Another relevant moral dilemma

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by roomy, May 1, 2006.

  1. roomy
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    roomy The Natural

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    y
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    There's no way in hell I do the terrorist's dirty work for them.

    Scratch that. Here's what I do. I tell them I'll kill my son. When they hand me the weapon, I kill the terrorist scumbag who handed it to me. That way, all of al-Jazeera's viewers will know that Americans go down fighting.
     
  3. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    I would tell them that I will do it. Once I get the sword in my hand, I will kill/cause injury to as many of them as possible until they kill me.

    They will probably end up killing all of us anyway so I have nothing to lose.
     
  4. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    What they said, sorry we didn't play the moral dilemma game. :2guns:
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    :funnyface I look like Charles, don't I? Just kidding, roomy, but
    Ya gotta admit the icon hands are as big as his ears.:rotflmao:
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Knowing their MO, you die fighting rather than letting them take you hostage to begin with. Think I'd take killed in a botched kidnapping attempt over beheaded with a butterknife and used as propaganda.

    Just by fighting back you screw up their game.
     
  7. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    1. If I don't kill my son then my son will be killed and two other hostages will be killed. So my refusal results in a net result of three killings immediately and more to come, perhaps.

    2. If I do kill my son then it's likely (in your scenario of course, not in real life) that the demand will be met and myself and the other hostages will be freed.

    The response depends on how you want to apply the particular sort of reasoning you've been asked about (sounds like a Ethics 101 question). A utilitarian would say I have to kill my son. Someone, say from a Kantian perspective, would say I shouldn't. So the question has to be answered from several perspectives.

    In real life it wouldn't matter. Policy is that all hostages are assumed to be dead, they just don't know it yet, - no negotiations, no giving into demands.
     
  8. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    The problem is that the very basis of the scenario is flawed. I mean, sure, it might make an interesting discussion on utilitarianism vs. Kantism vs. whatever, but then it belongs in the religion/ethics forum. Here in the real world, Muslims never release hostages and the U.S. government does not negotiate with terrorists. That being the case, I'd fight to the death before becoming the next star of Al-Jazeera. If I somehow got stuck in this situation, I'd hack at the nearest things that moves, fighting until my last breath, but I'm not going to be some jawa's bargaining chip.

    And if you want to go for strict utilitarianism consider that the scenario is not in a vacuum. If the U.S. gives in just once, many more kidnappings will follow than would if the U.S. didn't give in. In order to save many more lives, the correct utilitarian answer is to kill all the hostages and yourself in order to remove all incentive for the U.S. to give in.
     
  9. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Oh I forgot - I would have done that of course (soon as I finished cleaning my underpants) :D
     
  10. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Hypothetical situations have little to do with reality. It is very easy to sit and discuss philosophy and ethics when you are not nor ever have been in that exact situation. One can make a lot of speculations, but until you are actually in the situation where it is "kill or be killed", the truth is, you have no idea how you will act. A few can make a pretty accurate guess on how they would react based on past similar circumstances but even then there is no assurance that yesterday's hero will not be tomorrow's coward.
     
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