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Canuckerbird

Morality vs Pragmatism

   34 members have voted

  1. 1. Scenario 1

    • Save the person you love most and let 1,000 people die.
      25
    • Save the 1,000 strangers, and let the person you love most die.
      9
  2. 2. Scenario 2

    • Save the 19,000 in Rogers Arena and let the nuke in Tokyo detonate.
      11
    • Save Tokyo by destroying RA and killing the 19,000 inside.
      23

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62 posts in this topic

* The poll is PRIVATE.

I've always wondered about how most people view pragmatism vs morality. Do the ends always justify the means? Would killing 1000 innocent civilians in one place in order to save 10,000 in another be a justified decision?

Does the nationality of the subjects matter? If the choice was between saving 1,000 Canadians or 1,000,000 Indonesians, would it be morally wrong for a Canadian to choose the former?

Scenario 1: If you had to choose between saving the life of 1,000 strangers or the life of the person you love most, who would you save? If you choose the latter, how would you feel about yourself knowing that you let 1000 people die so you could keep the one you love? Is there selfishness involved?

Scenario 2:

Rogers Arena is packed with nearly 19,000 spectators during a playoff game. "Terrorists" have siezed the building and kept the people inside as hostages. It has become clear that one of the terrorists inside Rogers Arena holds the trigger (which for our purposes takes five minutes to activate) to detonate a nuclear bomb in the heart of Tokyo. The terrorists have made no demands, only the declaration that the detonation process will commence in one hour. RA has been rigged to blow should any attempt to rescue the hostages and apprehend the nationalists be attempted.

An airstrike against Rogers Arena can effectively level the building in seconds and incinerate everyone inside including the trigger device, saving the city of Tokyo from certain destruction.

Do you order the airstrike destroying RA and killing the 19,000 civilians inside? Or do you let the terrorists detonate the nuclear device in Tokyo?

Note: This is a black and white choice, for the purposes of the discussion, please do not propose alternate options.

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I find your scenario disturbing to me but regardless I will answer it.

I get the swat team to surround the building and all the snipers to try to take the guy out at the closest possible distance.

Worst case is the snipers accuracy may not be possible to pinpoint . Since you would only have one shot at it (if you fail the irate terrorist detonates the nuke) you need to size up the collateral damage. You cannot let the nuke go off and since the scenario presents itself with no negotiations I assume the terrorist does not want anything in exchange for the nuke.

Thus my snipers would have to be over 99% positive they can nail the sucker in the head or otherwise use a broader weapon to MAKE SURE the guy was dead. Like a rocket launcher.

Using a tank buster or hand held rocket laucher would ensure the bomb couldnt be detonated but might cost some of the hostages who are unfortunately too close to the terrorist.

I would have to give the green light to it unfortunately to make sure the threat was removed.

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I realize that the scenario is very disturbing. However, it's not exactly original. The main point of the exercise is to determine whether or not the ends justify the means. Such a scenario is something that world leaders could realistically face.

Take Hiroshima and Nagasaki for example. The choice was made to drop an atomic bomb on a mostly civilian enemy population in order to avoid a direct invasion of Japan which would have cost thousands if not millions of Japanese and American lives.

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Would u kill ur best friend to save All of America or let him live and let everyone in America die

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That's a lot of questions. Are people supposed to answer all of them or just the scenario?

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That's a lot of questions. Are people supposed to answer all of them or just the scenario?

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For scenario 1, it's pretty much 1000 loved ones of strangers dying or your own loved one dying.. and I hate to admit it, but I am really selfish because I would choose 1 vs. 1000.

Scenario 2, I'd choose the destruction of Rogers Arena if it was absolutely guaranteed that the bomb in Tokyo wouldn't go off assuming that the bomb in Tokyo would kill more there than the 19000 at Rogers Arena. Also because Tokyo is just so advanced, its destruction would be devastating, not to say that 19000 people being killed isn't devastating as well. I just hope that if this ever happens, whoever's in charge thinks up a better solution.

EDIT: Plus, the terrorists might destroy RA afterwards anyway.

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I'd save the one I love, and the 19,000 in RA. Just being honest.

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That's pretty sick. You're like the Joker.

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For scenario 1, it's pretty much 1000 loved ones of strangers dying or your own loved one dying.. and I hate to admit it, but I am really selfish because I would choose 1 vs. 1000.

Scenario 2, I'd choose the destruction of Rogers Arena if it was absolutely guaranteed that the bomb in Tokyo wouldn't go off assuming that the bomb in Tokyo would kill more there than the 19000 at Rogers Arena. Also because Tokyo is just so advanced, its destruction would be devastating, not to say that 19000 people being killed isn't devastating as well. I just hope that if this ever happens, whoever's in charge thinks up a better solution.

EDIT: Plus, the terrorists might destroy RA afterwards anyway.

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I'd rather kill myself than live with either of the 1st/2nd options

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* The poll is PRIVATE.

I've always wondered about how most people view pragmatism vs morality. Do the ends always justify the means? Would killing 1000 innocent civilians in one place in order to save 10,000 in another be a justified decision?

Does the nationality of the subjects matter? If the choice was between saving 1,000 Canadians or 1,000,000 Indonesians, would it be morally wrong for a Canadian to choose the former?

Scenario 1: If you had to choose between saving the life of 1,000 strangers or the life of the person you love most, who would you save? If you choose the latter, how would you feel about yourself knowing that you let 1000 people die so you could keep the one you love? Is there selfishness involved?

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Here's a better question, would you kill yourself if it meant the rest of the world would live in peace and be happy for eternity, think John Lennon's Imagine for example.

Regarding the OP, 1000 people, hell I'd save my dogs over 1000 people, easy. The second one is harder, but since my sister and her husband have half seasons, if it's their game day, I pick the nuke easy, if it's not their's I don't know.

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Yeah, except this hypothetical moral problem is as old as morality itself.

But to answer the question, I would have to say with scenario 1, I would have to save the thousand people. That would be too much death to have on your hands otherwise

Scenario 2 is a lot tougher, and I don't even feel comfortable answering it, lol.

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