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Which of these two options would you choose?

EvaXephonEvaXephon Registered User
edited December 2006 in Debate and/or Discourse
Let me propose a scenario to you.

There are two buttons. If the first button is pressed, then 5 billion humans will die. If the second button is pressed, then 4 billion humans will die. Only one of these buttons can be pressed.

There is a man standing next to the first button. You are standing next to the second button. The man is going to press the first button. If you press your button, then he will be unable to press his.

Do you press the button?

If you press the button, it will directly cause the deaths of 4 billion people. But, if you do not press the button, then 5 billion people will die. Either way, at least 4 billion people are about to die; you can't save them. But you could prevent the extra 1 billion people from dying by pushing your button.

It seems to me that the most logical choice would be to press the button and let 4 billion people die. However, I just came from a forum where every member believed that the best decision would be to not press the button. I simply cannot understand this. You may be shaking your head in awe right now, or you may be saying, "Duh, obviously it'd be right to not press the button". If you're having the latter reaction, I really want to hear your reasoning.

My reasoning:

Two options. 4 billion die or 5 billion die. I'll choose the option that makes only 4 billion die.

(And, no, in this hypothetical situation, killing the man at the other button is not an option.)

Now, if you just decided that it would be okay to kill 4 billion people, you just decided that genocide is justifiable. How does that make you feel?

As for me, I'm not phased at all. Yes, genocide is justifiable. Anything is justifiable, to prevent something worse from happening. The direct murder of 4 billion people? Perfectly okay - as long as it's to prevent the murder of 5 billion. Raping a woman? It's perfectly okay - if it would prevent the rape of 2 women.

Circumstances can justify anything - that's my belief. Do you agree?

Discuss:

Killing 4 billion to prevent the deaths of 5 billion

Whether or not anything justifies genocide

Whether or not any act that is normally considered 'evil' can be justified by the circumstances.

Whether or not any act can be justified for the purpose of preventing something even worse from happening.

EvaXephon on
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Posts

  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    Podly on
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  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    I would build a time machine, jump in, set it for several thousand years ago, and shoot the first idiot who came up with retarded moral hypotheticals.

    tynic on
  • Dance CommanderDance Commander Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Whenever a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around, somewhere a student creates a pointless hypothetical.

    Dance Commander on
  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    What color is my button?

    Sarksus on
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I'm just sayin', if you give me this choice and I hit button 2 to kill four million people, then that blood is on your hands for not giving me any way to save everyone.

    :|

    INeedNoSalt on
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Would I be part of the 5 billion that die?

    Al_wat on
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    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Guys, I'll admit that my first instinct was to call it a retarded hypothetical, but I didn't because that would be thread assassination.

    Please don't assassinate the thread. If you don't like it, don't post in it, and let it die a natural death.

    Thanatos on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    This is stupid.

    I would murder the man, then lock the buttons up.

    Incenjucar on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    *fap* *fap* *fap*

    Edit:Whoops, didnt see Than's post there. Carry on.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    Bliss 101 on
    MSL59.jpg
  • KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2006
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusuguttai on
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Can we both press our respective buttons simultaneously and kill 9 billion people? If so, that's my choice.

    Premier kakos on
    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KnobKnob TURN THE BEAT BACK InternetModerator mod
    edited December 2006
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative

    if we wait until the guy pushes his, then push ours, do those 4 mil come out of the same pool as the 5?

    or will we bag 9 million total

    however it goes, i'd probably highfive the guy after

    Knob on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Tackle?

    Pansy.

    Incenjucar on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Hay guyz

    If you remove all the context from a situation, and take away every single possible alternative until the only remaining choices are a meaningless binary meant to demonstrate some easy black-and-white moral that you fixate on without accepting that the very nature of morality depends on those alternatives and subtleties and shades of possibility,

    how many times should you get punched in the babymaker?

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?

    BYToady on
    Battletag BYToady#1454
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative


    Thats a good question.

    Could I just keep pressing it over and over until i've killed 1 trillion people?

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    tynic wrote:
    I would build a time machine, jump in, set it for several thousand years ago, and shoot the first idiot who came up with retarded moral hypotheticals.
    This is pure tynic gold right here.

