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Otter

The good, the bad, and the means to an end.

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Otter

So, the other day, I saw this great little indy film. This topic may be a bit of a spoiler - advance warning. The film's called Unthinkable, starring Carrie-Ann Moss and, in fullblown glory, Samuel L Jackson.

 

The film itself seemed confused about it's message - fully understandable given the subject matter. A man has hidden 3 nuclear bombs across America. He's allowed himself to become captured, and the government brings in the FBI led by a by-the-book agent (Moss) and a mysterious character named "H" (Jackson) who turns out to be a professional torturer.

 

In the end, it comes down to the fact that the terrorist has allowed himself to be captured and tortured out of some sick (and a little contrived) sense of righteousness. When it becomes apparent that he's not going to cave, the climax of the film revolves around Samuel L Jackson locking himself in a room with the man's children, threatening to (and we believe him at this point) begin cutting them up if he doesn't start giving up information. The guy spills. But Sammy's not having any of it, and starts prepping to torture the kids.

 

Of course, the rest of the interrogation team breaks into the room and stops him before anything can happen. The kids are saved, and a pissed off Jackson says it's obvious that the guy didn't tell them everything. As this is happening, the teams disabling the various bombs report success... but the camera pans over in one of the rooms to reveal one last, undetected bomb... that explodes. End credits.

 

So the question posed by the film is, essentially - would you kill a kid to save a million lives? Would you condone it? At what point do morality and logic conflict, and if we have the ability to be so ruthless, why do we fight so hard to protect our innocent "way of life"?

 

Furthermore, what price does the 'common good' exact? Is it worth giving up your values to protect those you swear to protect? Or are you, in fact, protecting them by holding fast to your values in the face of certain disaster?

 

This can be applied to any situation, not just the world-shaking one present in the film. Imagine a scenario where you're asked to do something at work that violates your own principles - but failing to do so could cost your job, and the income your family depends on. What then?

 

I know these are far-reaching and ambiguous questions, but I'm sure we can have a great discussion about this. Have you guys ever been in a situation where you've had to compromise your values for "the greater good"? Or have you been in such a situation and remained true to your beliefs?

 

 

 

 

 

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haxor

*spam*

Edited by illspirit

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Shylock

Not quite sure what the 2nd post was about...

 

But here goes Otter. This is one of those age old questions that is a means to judge moral character. Its like this:

 

10 children have various terminal conditions. One perfectly healthy adult can provide the organs needed to save each child. Do you kill the adult to save the children? What if half the children would die anyway?

 

It is just one of those things that can never be answered with any objectivity. It boils down to how the person answering feels. Would I kill a child to save a million people? On paper, yes. But when it came down to it I don't think I could actually do it.

 

Would I murder in cold blood someone who raped/murdered a child to save 5 people...in a heart beat. My personal morals are such that I would do it for no other reason then the satisfaction of ridding this world of scum.

 

You pose an interesting question though. Would I compromise my moral judgment if it wouldn't hurt anyone else? Maybe. To save my job, income and ability to provide for my family? Yes. You can almost argue that this reflects on if I am selfish (my morals above all) or selfless (I will sacrifice my morals to protect those that I care for).

 

I'm going to leave it at that. icon14.gif

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K^2

I have one primary guiding principle. I can't change the world. At all. Only the side of it that I get to experience. Universe - is, with all its past, and all its futures. When I make a choice, timeline where I made a different choice still remains. You cannot choose to hurt someone or not to hurt someone. You'll still do both. But you do get to choose consequences of which action you'll have to live with.

 

The rest of "morality" is very simple to extrapolate from that. I do what is good for me. Keeping in mind, of course, that there are many people whose company I enjoy and I'd like to keep it that way. Not to mention various perks of being an upstanding member of society. So I try to help people around me when I can, but it's still ultimately for my own benefit.

 

As such, self-sacrifice is definitely off the menu. There are certain situations where I would risk my well-being, or even my life, but benefits have to outweigh the risk. So you can be absolutely sure that I'm not going to throw myself on a grenade or be involved in any other situation where risk assessment involves division by zero.

