Moral Dilemma

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Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 12:28 am
The following is a hypothetical situation, and highly unlikely ... but what if it happened? What would you do?

Somewhere in the future a new government takes over the nation in which you are a citizen.

All civil liberties are suspended.

The state secret police are roaming the streets, like mad dogs, ready to pounce on and rip apart anyone who shows any indication of retaliation against the new dictatorship. Malcontents are being rounded up and executed publicly and citizens are being asked to turn in traitors under the penalty of death.

Your neighbour has voiced to you his discontent and vows that he will do all he can to resist this new dictatorship. Agents of the secret police knock on your door, stating that they know your neighbour has voiced his discontent and they need you to sign a paper stating that you overheard your neighbour speaking treason. You know that signing the paper will result in the immediate execution of your neighbour. If you don't sign the police will arrest you and you will be executed instead for refusing to cooperate.

What's your moral duty?

Do you sign the paper or do you refuse to sign it?

If you sign it, can you justify your choice as the ethically right thing to do?

How so?
 
Restlesshiker
 
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 12:57 am
@Shostakovich phil,
I always jest with my circle of friends that hypothetical problems require hypothetical resolutions. But allow me this time to go out from that norm and take this bull by the horns. Personally, I can relate with the neighbor as I had been victim of my friends "ethical justifications" to save their butts first.

I can understand that they'd taken Judas' way considering the mouths they have to feed. As a matter of fact, given a similar situation, I would likely to follow their path. Yet something in me rebel. My safety, my work, my presence, my relevance, all these may be significant in bringing "more life" to my family and relatives that would ensure their bright future. But I doubt that because I took the decision to step on my neighbor so that my family would live life fully is a moral one. Such is graver than feeding them with something that comes from immoral source.

The Christian teaching remains relevant though: To give up one's life that others may live--including my family's and relatives'.

So I won't sign the paper, my mind and heart tell me. I'll just pray that God grants me the courage to accept the verdict afterward.
 
Unconqured
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 08:15 pm
@Restlesshiker,
Restlesshiker;101952 wrote:
I always jest with my circle of friends that hypothetical problems require hypothetical resolutions. But allow me this time to go out from that norm and take this bull by the horns. Personally, I can relate with the neighbor as I had been victim of my friends "ethical justifications" to save their butts first.

I can understand that they'd taken Judas' way considering the mouths they have to feed. As a matter of fact, given a similar situation, I would likely to follow their path. Yet something in me rebel. My safety, my work, my presence, my relevance, all these may be significant in bringing "more life" to my family and relatives that would ensure their bright future. But I doubt that because I took the decision to step on my neighbor so that my family would live life fully is a moral one. Such is graver than feeding them with something that comes from immoral source.

The Christian teaching remains relevant though: To give up one's life that others may live--including my family's and relatives'.

So I won't sign the paper, my mind and heart tell me. I'll just pray that God grants me the courage to accept the verdict afterward.




Could not of said it better myself
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2009 05:26 am
@Unconqured,
God has nothing to do with this. If he gave you courage, he would grant you salvation from this predicament. Courage comes from man and we all would like to think we have the courage to do the right thing. Reality may display itself in a way we might not desire.
 
Shostakovich phil
 
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2009 02:53 pm
@xris,
xris;102313 wrote:
Quote:
Reality may display itself in a way we might not desire.
Quote:


This seems to be the rule rather than the exception.
 
Restlesshiker
 
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 06:51 pm
@xris,
xris;102313 wrote:
God has nothing to do with this. If he gave you courage, he would grant you salvation from this predicament. Courage comes from man and we all would like to think we have the courage to do the right thing. Reality may display itself in a way we might not desire.


Thank you for pulling me down from my ivory tower. It is a bad habit of mine to always ascribe to the divine the things I ought to do but can't.
 
Unconqured
 
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 07:09 pm
@xris,
xris;102313 wrote:
God has nothing to do with this.


To acknowledge there is a god, i believe would entail he has something to do with everything? That would be the exception with sin, so courage is a sin?
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 04:11 am
@Unconqured,
Unconqured;102518 wrote:
To acknowledge there is a god, i believe would entail he has something to do with everything? That would be the exception with sin, so courage is a sin?
Did I acknowledge that there was a god?:perplexed:
 
Unconqured
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 08:26 am
@xris,
xris;102313 wrote:
God has nothing to do with this. If he gave you courage, he would grant you salvation from this predicament.


seems to me you did......
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 01:22 pm
@Unconqured,
Unconqured;102589 wrote:
seems to me you did......
In any debate that asks questions about a proposed god the agnostic has to approach the debate with idea that he answers the questions posed as if the description of this god is wrong or right. You must understand, if the description is correct then the god exists. In my opinion there is no description of the creator, we can not comprehend its existance.
 
Restlesshiker
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 06:59 pm
@xris,
xris;102653 wrote:
In any debate that asks questions about a proposed god the agnostic has to approach the debate with idea that he answers the questions posed as if the description of this god is wrong or right. You must understand, if the description is correct then the god exists. In my opinion there is no description of the creator, we can not comprehend its existance.