    ---

    But to contribute to the thread: it's an impossible situation. But you haven't told us what happens if no one presses their button. For the hell of it let's assume 5 billion die if no one does anything.

    Now then...whatever happens, it's not your fault in this rather vacuous world. Events beyond your control have forced you to press the button to kill 4 billion people, and you are making the only decision which results in a favorable outcome. The only logical choice leads to 4 billion people dying. It is not your fault that 4 billion people die, since you did not design the contraption, nor necessarily willingly turn it on or let it work. You can't take any responsibility for the machine itself, or the actions of the other actor.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Dyrwen66Dyrwen66 the other's insane Denver CORegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Yeah, circumstance justifies most anything, but people'll still blame the circumstance most of the time.

    We're not really being given any point to killing these people anyway though. Genocide does have a point, ya know. Albeit a usually considered evil one, but a purpose in any case. This isn't one of those "If I kill one baby the world gets a cure for cancer" sorta hypotheticals. The only advantage here is one less billion dead, which isn't much. Quite frankly I doubt an extra billion would matter after that kind of calamity.

    In this case both people would be fucked in their decision, since neither has much reason to press it, though presumably you have to hit one of them or else you'll die or something. It's a pointless gesture of meaningless genocide. It isn't that it's hypothetically justified or not, it's just stupid to have to kill a shitload of people without a good reason. Even if that reason is amoral and shitty, doesn't make it any less a reason. This is just a button pushing game. I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?

    Dyrwen66 on
    Just an ancient PA person who doesn't leave the house much.
  • KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2006
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?
    IF ITS HYPOTHETICAL MY ANSWER IS THE BEST BECAUSE NO ONE DIES

    Kusuguttai on
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Al_wat wrote:
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative


    Thats a good question.

    Could I just keep pressing it over and over until i've killed 1 trillion people?

    And once you go past zero, you'd find out what happens when you kill billions of non-existent people. With each press of the button, would you create 5 billion anti-people?

    This assumes you're not in danger of killing yourself with the button of course.

    Bliss 101 on
    MSL59.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    Yeah, circumstance justifies most anything, but people'll still blame the circumstance most of the time.

    We're not really being given any point to killing these people anyway though. Genocide does have a point, ya know. Albeit a usually considered evil one, but a purpose in any case. This isn't one of those "If I kill one baby the world gets a cure for cancer" sorta hypotheticals. The only advantage here is one less billion dead, which isn't much. Quite frankly I doubt an extra billion would matter after that kind of calamity.

    In this case both people would be fucked in their decision, since neither has much reason to press it, though presumably you have to hit one of them or else you'll die or something. It's a pointless gesture of meaningless genocide. It isn't that it's hypothetically justified or not, it's just stupid to have to kill a shitload of people without a good reason. Even if that reason is amoral and shitty, doesn't make it any less a reason. This is just a button pushing game. I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?
    1 billion less people die. Are you actually saying that once you've started why bother stopping? Because that seems immoral to me.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Whiniest Man On EarthWhiniest Man On Earth Registered User
    edited December 2006
    9 billion? Done.

    Whiniest Man On Earth on
  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?
    IF ITS HYPOTHETICAL MY ANSWER IS THE BEST BECAUSE NO ONE DIES

    A GIANT SPACE GORILLA PREVENTS YOU FROM TACKLING THE OTHER GUY GEEZ!

    BYToady on
    Battletag BYToady#1454
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?
    IF ITS HYPOTHETICAL MY ANSWER IS THE BEST BECAUSE NO ONE DIES

    A GIANT SPACE GORILLA PREVENTS YOU FROM TACKLING THE OTHER GUY GEEZ!

    I would tame it.

    Do I have access to a pokeball, or must we ride a bike in to a flock of angry monkeys?

    Incenjucar on
  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Incenjucar wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?
    IF ITS HYPOTHETICAL MY ANSWER IS THE BEST BECAUSE NO ONE DIES

    A GIANT SPACE GORILLA PREVENTS YOU FROM TACKLING THE OTHER GUY GEEZ!

    I would tame it.

    Do I have access to a pokeball, or must we ride a bike in to a flock of angry monkeys?