 

This is simple and objective. There are no subjective principles, like "good" or "bad". I suppose, the utility function used for evaluation is still inherently subjective, but I don't have to explain it to anyone. Some things I like. Others I dislike. I make decisions based on that, without needing to figure out if they are "right" or "wrong".

 

Though, I do believe, in terms of RPG alignment, that would make me Lawful Evil. But nobody complained yet.

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illspirit

In an actual ticking bomb scenario, then it's absolutely moral to use any force on the bomber required to stop the bomb. If you strip away the emotions evoked by the word "torture" and the fact he's already been captured, it's morally no different than if you saw him on the street about to kill people with the bomb (or gun, knife, whatever..) in hand and you used violence to stop him. Either way, he's the one who has initiated force.

 

Torturing or killing his kids, on the other hand, would be wrong since they didn't do anything. Same goes for murdering some random person to save sick kids in one of Shylock's examples.

 

Shylock, as for your other example of killing a child murderer/rapist to save five, do you mean saving five of his future victims? Or some hypothetical where a third party will kill hostages unless you execute the first bad guy? If saving victims directly from him, there's less of a moral question if you catch him in the act or conspiring to do so (might be hard explaining that to the cops though..). If it's some third party though urging you to kill the first guy, you would just be allowing him to drag you down to both of their immoral levels.

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Shylock
Shylock, as for your other example of killing a child murderer/rapist to save five, do you mean saving five of his future victims? Or some hypothetical where a third party will kill hostages unless you execute the first bad guy? If saving victims directly from him, there's less of a moral question if you catch him in the act or conspiring to do so (might be hard explaining that to the cops though..). If it's some third party though urging you to kill the first guy, you would just be allowing him to drag you down to both of their immoral levels.

It was just an example. You could really argue either way. Future victims, 3rd party victims etc etc. But since you brought it up, the "3rd party" situation can be argued in multiple directions.

 

If you follow the "golden rule" then you really would be justified in killing the child rapist/murderer to save a few randoms. He killed someone, he deserves to die. But this just re-enforces my earlier statement that all these situations are in the eyes of the beholder. Morals are personal and more or less molded onto someone. What one person considers "immoral" very well could be considered "moral" on the other side of the aisle.

 

 

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nerner

Does not killing the few to save the many lead to killing the many to save the few? If you look at it that way then surely the men in the movie were justified in torturing the children?

 

However in my opinion all the philosophizing in the world doesn't change the reality of the world. It's a very simple matter in the real world. I would kill to save my child. I would kill to save my parents. There is a hierarchy of people I consider important going outward from my self. With that in perspective, ideas of "all killing is wrong" become silly and useless as guiding forces. I have a duty and obligation to certain people, not necessarily to all humanity in equal proportions.

 

Take the example of the firefighters for example, in a burning building there are 50 people, 35 are in a large room on the bottom floor, 10 or so are a floor up, and 5 are on the top floor. It is surely ingrained into every firefighter to save the many. They would go to the largest group first, and attempt to get all of them out of the building, if the building then falls down they killed (by inaction) the few to save the many. If the building doesn't fall down then they will go back in in order to save the others. But because of their training they almost operate on autopilot when it comes to saving the many.

 

I am not saying that all human lives aren't equal, but some are more important in certain situaions, for example a submariner working on an important project regarding national defence is more important to the security of the country than your run-of-the-mill sailor.

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ilikensrs

Nerner, your example with the firemen isn't really comparable to the situation in the original post. Having limited resources and choosing the most efficient way to use them (saving the most people in your example) isn't the same as deliberately killing or torturing another human being in cold blood.

 

I also don't understand what you mean when you say that a slippery slope justifies the torture of children. Surely it would lead one to conclude that torture would never be justified, wouldn't it?

 

The consequentionalist approach used by illspirit to determine that it is "absolutely moral to use any force" does have a few drawbacks, aside from the obvious one that in the real world force does not extract reliable information. Where do we draw the line? Most people would be happy to torture one person if they thought they would save a million from death, but what if we bring the ration of tortured to saved down to 1:100? How about 1:1, or even 100:1? Whose formula shall we use to derive the relative weightings of people? And can I morally use force on you to stop you using force on a third party?

