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Subject: Yet Another Thought Experiment rss

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Lawson
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Any person to whom I'm close would, I'm confident, prefer to die rather than be the cause of the death of 1,000,000 people. Certainly, that's how I'd feel.

In my childhood, my religious instructors emphasized the importance of Christ's death on the cross -- that He saved us all through His death. I continue to find that awesome, but I reached a turning point some time ago where I thought, "Well, sure! If I knew I would save so many people by dying . . . nail me up!"

I don't doubt that it's far easier said than done, but still, to me it's a no-brainer, and I'm confident that's also true for anyone else close to me who would potentially be involved in this thought experiment.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Would have been more compelling if it were one person to be murdered. Still would have chosen to let friend die, though.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.



This is the shining beacon of atheist morals that us Christians are supposed to aspire to when you show us the error of our ways? I'm confused about the whole morals based on social evolution thing again. That even 20% of us can pick choice number 1 is disgusting.
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Ross G.
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DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.



I'm pretty sure everyone on this forum could have guessed where you stood on the issue. Your posts make it quite clear that you have little no respect for other people.
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J
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DarthXaos wrote:
For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.

What about brazillions?
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Snowball
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ejmowrer wrote:
DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.



This is the shining beacon of atheist morals that us Christians are supposed to aspire to when you show us the error of our ways? I'm confused about the whole morals based on social evolution thing again. That even 20% of us can pick choice number 1 is disgusting.


comment erased. You don't even deserve an answer
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J
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HavocIsHere wrote:
You don't even deserve an answer

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Snowball
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lotus dweller
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DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.


If thats the ways it is.

Now, if it was the other way around and your life was to be saved by the death of millions (this'll be a random sample and so will include lotsa kids and Americans) are you going to be OK about this. And if it looks like it will have to be done again in the future you'd be OK with that?

Edit: The possibility has struck me that you might feel some connection with kids or Americans. Could you just give us all a quick list of humans you feel no connection whatsoever with? And then answer the queries above about the reversed situation as if the killed will only include people on your "no connection" list.
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col_w
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Let's up the ante a bit:

Poll
One of the people you care about most develops a terminal illness that kills slowly and painfully. Earth medicine has no cure for it.

You encounter an alien who tells you he has a way of manufacturing a cure for you, however, the process of manufacturing this cure involves killing a person, who does not have any connection to you. The process is also extremely painful for them.

The alien assures you of complete anonymity if you authorize him to do this. For the purposes of this experiment, you know the alien to be completely trustworthy.
What do you do?
Sacrifice a stranger to save your loved one?
Let your loved one die?
      62 answers
Poll created by col_w
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lotus dweller
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col_w wrote:
Let's up the ante a bit:

Could you too give us a list of groups of humans you feel no connection with?
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col_w
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You

Edit:

And to clarify: I'm re-using the OP's words, not stating my own moral stance. I just think the experiment is more interesting if the 'sacrifice' choice isn't so extreme.

It would actually be interesting to do a series of them, with variation in the extremity of the 'sacrifice' choice:

What if the sacrificee(s) has a chance of survival? 1%, 10%, 50%, 99%?
What if the sacrificee(s) always survive but are permanently blinded?
What if the sacrificees are all remaining members of an endangered species? Does it matter if it's a tiger or a worm?

Etc...
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lotus dweller
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col_w wrote:
You :p

Looks like you are lunching with the Dalai Llama then.

What will you do if another of your friends gets the same illness and the alien makes the same offer?
 
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Philippe D.-P.
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It depends, who's the "loved one" ? I would go with corross in many cases, but I would never do anything that could hurt my own kids, regardless of the consequences. And I honestly don't want to speculate on all the things I could do to protect them.

The problem with these questions is that we often try to rationalize what is not rational in the first place, or we know what the "rational answer" is, but it doesn't feel right. We generally think of ourselves as smarter than we really are, despite all our technology we're still animals, and much of morality probably exist because we all benefit from it, because it makes living in society possible.
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col_w
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Pinook wrote:
col_w wrote:
You

Looks like you are lunching with the Dalai Llama then.

What will you do if another of your friends gets the same illness and the alien makes the same offer?


See my edit above. I think we're coming from the same place.
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lotus dweller
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Freidenker wrote:
... but I would never do anything that could hurt my own kids, regardless of the consequences. And I honestly don't want to speculate on all the things I could do to protect them.
...

I'd say supporting the idea of "killing billions or millions of innocents to save a loved one", even implicitly, does makes your kids less safe. More people will see less of a pay-off in being "cosmopolitan" (in the real sense) and be more likely to make the "millions die to protect my one" trade-off.
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Pinook wrote:

I'd say supporting the idea of "killing billions or millions of innocents to save a loved one", even implicitly, does makes your kids less safe.

You are right, that's the reasonable truth.
But I think when the conservation of our own children is at stake, instinct kicks in and we stop acting reasonably alltogether.
I think most of us would fight to the death, whatever the consequences, for our children's lifes.
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col_w
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ejmowrer wrote:
DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.



This is the shining beacon of atheist morals that us Christians are supposed to aspire to when you show us the error of our ways? I'm confused about the whole morals based on social evolution thing again. That even 20% of us can pick choice number 1 is disgusting.


Don't assume that DarthXaos' morals apply to other atheists.
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Chad Ellis
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jarredscott78 wrote:
DarthXaos wrote:
For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.

What about brazillions?


I love Rio.
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Chad Ellis
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col_w wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
DarthXaos wrote:
For me this is a no-brainer. I'm surprised the results skew so heavily the way they do.

For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.



This is the shining beacon of atheist morals that us Christians are supposed to aspire to when you show us the error of our ways? I'm confused about the whole morals based on social evolution thing again. That even 20% of us can pick choice number 1 is disgusting.


Don't assume that DarthXaos' morals apply to other atheists.


Agreed. We won't assume that Phelps speaks for Christians and you don't assume that Darth speaks for us. Deal?
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David desJardins
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DarthXaos wrote:
For me, one of somebody I care about is worth millions, even billions of people I don't care about.


I'm skeptical. I don't think there are any people you care about. My bet is still that you're some sort of chat bot.
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lotus dweller
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DarthXaos wrote:


Anyone outside my circle of family and friends is fair game to be exploited for the benefits of me and mine.

Excellent.

Have you read any Daniel Quinn - the Ishmael books or "The story of B"?

Or The Continuum Concept by Liedloff. She describes living with a tribe of South American Indians. The Indians are lovely sounding people, very caring, gentle with their children, supportive of each-other, leading an idyllic life in many ways. They don't think the neigboring tribes are human and so kill them without hesitation.

Do you think people outside your group are human?
Do you see yourself as having any responsibilities at all to people outside your "kith and kin"?
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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How about if you could ensure social and economic prosperity for your loved ones by rounding up 6,000,000 Jews publicly, and then killing them secretly?
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William Boykin
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Can we please a moral issue that wasn't dealt with in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one"
-Spock
"The needs of the one, outweigh the needs of the many."
-Kirk

Deep, huh?

Darilian
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Nite Wolf
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DarthXaos wrote:

It's not too different from the view many Republicans take towards the world outside America. It's just that my "nation" if you will is much smaller.


a valid point from Xaos, quite remarkable.
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