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 Kant v's Utilitarianism 
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Orbweaver

Joined: Jun 25 2007, 12:54 pm
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Post Kant v's Utilitarianism
Is the killing of 450,000 people to save 5.5 billion an Evil act or a Good act?

The act is clearly Evil in and of itself.

But in terms of saving the greatest number of lives the act is Good.

As my old Uni. philosophy lecturer would say: "Discuss"

CT

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Jun 12 2008, 1:43 pm
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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It's a very famous and well-known puzzle - however: the built in assumption is that there are no alternatives that solve the problem. I know it's just me, but I have always found that more than just a little difficult to believe. I believe that the evil is in making the obvious decision rather than the truly hard decision.

Ken


Jun 12 2008, 9:15 pm
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Joined: Aug 15 2005, 3:12 pm
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I just knew that Thursdays comic would open up a can of worms....

I just knew it ;)

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Jun 13 2008, 12:41 am
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Orbweaver

Joined: Jun 25 2007, 12:54 pm
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Quote:
however: the built in assumption is that there are no alternatives that solve the problem


True, but pretty much all philisophical arguments are fairly abstract.
Especially when you get down to moral positions and intangibles like good and evil.

I would say that Evil is more in making the easiest decision rather than the obvious one. Look at politicians, they will invariably take the course that will offend the least people rather than, as you say, the truly hard decision.

Of course I think that we are rather cynical about politicians here anyway.

CT

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Jun 13 2008, 2:47 am
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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People are cynical about politicians everywhere.

Let me see, we elect someone because they "agree" with what we generally believe - then accuse them of taking the easy way out when their job depends on you and I voting for or against them. I know I would be unemployed for most of my life if my job depended on people voting for or against me.

Back to the original question - one of the reasons people in general don't have much use for philosiphers in general is because of absolute arguments that have nothing to do with reality. This section of the story, for instance - we have a wind borne disease that we are going to stop by sterilizing a city?! If it's wind borne, it's too late! Plus, diseases mutate to ensure their own long-term survival. They tend to become less lethal since that ensures their own ability to propogate and spread.

Oops, I'm rambling. Sorry.

Ken


Jun 13 2008, 10:02 am
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kenm wrote:
People are cynical about politicians everywhere.

Back to the original question - one of the reasons people in general don't have much use for philosiphers in general is because of absolute arguments that have nothing to do with reality. This section of the story, for instance - we have a wind borne disease that we are going to stop by sterilizing a city?! If it's wind borne, it's too late! Plus, diseases mutate to ensure their own long-term survival. They tend to become less lethal since that ensures their own ability to propogate and spread.

Ken


I'm glad to see that someone caught that.

Trust me a lot of medical officials are looking at the situation right now in the Unaffiliated Territories. The big clue as to what happens storywise comes from Zigi talking about what happened during the last big epidemic.

And there is also the fact that the scientists are still trying to figure out Kronos.

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Jun 13 2008, 11:28 am
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