 

Regarding this "My personal morals are such that I would do it for no other reason then the satisfaction of ridding this world of scum." from Shylock, is this really what you believe? Our culture encourages this attitude of being the noble hero bringing down vengeance upon the wicked that they should suffer for their misdeeds, but in all honesty do you see yourself fit to be judge jury and executioner?

 

From my perspective, even as an inate consequentionalist, I have to take the view that under no circumstances should is it moral to hurt anyone aside from using the minimum necessary in immediate self defence.

 

Aside from questions of life and limb, I've sold out many a time for the greater good. I've also compromised my principles purely because my work required me to do so, and I am the sole provider for my family so quitting was not an option. As a long term solution I have found a different job which will allow me to act within my conscience. If that doesn't work out I can always find another job, and another after that and so on.

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illspirit

 

But since you brought it up, the "3rd party" situation can be argued in multiple directions.

Indeed. One direction to be considered is whether it would be moral to kill the rapist without the third party taking hostages. If you wouldn't randomly off the rapist under normal circumstances, then you're letting hostage taker force you to use his morals. This is what I meant by being dragged down to their level.

 

And since the entire hypothetical is based on a manipulative bastard trying to make you kill someone, how do you know the alleged rapist really is one? Did you witness the incident? If so, then it's a bit less gray. On the other hand, did he admit to it there or in an infamous court case? Or are you just taking the manipulator's word for it? The willingness to kill based on such flimsy evidence as the hostage taker's word raises moral questions in and of itself. Even if the rapist admitted to it, can you be certain the hostage taker didn't force him to falsely do so in a similar game?

 

 

The consequentionalist approach used by illspirit to determine that it is "absolutely moral to use any force" does have a few drawbacks, aside from the obvious one that in the real world force does not extract reliable information. Where do we draw the line? Most people would be happy to torture one person if they thought they would save a million from death, but what if we bring the ration of tortured to saved down to 1:100? How about 1:1, or even 100:1? Whose formula shall we use to derive the relative weightings of people? And can I morally use force on you to stop you using force on a third party?

 

*snip*

 

From my perspective, even as an inate consequentionalist, I have to take the view that under no circumstances should is it moral to hurt anyone aside from using the minimum necessary in immediate self defence.

Well, yea, torture usually doesn't work, but that's more of a tactical question than a moral one. But, then again, since you're right that force is only justified to the point that it stops an attack, I suppose it is a moral question since the torture may not work. However, unlike generic intel (such as the whereabouts or intents of someone else) or a confession which can't necessarily be proven wrong or can change, the location of a mad bomber's bomb either is or isn't.

 

I see nothing wrong with using force to defend an innocent third party. This works whether it's 1:1 or 1:1000000. If some nutjob chained you up in a closet somewhere wearing a timed bomb collar or some such which wouldn't hurt anyone else, would you have a moral problem if I tazered or dunked him in water until he told where you were?

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WF the Hobgoblin

Would I kill / torture an innocent person / kid to save millions of lives?

 

Sure, I guess.

 

Would I do it if the innocent person was a family member?

 

I doubt it.

 

Would I sacrifice myself for millions of people i don't know?

 

Probably not, no.

 

Regarding the question about the sick kids and the healthy adult, I wouldn't sacrifice the adult.

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Otter

 

I see nothing wrong with using force to defend an innocent third party. This works whether it's 1:1 or 1:1000000. If some nutjob chained you up in a closet somewhere wearing a timed bomb collar or some such which wouldn't hurt anyone else, would you have a moral problem if I tazered or dunked him in water until he told where you were?

And if he didn't cave to torture, and you've got his children handy...? Would you hurt one innocent to protect another? After all, it IS only the child of a psychopath.

 

That's the gray area, isn't it? An innocent in exchange for other innocents.

 

Great discussion so far; I'm finding it hard to articulate any response. It's a tough subject to talk about.

