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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 11:26   #1
Ste
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A moral question

I thought of a hypothetical situation last night that had me in a bit of a moral dilemma.

Imagine if you could save a life at the cost to you of £1. With no limit on the amount of lives you could save.

How far would you go? How many lives would you save?

It doesn't matter who they are (I'm assuming the person has no connection with you), how their life is saved and let's assume that they want to be saved (so no 'quality of life' argument).
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 11:47   #2
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Re: A moral question

I would try to find someone very very rich with the same 'gift', beat him until he can't even cry anymore and force him to save every dying person on this planet!
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 11:54   #3
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Re: A moral question

Saving lifes without any restriction would ultimately destroy the lifes of all in my opinion.

It's a paradox.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 12:12   #4
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Re: A moral question

What do i get out of spending £1 ?
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 12:23   #5
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight Theamion
Saving lifes without any restriction would ultimately destroy the lifes of all in my opinion.

It's a paradox.
What
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 12:23   #6
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Re: A moral question

What do you mean by "save a life"? For how long?

If it would buy someone an extra day, then I'd presumably try to maximise the quality/quantity of these persons lives with all my income, and then rely on their generosity for food and so forth. Presuming I can't transfer this gift to someone else I mean.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 12:53   #7
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Re: A moral question

Without knowing more about the people i can't really say whether id want them saved (is hitler, stalin, polpot on the list?)

Generally though its a similar dilemma to people who buy slaves out of slavery in order to free them, all they're doing is feeding the market and not dealing with the problem.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:06   #8
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Re: A moral question

i would save 1 life.

who saves a life saves the world. :]
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:07   #9
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Re: A moral question

And why is the world worth saving?
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:09   #10
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
What do you mean by "save a life"? For how long?

If it would buy someone an extra day, then I'd presumably try to maximise the quality/quantity of these persons lives with all my income, and then rely on their generosity for food and so forth. Presuming I can't transfer this gift to someone else I mean.

That's largely irrelevant. You have no links with the people you save and most likely never will.

It's a simple situation - £1 saves a life. How much of your money would you spend saving lives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by milo
Without knowing more about the people i can't really say whether id want them saved
See above.



If someone could guarantee you could save a life by spending £1. Save 100 lives with £100. 1000 with £1000 etc. How much would you spend?
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:10   #11
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Re: A moral question

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Originally Posted by Allfather
And why is the world worth saving?
True, with people like you in it, you start to wonder.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:11   #12
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Re: A moral question

Yes, the world would be a better place with hipperebels like yourself running things in their own communistic manor.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 13:29   #13
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
If someone could guarantee you could save a life by spending £1. Save 100 lives with £100. 1000 with £1000 etc. How much would you spend?

Without more elaboration, nothing. If i didn't have any links to these 'people' nor any idea who they were i couldn't make a decision on whether i wanted them to be saved.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 14:08   #14
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Re: A moral question

There`s a lot of people in this world. Seeing as thousands of people die every day, even if I spent all my savings it would still be a drop in the ocean. Therefore I wouldn`t spend any money on it.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 14:10   #15
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Re: A moral question

I would go with the current world trend and spend nothing.

Although, if it was a rich white kid whose life I'd save, I'd be prepared to spend a quid fifty. I bet I'd get that back with interest.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 14:31   #16
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Re: A moral question

Does this mean if I kill Kila I'll get paid £1?
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 16:41   #17
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChubbyChecker
There`s a lot of people in this world. Seeing as thousands of people die every day, even if I spent all my savings it would still be a drop in the ocean. Therefore I wouldn`t spend any money on it.
That's quite close to what I was thinking.

No matter how much money I'd spend saving people, there would always be more people to save...
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 16:53   #18
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fight Club
On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero
Spending money to put off the inevitable is money wasted.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 16:55   #19
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat
Does this mean if I kill Kila I'll get paid £1?
I'm pretty certain we can raise up at least 50£ if we collect around in the Planetarion community.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 17:34   #20
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
It's a simple situation - £1 saves a life. How much of your money would you spend saving lives?
I was obviously unclear. : What do you mean by save a life?

e.g. I have cancer, I am about to die. Doctor tries an experimental treatment, I am kept alive for another ten seconds. Has he saved my life? Probably not. But if he gave me another year, or ten years then we're talking. Since everyone dies eventually, I'd like to know how much the £1 would achieve - it might be a nanosecond after all.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 18:26   #21
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Re: A moral question

Moral dilemmas require clarification usually.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 18:37   #22
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Re: A moral question

All the hot women in the world.

One of them has to be lonely fs
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 18:43   #23
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Re: A moral question

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All the hot women in the world.

One of them has to be lonely fs
Lonely, desperate, and possibly blind?
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 19:34   #24
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Re: A moral question

I dunno it would depend what I had in my pocket at the time I guess unless I needed the change for a milkshake or something.
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 20:32   #25
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Re: A moral question

This is more of an economic question than a moral one!
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 21:08   #26
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phang
What
It's a paradox, by being able to save 'all' you can save none.

