An moral and ethical conundrum for those who believe that human life begins at conception..........................

JamieD

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Ugh, I hate these silly thought experiments being used to try to influence people. In reality, in an emergency situation you are going to react to a small child in danger, or at least the vast majority of people would. We can't help it, it's wired into us. We wouldn't stand there and weigh a child's life against 1000 embryos. Even a woman pushing 9 months pregnant would instinctively put her own life in danger, and the life of her unborn, to grab a child in a fire.

Why do you think "women and children first" is so easily accepted, even by men? Even if its not official policy, it still happens. Remember the plane crash landing in the Hudson in 2009? Yep, women and children first onto the wings. Why do people do that? Because we're a tribal species and we are wired to protect the future of our tribe, so obviously that includes the very young and since only women can bear children, it makes perfect sense that we instinctively protect them.

When it comes to children, both men and women will put themselves in danger to save them. The most heartbreaking example is the teacher at Sandy Hook who was shot to death when she used herself as a shield to protect her students. She didn't take time to weigh the situation, her instinct took over. It's a credit to humanity that people do that without even needing to rationalize it.

So what's the point of this? if you accept that you'd grab the little girl that proves you don't think the viable embryos have value? Isn't this a bit silly?
 


talkingshop

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Codswallop.

You'd save the child, because you attach more value to it contextually; the context being exactly as you stated, it still has its whole life ahead of it.
Don't be rude now. "Contextual value" sounds like some sort of waffle to me. I don't think either of them have more or less inherent value than the other. But I would probably save the child for the reasons I said. But then again if the adult had some crucial responsibilities and more people could die if I didn't save the adult, then I would probably save the adult.

Given the choice between saving a pregnant woman and a woman, who would you save?
The pregnant woman.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

Ugh, I hate these silly thought experiments being used to try to influence people. In reality, in an emergency situation you are going to react to a small child in danger, or at least the vast majority of people would. We can't help it, it's wired into us. We wouldn't stand there and weigh a child's life against 1000 embryos. Even a woman pushing 9 months pregnant would instinctively put her own life in danger, and the life of her unborn, to grab a child in a fire.

Why do you think "women and children first" is so easily accepted, even by men? Even if its not official policy, it still happens. Remember the plane crash landing in the Hudson in 2009? Yep, women and children first onto the wings. Why do people do that? Because we're a tribal species and we are wired to protect the future of our tribe, so obviously that includes the very young and since only women can bear children, it makes perfect sense that we instinctively protect them.

When it comes to children, both men and women will put themselves in danger to save them. The most heartbreaking example is the teacher at Sandy Hook who was shot to death when she used herself as a shield to protect her students. She didn't take time to weigh the situation, her instinct took over. It's a credit to humanity that people do that without even needing to rationalize it.

So what's the point of this? if you accept that you'd grab the little girl that proves you don't think the viable embryos have value? Isn't this a bit silly?
Yeh, but TS is angrily trying to wriggle herself from a prong. Rather strangely she imitates an individual whose similar antics, she's been highly critical of: P.ie's very own birds eye potato waffle, Mercurial.

What's one to do?

I agree btw, moral worth, value, status, dignity, etc. etc. are far too nuanced and complex to be limited to silly bugger gedanken, chicken and egg scenarios.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

Don't be rude now. "Contextual value" sounds like some sort of waffle to me. I don't think either of them have more or less inherent value than the other. But I would probably save the child for the reasons I said. But then again if the adult had some crucial responsibilities and more people could die if I didn't save the adult, then I would probably save the adult.
Eh, that's attaching a value to the person.

The pregnant woman.
Why?
 

derryman

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Ugh, I hate these silly thought experiments being used to try to influence people. In reality, in an emergency situation you are going to react to a small child in danger, or at least the vast majority of people would. We can't help it, it's wired into us. We wouldn't stand there and weigh a child's life against 1000 embryos. Even a woman pushing 9 months pregnant would instinctively put her own life in danger, and the life of her unborn, to grab a child in a fire.

Why do you think "women and children first" is so easily accepted, even by men? Even if its not official policy, it still happens. Remember the plane crash landing in the Hudson in 2009? Yep, women and children first onto the wings. Why do people do that? Because we're a tribal species and we are wired to protect the future of our tribe, so obviously that includes the very young and since only women can bear children, it makes perfect sense that we instinctively protect them.

When it comes to children, both men and women will put themselves in danger to save them. The most heartbreaking example is the teacher at Sandy Hook who was shot to death when she used herself as a shield to protect her students. She didn't take time to weigh the situation, her instinct took over. It's a credit to humanity that people do that without even needing to rationalize it.

So what's the point of this? if you accept that you'd grab the little girl that proves you don't think the viable embryos have value? Isn't this a bit silly?
Haven't read the thread, only the op and this post. Don't need to read anymore. Thank you for that.

PS. No one need bother answering my post, I won't open this thread again.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

Haven't read the thread, only the op and this post. Don't need to read anymore. Thank you for that.

PS. No one need bother answering my post, I won't open this thread again.
We were slagging you off from pages 3 through 10 mucker.
 