 

K^2, aside from being logical to the point of becoming a sociopath, raises some interesting points that - while they deviate from the scenario - really question the validity of values. Are our morals, scruples, values, and codes of conduct simply a reflection of how we wish to be treated? No, obviously not. They are evolutionary traits, however - we've long survived only thanks to the groups we live with and the groups themselves depend on a strong sense of "right" and "wrong" to keep from imploding.

 

We are hardwired to protect the herd, and we are built to love and protect one another. The question is, if you ever betray these scuples (or "sell out" like ilikensers put it) is there the option to go back to the way things were? Can you regain your honor after tarnishing your life with an act you believe to be reprehensible?

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Shylock
Regarding this "My personal morals are such that I would do it for no other reason then the satisfaction of ridding this world of scum." from Shylock, is this really what you believe? Our culture encourages this attitude of being the noble hero bringing down vengeance upon the wicked that they should suffer for their misdeeds, but in all honesty do you see yourself fit to be judge jury and executioner?

 

It isn't that I consider myself Judge, Jury and Executioner. It is my personal belief that aforementioned child rapist/murderers cease to deserve their "right to life". It's a slippery slope, I know. But being a rather subjective topic, I do not consider it immoral to kill someone who gave their victim no benefit of the most simplistic and basic right, the right to live. Thus me being pro death penalty. I didn't mean to portray that I would execute someone "accused" of a crime. Just, merely, that if needed I would do the deed of taking their life. I firmly believe that our justice system has multiple safeguards in place that protect someone for the gravest of all punishments (death). We don't put the mentally insane to death, nor do we put children who have yet to grasp the consequences of their actions. We give them years and years to appeal and several avenues to play on the morals of someone in authority (Governor, Supreme Court, President).

 

@Illspirit: This entire topic is gray! But I will say it is tough to say what I would do. Typing up to what lengths I would go to protect an innocent bystander and actually going through with it are completely different stories. I would like to think that if faced with a decision of harming one innocent to save 100 it would be a no brainer, but I can't say with all certainty that I would do it. Using Otters example, what if you kill the child and the suspect still doesn't give up the location of the last bomb? Then you took that life for nothing, making you a murderer. But what if you killed one child and he gave up the location of the last bomb to save his other children? Then you are a hero, and you did what needed to be done to save hundreds of thousands of other "innocents".

 

I hate to drag hollywood theatrics into a topic, but anyone who watched 24 this happened all the time. He tortured, and sometimes allowed innocent people to die, to gain information to save thousands of other people. In fact, this exact situation Otter used basically happened in 24, just the outcome was different. He staged the murder of a terrorist children to get him to talk, when in fact just a little bit of video trickery was used and none of the children were harmed. Gaining the knowledge needed, without going through with the act of taking innocent life to save others. I'd like to think that if it came down to it, our government (or me if I was in that situation) would be able to pull something like that off, as opposed to murdering someone in cold blood whose only connection to the terrorists plot was being related to the terrorist.

 

But as mentioned, circumstances change. If someone had your family, you would probably be willing to go a little farther then your morals dictate had it been a family of an unknown...

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Otter
Then you are a hero, and you did what needed to be done to save hundreds of thousands of other "innocents".

Are you, though? I've no doubt that you would become almost universally reviled.

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Shylock
Then you are a hero, and you did what needed to be done to save hundreds of thousands of other "innocents".

Are you, though? I've no doubt that you would become almost universally reviled.

Maybe, but knowing modern day governments I doubt that what you did would ever see the light of day (public scrutiny). Seemingly, the only time someone falls under the chopping block is when what you did is a failure.

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HolyGrenadeFrenzy

I appreciate the positions of differing perspectives in this thread.

 

There are some other factors that are not solely based in the morality vs logic proper yet do effect the decision making process in such situations.

 

Having been in various strange and uncomfortable situations myself, this one is definitely in the extreme category.

 

Are there other options that people (characters) are not considering in the situation?

 

-Probably

 

Do things turn out for the better if we just go with the flow?

 

Usually not

 

What do we do if deduction, reason, and principal are all seeming to fail us then?

 

This is the big question here is it not?

 

Short answer in two parts:

 

Qualifier:

Align your mind and heart so that they are not vexed and get your gut feelings to inform you in that area first.