It would mean you would be morally obligated to save all within your best effort and knowing you can save all for 1$ each would mean you would be morally obligated to raise as much money as you can.

However, have you saved everyone when you save all?

I do not think so. I think this is a paradoxical question that cannot be solved, the problem would be more interesting if you think if such a gift would be a blessing or a burning, to be honest, I think it would matters unnecessarily complicated.

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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 22:08   #27
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Re: A moral question

Nod gets his milkshake in the yard for £1
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Unread 28 Jun 2007, 23:16   #28
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead_Meat
Spending money to put off the inevitable is money wasted.
Someone phone Gordon and tell him to disband the NHS.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 00:40   #29
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Re: A moral question

Save a life for only two pounds at Alessio's.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 00:53   #30
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Re: A moral question

I would proberbly save millions of lives in the coming few years.
I'll save the entire planet if I have to, until I retire at 26 that is.

I might continue saving people if people start worshipping me.
Our Saviour would be a fitting title for me wouldn't it?
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 08:49   #31
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Re: A moral question

Well if it was verifiable, presumably it wouldn't be too hard to apply for some sort of government grant.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:19   #32
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Re: A moral question

it seems odd that this 'moral dilema' is so reminiscent of neo-con right wing arguments against the health service
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:26   #33
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Re: A moral question

it's about how far would YOU as a person be willing to go in order to help others. that is the moral dillema.
a grant that the government might issue or even money falling out of the sky is of no relevance.
so question at hand is how much of an altruistic person are you? give away your lunchmoney, your weekly income, or sell your house and declare bankruptcy on account of saving others.
I for one would assume there are a lot of lives to be saved, therefore i'd assess my income and how much money i can save (maybe drink a beer or two less when i go out or smth similar) and try to raise as much money as i can come up with, without significantly damaging my lifestyle.

one person can't save the world, but he can make a difference
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:40   #34
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
I was obviously unclear. : What do you mean by save a life?

e.g. I have cancer, I am about to die. Doctor tries an experimental treatment, I am kept alive for another ten seconds. Has he saved my life? Probably not. But if he gave me another year, or ten years then we're talking. Since everyone dies eventually, I'd like to know how much the £1 would achieve - it might be a nanosecond after all.
I would assume that saving their life would mean that they'd have a worthwhile existence following it.

A second question, however, would be how long must they live afterwards for that £1 to be worth it?
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:42   #35
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
it seems odd that this 'moral dilema' is so reminiscent of neo-con right wing arguments against the health service
I'm sure that depends whether you're a neo-con right winger or not.

The moral dilemma doesn't form any part of the argument - it's peoples responses to it that show a political bias.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:47   #36
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
I'm sure that depends whether you're a neo-con right winger or not.

The moral dilemma doesn't form any part of the argument - it's peoples responses to it that show a political bias.
unless the analogy is fundamentally flawed.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 09:49   #37
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Re: A moral question

i'm sure you understand the thought process involved here.

if you can explain it better than me then do so.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 10:15   #38
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
I thought of a hypothetical situation last night that had me in a bit of a moral dilemma.

Imagine if you could save a life at the cost to you of £1. With no limit on the amount of lives you could save.

How far would you go? How many lives would you save?

It doesn't matter who they are (I'm assuming the person has no connection with you), how their life is saved and let's assume that they want to be saved (so no 'quality of life' argument).
I would save none, because if you would you'd have the moral dilemma of choosing who gets to live and who has to die because you can't save all.
Plus, I firmly believe the world is over-populated and the human race needs some culling if it is to survive for a very long time. So I'd have a clean conscience knowing I somewhat extended tthe lifetime of the human race in the long run.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 14:03   #39
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Re: A moral question

serves you right for trying to create a thread.

£1000 i suppose (first proper answer)
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 14:18   #40
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo
it's about how far would YOU as a person be willing to go in order to help others. that is the moral dillema.
a grant that the government might issue or even money falling out of the sky is of no relevance.
so question at hand is how much of an altruistic person are you? give away your lunchmoney, your weekly income, or sell your house and declare bankruptcy on account of saving others.
I for one would assume there are a lot of lives to be saved, therefore i'd assess my income and how much money i can save (maybe drink a beer or two less when i go out or smth similar) and try to raise as much money as i can come up with, without significantly damaging my lifestyle.

one person can't save the world, but he can make a difference
Well do you do this? Because this is a theoretical question doesn't mean that there aren't people out there dying and that your money won't make someone elses life better.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 14:20   #41
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Structural Integrity
I would save none, because if you would you'd have the moral dilemma of choosing who gets to live and who has to die because you can't save all.
I think it has been established that this would not be the case.

