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.
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?
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.