    Getting a pokeball is the other benefit of pressing the genocide button.

    It's a master pokeball that can instantly tame anything, regardless of it's current health.

    The other people, at the other button, is also Ash. So you'll only have milliseconds to decide. Futhermore, both buttons are located in bat country.

    BYToady on
    Battletag BYToady#1454
  • Dyrwen66Dyrwen66 the other's insane Denver CORegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?
    1 billion less people die. Are you actually saying that once you've started why bother stopping? Because that seems immoral to me.
    Billions are dying either way. (Im)morality doesn't concern in this case. I just want a purpose to an act I'm going to be forced to decide between. A choice without purpose behind it is no purpose at all. Saving a billion lives isn't much of a choice. Yeah, I'd probably press my button for 4 billion first, just because I doubt the button-commander is giving me time to debate the ramifications of this decision.

    I mean, beyond hypothetics, 4-5 billion people dying would fuck the hell out of economies, agriculture, and fuckall who knows what else. I'd imagine the world would damn nigh end if that many people died at once, so 4 or 5 billion, who gives a shit; we're fucked if we gotta press either button I say.

    Dyrwen66 on
    Just an ancient PA person who doesn't leave the house much.
  • KnobKnob TURN THE BEAT BACK InternetModerator mod
    edited December 2006
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Al_wat wrote:
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative


    Thats a good question.

    Could I just keep pressing it over and over until i've killed 1 trillion people?

    And once you go past zero, you'd find out what happens when you kill billions of non-existent people. With each press of the button, would you create 5 billion anti-people?

    This assumes you're not in danger of killing yourself with the button of course.

    then you and the other guy have to live in a post apocalyptic world where you are the only normal dudes left

    its like a zombie apocalypse, but if you touch an antiperson THE UNIVERSE EXPLOOOOOOOOOOODES

    Knob on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    BYToady wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    BYToady wrote:
    Kusuguttai wrote:
    I would tackle the other guy, thus saving 4 billion lives. What the fuck is wrong with you.

    Kusu, this is a hypothetical where you have to either kill 4 billion directly, or 5 billion through inaction.

    I'd give the guy that gave me the button the finger and leave. Then laugh as society came to a halt by the loss of most of it's population. Or, you know, end up as one of the 5 billion that died.

    Oh, oh, how about this hypothetical.

    Would you shoot your mom in the head if it would somehow prevent the holocaust from ever have happened?
    IF ITS HYPOTHETICAL MY ANSWER IS THE BEST BECAUSE NO ONE DIES

    A GIANT SPACE GORILLA PREVENTS YOU FROM TACKLING THE OTHER GUY GEEZ!

    I would tame it.

    Do I have access to a pokeball, or must we ride a bike in to a flock of angry monkeys?

    Getting a pokeball is the other benefit of pressing the genocide button.

    It's a master pokeball that can instantly tame anything, regardless of it's current health.

    The other people, at the other button, is also Ash. So you'll only have milliseconds to decide. Futhermore, both buttons are located in bat country.

    Bats are awesome, so that's not an issue.

    I would kill the other button guy, then go kill Ash.

    Perhaps, since I would essentially have 9 billion lives owed to me, I would then descend upon the world, picking and choosing whom truly deserves my gift of life.

    And the Space Gorilla be my horseman. Gorilla. From space.

    Incenjucar on
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Al_wat wrote:
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative


    Thats a good question.

    Could I just keep pressing it over and over until i've killed 1 trillion people?

    And once you go past zero, you'd find out what happens when you kill billions of non-existent people. With each press of the button, would you create 5 billion anti-people?

    This assumes you're not in danger of killing yourself with the button of course.

    then you and the other guy have to live in a post apocalyptic world where you are the only normal dudes left

    its like a zombie apocalypse, but if you touch an antiperson THE UNIVERSE EXPLOOOOOOOOOOODES

    so the question is, if you and the other button pressing guy are left with a whole bunch of anti-people, and he touches an anti-person, 5 billion anti-people die, but if you touch someone, 4 billion anti people die, what do you do??