NYCKY

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Here's the hypothesis.
Imagine that you have been recently been incapacitated by a broken arm. You are currently visiting the IVF fertility which holds a frozen supply of human embryos belonging to you and your partner. A huge fire suddenly breaks out. As you race to the exit and safety you pass a doorway where you see a two-year-old infant crying hysterically. As you stop to lift her and carry her to safety you spot a container labelled "1000 viable frozen embryos belonging to ...................." - your name is on the jar. You realise that with your one good arm you can either lift the infant and carry her to safety or you can save the embryos, but you cannot carry both, and you realise that there will not be time to return a second time.
Do you save the infant or the embryos?
You ask the child to hold the jar of embryos.
 

JamieD

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Don't be rude now. "Contextual value" sounds like some sort of waffle to me. I don't think either of them have more or less inherent value than the other. But I would probably save the child for the reasons I said. But then again if the adult had some crucial responsibilities and more people could die if I didn't save the adult, then I would probably save the adult.



The pregnant woman.
You'd save a pregnant woman over a woman who isn't pregnant? Are you sure? For me, if there genuinely was time to think about it, like in a situation where a building is on fire and two people are trapped and it was your job to make that call, you'd have to say chance of survival would dominate? Like if its a ten story building and the non-pregnant woman is on the 5th while the pregnant woman is on the top floor, obviously your rescuers are not going to keep moving up the stairs when they get to the 5th floor, right?
 
D

Deleted member 45466

Fairly obvious - in one case you're saving 1 person, and the in other you're saving 1 person plus a not fully developed person, who may, hopefully will develop fully and be born.
Good.

So, I think you agree that the value we attach to people isn't as simple as scoring between 1 and 10.
 

talkingshop

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You'd save a pregnant woman over a woman who isn't pregnant? Are you sure? For me, if there genuinely was time to think about it, like in a situation where a building is on fire and two people are trapped and it was your job to make that call, you'd have to say chance of survival would dominate? Like if its a ten story building and the non-pregnant woman is on the 5th while the pregnant woman is on the top floor, obviously your rescuers are not going to keep moving up the stairs when they get to the 5th floor, right?
You are introducing other factors now...:)
 

JamieD

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You are introducing other factors now...:)
Haha, ye I know, sorry. I just know that in rescue situations the rule typically is dont discriminate, just save who you can. Even the women and children first thing I mentioned earlier, doesn't always work out well even for survivors. I read once about how many of the survivors of the Titanic disaster ended up in impoverished because the male breadwinner drowned. Also, some women survivors ended up having to turn to prostitution etc. to live. Different world then of course. But even today, say if a rescue team prioritizes a woman over a man, the man dies, then they find out that the man was the sole breadwinner for a family it may cause you to question whether it was right to prioritize the female. Yes, they are equally valuable, they are both living humans, but that doesn't mean other factors are equal, such as the people who depend on them and so on. So ye, that's the reason why you typically save whoever you can and don't discriminate.

But ye, I'm gone a bit off topic here...
 
D

Deleted member 17573

No - only the particular mature tree you were talking about, that has to be cut down shortly!

My point is that an actual plant, is more valuable than something which has the potential to become a plant, is developing into a plant, but isn't a plant yet.
But what is the basis for such a determination of relative value? We've now re-assigned the highest value from the mature tree to the sapling. But if there was a nuclear war next week, or a sizeable asteroid struck the planet, the acorn would be the most likely of the three to survive, so again we must reassign the highest value to it as oaks could become extinct without it. So while your assignment of value seems reasonable, it is actually quite arbitrary, is subject to changing circumstances and cannot be relied upon.
So maybe our decision in the case of the infant versus the embryo relies heavily on emotion, based on the visibility and obvious humanity of the child?
 

edg

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If you can rescue either a 90 year old or a 3 year old toddler from a burning house and you choose the toddler, does that make it morally acceptable to kill 90 year old people if you wish?

Jeez Louise.
 

talkingshop

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But what is the basis for such a determination of relative value? We've now re-assigned the highest value from the mature tree to the sapling. But if there was a nuclear war next week, or a sizeable asteroid struck the planet, the acorn would be the most likely of the three to survive, so again we must reassign the highest value to it as oaks could become extinct without it. So while your assignment of value seems reasonable, it is actually quite arbitrary, is subject to changing circumstances and cannot be relied upon.
So maybe our decision in the case of the infant versus the embryo relies heavily on emotion, based on the visibility and obvious humanity of the child?
No, I'm not assigning any hierarchy. To take it back to people, I'm not saying that a 6 year old is more or less valuable or of greater or less worth than a 60 year old adult. But both of them have a higher status than a foetus who can only live inside someone else.

In an actual situation where you had to chose whether to save a 60 year old or a 6 year old, other factors, other than their inherent worth/rights, would come into play - e.g. a sense of fairness would make you think the child deserves a chance at life while the 60 year old has had decades, but I'd regard them of as equal status as human beings, but an unborn child as of a lower status, not yet having reached the capability to live independently.
 

talkingshop

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If you can rescue either a 90 year old or a 3 year old toddler from a burning house and you choose the toddler, does that make it morally acceptable to kill 90 year old people if you wish?

Jeez Louise.
No, clearly.
 


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