Is it morally justified...

Switzerland
August 4, 2007 5:59pm CST
to kill or sacrifice the life of a person in order to save the life of many other people? For example, you are out and about, and you can sense that an accident is about to happen. If you push one person, that person will die, but you will save the lives of many other people. If you don't push the person, then all the other people will die instead (resulting in more deaths overall).
3 people like this
6 responses
@ninsensei (232)
4 Aug 07
Popper and others amended utilitarianism. The aim of any action should be to do the least harm to the smallest number. Incidentally, how do you manage to combine utilitarianism with Christianity which has some pretty absolute orders about moral behaviour?
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@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
4 Aug 07
I didn't see where any of her topic had to do with Christianity, directly. I must be missing something, as usual.
1 person likes this
@ninsensei (232)
5 Aug 07
But that's looking at whether or not it's right or wrong, in the end it comes to the person and conscience and no ethical theory is ging to force you to do or not to do something. I'd say the wrong is easily justified by the right in this situation.
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@derek_a (10902)
5 Aug 07
This is something that I don't think many people could answer unless they were faced with the real situation. I certainly couldn't and must answer that I do not now what I would do. The other way of looking at it is that we cannot know the future and therefore cannot know with absolute certainty who would die and who would not die. In Zen there is a saying "do nothing, but it is the hardest thing in the world!"
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• Switzerland
5 Aug 07
Thank you very much for your insightful response. "Do nothing, but it is the hardest thing in the world!" sounds really deep but is indeed very insightful. Having said that, I think we don't have the right to choose whose life is more valuable and who deserves to live.
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@derek_a (10902)
5 Aug 07
Yes, I agree, it is beyond our intellectual abilities to deem what is and what is not to be :-)
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@1289786 (51)
• United States
5 Aug 07
Of course. One life is just as important as another, but one life is ONE life. To kill someone is morally wrong, but to let the others die would be every worse.
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@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
4 Aug 07
Well, let's see, Jesus already did that for all of humanity. So as far as I am concern that has been done enough. It is not fair to push any body no matter how many are at risk. Exactly why I don't believe in war. But ultimately, if it is your time to go, you are going regardless.
@Lydia1901 (16354)
• United States
17 Aug 07
I do not see how anything like that could be morally justified at all. I do not think anyone should die at all and we should value others' life as long as we can.
• Switzerland
17 Aug 07
Well said.