ethical Truth without an afterlife component?
    It would depend on what they define Truth as. Could you provide an example of a belief system that cites a larger ethical Truth without also including some variant of eternal existence?

  6. #96
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    It would depend on what they define Truth as. Could you provide an example of a belief system that cites a larger ethical Truth without also including some variant of eternal existence?
    I don't see why this is difficult to imagine. You can believe that murder is wrong and yet still believe that death is the end for everyone. Where does this wrong come from? Many see this as a larger moral Truth.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  7. #97
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    My ethical system is simple. I'm more important than everyone else, because I know I'm conscious of my own existence. I don't know for certain that everyone else is conscious of their own existence the way I'm conscious of mine, so I don't want to risk extinguishing the only real consciousness by dying.

    I love to see how people who think in a more... Extraverted fashion prefer to structure their sense of justice, though.

  8. #98
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    My ethical system is simple. I'm more important than everyone else, because I know I'm conscious of my own existence. I don't know for certain that everyone else is conscious of their own existence the way I'm conscious of mine, so I don't want to risk extinguishing the only real consciousness by dying.
    You're an unusual INFJ, friend.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  9. #99
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Sounds fine in theory. But, we're forced to make these decisions in practice. Who gets the kidney? Who gets the heart transplant? Who gets resources? The 90 year old or the 12 year old? The citizen or the criminal?

    It would be an injustice to do otherwise.
    I don't see why it's difficult to put in practice--people are triaged according to their needs, those with the greatest needs get the resources first regardless of sex/age/criminal record/etc. Lists and bureaucracy are incorporated to ensure a dispassionate system of allocating resources according to this philosophy. In this philosophy, people regularly suffer and die because their needs are not met. It certainly has its detriments.

    I'm not against the far more pragmatic philosophy. I see value in it, but how does one go about playing god and assigning valuing to lives over other lives?

    If you're familiar with Bentham you've probably heard this often-debated RL example when 3 shipwrecked men killed and then cannibalized their cabin boy in an attempt to survive. I make no judgments on the choices one makes in such a terrible situation, but my philosophical standard is that to take a life from another is not in a human's power to decide (this situation is different than the death penalty for an act the individual committed--the cabin boy was orphaned and trying to make a go of life, he did no wrong).
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  10. #100
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    If you're familiar with Bentham you've probably heard this often-debated RL example when 3 shipwrecked men killed and then cannibalized their cabin boy in an attempt to survive. I make no judgments on the choices one makes in such a terrible situation, but my philosophical standard is that to take a life from another is not in a human's power to decide (this situation is different than the death penalty for an act the individual committed--the cabin boy was orphaned and trying to make a go of life, he did no wrong).
    I would say what they did was wrong and yet justifiable. I have no problem with seeming contradictions. Life is a contradiction.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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