In my humble opinion, any debate between a believer and an agnostic would entail a lot of "dying" and "bloodshed" or to put it in my cultural context, a lot of "bottle of beers to carouse".

Be that as it may, pure logic or pure science for that matter, (although they would complement with) would never meet with faith. For it is only with faith that we can "grasp" the existence of the divine; without our leaping from the realm of pure logic and pure science into the chasm of the unknown, we will never be able to apprehend clues of God's existence.

While man wants to be superman, logic and science keep on knocking him down into his finiteness. With faith, man is "a little less than a god", an "adopted son" of God, Father and Creator of all things both seen and unseen. It may be a humbling experience for us to admit that we can't change reality when it displays itself in a manner we don't like. Yet with faith, a courage and a resolve once undiscovered and untapped awaken us to move mountains. We've done it during the repressive years of dictators and martial law. We were conditioned that we're a weak people with a corrupted culture and yet by our sheer faith, arms with flowers and rosaries, we braved the storms and faced an army in full battle gear.

So going back to that dilemma; still, I would refuse to sign the paper, and having considered the likely consequences, I would pray to God that I would always remember despite the threat, the pain and torture that it is in my nature to be courageous to do the right thing.
 
validity
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:21 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;101949 wrote:
What's your moral duty?

Do you sign the paper or do you refuse to sign it?

If you sign it, can you justify your choice as the ethically right thing to do?

How so?
I would first start by reasoning with the state secret police that there is no need for a witness statement if my neighbour is willing do all he can to resist this new dictatorship i.e. tell them to their face.

Failing that, based on the description given, my neighbour is willing do all he can to resist this new dictatorship. If this includes his own death, then he should of been more careful with his words. This forms a basis of why I can consider that I have no moral duty.

Hypothetically that is :shifty:
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 04:06 am
@Restlesshiker,
Restlesshiker;102688 wrote:
In my humble opinion, any debate between a believer and an agnostic would entail a lot of "dying" and "bloodshed" or to put it in my cultural context, a lot of "bottle of beers to carouse".

Be that as it may, pure logic or pure science for that matter, (although they would complement with) would never meet with faith. For it is only with faith that we can "grasp" the existence of the divine; without our leaping from the realm of pure logic and pure science into the chasm of the unknown, we will never be able to apprehend clues of God's existence.

While man wants to be superman, logic and science keep on knocking him down into his finiteness. With faith, man is "a little less than a god", an "adopted son" of God, Father and Creator of all things both seen and unseen. It may be a humbling experience for us to admit that we can't change reality when it displays itself in a manner we don't like. Yet with faith, a courage and a resolve once undiscovered and untapped awaken us to move mountains. We've done it during the repressive years of dictators and martial law. We were conditioned that we're a weak people with a corrupted culture and yet by our sheer faith, arms with flowers and rosaries, we braved the storms and faced an army in full battle gear.

So going back to that dilemma; still, I would refuse to sign the paper, and having considered the likely consequences, I would pray to God that I would always remember despite the threat, the pain and torture that it is in my nature to be courageous to do the right thing.
If not built on the rock of logic it will and can fail. Men walk behind many banners to fight their cause, its the warrior not the banner that decides his worth.
 
Elmud
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 10:53 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;101949 wrote:
The following is a hypothetical situation, and highly unlikely ... but what if it happened? What would you do?

Somewhere in the future a new government takes over the nation in which you are a citizen.

All civil liberties are suspended.

The state secret police are roaming the streets, like mad dogs, ready to pounce on and rip apart anyone who shows any indication of retaliation against the new dictatorship. Malcontents are being rounded up and executed publicly and citizens are being asked to turn in traitors under the penalty of death.

Your neighbour has voiced to you his discontent and vows that he will do all he can to resist this new dictatorship. Agents of the secret police knock on your door, stating that they know your neighbour has voiced his discontent and they need you to sign a paper stating that you overheard your neighbour speaking treason. You know that signing the paper will result in the immediate execution of your neighbour. If you don't sign the police will arrest you and you will be executed instead for refusing to cooperate.

What's your moral duty?

Do you sign the paper or do you refuse to sign it?

If you sign it, can you justify your choice as the ethically right thing to do?

How so?
There are very few who would give their lives for their friends. Morality has very little to do with duty.Either choice is immoral.
 
Unconqured
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 03:03 pm
@xris,
xris;102747 wrote:
If not built on the rock of logic it will and can fail. Men walk behind many banners to fight their cause, its the warrior not the banner that decides his worth.



Is there worth in a banner that fails to stand on logic? If no, then some men hold false banners and or think they hold a banner but not at all. If yes then How can it stand if it "will and can fail"?

---------- Post added 11-12-2009 at 04:04 PM ----------

Elmud;102815 wrote:
There are very few who would give their lives for their friends. Morality has very little to do with duty.Either choice is immoral.



both choices are immoral? could you elaborate?
 
 

 
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