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Thread: Your favourite moral dilemmas and quandaries

  1. Top | #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisNemesis View Post
    [insert religionist whining about atheists having moral dilemmas here]
    Atheists are the only one's who deal with moral dilemmas. Theists just have to decide which action their unquestioned authority commands they take, because obedience is the only definition of morality under theism.
    That is why morality evolves and progresses in direct proportion to the decline of theism and its influence.

  2. Top | #32
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Should I say this to get 8000th post in this subsection or not...

  3. Top | #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Where do I find a blue pill?
    You've had enough blue pills already.

  4. Top | #34
    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    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

    - - - Updated - - -

    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.
    Walk away from Omelas. Easy peasy. Where is the moral dilemma?
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

  5. Top | #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Blue Pill: Security, happiness, beauty, and the blissful ignorance of illusion.
    Red pill: Knowledge, freedom, uncertainty and the brutal truths of reality.
    Well, for most people, I think life is really starting off with the blue pill and moving on with more and more of the red one and less and less of the blue one, until you get really old and stare at the naked truth. We can't choose.

    Some people seem to go on the blue pill until very late in life. Some get the red pill treatment immediately that they are born. Ideally, you would want the reverse. Start off with knowledge and decide on the rational basis provided by knowledge whether you'd be better off with the blue pill.

    Having to choose prior to possessing knowledge puts you in an impossible situation. You can't decide on any rational basis until you know the truth but to get that, you have to take the red pill and that's it, no going back to the blue pill. I'm not sure how it is at all a moral choice.

    Your decision would inevitably depends on what you believe, which likely would be essentially wrong. Still, putting aside the fact that you would have no good reason to trust that the effects would be as advertised, assuming the truth of the premises, so to speak, I think I would go for the red pill. But if I could wait, I would wait until I'm no longer fit for purpose and I would take the blue one.

    And then, what? How is that a moral dilemma?
    EB

  6. Top | #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Ok so there's the various trolley problems (which I enjoy pondering over). Any other good ones?

    I'll offer one I know of. It's really only a dilemma for some people.

    You're in a burning building in which, as far as you know, you are the only occupant. As you try to make your escape, you hear a muffled whimpering behind a door. You open the door and in the room is a little 4 year-old girl, cowering in the corner. You also notice a large container labelled "contents: 100 live human embryos" (it's a medical building of some sort, as it happens). You can't take both the girl and the container and you won't be able to come back into the building. You can only save one of the two. Which?

    You can change the number of hypothetical embryos to 100,000 or much more if that helps you decide the number of embryos that would make the container the thing worth saving, of the two, in your opinion.

    Creative solutions are allowed, but no breaking the stated 'rules' (restrictions) of the scenario. Also, no complaining that it's not a fair question or a realistic situation.

    That may or may not be one of the best dilemmas ever invented but I have used it in discussions with pro-lifers, especially those who say that every human life is precious.

    I thought of another one in the shower earlier today, which I had made up myself, but I've forgotten it.

    Feel free to try to think up your own examples, or post ones that you feel are juicy.

    Feel free to post versions of trolley problems also.
    I just love little girls so I save her if only to feel good about myself. Embryos don't really inspire me at all. They're not people.

    If we are free to do as we please, then there's no real moral dilemma for me. There would be a moral dilemma for me if the political regime in place required us to come up with a moral code applicable to all citizens. Elaboration of the code would require having to think about having to make everybody happy rather than just myself, and I guess that's where the moral would come in.

    One moral dilemma we can still choose to ignore is whether we sacrifice the well-being of people alive today to improve the odds that future generations inherit a better world. The moral dilemma is that we are necessarily part of the equation. Are we ready to make sacrifices ourselves for the benefit of people who don't even exist yet.
    EB

  7. Top | #37
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    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.
    The moral dilemma, actually many, seem to be for the one offering the choice.

    The one choosing already has a presumed moral decision tree in place so the choice would be more or less automatic. The one creating and or providing the 'choice' needs to step back from her God position as one getting another to choose among predetermined outcomes to justify her apparent arrogance. She is being amoral when she assumes she is God.

    I'm an ameteur so have at it.

  8. Top | #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Blue Pill: Security, happiness, beauty, and the blissful ignorance of illusion.
    Red pill: Knowledge, freedom, uncertainty and the brutal truths of reality.
    Is there such a thing as blissful ignorance, though? Looking back, some of the most painful times in my life were that way because of lack of perspective. What weren't really problems seemed like they were because I didn't know better. Whereas now, with perspective and knowledge under my belt, almost nothing seems like a serious problem other than financial or relationship troubles.

    Honestly, I'm convinced the whole problem of 'existential angst' is overrated, and real, material problems like drug addiction and financial insecurity are way, way underrated. I can attest to the fact that being aware, financially secure, healthy, and in a good relationship is actually quite pleasant.

  9. Top | #39
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    You might even say like a fluffy frittata, say like

    This

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