What would you do in this situation?

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Citia
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 06:40 pm
Let's say you are climbing an ice mountain with your friend being tied to the rope right under you. (So you are first and your friend is second). You friend trips on his/her feet and lets go of the mountain. Due to the mountains structure your friend can't get their hand on the mountain. The rope is the only thing that is keeping them alive.

You have two options now:
1. You can either do nothing and both of you will fall and die.
or
2. You can cut the rope and your friend dies.

I know this situation is VERY rare but I just want your ideas as to how you will reason your choice in this situation.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 08:57 pm
@Citia,
If it is both dying, or you saving yourself and sacrificing your friend, then the latter choice would seem to be the correct one. But nobody would know for sure until faced with the situation. What you imagine you might do in an emergency, and what happens, are often worlds apart.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 09:26 pm
@Citia,
Citia;165086 wrote:
Let's say you are climbing an ice mountain with your friend being tied to the rope right under you. (So you are first and your friend is second). You friend trips on his/her feet and lets go of the mountain. Due to the mountains structure your friend can't get their hand on the mountain. The rope is the only thing that is keeping them alive.

You have two options now:
1. You can either do nothing and both of you will fall and die.
or
2. You can cut the rope and your friend dies.

I know this situation is VERY rare but I just want your ideas as to how you will reason your choice in this situation.

There is no hypothetical morality...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 09:32 pm
@Citia,
I never see the point of these (what are sometimes called "desert island examples") except as a kind of puzzle exercise. They certainly have nothing much to do with philosophy.
 
wayne
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 09:48 pm
@Citia,
I recently had my memory refreshed on the subject of the episode of the Whaling ship Essex. The crew members faced a similar situation and did what was necessary to survive.
I have to agree with Kenneth though, these kind of questions seem to benefit nothing.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 04:03 am
@Citia,
It is because morals are not a question about what a person would do in a given situation, but what they do in every situation, which should be to do justice...Ethics is never what a person thinks, but is who they are, their character, and while I may agree that one never knows what they may do in a given situation, the ethical person avoids those situations where ethics are challenged because life is there on a perilous edge, and so, immoral... It is not to avoid risk that people are moral, but it is moral to avoid risk when the life of the community is not at stake... To risk ones life is to act as an individual, without concern for the well being of others, or ones responsibility to them, and that is immoral... Do children who climb mountains not have parents??? And do parents who climb mountains not have children???... We sell our lives dear to be there for the hard work that is required of relationships, to full fill our natural obligations, which is our honor...
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 12:50 pm
@Citia,
I think the point of these exercises is that some people will argue that option A is the only moral one, for some reason.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 01:06 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;165383 wrote:
I think the point of these exercises is that some people will argue that option A is the only moral one, for some reason.


Perhaps because it is (the only right one)? After all, that might be true. Or can you just rule that out? How for example would you come down on Kant's famous case: a potential murderer is seeking your friend to do him in. The murderer asks you, where he is? Should you lie and mislead the potential murderer, or should you follow Kant's advice and be truthful (though the heaven's fall)? I bet you anything you believe that the only right thing to do is to lie. Am I right?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 02:36 pm
@Citia,
Again: hypothetical situations teach no one morals...It is because we live in the real world, and because morals are who we are rather than what we think... Only when we are in the situation can we say what we will do, and from being theire it is our actions that mark us as moral... Certainly one can judge that those who risk life unnecssarily are immoral, if not fools; but this is an opinion that can only be rendered from a safe place... Bird shet and fools fall from the sky... I risked my life, falling was always possible, but I found I could not even do my job for charity... The need to support my family made every risk insignificant... To do the job for free was unthinkable...What I did was moral, and those who risk life to no good end are immoral...So make the choice; but it is without meaning...The key to a moral life is a moral man, or woman, as the case may be...
 
 

 
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