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?
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.
Edited by Canuckerbird, 23 September 2012 - 08:18 PM.