ForumsWEPRIs Killing Someone to Protect a Person Morally Acceptable?

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apldeap123
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Imagine this situation: You are walking in the park with your wife and a masked man comes up to your wife. He threatens to kill both of you unless your wife lets him have sex with her.

Is it morally acceptable to kill a person in order to save the life of another man?

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thebluerabbit
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hmmmmm techincally he wouldnt kill her if they let him have sex with her :P

lol kidding. i think it should be obvious that yes. seeing someone else in pain has a pretty awful affect on me. almost as if i feel it myself. but id do it as well.

Jacen96
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Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: Killing for the sake of saving another is morally acceptable in the situation in which there is no alternative (preferably), and allowable if the killer was placed under extreme stress.

That said, killing someone would leave a sane person most likely traumatized.

~~~Darth Caedus

Kasic
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The goal shouldn't be to kill the other person, but to defend yourself/the one being attacked. If the aggressor should happen to die during this, they brought it upon themselves.

Kennethhartanto
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you get this idea from the "Return of The Great Debates" thread, aren't you?
If you don't, then read mino's post and mine to get your answers in there, dude. should you ask me to elaborate , i will do so though

09philj
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Then there's the idea of altruism in it's most extreme form. Imagine two people are tied to a train track. The train will hit and kill them unless you push a fat man in front of the train to stop it. He will, of, course die. (You can't jump yourself, you don't have enough mass to make a difference.) In this case more people survive if you yourself become a murderer. On the other hand, if you don't kill the fat man, you will have, by inaction, allowed the deaths of a greater number of people. What do you do? (Lets imagine the police don't come for you)

Psychopaths have no trouble with this kind of problem, in that they (if they are altruists) always pursue the most good for the greatest number, and kill the fat man.

thebluerabbit
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its actually an easy one.

you dont have time to actually think about it if that happened.

in my case, id panic, try to get them out of there and probably either die with them while trying or jumping away in the last second.

Moegreche
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This is eerily similar, as Kenneth pointed out, to one of the questions in the Great Debates. It's a super fun one to talk about, but what if we twisted things a little bit?

phil had set up the problem as a Trolley Problem (see Phillipa Foot for the original setup of this problem). But what if we added a little twist, due to J. J. Thomson?

This is sort of a reverse of the Trolley Problem. Imagine that there are 6 people stranded on rocks in the water - 5 on one rock and 1 on the other. In the water, floating towards the 1 is a health pebble. This is a magic pebble that, when eaten, will cure what ails you. The 1 is very sick and needs the entire health pebble to survive. But the 5 could split the pebble into 5 equal pieces as survive (as they are less sick).

Now you have a choice: do you deflect the health pebble away from the 1 and towards the 5 in order to save more people? In so doing, are you killing the 1? And are there factors that might weight into your decision about whether or not to deflect the health pebble?

Kennethhartanto
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Psychopaths have no trouble with this kind of problem, in that they (if they are altruists) always pursue the most good for the greatest number, and kill the fat man.

Hmmm, i would choose the same actions as those "psychopaths" without even thinking. so would that make me a very probable psychopath?

Is it morally acceptable to kill a person in order to save the life of another man?

in this case, if i was in this situation, then i would without any doubt choose to attack the lone attacker and attempt to disarm him. if i had to kill him, then so be it. any lone attacker would have to get over my dead body before raping someone i loved the most. about the morally acceptable part, then using the same way of reasoning i used in a similar question in the "Return of The Great Debates", i can easily say that it is morally acceptable, because the bloody retaliation is a fitting penalty to someone breaking the rules of common morality. which is governed by what we call moral system which has existed before any kind of states exist

do you deflect the health pebble away from the 1 and towards the 5 in order to save more people? In so doing, are you killing the 1? And are there factors that might weight into your decision about whether or not to deflect the health pebble?

in order of the questions

1. yes, without any doubt i will attempt to do so
2. yes, it is an effect of what happens by doing so. since i have the power to deflect the pebble, then the blame would be placed on me
3. i would take into consideration the speed of the rivers currents and the distance between them, in other words, the possibility of deflecting the pebble to the second group. if that's a check, then the next one would be the number of souls in each "island". i would prefer to save the 5 rather than save only one person

09philj
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Hmmm, i would choose the same actions as those "psychopaths" without even thinking. so would that make me a very probable psychopath?


Possibly. Psychopaths often feel a lack of empathy and remorse, but a psychologist would be the best person to ask. There are, of course, degrees of psychopathy.
Jacen96
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@Moegreche [quote=Spock]"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"[/quote]

~~~Darth Caedus

apldeap123
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This is eerily similar, as Kenneth pointed out, to one of the questions in the Great Debates.


I didn't know that there was already a question like this in the Great Debates, but I can say that I did look for inspiration in some of the threads in the "World Events, Politics, Religion, Etc." forum.

Is it morally acceptable to kill a person in order to save the life of another man?


In my opinion, it is only in extreme circumstances where you have no choice but to try to inflict harm on the attacker. Note the word "extreme."

do you deflect the health pebble away from the 1 and towards the 5 in order to save more people?


If the other 5 people in the group is sick, then I would give the pebble to the 5 people. But if they are not sick, then I would ultimately give the pebble to the sick person. In other words, I would give the pebble to the one who needs it the most.

In so doing, are you killing the 1?


If I gave the health pebble to the other 5, I would be effect, killing the other person because I gave the pebble to the other 5, in effect making the lives of the five people more important than the lives of that one, sick person.
Voyage2
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No, if they will do a sin they are still a human. A human like you which can still change their life. I better choose to injure them instead of killing.

thebluerabbit
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honestly... id hesitate.

but not because of thinking who should get it.

id ask them all what i should do and will NOT give to anybody until they all reach the same decision. i will feel guilt about the following the decision later for not being able to save someone but ill have to deal wit hit.

HahiHa
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The goal shouldn't be to kill the other person, but to defend yourself/the one being attacked. If the aggressor should happen to die during this, they brought it upon themselves.

^This. It is a false dichotomy to think that you have to kill either one.

Now you have a choice: do you deflect the health pebble away from the 1 and towards the 5 in order to save more people? In so doing, are you killing the 1? And are there factors that might weight into your decision about whether or not to deflect the health pebble?

We need to assume that there is a certain probability that help comes at some time, otherwise the question becomes futile. With this in mind, I consider that I have more chances of saving one life by letting 1 having the health pebble, as the other 5 will survive longer; by pushing the pebble away, I might slightly increase the chances of the 5s (though the difference may not necessarily be significant), in the same time I drastically lower the chances of 1 to be rescued.

So in your example, Moe, I consider that
Spock wrote:
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"

does not apply.
Darktroop07
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This. It is a false dichotomy to think that you have to kill either one.

Over excessive defense. I believe that's what it's called.

We need to assume that there is a certain probability that help comes at some time, otherwise the question becomes futile. With this in mind, I consider that I have more chances of saving one life by letting 1 having the health pebble, as the other 5 will survive longer; by pushing the pebble away, I might slightly increase the chances of the 5s (though the difference may not necessarily be significant), in the same time I drastically lower the chances of 1 to be rescued.


They're bound to die someday, and might as well let the other five live their lives longer while helping those with the higher probability of dying.
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