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  #11  
Old 18th February 2009, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

Ethical dilemmas are fun for dinner parties but are worded in way that forces you into an either/or response when in real life so many variables occur. But I'm up for the fun so here goes:

Situation 1: Flick the switch to move the train to the other sidling in order to save 6 people. The unfortunate lone sod on the sidling gets killed as a consequence. Sorry mate.

Situation 2: Focus on the sick and ignore the unconscious man because 'harvesting organs' is not a consequence of saving the others. The fella will thank me when he regains consciousness and make me head of hospital administraion paying a $200K a year salary. note:I made him the hospital CEO for my own amusement
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  #12  
Old 18th February 2009, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

Quote:
His Noodly Appendage said View Post
Transplant:

At a hospital, after a terrible storm. The roads are undrivable and the phone lines are down. A tree fell on the building next door, and seven people have been brought in. Six of them have ghastly injuries, each with a different vital organ destroyed, and none are expected to live out the night. The seventh has miraculously escaped all injury except being knocked unconscious - and will be out for the next twelve hours by the look of things. However, by sheer billions-to-one freakish chance, it turns out that he is exactly tissue-compatible with the other six. If you were to organ-harvest the survivor, he would die, but the other six would all survive.

Is it right to go ahead with the transplant?

Do your answers to the two questions differ?

If so, then on what basis?
Is this one of those trick questions??? I am not a scientist nor a doctor but..... if one person happens to be compatible (by a sheer billions-to-one freakish chance), doesn't that mean all are compatible with each other? Therefore if one person dies first, and only has one damaged organ, couldn't that first person to die be 'harvested' to the benefit of the others, thereby saving old mate who has a bit of a concussion???????
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Last edited by Converted; 18th February 2009 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Forgot to type the last bit
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  #13  
Old 18th February 2009, 10:29 PM
His Noodly Appendage His Noodly Appendage is offline
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

A very good point, bonus marks for creativity.

But no. Kobyashi Maru. There's no winning this one. The game is rigged, you can't hack a win/win out of it. Think up a reason why you can't do that, and assume it to be so.

(I've never quite understood why people are so reluctant to answer these things straight...)
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  #14  
Old 18th February 2009, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

I think my answer was straight. If your hypothetical scenario can be valid why can't my creative thinking (which to me was not creative, merely logical) produce a valid answer....especially if it works?

If you don't like the answer I gave how about this one....I would do what I thought was right at the time and live with the consequences.
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  #15  
Old 19th February 2009, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

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Converted said View Post
If you don't like the answer I gave how about this one....I would do what I thought was right at the time and live with the consequences.
Best reply I've seen.
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  #16  
Old 19th February 2009, 09:56 AM
His Noodly Appendage His Noodly Appendage is offline
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

But I didn't ask what you'd do.
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  #17  
Old 19th February 2009, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

The point of these ethical dilemmas aren't to make people feel bad or to see if they can wriggle out of tough choices, though. It's to demonstrate that there aren't any ethical absolutes and to see where your own limits lie, whether the choices you make are arbitrary or they have some sort of foundation.

They are hard to answer and sometimes the answer is "just because it is!" but surely examining the root of one's moral and ethical principles isn't such a bad thing?
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  #18  
Old 19th February 2009, 12:49 PM
His Noodly Appendage His Noodly Appendage is offline
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

Years of experience, TIMB.

The simpler the approach, the more people evade. Believe me, I've tried.

And yes, I'm trying to provoke a discussion on ethical principles - on the system by which our moral judgements are formed.

The point of the pair of problems is that two sums, seemingly composed of the same parts, appear to add up to different totals.

Obviously the parts or their combination differ in some non-obvious but significant way - there's some subtle, unstated and likely unrealised assumption or equivocation of terms going on.

The entire point of the puzzle is to tease out the disparity, which happens to involve stripping down your entire ethical framework and building it back piece by piece until you find the heurisitic you use to intuitively divide the two cases into good and bad.

A much more interesting puzzle (and potentially useful exercise), imho, than DERAIL THE TRAIN LOL
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  #19  
Old 19th February 2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

Quote:
The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
If I'd known what you were looking for, I must admit I'd not have answered.

There is an inherent dishonesty in seeming to look for an answer, when all you want to do is sell a question, IMHO.
Howso?

That's what I asked from the start:

Quote:
me said
Do your answers to the two questions differ?

If so, then on what basis?
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  #20  
Old 19th February 2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Fun with ethics

What the heck is unintentional dishonesty?
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