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

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Memaw18
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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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AwkwardPanda
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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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AgentSmith
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by AgentSmith »

From the abstract to the concrete. A transition that brings out the sticking point in many dilemmas humans face.
George Orwell wrote:[...]the choice for human beings is not, as a rule between good and evil but between two evils.
Slavedevice
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Slavedevice »

I think this is a silly question. I mean, why would this ever be necessary. A more realistic question is - should we use experimental drugs etc on people who are ALREADY gonna die! If I had terminal cancer, I would say experiment on me. It may yield something that saves a lot of people and maybe save me on the process
Ecurb
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Ecurb »

Slavedevice wrote: April 22nd, 2022, 7:17 am I think this is a silly question. I mean, why would this ever be necessary. A more realistic question is - should we use experimental drugs etc on people who are ALREADY gonna die! If I had terminal cancer, I would say experiment on me. It may yield something that saves a lot of people and maybe save me on the process
But what if (horrors!) the experimental treatment kept you alive? Wouldn't that be terrible for the environment (and for the old people you want to kill)? Shouldn't you just accept your fate as a duty to Planet Earth?
Slavedevice
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Slavedevice »

Well, since I’m a “friend “ of earth and I don’t have any children then I deserve to live! Touché’
Ecurb
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Ecurb »

Slavedevice wrote: April 22nd, 2022, 12:18 pm Well, since I’m a “friend “ of earth and I don’t have any children then I deserve to live! Touché’
Thank God for small favors! Keep up the good work! The last thing we need is little mini-me slavedevices!
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Sy Borg
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Sy Borg »

Slavedevice wrote: April 22nd, 2022, 7:17 amIf I had terminal cancer, I would say experiment on me. It may yield something that saves a lot of people and maybe save me on the process
There's probably many with cancer who'd be prepared to take on experimental treatments. However, such an agreement could not proceed without first paying a significant tithe to lawyers so the option would not be available to all.

After all, we live in a world that only just recently noticed that letting terminally ill patients to reduce their pain with cannabis is okay, and that productivity is not an issue when people are on death's door. Generally, the authorities worry that dying patients might start enjoying themselves too much.

Given most societies' euthanasia laws, a more pertinent question might be framed, "Would you inflict torture on millions of vulnerable dying people to prevent a percentage of greedy relatives from exploiting the situation?".
Slavedevice
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Joined: October 10th, 2015, 8:34 pm

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

Post by Slavedevice »

Thanks for that perspective! A Christian society is scary as hell to live (and die) in!! If I ever am terminal with cancer I will move to Oregon so I can decide “I” want to end it
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Sy Borg
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Sy Borg »

Really, old school Christianity, before evangelism and the prosperity gospel, is terribly benign compared with most other religions. Even worse than mainstream religions are cults of personality based on one individual.

Is a world that runs on reason rather than ideology too much to ask? Clearly yes!
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Robert66
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Robert66 »

Sy Borg wrote: April 23rd, 2022, 1:05 am Is a world that runs on reason rather than ideology too much to ask?
Well let's see ...

First though, who are we gonna ask?

OK so we have gotten this very reasonable question asked at a full meeting of UN member states, and they have all agreed that from now on the world will run on reason. A powerful committee has been legislated into being, the UN Committee for the Appraisal of Reasonable Practices (CARP). The first matter to be heard before the judicial branch of CARP is whether or not the forced compliance of individuals, groups, and nations, to the established Reasonableness Charter, would violate previously established Charters concerning Human Rights (eg the right to live a faith-based, un-scientific, ideologically determined life), whether such compliance would constitute the persecution of faith- or ideology-based groups, and whether the sovereignty of nations would be violated in the sense that these nations would be deprived of their historic power structure based on stong connections between a particular faith, the monarch, and the legislature.

Perverse outcomes are assured while humans remain involved in the running of the world. The most gentle nudge is required to move some in a "reasonable" direction, while for others the prospect of a state intervention aimed at protecting their own health and well-being by way of vaccination, is enough to start riots.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Post by Sy Borg »

Robert66 wrote: May 7th, 2022, 6:47 pm
Sy Borg wrote: April 23rd, 2022, 1:05 am Is a world that runs on reason rather than ideology too much to ask?
Well let's see ...

First though, who are we gonna ask?

OK so we have gotten this very reasonable question asked at a full meeting of UN member states, and they have all agreed that from now on the world will run on reason. A powerful committee has been legislated into being, the UN Committee for the Appraisal of Reasonable Practices (CARP). The first matter to be heard before the judicial branch of CARP is whether or not the forced compliance of individuals, groups, and nations, to the established Reasonableness Charter, would violate previously established Charters concerning Human Rights (eg the right to live a faith-based, un-scientific, ideologically determined life), whether such compliance would constitute the persecution of faith- or ideology-based groups, and whether the sovereignty of nations would be violated in the sense that these nations would be deprived of their historic power structure based on stong connections between a particular faith, the monarch, and the legislature.

Perverse outcomes are assured while humans remain involved in the running of the world. The most gentle nudge is required to move some in a "reasonable" direction, while for others the prospect of a state intervention aimed at protecting their own health and well-being by way of vaccination, is enough to start riots.
CARP :lol: Love it! Militant extremists can join militant moderates to overcome the world's polarity!

Seriously, it clearly is too much to ask. We need a reliable arbiter. Bring on the AI ...
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