USMB::: Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Dante, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?

    Episode 1: three questions?

    1) Do we have certain fundamental rights?

    2) Does a fair procedure justify any result?

    3) What is the moral work of consent?
     
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  2. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    It depends.;)

    It depends on which philosophical school of thought one subscribes to. In reality, no we don't have certain fundamental rights, except the right to our own thoughts and beliefs. By consent and majority belief, yes we do have fundamental rights to life, liberty, and personal property.

    From my personal stance of Deontoligical ethics, the answer would most likely be yes. I adhere to the thought that the end does not justify the means.
     
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  3. Dante
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    1) Do we have certain fundamental rights?

    1) It depends? I agree, but I think 'it depends' is too vague an answer. Depending on what, when and where (and more) covers a lot of territory.

    This is actually a set of questions from the Series: Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? Series: Justice What's The Right Thing To Do?

    But just answering the questions in the way that you have is a breath of fresh air around here. You've also injected a term I have never seen used on here before: Deontological ethics.:clap2:

    The term "deontological" was first used in this way in 1930, in C. D. Broad's book, Five Types of Ethical Theory.

    thank you
    :cool:
    dD
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  4. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    You're welcome. I was thinking maybe you had been formulating some opinions on the differing schools of ethical thought.:D Thanks for the link. I'll read it. Maybe it will give me a little more perspective on just what you're asking.:)
     
  5. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Oops, nevermind reading the link- it's a link to another thread.:D

    The question of the right thing to do must take into account a basis of equal treatment for all, not special treatment for some, and it must be blind to differences, positive or negative relative to the offended. Give me a scenario, and I will tell you what I see as the right thing to do, but "right" is such a broad term that it is virtually impossible to make a judgement without a circumstance.
     
  6. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    you'll need video.

    I should post a link to discussions of some sort without making it look like USMB is being made to look at worthwhile competition.
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, we have fundamental rights. Those are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    I'd answer the rest of your questions but quite honestly, I have no clue what you are talking about in them.
     
  8. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Part 1

    So as to not make people need to watch the video, I will supply a transcript of a type.



    This is a course about justice, and we begin with a story.

    Suppose you're the driver of a trolley car, and your trolley car is hurtling down the track at 60 miles an hour, and at the end of the track you notice five workers working on the track.

    You try to stop but you can't, your brakes don't work. You feel desperate because you know that if you crash into these five workers they will all die..(let's assume you know that for sure.), and so you feel helpless, until you notice that there is off to the right a sidetrack, and at the end of that track there's one worker working on the track. Your steering wheel works, so you can turn the troley car if you want to, onto the sidetrack, killing the one, but sparing the five.

    Here is our first set of questions concerning what you think is the right thing to do, what you would do.

    1) You would turn the trolley car onto the sidetrack.

    If you would turn onto the sidetrack, why would you? What are your reasons?

    2) You would go straight ahead.

    If would you go straight ahead, why would you? What are your reasons?

    ---


     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  9. Dante
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    Part 2

    The principle: Better to kill the one so the five could live.

    Consider another scenario where this time you're not the driver of the trolley car you're an onlooker.

    You're standing on a bridge overlooking a trolley car track. Down the track comes a trolley car. At the end of the track are five workers, the brakes don't work, the trolley car is about to careen into the five and kill them, and now you're not the driver, you really feel helpless. Until you notice standing next to you, leaning over the bridge is a very fat man, and you could give him a shove. He would fall over the bridge, onto the track, right in the way of the trolley car. He would die, but he would spare the five.

    Would you push the fat man? Why?

    Would you not push the fat man? Why?

    If you would not push the fat man, what happened to the principle: Better to kill the one so the five could live?

    What became of the principle in the second case?

    How do you explain the difference between the two?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  10. Dante
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    In the first case, I would turn the trolley onto the sidetrack, because I assume my focus would initially have been on the five people in front of me, and that the second option with the lone person on the sidetrack, would be the immediate and obvious choice resulting in a sacrifice. My "Sophie's Choice."

    In the second case, the one where I'm an observer, I would not push the fat man.

    I don't know that in the first case, the principle of sacrificing the one for the many held true for me. My reasoning in the first case would be less of an emotional response, or one based on logic and philosophy, than it would be one based on an instinctive impulse, with very little thinking of moral and ethical choices.

    But for the purposes of argument, I would say the principle of sacrificing the one for the many suffices.

    In my second decision of whether or not to push the fat man, I would not push the fat man. The principle could still stand, because I do not have immediate and technical control of the situation. I am merely an observer. I have no right to sacrifice another for the many where I am not involved except as an observer.

    Of course if the choice was to scream out, to yell, to throw things, to fire a shot to somehow warn everyone involved, I would have done that, but that option wasn't given.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010

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