 

Decision Maker:

Do what your gut tells you to do!

 

----------

 

It works and it works because humanity has been using and developing that sense for far longer than recorded history and it is far more than just your imagination or obstructing emotions pushing you around and getting in your way.

 

There have been times when I didn't heed my own advice here and nearly always have I regretted it and when I didn't then there is still a mess that had tremendous personal damage associated with it. Learning from these mistakes has definately changed and molded me.

Edited by HolyGrenadeFrenzy

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ilikensrs
Well, yea, torture usually doesn't work, but that's more of a tactical question than a moral one. But, then again, since you're right that force is only justified to the point that it stops an attack, I suppose it is a moral question since the torture may not work. However, unlike generic intel (such as the whereabouts or intents of someone else) or a confession which can't necessarily be proven wrong or can change, the location of a mad bomber's bomb either is or isn't.

 

I see nothing wrong with using force to defend an innocent third party. This works whether it's 1:1 or 1:1000000. If some nutjob chained you up in a closet somewhere wearing a timed bomb collar or some such which wouldn't hurt anyone else, would you have a moral problem if I tazered or dunked him in water until he told where you were?

I don't think that we're necessarily using the same understanding of self defence. When you're being mugged in an alleyway and there is no chance of escape, then force can be used in self defence. Torturing someone on the basis that there *may* be some bombs somewhere and he *may* give you useful information if you're actually got the right person and you're not just torturing some poor innocent bastard until he tells you what you want to hear is not self defence.

 

For the record, if some nutjob chained me up somewhere I certainly would have a problem with you torturing him to find out my location. No doubt if you you somehow got the right person and got him to talk I'd be glad to be alive, but I would still consider your conduct to be reprehensible.

 

For shylock, are you absolutely certain that the person you would gladly kill is guilty? There are a number of documented cases where innocent people have been executed.

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K^2
Short answer in two parts:

 

Qualifier:

Align your mind and heart so that they are not vexed and get your gut feelings to inform you in that area first.

 

Decision Maker:

Do what your gut tells you to do!

You are missing some key steps. Your gut feeling is intuition. A heuristic estimate of the situation. It's generally going to be right. But it is not fool-proof.

 

Don't blindly go with your gut. It will work 9 times out of 10, and on that 10th time you'll do something so wrong that you'll hate yourself for the rest of the life, doubting your every step forever more.

 

Use it as a guide, but double-check everything. If you have a gut feeling about something, there is a reason for it. Some times, it's just gas. Sometimes, there is a factor that you only noticed subconsciously. Find that reason, and add it to your logical evaluation. If you account for all the factors, your feeling of the situation and your logic will align. Then you can act.

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HolyGrenadeFrenzy

 

Short answer in two parts:

 

Qualifier:

Align your mind and heart so that they are not vexed and get your gut feelings to inform you in that area first.

 

Decision Maker:

Do what your gut tells you to do!

You are missing some key steps. Your gut feeling is intuition. A heuristic estimate of the situation. It's generally going to be right. But it is not fool-proof.

 

Don't blindly go with your gut. It will work 9 times out of 10, and on that 10th time you'll do something so wrong that you'll hate yourself for the rest of the life, doubting your every step forever more.

 

Use it as a guide, but double-check everything. If you have a gut feeling about something, there is a reason for it. Some times, it's just gas. Sometimes, there is a factor that you only noticed subconsciously. Find that reason, and add it to your logical evaluation. If you account for all the factors, your feeling of the situation and your logic will align. Then you can act.

Well, a lot of that depends on your Personality Archetype as well.

 

Intuition for me is primary instead of secondary.

 

Yes, I do know exactly what it is and all that jazz.

 

In situations like this one, particularly, we must consider the ramifications for the concept of Absolution vs Survival Instinct as well though and depending how you are wired that makes all the difference in the world.

 

My point is approached indirectly, here, because what I am getting at is something off to the side of the topic.

 

Morality vs Logic is usually a closed vs closed argument on both sides at times like the one we a primarily discussing here. The Human Elements that are yet to be factored in ultimately decide as one attempts to reconcile the two.

