Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Memaw18 »

Scott wrote: May 5th, 2021, 5:14 pm Assume that you could cure cancer, thereby saving many innocent lives, but to do so you had to murder an innocent child with your bare hands against the child's will while the child begs to live.

For the purposes of this discussion, let's define the word 'murder' to simply mean intentional non-consensual non-defensive killing of another human being. Under that definition, even legal killing can be murder. (Under other primarily statist definitions, murder is defined in part by illegality, such that the Nazi government didn't murder any Jews since those vicious killings were legal, which is not how I would use the word.)

Imagine for whatever reason that it would be legal for you to murder the child or to not murder the child, and thus you do not need to worry about legal or other repercussions such as someone trying to kill you in revenge, regardless of what you choose.

In this hypothetical, essentially, the only thing that might stop you from murdering an innocent child with your bare hands is your human kindness, compassion, sympathy, and/or personal code of conduct (and/or your moral or religious beliefs if you have any).

Ex hypothesi, the utilitarian thing to do is to murder the child with your bare hands. If you are a utilitarian, and not a hypocrite, then it seems the answer is simple: You would murder the child with your bare hands while the child begs to live.

However, if, like me, you are not a utilitarian, then your answer is likely different.

So would you murder the child?

More simply, would you murder one innocent child with your bare hands to save multiple other innocent people?

My answer is clarified in detail in my topic, Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man. But the short version is this: I strictly choose to not engage in non-defensive non-consensual violence against my fellow human being, such as murder, rape, or slavery. Thus, I would not murder the child.

It's so simple for me, actually. No moral dilemma at all. No anxiety. No complex math. No shoulds. No oughts. No try. In that way, it's so easy to have inner peace. As long as I'm not murdering someone or such, I have inner peace. I could spot an asteroid flying towards the Earth about to kill us all with no hope of rescue for us, but as long as I know I am playing my cards the best I can (according to my simple easy-to-follow self-chosen rules such as no murdering), then I have inner peace. It's so simple, so easy, and so enjoyable to live like this. :)

I imagine for one who is willing to commit murder, it must be such an anxiety-ridden way to live--to entrust oneself with such a violent domineering responsibility, especially considering how humans like us can rarely even stick to a simple food diet. If you cannot trust yourself not to eat a cupcake, imagine trusting yourself with the power to murder. Yikes, sounds like an unpleasant way to live to me, but to each his own, I suppose. You would have to constantly worry about who to murder and not murder, and then you have to go tire yourself out murdering people, and then you have to wash the blood off your hands. To me, violent utilitarianism sounds so needlessly spiritually exhausting and worry-ridden. I don't know how one could maintain their inner peace while even partly implementing such an exhaustingly violent philosophy. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose.

I prefer the beautiful modest simplicity that is being a man of peace. What about you?
Just a thought of it does not make sense. If a person killed someone to save multiple lives, it is like killing those people who care for that someone. We even don't know how it will affect those people around him.
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by AwkwardPanda »

I don't think I could ever bring myself to do it, but either way, I would choose not to. It just seems very wrong. Bad things are just a part of life, but I think the best we can do is not let those bad things enter the world through us. (And the other best thing we can do is to try and stop the bad things in ethical ways)
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