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View Full Version : You can prevent one event from happening. Which do you choose.



Wolf Kanno
10-05-2017, 06:02 PM
A moral choice question poised to me when back in college when I was studying psychology. There is no right answer, but I would love if people actually explained why they made their choice. :)

Bubba
10-05-2017, 06:02 PM
I don't understand how this is a difficult choice. Of course, you save the maximum amount of people. Even if my best friend was given these choices, I would expect him to choose the last one even though it would mean I would die.

Jinx
10-05-2017, 06:14 PM
I don't understand how this is a difficult choice. Of course, you save the maximum amount of people. Even if my best friend was given these choices, I would expect him to choose the last one even though it would mean I would die.

I feel the exact opposite. I have no emotional connection to people I've never met, but someone I love and care about matters to me. I'd save the person I know and love.

Darth Ganon
10-05-2017, 06:24 PM
I would certainly want to save my friend over the others, but they would probably be resentful about me choosing them over others.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one."

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_k4__zh4GdZA/TDE0u7xYT5I/AAAAAAAABeQ/f5V6mV_inBE/s1600/Wrath+of+Khan4.JPG

Psychotic
10-05-2017, 06:50 PM
My first thought was save my best friend. I am selfish and I am putting my own interests at heart, who cares about some strangers? Then I had a thought - whenever there is a catastrophe, so a plane crash, a terrorist attack, anything like that, you always end up hearing about the victims afterwards. You read about them, and their lives, and the sadness their family is suffering, and it is hard not to find it soul destroying as it is - I shudder to think of how I would carry that weight if I could've stopped it. I think that would outweigh my sadness at my own personal loss.

As Peru has the most amount of deaths, that would be the most amount of suffering, so I voted for it... except... how often do you actually hear about the victims of natural disasters in countries outside of the western world? You would hear a lot more about the couple hundred western lives lost in a plane crash (I'm assuming it's a western plane here) than you would about thousands of lives lost in Peru. I'm not saying that's the right way for us to focus our attention, I'm just saying that's how it is. I have no idea who died in the Mexico earthquakes; I know a lot about the lives of people who died in Las Vegas.

Don't take this the wrong way, I am not saying in any way a western life is worth more than anyone else's. In fact, let's clarify: all lives are equal. As far as a greater good scenario goes, Peru is the clear winner and that's why I voted for it. But I think the plane crash and the exposure to all of the victims and their families through the media would have the most profound impact on me, even if there were fewer deaths.

Freya
10-05-2017, 07:38 PM
I'd save the most people I can.

While losing my best friend would wreck me, thousands of people losing their best friends would be horrendous. I have personal attachment to one person but all those thousands who died also had people just like me who were attached to them. I couldn't live with myself to cause such strife on so many people. Sorry Justy :(

Steve
10-05-2017, 08:57 PM
I'm not going to lie, this wasn't even difficult for me. I would unequivocably and without hesitation save my best friend. The reason why is simple:

I am selfish and the value I would put on my best friend's life compared to those of strangers is immeasurable. You could stack the numbers of strangers as high as you like but my best friend, would outweigh them all.

Now if the situation of this thread were to be a reality and the life of my best friend cost approximately 3000 people (considering a couple of thousand is 2000 (approx) and the plane would for dramatic purposes be a 747 or bigger which means 4 - 700 people depending on the configuration of the plane then I have to say it would be a bargain in my opinion. I would feel some sadness for those people in the plane or town but frankly as they do not hold a personal connection to me I would still have been more sad at the loss of my best friend than all of them. After all, horrible as it is, this is exactly what Stalin meant by the phrase "The death of 1 is a tragedy, the death of a Million merely a statistic."

Sephiroth
10-05-2017, 09:33 PM
Good lord, not this again.

Choose what you want. There is no true way. Only a "true way in a specific context". One context has no priority over the other when it comes to the choice of contextes here. Only those who say "this choice is the universally true one", preferrably come with some truely inhuman ways of thinking like justifying this "truth" with utilitarism or making math out of that thus actually thinking even more inhuman than the options themselves are, yes, only those have the problems here. One wants to save beloved ones, fine. One doesn't, have it your way.

I will always go with the Chloes, the Ellies, the Yonah Replicants, my own beloved ones. Also - not that this is saying people in this thread are lying - in a true cataclysmic event the behaviour of people will very well be different from what they think. And the most of them will always think about themselves. Psychological survival exists just as physical one does.

Wolf Kanno
10-06-2017, 01:24 AM
While I feel it's healthy to delve into a moral quagmire such as this question, there is actual a simple idea behind it. As I said in the original post, there is no right answer, and some of you might be overthinking this or missing the point.

Skyblade
10-06-2017, 02:03 AM
I don't understand how this is a difficult choice. Of course, you save the maximum amount of people. Even if my best friend was given these choices, I would expect him to choose the last one even though it would mean I would die.

