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Would you kill an innocent person for $25 million?

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Jay520 said:
NolSinkler said:
Jay520 said:
It depends on who the victim is..

I probably say yes though. And I think that's the only moral choice. You could use the money to save millions of people. Basically, the question could be rephrased to say "Why you kill the millions of people, or kill just one person?" I think the answer is much more clear there.

If you could choose who to kill, then the answer is even easier. I would kill the oldest, sickest person in the world with the lowest probability of contributing to the planet. But even if its random, I would still do it. Statistically, two random people are more likely to help the Earth and society than one random person. And millions of people are virtually guaranteed to.

However, if the victim is chosen for me, then it would depend on what she/he does.

But of course this is all easy to say now. If presented with the question in real life, I might not be able to do it.

Your utilitarian argument bothers me.  Who are you to weigh the worth of somebody's life?



When did I say I could do that?

Depending on who the victim is (as some human beings are worth others, you contend implicitly), you would kill them (and as the only 'moral choice!), because the amount of good that $25 million could be used to bring is worth more than the value of that person's life.  You have then weighed that person's life against the amount of good that $25 million could be used for.

Now you have also implied that the value of an old person's life is less than a young person's and the value of a sick person's is less than that of a healthy person's.  And so I ask, "who are you to weigh the worth of somebody's life?"  Because here you do that.  You do not know what is the nature of somebody else's life.  You have no idea of its value.  Your entire argument is based on the relative value of two things (i.e. utilitarianism) arguing that we can increase overall 'utility' by killing the one and gaining the $25 million.  That even this is false I shall now show.

Consider first that the $25 million already existed.  We are talking about reality; the money does not simply appear after you killed this innocent person.  So somebody is paying you $25 million.  Now, you must show me that what this other person could have used $25 million for, other than for paying you in killing this person, has less utility than paying you in killing this person.  For this is the interaction we are most concerned about, that you will be paid $25 million in exchange for killing this person.  Unfortunately I can think of a number of much more Utilitarian uses for this $25 million (as can you!) and so the paying of $25 million for the death of this person cannot be justified by Utilitarian arguments.  In short: it does not matter that you would have $25 million, and could use it for good, as the $25 million was already used wrongly, and you should reject the $25 million and instead work to have the other person spend this money in a more responsible manner.

"But I know I would spend the money responsibly, and I am not sure about the other person!" - this does not make up for the fact that you would surely cause the other person to spend the money terribly, in killing a person, so that you could spend the money as you see fit.  Furthermore, the money would not disappear after the other person spends it on not-killing somebody; other members of society, receiving portions of the money in exchange for goods, would be able to spend money however they deem fit.  The money would not simply disappear if you did not receive it.



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Red Rum, Red Rum, Red Rum....



give me a good reason... and i might even do it without the money......



 

pokymon90 said:
Red Rum, Red Rum, Red Rum....

ok i gotta see the shining again for the 100th time



 

aikohualda said:
pokymon90 said:
Red Rum, Red Rum, Red Rum....

ok i gotta see the shining again for the 100th time


Truly is one of the greatest movies of all-time, it was on AMC on Saturday and I sat through the whole movie, commercials and all, without changing the channel.  It is also a very interesting movie .  



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pokymon90 said:
aikohualda said:
pokymon90 said:
Red Rum, Red Rum, Red Rum....

ok i gotta see the shining again for the 100th time


Truly is one of the greatest movies of all-time, it was on AMC on Saturday and I sat through the whole movie, commercials and all, without changing the channel.  It is also a very interesting movie .  

interesting enough... ive never read the book... maybe im not that geeky at all



 

NolSinkler said:

1. Depending on who the victim is (as some human beings are worth others, you contend implicitly), you would kill them (and as the only 'moral choice!), because the amount of good that $25 million could be used to bring is worth more than the value of that person's life.  You have then weighed that person's life against the amount of good that $25 million could be used for.

2. Now you have also implied that the value of an old person's life is less than a young person's and the value of a sick person's is less than that of a healthy person's.  And so I ask, "who are you to weigh the worth of somebody's life?"  Because here you do that.  You do not know what is the nature of somebody else's life.  You have no idea of its value.  Your entire argument is based on the relative value of two things (i.e. utilitarianism) arguing that we can increase overall 'utility' by killing the one and gaining the $25 million.  That even this is false I shall now show.

3. Consider first that the $25 million already existed.  We are talking about reality; the money does not simply appear after you killed this innocent person.  So somebody is paying you $25 million.  Now, you must show me that what this other person could have used $25 million for, other than for paying you in killing this person, has less utility than paying you in killing this person.  For this is the interaction we are most concerned about, that you will be paid $25 million in exchange for killing this person.  Unfortunately I can think of a number of much more Utilitarian uses for this $25 million (as can you!) and so the paying of $25 million for the death of this person cannot be justified by Utilitarian arguments.  In short: it does not matter that you would have $25 million, and could use it for good, as the $25 million was already used wrongly, and you should reject the $25 million and instead work to have the other person spend this money in a more responsible manner.

4, "But I know I would spend the money responsibly, and I am not sure about the other person!" - this does not make up for the fact that you would surely cause the other person to spend the money terribly, in killing a person, so that you could spend the money as you see fit. 

5. Furthermore, the money would not disappear after the other person spends it on not-killing somebody; other members of society, receiving portions of the money in exchange for goods, would be able to spend money however they deem fit.  The money would not simply disappear if you did not receive it.

1. I'm not basing it on value, the term "value" is undefined in this context. I'm basing it on what the person is likely to contribute to society.

2. Like I said, I'm not talking about value. It's a fairly meaningless word in this context. I'm not saying an extremely old, sick person's life is less valuable than a healthy person. I'm saying that such a person is less likely to contribute to society as much as what 25 million dollars could do. The sick person in question would ideally be on his/her death bed ready to die at any moment.

3. All unknown variables. We don't know what the government will otherwise use for the money. The OP explicitly says the government is offering you the money for an "unknown reason." You do not know that other members of society would get the money. I personally would imagine that the 25 million dollars was designated for this very purpose. So if I wouldn't accept, the government would probably ask someone else, since I don't consider myself that special. But again, we cannot know this for sure, unless the OP clarifies.

4. This point is based on the assertion that killing one person in exchange for many more lives is wrong, which is the very point you're trying to prove.

5. Again, more unknown variables. See point 4. We don't know if other members in society will even receive the money.

Let me clarify my stance. I'm not saying I know one person will contribute less than what I would use for the money. I'm simply saying it is likely, depending on who the person is. Like I said earlier, if the person is picked for me, then my decision may be different, since the person may be someone who does contribute more to society. However, if the person is unknown to me, the I would do it because, statistically speaking, it's unlikely that the person is rich and powerful enough to contribute that much to society.



Wouldn't ever go to jail or ever get traced back to me?

25 million? Sure, why not. But then again it sounds too good to be true and wouldn't do it.



___________

Older and wiser. Still bias and proud though ;)

If you honestly say yes, you're a worthless human being and deserve to die yourself. Taking someone's life just to marginally improve your own is despicable, especially when you consider that money =/= happiness.



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