Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/thepayto/public_html/stonescryout/index.php:1) in /home/thepayto/public_html/stonescryout/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/app/Common/Meta/Robots.php on line 87

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/thepayto/public_html/stonescryout/index.php:1) in /home/thepayto/public_html/stonescryout/wp-includes/feed-rss2-comments.php on line 8
Comments on: Ethics: Good vs Lesser Evil https://stonescryout.org/?p=342 If they keep silent... Thu, 29 May 2008 02:01:43 +0000 hourly 1 By: Mark O. https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1424 Thu, 29 May 2008 02:01:43 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1424 Dan,
As I noted earlier the only action philosophers, of any stripe, remark as objectively wrong is “torturing infants for fun.”

As noted above, one can find situations in which the killing of a child or children is right.

I’m not arguing for relativism. I’ve said our choice serve to demonstrate what we view as good. I’ve also said, for example that your view in taking #3, for example, is in my view wrong. Ultimately your choice (of #3) is important in that it defines of your view of good.

You are not arguing for traditional conservative morality, you are arguing for Kantian (moral absolute) deontology. I don’t think Christian meta-ethics are either deontological or teleogical … or absolutist. I think, if pressed, I’d define Christian ethics is pneumatological … but that just occurred to me so I’m going to have to think that through in my next essay. 🙂

As we strive for theosis, getting our image of good is of crucial/critical importance.

(note: edited somewhat for clarity after posting)

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1423 Wed, 28 May 2008 23:19:33 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1423 That would be yes. I see ethics in a different way than you. However by choosing #3 I would view that as you finding your moral purity a higher good than than your life or the lives of 11 children.

Okay, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you’re advocating moral relativism in the extreme.

“There is no right or wrong. There is just the decision that you make that reveals what you think is good.”

Is that what you’re saying?

I’m saying that some things are objectively Right and some things are objectively wrong. Period. Killing children is one of those things.

Have we reversed roles? Am I arguing the traditional conservative Morality and you’re arguing the Liberal wishy-washy “it’s all good” moral relativism?

If not, where am I misunderstanding you?

And I’ll get to Nan King, I’m just wanting to sort this out, as I don’t think I’m getting your point at all.

]]>
By: Mark O. https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1422 Wed, 28 May 2008 23:03:34 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1422 Dan,

So, you really view shooting your own child as a moral good in this hypothetical context?

No. I’m saying that statement doesn’t make sense. I’m saying your choice defines your concept of good. In this case that you think the abstract notion of life in general is more important than than your specific ties to specific life of a particular child.

To clarify, I reject the possibility of these being the only three possible choices, but yes, choosing to do an evil (as in 1 or 2) is worse than allowing an evil to happen when you have no control over it. You think otherwise?

That would be yes. I see ethics in a different way than you. However by choosing #3 I would view that as you finding your moral purity a higher good than than your life or the lives of 11 children.

I suppose one might reverse the Abram/Angel of God question prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and ask at what how many children might be added to that tally before you act to save them, 20, 100, 1,000, or a million? It might be read from Scripture in that the Abram does not run the number down to 1 that God is teaching us that collateral damage for the greater good is sometimes required. That in order to do necessary things, sometimes innocent people have to die.

I would think that you and most people would say, if you thought about this situation that IF someone were forcing me to kill children or LET them be killed, then it IS an evil act and it is an evil act on the part of the individual forcing the evil action.

What if God put you in that position? (God … fate … circumstances what have you). And so what if the person putting you in that position is evil or not. Consequentially your inaction (#3) puts you in the position of arriving at the result yielding the most harm, i.e., everybody dies … that is you and the children.

So, to the question you’ve ignored, what would be your policy recommendation in response to Japanese aggression and genocide in the Asian theatre in the 1940s?

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1420 Wed, 28 May 2008 21:19:27 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1420 I would think that you and most people would say, if you thought about this situation that IF someone were forcing me to kill children or LET them be killed, then it IS an evil act and it is an evil act on the part of the individual forcing the evil action.

Still, it would be up to us as to whether or not we’d participate in the evil.

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1419 Wed, 28 May 2008 20:16:09 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1419 So for you the only moral choice is to, choosing inaction, kill yourself and 11 children of which one is your child.

To clarify, I reject the possibility of these being the only three possible choices, but yes, choosing to do an evil (as in 1 or 2) is worse than allowing an evil to happen when you have no control over it. You think otherwise?

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1418 Wed, 28 May 2008 20:14:45 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1418 So, you really view shooting your own child as a moral good in this hypothetical context?

]]>
By: Mark O. https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1416 Wed, 28 May 2008 18:42:21 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1416 Dan,
So for you the only moral choice is to, choosing inaction, kill yourself and 11 children of which one is your child.

Interesting.

I supposed that puts your view of the importance of “life” in the Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness in context.

You had mentioned the Pacific theater in WWII. What does “Just Peacemaking” prescribe in response to Japanese aggression and the Nanking massacre.