The destruction of the town might not involve the most deaths. In the airplane crash, everyone is likely to die. The town could be destroyed with theoretically no deaths at all. It wouldn't be the first time.

Wolf Kanno
10-06-2017, 02:14 AM
I don't understand how this is a difficult choice. Of course, you save the maximum amount of people. Even if my best friend was given these choices, I would expect him to choose the last one even though it would mean I would die.

The destruction of the town might not involve the most deaths. In the airplane crash, everyone is likely to die. The town could be destroyed with theoretically no deaths at all. It wouldn't be the first time.

Oh no, all victims will die in all three scenarios.

krissy
10-06-2017, 04:12 AM
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/6/6d/JimCarreyRiddler.jpeg

Crop
10-06-2017, 01:57 PM
I would no doubt pick option 3, but I do have a question. I can understand the difference between the first one and the second two, but if all victims are going to die in both scenarios, why would anyone pick option 2 over option 3? It makes no sense.

Sephex
10-06-2017, 04:00 PM
I'm not against engaging in these discussions (in fact, I wish people would actually discuss things more often), but I feel these kind of hypothetical scenarios are inherently flawed. It's one thing to say what you would do, but it becomes a different ball game when people are faced with a real choice. Yes, it would require very extraordinary circumstances to be thrust into this exact position, but my point is more along the lines of never knowing what people would truly do because it is far easier to say what one thinks is right.

Bubba
10-06-2017, 04:58 PM
I'm not against engaging in these discussions (in fact, I wish people would actually discuss things more often), but I feel these kind of hypothetical scenarios are inherently flawed. It's one thing to say what you would do, but it becomes a different ball game when people are faced with a real choice. Yes, it would require very extraordinary circumstances to be thrust into this exact position, but my point is more along the lines of never knowing what people would truly do because it is far easier to say what one thinks is right.

You have a point. I'll just say I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to choose option three.

Freya
10-06-2017, 05:24 PM
Well that could be said about any hypothetical situation. You can't ever know until it happens. But reminding everyone of that kinda ruins the fun of interaction of these questions. If you wont ever actually know then what's the point of asking? So people answering what they think they'd do is the closest you'll get to a real answer.

Wolf Kanno
10-06-2017, 06:30 PM
I would no doubt pick option 3, but I do have a question. I can understand the difference between the first one and the second two, but if all victims are going to die in both scenarios, why would anyone pick option 2 over option 3? It makes no sense.

You need to think about who would be on the plane, not the number of people. If the airplane was filled with doctors coming back from a conference or a international crisis, saving them could potentially save tens of thousands of people in their lifetimes.

Again, there is no right answer, this question is simply a means to discover where one's moral compass lies and what motivates them to follow that path.

Jinx
10-06-2017, 06:45 PM
I'm not against engaging in these discussions (in fact, I wish people would actually discuss things more often), but I feel these kind of hypothetical scenarios are inherently flawed. It's one thing to say what you would do, but it becomes a different ball game when people are faced with a real choice. Yes, it would require very extraordinary circumstances to be thrust into this exact position, but my point is more along the lines of never knowing what people would truly do because it is far easier to say what one thinks is right.

You have a point. I'll just say I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to choose option three.

I'm interested to see what your answer would be if the question was about your son instead of your best friend.

Sephiroth
10-06-2017, 07:24 PM
While I feel it's healthy to delve into a moral quagmire such as this question, there is actual a simple idea behind it. As I said in the original post, there is no right answer, and some of you might be overthinking this or missing the point.

I have a degree in psychology but that does not mean I cannot shake my head about a these days overused topic and answers that I have read about it in certain forums or heard of in real life.

Karifean
10-06-2017, 07:32 PM
I'm a self-centered guy. I picked #1 without hesitation.

Sephex
10-06-2017, 07:56 PM
Well that could be said about any hypothetical situation. You can't ever know until it happens. But reminding everyone of that kinda ruins the fun of interaction of these questions. If you wont ever actually know then what's the point of asking? So people answering what they think they'd do is the closest you'll get to a real answer.

Well, I'm not trying to ruin anyone's fun. My viewpoint is more along the lines that, just for me personally, a lot of the interest is killed simply knowing that saying something is easier than doing it.

If anything, you can still make the discussion fun even considering my point. It brings something else to consider when making your choice. What would I say I would do VS what would I actually do? Am I one of those people that would say one thing, but then do another? So this is less of me fun sucking and more me fun blowing.

Wolf Kanno
10-06-2017, 09:04 PM
While I feel it's healthy to delve into a moral quagmire such as this question, there is actual a simple idea behind it. As I said in the original post, there is no right answer, and some of you might be overthinking this or missing the point.

I have a degree in psychology but that does not mean I cannot shake my head about a these days overused topic and answers that I have read about it in certain forums or heard of in real life.