 

Your use of steps to resolve this is not completely practical, not that any of this is, because in such situations humans tend to get down to the basics of training and nature. Which is why I ask the questions before the statements you have quoted. Besides the use of logic to tie break a morality vs logic break down is still siding with one and discounting the other.

 

This sort of use in logic results in circular arguments. I am sure that you realize this and wonder at why you are testing me.

 

------------------------

 

Absolution vs Non-absolution does have a means to meet in the middle but that doesn't mean that it is ever fully resolved by any means at all. This is especially true when we leave the strictly philosophical and get down to the logos of the current situation discussed here.

 

Eventually we find ourselves in a position to ask the same questions that religion has provided answers for these many centuries and longer.

 

If we are not careful then we wind up in psychological and philosophical infidelity that clinically would be called something else entirely than what such resolutions would deem necessary.

 

Thus, quelling the vexation between heart (morality) and mind (logic) is of primary concern to the entire situation and the best and quickest manner of doing this is going to be found within the intuition without training and even with training most of the time.

 

Going blindly with your gut would imply not using the qualifier in the first place and that would most likely be disastrous.

Edited by HolyGrenadeFrenzy

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Tom Toole
Going blindly with your gut would imply not using the qualifier in the first place and that would most likely be disastrous.

The qualifier qualifies. But nevertheless it already qualifies a series of unqualifiable structures of meaning.

 

gut - heart - mind - these are all the same thing.

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HolyGrenadeFrenzy

 

Going blindly with your gut would imply not using the qualifier in the first place and that would most likely be disastrous.

The qualifier qualifies. But nevertheless it already qualifies a series of unqualifiable structures of meaning.

 

gut - heart - mind - these are all the same thing.

I'm doing my best to go as layman as possible here.

 

These sorts of things need definitions, granted, since we are dealing with a need for distinction so that things are not all abstracted to the point of unsuitability.

 

Yet cutting my posts up and discounting the context isn't really countering them at all.

 

These distinctions or terms, if you will, all fall within Common Tongue Usage and that is why I used them so.

Edited by HolyGrenadeFrenzy

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Tom Toole
Going blindly with your gut would imply not using the qualifier in the first place and that would most likely be disastrous.

The qualifier qualifies. But nevertheless it already qualifies a series of unqualifiable structures of meaning.

 

gut - heart - mind - these are all the same thing.

I'm doing my best to go as layman as possible here.

 

These sorts of things need definitions, granted, since we are dealing with a need for distinction so that things are not all abstracted to the point of unsuitability.

 

Yet cutting my posts up and discounting the context isn't really countering them at all.

 

These distinctions or terms, if you will, all fall within Common Tongue Usage and that is why I used them so.

Indeed thou dost parley a most ubiquitously fine word, albeit I do respectfully aim to also use the word not only to add but also to refine thine most fine word.

 

Lay, dear fellow man, not pearls to pigs nor flowers to pigs, but instead pearls and flowers to human beings who are as intelligent as thou art. If you please, do as thou pleases, and all will also.

 

Good day, and Inshallah we shall continue.

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Otter

We're deviating not only from good sense but from the topic at hand, gentlemen. Please. Take it elsewhere.

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illspirit

 

And if he didn't cave to torture, and you've got his children handy...? Would you hurt one innocent to protect another?  After all, it IS only the child of a psychopath.

 

That's the gray area, isn't it?  An innocent in exchange for other innocents.

As I said in an earlier response, force can only be used in response to the one who initiated it. So, no, the children or any other innocent bystander are out of the question.

 

 

But what if you killed one child and he gave up the location of the last bomb to save his other children?  Then you are a hero, and you did what needed to be done to save hundreds of thousands of other "innocents".

Being a "hero" is beside the point. Lots of very bad people have been and are considered heroes because what they did was emotionally or politically popular at the time. For instance, the 9/11 hijackers are considered heroes to some because they did "what was needed to be done" to defeat an enemy (us) who they felt threatened their lives.

 

When viewed through a relativistic lens, pretty much anything can be considered moral. But without any objective means to measure it, morality ceases to have any real meaning.

