A morality question

trazer985's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,189

Ok so i think its fair to say that of us hate insider traders, and find it the most heinous of crimes and wouldn't do it.

But would you consider it in the following situations:

You need money for an operation for yourself which is life critical: Either potentially fatal or significant quality of life (i.e. leg restructuring).

A friend/family needed such an operation, and you were not asked for money but were aware that the person was unable to meet the costs themselves. What if you were asked?

What if your house was going to be repossessed?

To put your kids through private school (assume the best school around)?

Personally, I adopt the approach that my morals should not influence to the extent of life and death, other people. The rest are the price you pay for sleeping soundly at night.

Comments (18)

Nov 15, 2011

I'd do what had to be done to make sure family/friends were safe/alive..

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Nov 15, 2011

You're separating moral principles from utility. Doing dishonest things is always wrong. One of the problems posed to us in ethics 101 was the following:

A trolley (i.e. in British English a tram) is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you could flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch or do nothing?

Anyone would kill the one person. Heres where things become a bit more interesting:

As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you - your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor.

I think the best way to approach these problems is to imagine that every participant is a relative of yours, or someone you loved.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Nov 15, 2011
seabird:

You're separating moral principles from utility. Doing dishonest things is always wrong. One of the problems posed to us in ethics 101 was the following:

A trolley (i.e. in British English a tram) is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you could flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch or do nothing?

Anyone would kill the one person. Heres where things become a bit more interesting:

As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you - your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor.

I think the best way to approach these problems is to imagine that every participant is a relative of yours, or someone you loved.

The best way to go about it is to kill the fat people

Nov 15, 2011

I agree with Bears

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Nov 15, 2011

Thanks for breaking that one down for us bears. Really subtle observation.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Nov 15, 2011
seabird:

Thanks for breaking that one down for us bears. Really subtle observation.

Subtelty is not a virtue. Seriously, why wouldn't you push one fat guy in front of a train to save 5 people?

Nov 27, 2011
bears1208:
seabird:

Thanks for breaking that one down for us bears. Really subtle observation.

Subtelty is not a virtue. Seriously, why wouldn't you push one fat guy in front of a train to save 5 people?

Fat people are generally pretty hard to push, plus there's a risk he will push you instead

More is good, all is better

Nov 15, 2011
trazer985:

You need money for an operation for yourself which is life critical: Either potentially fatal or significant quality of life (i.e. leg restructuring).

I'd do it

trazer985:

A friend/family needed such an operation, and you were not asked for money but were aware that the person was unable to meet the costs themselves. What if you were asked?

I'd do anything necessary...

trazer985:

What if your house was going to be repossessed?

I'd have to think about it

trazer985:

To put your kids through private school (assume the best school around)?

no

Nov 15, 2011

"As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you - your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?"

I'd consider pushing 'em...greater good. Assuming I wouldn't, y'know, go to prison for life or anything.

"A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveler, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor."

Not far from the first scenario, but for some reason this one crosses the line for me. Greater good? Yes. Totally messed up? Yes, as is the first one. Probably just have seen one too many creepy doctor horror movies.

Nov 15, 2011

Aspirant: The reason its different is because you're answering based off of psychology and emotions and not principle.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Nov 15, 2011

You should. But youre still killing an innocent man.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Nov 15, 2011

It's like the Hitler question: knowing then what we know now, would you kill him. YES, I would. That's the only good thing about the movie 'Inglorious Bastards', it's the one movie where Hitler gets it.

Nov 15, 2011

These types of scenarios are always framed as a Catch-22 to pimp utilitarianism/people are inherently selfish (thus, flawed). They always present a binary choice, which runs contrary to the real world. What about other variables? Why did this situation happen? Could anything have prevented it, etc.?

Nov 15, 2011
Dying's For Fools:

These types of scenarios are always framed as a Catch-22 to pimp utilitarianism/people are inherently selfish (thus, flawed). They always present a binary choice, which runs contrary to the real world. What about other variables? Why did this situation happen? Could anything have prevented it, etc.?

You are right, but again, the real answer is to kill the fat person in any situation.

Nov 15, 2011
prospie:
Dying's For Fools:

These types of scenarios are always framed as a Catch-22 to pimp utilitarianism/people are inherently selfish (thus, flawed). They always present a binary choice, which runs contrary to the real world. What about other variables? Why did this situation happen? Could anything have prevented it, etc.?

You are right, but again, the real answer is to kill the fat person in any situation.

Troof.

Nov 27, 2011

To address trazer's original question:
talking about morality is plain retarded. Moral comprises of made-up rules, same as religion. It is neither natural, biological, Darwinian, nor normal. It is as alien and insane to me as any random concept you would pick out of, let's say, the Quran.
And in terms of your original question/example for insider trading, I would fucking do it no matter if I need the money for a leg surgery or to get some blond shallow bimbo I've got a boner for.

Nov 27, 2011

In the situation with the doctor it's a definite no. Fuck sick people, they shouldn't have been destroying their lungs by smoking/huffing glue, destroying their livers by eating fatty foods and chasing their vicodins with a glass of wine, destroying their hearts with uncontrolled stress, etc etc.

Everyone has the internal organs they deserve - a single mild transgression against one's own health wouldn't have failed their organs, it is the lifetime of bad habits. Why the fuck should someone else have to pay for their mistakes with his/her life?

More is good, all is better

Nov 28, 2011
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More is good, all is better