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative

    if we wait until the guy pushes his, then push ours, do those 4 mil come out of the same pool as the 5?

    or will we bag 9 million total

    however it goes, i'd probably highfive the guy after
    There aren't 9 billion people on Earth. It's about 6 billion. You both push, and 3 billion people die twice.

    Can I trick the other guy into pushing the 4 billion button? Or possibly, instead of either button, I, oh, say, bestow him a delicious meal to dissuade him. Then when he's all full of Double Whopper goodness, and the button's there, all big and red, and the offer is 4 billion people, I say No Deal and make him open two more cases.

    ...what were we talking about? Oh, yes, the decimation of all that is humanity. I'd need to know some things:

    *Does pressing the 4 billion button prevent him from pressing the 5 billion button anyway?
    *Can I pick the 2 billion that live? Because I figure if we're going to see 2/3rds of humanity die, dumping all the assholes ought to be a good start.
    *Am I among the 4 billion?
    *Am I among the 5 billion? (It is probable that the survivors are two entirely different sets of people.)

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you push the button, does it turn out to be a big joke, and candy flies out?

    BYToady on
    Battletag BYToady#1454
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?
    1 billion less people die. Are you actually saying that once you've started why bother stopping? Because that seems immoral to me.
    Billions are dying either way. (Im)morality doesn't concern in this case. I just want a purpose to an act I'm going to be forced to decide between. A choice without purpose behind it is no purpose at all. Saving a billion lives isn't much of a choice. Yeah, I'd probably press my button for 4 billion first, just because I doubt the button-commander is giving me time to debate the ramifications of this decision.

    I mean, beyond hypothetics, 4-5 billion people dying would fuck the hell out of economies, agriculture, and fuckall who knows what else. I'd imagine the world would damn nigh end if that many people died at once, so 4 or 5 billion, who gives a shit; we're fucked if we gotta press either button I say.
    You get to live knowing you tried to save the most people possible. Also there's no indication that there need only be the population of Earth in this scenario. Maybe we have more people, 10 billion, 20? Who knows.

    There was once a photographer who took a really great picture in Africa during a famine. It was a photo of a vulture standing looking at a little girl who had been walking, and was now crawling, towards the nearest town where there might be aid. It was a fantastic photo, he won the Pulitzer prize for it, made quite a bit of money from the publicity etc. Pretty much had it made as a photographer due to it. A year later, he killed himself. The suicide note said "people kept asking what happened to the girl".

    electricitylikesme on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    i'd press the button. anyone who says otherwise is probably retarded.

    i would not kill my mother to prevent the holocaust.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • KnobKnob TURN THE BEAT BACK InternetModerator mod
    edited December 2006
    Al_wat wrote:
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Al_wat wrote:
    Knob wrote:
    Bliss 101 wrote:
    Are you allowed to push both buttons?

    yeah, and is the death toll cumulative


    Thats a good question.

    Could I just keep pressing it over and over until i've killed 1 trillion people?

    And once you go past zero, you'd find out what happens when you kill billions of non-existent people. With each press of the button, would you create 5 billion anti-people?

    This assumes you're not in danger of killing yourself with the button of course.

    then you and the other guy have to live in a post apocalyptic world where you are the only normal dudes left

    its like a zombie apocalypse, but if you touch an antiperson THE UNIVERSE EXPLOOOOOOOOOOODES

    so the question is, if you and the other button pressing guy are left with a whole bunch of anti-people, and he touches an anti-person, 5 billion anti-people die, but if you touch someone, 4 billion anti people die, what do you do??

    i guess the only sane answer is to hump like bunnies and repopulate the planet

    a frenzy of awkward and desperate love

    the antiperson hordes closing in


    and right as they tear down the walls and fall upon us, me and the guy lock eyes

    and scream 'WHOOPS TOO MANY Y CHROMOSOMES FOR BABIES'

    Knob on
  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?
    1 billion less people die. Are you actually saying that once you've started why bother stopping? Because that seems immoral to me.
    Billions are dying either way. (Im)morality doesn't concern in this case. I just want a purpose to an act I'm going to be forced to decide between. A choice without purpose behind it is no purpose at all. Saving a billion lives isn't much of a choice. Yeah, I'd probably press my button for 4 billion first, just because I doubt the button-commander is giving me time to debate the ramifications of this decision.

