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A dillema for the "moral" Absolutist...

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  • Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
    Well, since their is no moral absolute principal at stake in the described situation then I opt for option 2. There is no moral absolute that says you must save the most lives that you can. So, for the poorly contrived situation you have described, I choose option 2 with moral certainty that I have done nothing wrong.
    Just because a hypothetical makes you uncomfortable doesn't make it poorly contrived. And what is the huge problem here? Why does it take so much for people to admit their loved ones matter more to them than strangers? That's hardly a revelation, or shouldn't be.




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    • Originally posted by Granite View Post
      Just because a hypothetical makes you uncomfortable doesn't make it poorly contrived. And what is the huge problem here? Why does it take so much for people to admit their loved ones matter more to them than strangers? That's hardly a revelation, or shouldn't be.
      Its poorly contrived in that a heavily armed group of people take a bunch of hostages, randomly select one with a significant other with them and then give them a choice about who lives and who dies. Sounds like a great movie plot but not remotely probable in real life. That is why I say it is poorly contrived.
      Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

      What are my fruits today?

      Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

      "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Punisher1984 View Post
        I know that among most people who ascribe to themselves an absolute "moral" system in our culture human life is viewed as something that is of great intrinsic value - it's held up as such that the preservation of it takes priority over anything else. In short, it's often taken for granted that one can't put a price on it. To this assertion, I vehemently disagree and wish to point out that one can put a price on human life - even the vaunted "moral" absolutist.

        Consider the following scenario: you are in a public place (mall, office, school, church, etc...) with some one close to you (a parent, sibbling, best friend, significant other, etc...) and suddenly a group of armed lunatics bursts in takes everyone in this gathering place hostage. For amusement, they randomly take ten people you don't know out of the group and place them on their knees - and then take that person of importance to you (parent, sibbling, friend, etc...) and put him/her on the floor apart from the others and then ask you to make a decision...

        1. Say the word and the ten strangers will immediately be released to go home, but the person close to you will be shot to pieces as they walk out the door.

        2. You and the one close to you can leave immediately, but only after the ten strangers have been killed.

        Note: fighting back is out of the question as there are too many of them and you can't match their firepower. So is stalling for time, as the gunmen give you only so much time to reach a decision before they simply eliminate you and the two parties in question.

        To the "moral" absolutist I ask you - what is your final answer?
        Hmmm, I know I'm late. I don't know what I'd do. I think I'd chose my family member to live. Then I'd feel guilty for the rest of my life. Anyway . . .

        Why is this a dilema for moral absolutists? Seems like a dilema for everyone. As if it'd be an easy choice for relativists. What has this got to do with morals being absolute or relative?
        "I believe in Christianity, as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

        "Don't believe that there's nothing that's true, don't believe in this modern machine." Switchfoot

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        • Originally posted by GuySmiley View Post
          Hmmm, I know I'm late. I don't know what I'd do. I think I'd chose my family member to live. Then I'd feel guilty for the rest of my life. Anyway . . .

          Why is this a dilema for moral absolutists? Seems like a dilema for everyone. As if it'd be an easy choice for relativists. What has this got to do with morals being absolute or relative?
          Nothing. It was contrived by an individual that has no understanding of biblical morals. By his own admission he is a nihilist and lives by his own "moral" code.
          Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

          But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

          What are my fruits today?

          Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

          "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
            Its poorly contrived in that a heavily armed group of people take a bunch of hostages, randomly select one with a significant other with them and then give them a choice about who lives and who dies. Sounds like a great movie plot but not remotely probable in real life. That is why I say it is poorly contrived.
            Many hypotheticals are just as unlikely. What matters is the answer you provide. Nitpicking the scenario is a waste of time.




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            • Originally posted by Granite View Post
              Many hypotheticals are just as unlikely. What matters is the answer you provide. Nitpicking the scenario is a waste of time.
              In this case it is. Punisher1984 advertises this as a moral delema for the moral absolutist yet there is no delema. He gives us no moral principal that either choice violates. He is operating on a faulty assumption that saving the most people is the right thing to do without indicating where this moral principal originates. It does not originate within the pages of scripture. So its a hypothetical that is so poorly contrived that it utterly fails at its intended purpose: moral absolutes create delemas for people who are not morally flexable.


              Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

              But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

              What are my fruits today?

              Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

              "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Granite View Post
                ...Why does it take so much for people to admit their loved ones matter more to them than strangers? That's hardly a revelation, or shouldn't be.
                This is where you misunderstand... I'm sure everyone who has posted so far would agree, their loved ones are worth more to them than strangers. That's why they're called "loved ones", after all...

                Where your thinking diverges from the moral absolutist's is your understanding of worth.

                This from wiktionary.org:

                worth (countable and uncountable; plural worths)

                1. (countable) Value.

                I’ll have a dollar's worth of candy, please.

                2. (uncountable) Merit, excellence.

                Our new director is a man whose worth is well acknowledged.

                Obviously, countable value isn't applicable here... I would assume we all agree, you don't rate your loved ones to the value of strangers ("my older sister is worth 8 good-looking strangers' lives, while my little brother is worth 2 ugly ones").

                So we are talking about uncountable value here. The value you are speaking of IS relative: I would value my loved one more than a stranger, and the stranger has a loved one who would value them more than me or my loved one. This value is personal.

                The value that we moral relativists would refer to in this situation is God's value of human life. We (would like to) look beyond our personal opinions and values to see God's value. (I say would like to because it's not something easily accomplished.) In the current situation, if it was my loved one, who like many of my loved ones, was a Christian, the decision, while not easy, would be obvious... because they would be "going to a better place."

                As has been well pointed out and ridiculed by many others already, this situational ethics question is ridiculous. My question is, how do you know the "armed lunatics" will keep their word? What would give you the impression a group of people who find amusement in killing would feel pangs of guilt if they killed two more people? And don't you know, any intelligent killer doesn't leave witnesses behind anyway?


                All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. - Galileo

                Comment


                • regarding perfidy

                  Originally posted by Gerald View Post
                  I thought I'd re-animate this thread, with a question for the moral absolutists.

                  Are there any circumstances under which you would resort to perfidy, as defined thus:



                  If perfidious means would win you the fight, would you resort to them? If not, why not?
                  It appears to me that the definers of "Perfidy" in time of war, have never been in a life threatening situation. Up in the Ivory Tower life looks different from the Fox Hole. I would do what ever it takes to survive short of killing civilians. These are "Arm chair quarterback" debates. bybee

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                  • Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
                    Its poorly contrived in that a heavily armed group of people take a bunch of hostages, randomly select one with a significant other with them and then give them a choice about who lives and who dies. Sounds like a great movie plot but not remotely probable in real life. That is why I say it is poorly contrived.
                    actually, it does happen every day - only with far worse consequences ...
                    ......

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by always_learning View Post
                      .... .....
                      ....
                      .....
                      And don't you know,
                      any intelligent killer doesn't leave witnesses behind anyway?
                      no, don't know that.
                      ......

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