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Thread: Your favourite moral dilemmas and quandaries

  1. Top | #11
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    The little 4 year old girl. That was easy. Next.
    Yeah... not much of a dilemma. You need to be a insane loony fringe Christian to find that dilemma challenging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    And then there's this one:



    Red pill: Knowledge, freedom, uncertainty and the brutal truths of reality
    Blue Pill: Security, happiness, beauty, and the blissful ignorance of illusion.
    It's a false dichotomy. Even if we take the Red Pill we don't know that the knowledge is actual knowledge. The so called "Red Pill" movement is just a bunch of morons getting stressed about nothing.

  2. Top | #12
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    And then there's this scenario, here described by wikipedia, from a 1973 short story, which is a bit blue pill/red pill:

    The story begins by describing the first day of summer in Omelas, a shimmering city of unbelievable happiness and delight. In Omelas, the summer solstice is celebrated with a glorious festival and a race featuring young people on horseback. The vibrant festival atmosphere, however, seems to be an everyday characteristic of the blissful community, whose citizens, though limited in their advanced technology to communal (rather than private) resources, are still intelligent, sophisticated, and cultured. Omelas has no kings, soldiers, priests, or slaves. The specific socio-politico-economic setup of the community is not mentioned, but the narrator merely explains that the reader cannot be sure of every particular.

    Self-admittedly, the uncertain narrator reflects that "Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time. Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all."

    Everything about Omelas is so abundantly pleasing that the narrator decides the reader is not yet truly convinced of its existence and so elaborates upon one final element of the city: its one atrocity. The city's constant state of serenity and splendor requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in perpetual filth, darkness, and misery.

    Once citizens are old enough to know the truth, most, though initially shocked and disgusted, ultimately acquiesce to this one injustice [because it] secures the happiness of the rest of the city. However, a few citizens, young and old, silently walk away from the city."


    The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_On...ay_from_Omelas

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's a false dichotomy. Even if we take the Red Pill we don't know that the knowledge is actual knowledge. The so called "Red Pill" movement is just a bunch of morons getting stressed about nothing.
    In the scenario, the red pill does what it says it does. Just stick to the scenario.

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    The little 4 year old girl. That was easy. Next.
    I wonder what your reasons are.

    If on the grounds of suffering versus non-suffering (which might not have been your reasons) I'll change it so that there will be no suffering, at all, for the girl*. I'll also say that she is an orphan and has no family who will mourn and that the biological parents of the embryos are unknown. Literally no one suffers, at least not from dying in the burning building. Does that make a difference? Open question.

    I reckon I already know what Pyramidhead might say if and when he reads this.


    * I just realised that I can't say that, because she is already suffering and that therefore an answer on grounds of suffering could easily be justified on grounds of alleviation (at least in the short term).

    Ok....so...how about I make it that the girl is unconscious, knows nothing of the fire and will not wake up if not rescued?
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-11-2018 at 11:04 AM.

  4. Top | #14
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    It doesn't matter what the condition of the girl is - she could have autism and be a multiple amputee - she is a person and the embryos aren't -they are just collections of cells - just like a limb that a surgeon amputates to save the life of a person is many millions of cells. This is a no-brainer.
    Could make it more of a moral dilemma by stating that the embryos are vital to a cure for a disease, but even then I would save a real person over hypothetical lives saved.

  5. Top | #15
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacetime Inhabitant View Post
    It doesn't matter what the condition of the girl is - she could have autism and be a multiple amputee - she is a person and the embryos aren't -they are just collections of cells - just like a limb that a surgeon amputates to save the life of a person is many millions of cells. This is a no-brainer.
    Why does the girl currently being a person matter? In other words, how is it not reasonable to consider outcomes that are other than immediate or short term?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacetime Inhabitant View Post
    Could make it more of a moral dilemma by stating that the embryos are vital to a cure for a disease, but even then I would save a real person over hypothetical lives saved.
    Ok, so let's include that. Why would you save the currently real person then? Assuming that the embryos are vital to a cure for a currently-incurable disease and that you know this, and you have no good reason not to think that the embryos are in fact vital.

    This starts to make this dilemma a bit of a trolley problem in reverse in some ways, I think, because now we are effectively choosing how many people to save rather than how many to kill. We could imagine a trolley that would either kill one person now or multiple people later, further down the line.

    In other ways it's a bit like the 'walk away from Omelas' problem, in the sense that it's asking whether a 'bad' outcome for one person (the girl) outweighs the 'good' for many, albeit in this case a future many, not a currently existing many.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-11-2018 at 12:09 PM.

  6. Top | #16
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    The little 4 year old girl. That was easy. Next.
    I wonder what your reasons are.

    If on the grounds of suffering versus non-suffering (which might not have been your reasons) I'll change it so that there will be no suffering, at all, for the girl*. I'll also say that she is an orphan and has no family who will mourn and that the biological parents of the embryos are unknown. Literally no one suffers, at least not from dying in the burning building. Does that make a difference? Open question.

    I reckon I already know what Pyramidhead might say if and when he reads this.


    * I just realised that I can't say that, because she is already suffering and that therefore an answer on grounds of suffering could easily be justified on grounds of alleviation (at least in the short term).

    Ok....so...how about I make it that the girl is unconscious, knows nothing of the fire and will not wake up if not rescued?
    That's like saying that every time you walk by a person of the opposite gender and don't have sex with them you are murdering potential life.

    Ditching any number of embryos will never we a worse crime than spilling a glass of milk.

    If the girl won't wake up if rescued she's dead already. But there's no way of knowing that. So it's still the girl.

  7. Top | #17
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    If the girl won't wake up if rescued she's dead already. But there's no way of knowing that.
    She's breathing!

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    The little 4 year old girl. That was easy. Next.
    Yeah... not much of a dilemma. You need to be a insane loony fringe Christian to find that dilemma challenging.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    And then there's this one:



    Red pill: Knowledge, freedom, uncertainty and the brutal truths of reality
    Blue Pill: Security, happiness, beauty, and the blissful ignorance of illusion.
    It's a false dichotomy. Even if we take the Red Pill we don't know that the knowledge is actual knowledge. The so called "Red Pill" movement is just a bunch of morons getting stressed about nothing.
    Thank-you, Doc!

    I think that without seeing everything as a binary choice some people are unable to function. I'm beginning to think this is more than cognitive inequality but bordering on a psychological disorder.

  9. Top | #19
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    Where do I find a blue pill?

  10. Top | #20
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    I reckon I already know what Pyramidhead might say if and when he reads this.
    Am I allowed to deliberately break the embryo container?

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