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1414 Wed, 28 May 2008 17:19:37 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1414 Donnie, if you’re really interested in workable (if not perfect) ways of dealing with terrorism, here’s a Friends’ (Quaker) website with some practical solutions, and here’s an article by Glenn Stassen (author and advocate of Just Peacemaking) which he deals specifically with terrorism.

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1413 Wed, 28 May 2008 17:12:15 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1413 Dan, your #4 is not a realistic option given our enemies. This is why I have a hard time taking the anti-war crowd seriously. I’ve yet to see an alternative (anti-war) solution to fighting terrorism that would keep me and my family safe.

Safety is an illusion that warmongers prey on. Those who advocate war – especially unnecessary “pre-emptive” wars – can’t promise you safety. They can’t.

Those who advocate finding other solutions can’t promise you safety either. It’s an unpredictable world with no absolute safe answers.

So, given that we can’t promise safety, the question then becomes (for me): How do we behave ourselves in a world with a threat of violence? Do we lower ourselves to the level of those who believe might makes right, who are willing to kill children and innocent people?

OR do we behave as we ought to, fighting to protect the innocent as much as possible, but refusing to engage in immoral behavior to do so?

I vote for the latter.

If anyone tells you they can promise you safety, they are lying.

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1412 Wed, 28 May 2008 17:08:18 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1412 OR choosing to shoot your own child, I meant to add. BOTH actions are evil, wrong, ought not be done.

Suppose you are in a situation, somehow (crazy impossible, but if we’re pretending) and you are forced to shoot either Child A or Child B. There’s NOT a moral choice there. Which could you possibly call moral?

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1411 Wed, 28 May 2008 17:05:25 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1411 Of your three limited options (and we’re NEVER limited in our options in the real world), the ONLY moral (if undesirable) choice is 3.

Do you think choosing to shoot ten children is not an evil?

]]>
By: Mark O. https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1410 Wed, 28 May 2008 16:17:12 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1410 Dan,
I suppose you could subset your #4 in with #3, by noting re-working #4 as,

4. Work towards some solution that does not involve killing children – even if it costs me my life. Realizing of course all the while, that no realistic solution is possible. This costs your life and the life of all 11 children.

]]>
By: Mark O. https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1409 Wed, 28 May 2008 16:14:05 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1409 Dan,
#4 isn’t in the mix. That’s a different problem/proposal. The question at hand is to select 1-3? There is not an alternative choice in the given problem at hand.

Which do you choose. Non-action is #3.

If you must know, I think #1 is the right choice. I can understand choosing #2. #3 I think is wrong.

And no, I’m not suggesting moral relativism or Platonic ideals. I’m suggesting your vision of good is defined by your choices. And in that context “choosing the lesser of evils” is a meaningless statement.

]]>
By: Donnie https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1408 Wed, 28 May 2008 16:04:24 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1408 Dan, your #4 is not a realistic option given our enemies. This is why I have a hard time taking the anti-war crowd seriously. I’ve yet to see an alternative (anti-war) solution to fighting terrorism that would keep me and my family safe.

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1407 Wed, 28 May 2008 15:49:44 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1407 I view the study of ethics as a study of the good. When we make a choice (practice ethics) we choose the good. Our view of what is good is defined by our choice. That is to say, my choices define my view, my understanding of what good means.

I’m not entirely sure of your take here on ethics. “when we make a choice, we choose the good…” I am fairly sure that you agree that sometimes we also choose the bad.

Now, if you’re saying, along with Mary Wollstonecraft, “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks,” I’ll agree that there is some truth in that. Absolutely.

While sometimes we choose deliberately bad choices, knowing that they are bad/wrong/evil, many times, if not most, when we choose the evil/bad, we are simply mistaken. We THINK that killing those ten children in order to save our child is a good thing, when in fact, it is a wrong. Why? Because deliberately killing children is always a wrong, even if you think you have a good cause.

But I’m not sure if that is what you’re saying or if you’re suggesting something else.

“It defines your view of what good means…”

I can sort of accept that, but I’m relatively sure that you’re not saying that what you define as “good” IS necessarily good? You’re not suggesting moral relativism, are you? What an individual thinks is good is good for them?

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1406 Wed, 28 May 2008 15:15:37 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1406 Framed as I framed it, do you still maintain that it’s not an evil to kill ten children in order that you and your child might live? Really?

]]>
By: Dan Trabue https://stonescryout.org/?p=342&cpage=1#comment-1404 Wed, 28 May 2008 15:14:13 +0000 http://stonescryout.org/?p=342#comment-1404 Let’s not be coy, though, Mark. Let’s put it in more realistic terms.

If one was faced with a trinary ethical choice:

1. Shoot your child and one child (yours) dies.
2. Shoot 10 children (foreign) and they all die, but you and your child get to live.
3. Do nothing, all the children and you die.

Yes, I posit that both choices 1 and 2 are evil and would refuse to take such actions.

Further, I don’t think “do nothing” is the only third option. I would add

4. Work towards some solution that does not involve killing children – even if it costs me my life.

Let’s not sanitize things to make them more appealing and let’s not create false dichotomies.

]]>