    I mean, beyond hypothetics, 4-5 billion people dying would fuck the hell out of economies, agriculture, and fuckall who knows what else. I'd imagine the world would damn nigh end if that many people died at once, so 4 or 5 billion, who gives a shit; we're fucked if we gotta press either button I say.
    You get to live knowing you tried to save the most people possible. Also there's no indication that there need only be the population of Earth in this scenario. Maybe we have more people, 10 billion, 20? Who knows.

    There was once a photographer who took a really great picture in Africa during a famine. It was a photo of a vulture standing looking at a little girl who had been walking, and was now crawling, towards the nearest town where there might be aid. It was a fantastic photo, he won the Pulitzer prize for it, made quite a bit of money from the publicity etc. Pretty much had it made as a photographer due to it. A year later, he killed himself. The suicide note said "people kept asking what happened to the girl".

    You also get to live knowing you personally pushed the button that killed 4 billion people.

    BYToady on
    Battletag BYToady#1454
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    One person dies, its a tragedy.

    4 billion people die, its a statistic.

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2006
    Now, if you just decided that it would be okay to kill 4 billion people, you just decided that genocide is justifiable.

    No, your hypothetical is simply flawed, because in situations like this there is always a third button. The scenario is never this clear, the choices never this distinct, the consequences never known fully, especially at the moment of decision.
    As for me, I'm not phased at all. Yes, genocide is justifiable. Anything is justifiable, to prevent something worse from happening.

    See above.

    Even if your choices have come down to "killing 4 billion" and "killing 5 billion" and nothing else, chances are somewhere along the way to that point you have gone wrong. You have made some wrong decisions that have left you with two wrong choices in the end, and even though one is worse than the other, they are still both wrong, and both are your mistake.

    This is assuming you were the decision-maker from beginning till the end. if they simply put you in a room with those two buttons and those two buttons only, well, you're simply stupid if you don't push yours. But as I said, pushing your button doesn't mean you think genocide is justifiable. That claim is also stupid.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    BYToady wrote:
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    Dyrwen66 wrote:
    I'm not getting cheese at the end of this genocidal-button maze, so who gives a shit who presses what?
    1 billion less people die. Are you actually saying that once you've started why bother stopping? Because that seems immoral to me.
    Billions are dying either way. (Im)morality doesn't concern in this case. I just want a purpose to an act I'm going to be forced to decide between. A choice without purpose behind it is no purpose at all. Saving a billion lives isn't much of a choice. Yeah, I'd probably press my button for 4 billion first, just because I doubt the button-commander is giving me time to debate the ramifications of this decision.

    I mean, beyond hypothetics, 4-5 billion people dying would fuck the hell out of economies, agriculture, and fuckall who knows what else. I'd imagine the world would damn nigh end if that many people died at once, so 4 or 5 billion, who gives a shit; we're fucked if we gotta press either button I say.
    You get to live knowing you tried to save the most people possible. Also there's no indication that there need only be the population of Earth in this scenario. Maybe we have more people, 10 billion, 20? Who knows.

    There was once a photographer who took a really great picture in Africa during a famine. It was a photo of a vulture standing looking at a little girl who had been walking, and was now crawling, towards the nearest town where there might be aid. It was a fantastic photo, he won the Pulitzer prize for it, made quite a bit of money from the publicity etc. Pretty much had it made as a photographer due to it. A year later, he killed himself. The suicide note said "people kept asking what happened to the girl".

    You also get to live knowing you personally pushed the button that killed 4 billion people.
    A decision which made sense and resulted in the only possible favorable outcome. Could you live knowing that you are directly responsible for killing the extra 1 billion who need not have died?

    Hence the photographer narrative. It probably didn't make any difference whether or not he helped her. Lots of other people had already died and were going to die. It was a huge disaster anyway. So why did he kill himself?

    electricitylikesme on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    BYToady wrote:
    You also get to live knowing you personally pushed the button that killed 4 billion people.

    not pressing would have resulted in more deaths. there was no option that would have allowed the outcome to be any better, so i don't see why i should feel any sense of personal responsibility for the loss.

    Loren Michael on
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