 

 

I hate to drag hollywood theatrics into a topic, but anyone who watched 24 this happened all the time. He tortured, and sometimes allowed innocent people to die, to gain information to save thousands of other people. In fact, this exact situation Otter used basically happened in 24, just the outcome was different. He staged the murder of a terrorist children to get him to talk, when in fact just a little bit of video trickery was used and none of the children were harmed.

As ili said above, allowing someone to die and killing them yourself are two separate things. While one could argue that it would be immoral to, say, stand by idly and watch someone slowly beat an old lady to death when you could easily stop it, generally speaking, there can be no moral obligation to always protect others all the time. If this was the case, everyone would be guilty because there's always someone, somewhere, who needs protection from something. A moral code which defines everybody as immoral in such a way would essentially be immoral on its face because it would be impossible to be moral.

 

Faking the death or torture of the kid would be just fine to me, if no actual force against the innocent was initiated.

 

 

I don't think that we're necessarily using the same understanding of self defence. When you're being mugged in an alleyway and there is no chance of escape, then force can be used in self defence. Torturing someone on the basis that there *may* be some bombs somewhere and he *may* give you useful information if you're actually got the right person and you're not just torturing some poor innocent bastard until he tells you what you want to hear is not self defence.

If it's just a case of possible bombs and a mere suspect, then you're right. I was under the impression that the hypothetical involved known bombs and the actual bomber. And while the original scenario appears to have involved bombs somewhere else (thus making it a question of whether it's moral to defend a third party), if the guy were to walk up to me making a credible threat that there was a nuke nearby that would blow me (and everything else) up in 15 minutes if I didn't give him my wallet/a million dollars and a helicopter/control of North America/whatever, how would using force on him be any less self-defensive than a garden variety mugger?

 

By credible threat, I mean someone who, for instance, A: one could reasonably expect to really have a nuke, such as a rogue military general or something, B: has a picture or video of himself setting the bomb, and/or C: has another bomb, a weapons-grade plutonium/uranium sample, or something with him to prove he's not joking. Sure, he may still be bluffing, but the alleyway mugger may just have a candy bar pointed at you inside his pocket as well.

 

 

For the record, if some nutjob chained me up somewhere I certainly would have a problem with you torturing him to find out my location. No doubt if you you somehow got the right person and got him to talk I'd be glad to be alive, but I would still consider your conduct to be reprehensible.

Fair enough. I'll keep that in mind next time you end up in locked in a closet by a madman then. tounge.gif

 

Now, what would you do if you woke up with the hypothetical bomb collar before the crazy guy managed to get the chains on you? Further, let's imagine the room you're in has an electronic lock which shares the combination with your collar, and tampering with either will cause the collar to go off with only enough force to open your neck veins. If you managed to get control of your captor's stun and tranquilizer guns first, and only he knows the combination, do you ask nicely? Or do you beat and/or zap the sh*t out of him until he tells you?

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Tom Toole

the good, the bad, and the means to and end is redundant,

 

the good is the bad just with the simbol inverted. thus negative multiplied by negative is positive - in other words - good and bad depend on a point of view - to the bad the "good" is bad - to the negative the positive is negative.

 

The means to an end is another issue altogether - but again redundant - as means already implies an end - an objective...

 

so we begin?

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Jonesizzle

Almost everything I have read seems like a movie setting. I say if you have a child who knows and knows where the suspect who has planted nuclear bombs through out the country in civilized area's, of course you should torture the kid if he isn't giving you any information. I'd rather have my superiors torture a child, but very knowingly has information about a suspect who is a threat to thousands of lives.

 

 

For instance, the 9/11 hijackers are considered heroes to some because they did "what was needed to be done" to defeat an enemy (us) who they felt threatened their lives.

I am sorry to sound harsh, but anyone who has common sense knows that they are not close to "heroes". The real heroes are the people of the fourth plane that crashed in PA.

 

 

Now, what would you do if you woke up with the hypothetical bomb collar before the crazy guy managed to get the chains on you? Further, let's imagine the room you're in has an electronic lock which shares the combination with your collar, and tampering with either will cause the collar to go off with only enough force to open your neck veins. If you managed to get control of your captor's stun and tranquilizer guns first, and only he knows the combination, do you ask nicely? Or do you beat and/or zap the sh*t out of him until he tells you?