Fair enough, but you and a few other people seem to be missing the fact this is less an Academia style question and more of a fun General Chat nonsense. Analyzing this question as though it was some de facto conclusion to morality is understood to be not the case here. If it was that easy to determine, we probably wouldn't have the kind of problems we do in life. On the other hand, an answer still gives some idea of where a person may stand on a subject in a neutral setting, but like with anything involving pyschoanalysis, a deeper investigation and study of a person is required to come to a better conclusion on where they may stand on such issues.

In short, this is all fun and should be taken with the seriousness of a fourteen year old reading the question out of a teen mag to make them feel deep. ;)

Jinx
10-06-2017, 09:10 PM
I think it's fun because most everyone here is decent, and none of us want any of these scenarios to happen. I don't think anyone is a monster for choosing any option, because no one wants any of them to happen. Ya dig?

Del Murder
10-06-2017, 09:52 PM
You know, it was up in the air between the best friend and the town. Then I imagined the question was about my wife or one of my kids instead of my best friend, and the choice became obvious.

Another fun question like this is:

A train is about to hit a bus filled with 100 people, killing all of them. You can switch the track but that means the train would instead run into a small boy playing on the other track, killing him. Do you switch it?

This is an interesting one since it deals with the consequences of action vs. inaction. More people die if you don't act, but at least you did not directly have a hand in their deaths. However, killing the boy would be entirely based on your action.

Bubba
10-06-2017, 10:07 PM
If it was my boy then that would definitely make the decision harder. The right thing to do would still be to save the village. I honestly don't know if I could let my boy die...

Del's dilemma would again be about saving the most lives. I would like to think I'd change the track... as guilty as I'd feel.

Steve
10-07-2017, 12:46 PM
You know, it was up in the air between the best friend and the town. Then I imagined the question was about my wife or one of my kids instead of my best friend, and the choice became obvious.

Another fun question like this is:

A train is about to hit a bus filled with 100 people, killing all of them. You can switch the track but that means the train would instead run into a small boy playing on the other track, killing him. Do you switch it?

This is an interesting one since it deals with the consequences of action vs. inaction. More people die if you don't act, but at least you did not directly have a hand in their deaths. However, killing the boy would be entirely based on your action.

In your scenario, do you have a physical connection to the boy? Or anyone in the 100 on the other track?

If not, then you would end up saving the most amount of lives. Logically it comes down to that. If you have a connection, then you would probably save the person/persons you have the connection to.

Sephiroth
10-07-2017, 12:54 PM
If not, then you would end up saving the most amount of lives. Logically it comes down to that. If you have a connection, then you would probably save the person/persons you have the connection to.

Everytime someones says "logically" because they transform lives into some mathematical value or social usefulness ...

What if those 100 are serial killers? What if the father of that one person you chose to kill wants to prove you have chosen the "wrong way" by avenging the death of his son and killing 1 million people instead? You cannot solve this with math or utilitarism. It hurts me when people think lives have a mathematical value that can outweigh the opposing value by sheer number or usefulness. Never think numbers and/or usefulness (e.g. "those are more" or "society gets the most from these) are the only true, just, logical and right choices "only because you have no emotional connection" or even if you have. Now when it comes to the serial killers, obviously I would not chose them. However, no matter what people they are, the lives themselves - I seperate life and person - cannot be summed up to truely outweigh one. If we start thinking like that we lose the part of humanity within that we should never lose. People should pick the option they want but never insist that when it comes to that context a is any more right than context b, et cetera.

I do very well get the point that Kanno does not want the discussion to be like this. But I have the feeling that I have to point that out.

Laddy
10-07-2017, 05:36 PM
The most obvious choice is not always the easiest choice.

WarZidane
10-07-2017, 05:49 PM
If not, then you would end up saving the most amount of lives. Logically it comes down to that. If you have a connection, then you would probably save the person/persons you have the connection to.

Everytime someones says "logically" because they transform lives into some mathematical value or social usefulness ...

What if those 100 are serial killers? What if the father of that one person you chose to kill wants to prove you have chosen the "wrong way" by avenging the death of his son and killing 1 million people instead? You cannot solve this with math or utilitarism. It hurts me when people think lives have a mathematical value that can outweigh the opposing value by sheer number or usefulness. Never think numbers and/or usefulness (e.g. "those are more" or "society gets the most from these) are the only true, just, logical and right choices "only because you have no emotional connection" or even if you have. Now when it comes to the serial killers, obviously I would not chose them. However, no matter what people they are, the lives themselves - I seperate life and person - cannot be summed up to truely outweigh one. If we start thinking like that we lose the part of humanity within that we should never lose. People should pick the option they want but never insist that when it comes to that context a is any more right than context b, et cetera.

I do very well get the point that Kanno does not want the discussion to be like this. But I have the feeling that I have to point that out.

That could apply to any choice. What if your best friend becomes the next Hitler? What if the town happens to be visited by someone who could cure cancer? All we have is numbers, so I go by the numbers, which means for me it's option 3.

That is, I'd like to think I would have the clarity of thought to choose option 3. As people have already said, it's different in the heat of the moment, you can't truly know what you'd pick unless you were actually thrust into that position.