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Is Killing Someone to Protect a Person Morally Acceptable?

Posted Jun 12, '14 at 1:53pm

apldeap123

apldeap123

124 posts

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?


last edited Jun 12 2014 02:05 pm by apldeap123
 

Posted Jun 12, '14 at 4:39pm

thebluerabbit

thebluerabbit

2,914 posts

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.

 

Posted Jun 12, '14 at 5:18pm

Jacen96

Jacen96

2,154 posts

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

 

Posted Jun 12, '14 at 6:36pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,570 posts

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.

 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 3:43am

Kennethhartanto

Kennethhartanto

230 posts

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

 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 3:54am

09philj

09philj

858 posts

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.

 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 4:07am

thebluerabbit

thebluerabbit

2,914 posts

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.

 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 7:57am

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,765 posts

Moderator

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?

 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 8:42am

Kennethhartanto

Kennethhartanto

230 posts

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


last edited Jun 13 2014 08:42 am by Kennethhartanto
 

Posted Jun 13, '14 at 10:37am

09philj

09philj

858 posts

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.

 
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