 

You're simply f*cked. You just don't ask, "Hey kind sir, what is the combination", neither do you beat the sh*t out of him or zap him the sick f*ckers love it when that happens. Understanding how to use a zap gun, or basic torture moves could easily get you the answers you want.

 

I believe we are putting ourselves in people's (torturer's) shoes and thinking we have to play the good guy or bad guy role. These people do this for a living, and I seriously doubt torturing a kid or being in "collar" will hold back his technique if that is what he is suppose to do. Maybe I am looking at it wrong, but I find it a no-brainer to torture anyone who has information on a person who could kill thousands.

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Tom Toole
I am sorry to sound harsh, but anyone who has common sense knows that they are not close to "heroes". The real heroes are the people of the fourth plane that crashed in PA.

If your definition of hero is torturer, and mine is self-torturing.

If your definition of hero is succesful, and mine is self-sacrificing.

If your definition of hero is american, and mine is anything even including american that fights against oppression, including oppression by the american corporations and the american State.

If your definition of hero is important to you, let me tell you - your definition sucks.

 

Because it creates two series of idiots who chant for two series of heroes that for the other side are villains.

 

I care for heroes for the world, not for heroes of my nation.

Heroes for the universe, soldiers of god as it were, soldiers of the gods if you wish, but never, never, stupid stupid participants of D&D.

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Jonesizzle

Preventing a airplane full of passengers to run into a building causing severe casualties, but rather into the ground... god forbid I claim they do something heroic. I am not running to these people's tombstone and kissing it because they saved American's. Go read a Superman comic if you want your "Heroes of the universe" or "soldiers of god" and get real.

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Tom Toole
Preventing a airplane full of passengers to run into a building causing severe casualties, but rather into the ground... god forbid I claim they do something heroic. I am not running to these people's tombstone and kissing it because they saved American's. Go read a Superman comic if you want your "Heroes of the universe" or "soldiers of god" and get real.

I'd actually like to read the original Superman comics, but they aren't available online as far as I know. God forbid you call some idiots who didn't do anything their entire lives, who basically supported invasions of foreign countries and the killing of millions of individuals, and you call that heroic. God fobid you do that -as far as I care you can go ahead and post on D&D and get real. real stupid - because it seems you can't get any other way -

 

Doom! is okay I guess... but he's almost the same as the rest of you - he's just a little bit faster.

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Shylock
Preventing a airplane full of passengers to run into a building causing severe casualties, but rather into the ground... god forbid I claim they do something heroic. I am not running to these people's tombstone and kissing it because they saved American's. Go read a Superman comic if you want your "Heroes of the universe" or "soldiers of god" and get real.

I'd actually like to read the original Superman comics, but they aren't available online as far as I know. God forbid you call some idiots who didn't do anything their entire lives, who basically supported invasions of foreign countries and the killing of millions of individuals, and you call that heroic. God fobid you do that -as far as I care you can go ahead and post on D&D and get real. real stupid - because it seems you can't get any other way -

 

Doom! is okay I guess... but he's almost the same as the rest of you - he's just a little bit faster.

Or a little bit more eager to entertain your misguided moral compass. Just sayin'.

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Jonesizzle
Preventing a airplane full of passengers to run into a building causing severe casualties, but rather into the ground... god forbid I claim they do something heroic. I am not running to these people's tombstone and kissing it because they saved American's. Go read a Superman comic if you want your "Heroes of the universe" or "soldiers of god" and get real.

I'd actually like to read the original Superman comics, but they aren't available online as far as I know. God forbid you call some idiots who didn't do anything their entire lives, who basically supported invasions of foreign countries and the killing of millions of individuals, and you call that heroic. God fobid you do that -as far as I care you can go ahead and post on D&D and get real. real stupid - because it seems you can't get any other way -

 

Doom! is okay I guess... but he's almost the same as the rest of you - he's just a little bit faster.

Damn was the plane filled with politicians or something? Misguided, shylock? My compass f*cked up.

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