Quote:
Plus, I firmly believe the world is over-populated and the human race needs some culling if it is to survive for a very long time. So I'd have a clean conscience knowing I somewhat extended tthe lifetime of the human race in the long run.
Do you have any actua evidence for this or just made it up to make yourself feel better?
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 15:00   #42
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
I think it has been established that this would not be the case.
If is indeed the case that with funding you could in theory save everyone, that would void the whole "dilemma" part. The dilemma is that you can make a personal sacrifice in order to save another person and the question is how far you would go. It's exactly the same as the age-old dillemma, but with other words: "if you had to die to save 10 other lives, would you do it? 100 then? or 1000?". The funding bit would change THAT dilemma to something like "if you could save the world, and didn't have to die, would you do it?"

So if there is no personal sacrifice to be made then there is no dilemma like stated in the original post.
Another kind of dilemma would pop up though; "is this the right thing to do? What would the consequences be?".

So, let me change the topic of this thread a bit: if you could make everyone on this planet live forever, would you do it? Would that be the right thing to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
Do you have any actua evidence for this or just made it up to make yourself feel better?
Nope, no evidence... I made it up. Thought you must admit it sounds plausible, no?
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 16:26   #43
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Re: A moral question

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Originally Posted by Structural Integrity
If is indeed the case that with funding you could in theory save everyone, that would void the whole "dilemma" part. The dilemma is that you can make a personal sacrifice in order to save another person and the question is how far you would go. It's exactly the same as the age-old dillemma, but with other words: "if you had to die to save 10 other lives, would you do it? 100 then? or 1000?". The funding bit would change THAT dilemma to something like "if you could save the world, and didn't have to die, would you do it?"

So if there is no personal sacrifice to be made then there is no dilemma like stated in the original post.
Another kind of dilemma would pop up though; "is this the right thing to do? What would the consequences be?".

So, let me change the topic of this thread a bit: if you could make everyone on this planet live forever, would you do it? Would that be the right thing to do?
It was to see how big a drop in living tandards you would take, which is a very real personal sacrifice.

Quote:
Nope, no evidence... I made it up. Thought you must admit it sounds plausible, no?
No.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 18:19   #44
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
Well do you do this? Because this is a theoretical question doesn't mean that there aren't people out there dying and that your money won't make someone elses life better.
i actually do

well i give my time to charity more than i give my money (since i don't have too much of that), but my mother runs the romanian end of a small british charity.
so i've been involved in this for about 15 years now. and i have seen first hand how cheap people are when it comes to giving away their money, even if its frigging 5-10 pounds/month. ofcourse it's not exactly dying people and not exactly 1 pound to save them, but i'm sure you can relate.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 18:34   #45
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Re: A moral question

Most people give up lots for other people. For instance for some reason the majority appear to support the ownership of the means of production by an elite through, this seems like an extraordinary generous thing to do for people they will probably never meet.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 18:38   #46
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Re: A moral question

The majority of people support the payment of salary to governmental employees, even those who contribute almost nothing to the well being of anyone; this is also an example of extreme generosity.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 19:16   #47
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Re: A moral question

Well I don't know that people do support that. In fact its often the other way round, where many government employees (not me I hasten to add, I do as little as possible) work extremely hard for a fairly low wage. In fact I read somewhere that 25% of government employees are on less that £15k. In Consular one very serious problem for us is over service.
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Unread 29 Jun 2007, 23:41   #48
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
It was to see how big a drop in living tandards you would take, which is a very real personal sacrifice.
Did you actually read the post? It has been stated that in theory one can save everyone, but with external funding. I claim that if that is the case, then one would not suffer a drop in living standards, and thus there would be no dilemma.

Debating about paying $1 to save a life is stupid anyway. Totally unrealistic. Lets get back to a REAL moral dilemma: if you had to sacrifice your life in order to save 1000 other lives, would you do so? If not, how man lives would you have to save before you would sacrifice yours?
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Unread 30 Jun 2007, 12:24   #49
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Re: A moral question

i wouldn't spend anything, because the people i care about aren't on the list.
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Unread 2 Jul 2007, 19:10   #50
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Re: A moral question

Quote:
Originally Posted by dda-II
The majority of people support the payment of salary to governmental employees, even those who contribute almost nothing to the well being of anyone
I suppose it varies from country to country, but the only government employees I'm aware that enjoy consistently high levels of public support are things like nurses, firemen, teachers, etc. The only "wasteful" government employees which probably have broad support are the armed forces, and that depends highly on the state of foriegn policy (and there are plenty of scenarios where the armed forces aren't wasteful)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
I would assume that saving their life would mean that they'd have a worthwhile existence following it.

A second question, however, would be how long must they live afterwards for that £1 to be worth it?
Well, in that case, I'd say £1 per month per individual seems fair enough, in this imaginary and rather unlikely scenario. I guess if I lived like a pauper and just paid rent and other essentials that'd be 100 years of life per month I could "save" which seems fair enough. If you didn't have restrictions on self-publicity then I'd imagine sponsorship would raise a fair amount of cash too.
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