The good of the many out weight the good of the one.
Could you kill one or maybe a small group of people knowing that doing so would save the lives of many? Would it matter to you how many would be saved.Kill one,save 10...100...1000..More?
you have to be careful with these questions - if all the global warming etc scare mongers are right tehn we should kill most of us for the sake of the uncountable people who could then follow us for thousands of years. LOL
No the "good" of the many do not outweigh the "good" of the one and who defines "good"?
If the 'one' was someone I knew was already a murderer, rapist or child molestor or such, and I also knew that his or her death was the only way to stop him, yes, certainly. I may have some sorrow over it later, but I'd do it and consider it worth it.
Now if this is like me actively killing an innocent person to save the lives of many others, then no. No I couldn't do that and my reason is that it would be a violation of the human spirit.
Sorry. I'd rather see a thousand of us die than see any one of us kill another undeservedly.
I'd like to think I'd be willing to sacrifice myself, if the care of my children after my death weren't in question.
Let's say you kill one evil man, saving 100 lives. What if five of those people saved were even worse than the person you killed to start with? And what about the next generation? They were also spared by your act. What if, in the next generation, there were five more evil individuals? Then, by sparing one monster, you have created 10 more. Whether or not you're really saving some one is subjective to each person's individual viewpoint.
Yes Amanda, there in lies the rub. Are you saving humanity or later condemning it?
Yes. The thing about these hypothetical scenarios is that they assume 100% knowledge of your surroundings and of future events. Real life ain't like that.
Also the definition of evil is to some extent subjective. To take an extreme example: presumably Hitler thought that the Jews were evil; in his mind, that justified their being killed.
There's a real danger that the person who goes on a massive crusade against evil could end up believing that the means justify the ends, and become as bad as the people he or she is crusading against. I often think that if only people concentrated on ensuring that their *own* morality was up to scratch (rather than pointing the finger at the "evil" of others the whole time) then the world would be a much pleasanter place.
If you are actually weighing the good of the many over that of one person?
There is no moral right choice to kill.
Instinctively killing someone who threatened your immediate future(life), then it is either you or them. Society would obviously be better without this person, so it's justified for you to kill them, to save your life.
However, if you have a terrorist standing with a remote control, ready to blow up and entire shopping center, and turn it into rubble, then saving the hundreds of lives in the shopping center, by killing the person with the remote to explosive....then a bullet in his is warranted, but not necessary.
Even with that said- the remote control is the target, and not the person holding it. Killing them, sure will stop them from pressing the button, but so will shooting or getting it out of his hand. The preservation of life is necessary, but should be thought of on a higher moral ground, then it is presently.
If the terrorists is strapped in explosives themselves. Then killing them is warranted, because they've already decided that their life isn't worth any value, from the simple fact that they are choosing to end their own life.
Hope I helped.
Good points Cagsil : ) - but surely the killing for the sake of others is the other way around in your scenarios - it may be difficult now in America but it is important (if only just for argument) to remember that your terrorist is another persons freedom fighter. The person we might like to go 'back into history' to kill would be the jerk-off who thought it was a good idea to cause the problems that lead to a terrorist - who is someone who has made the decision of the question. To kill themselves for the good of many (their idea of good and their idea of many).
No, for the simple fact that I am human, and I could be wrong.
I asked a similar/related question a few weeks ago in the forum; there are some really great responses here from other hubbers. Check 'em out, if you've a mind to:
MY most favorite saying is "everything is relative". What ones sees as evil or good, right or wrong, another sees the opposite. We all see things in our own way by how we were raised, where we are, what we have been through.
Most people in power do in fact think that the good of the many outweigh the good of one,,,, unless they are that one! If you are the one to die, how many would you think need to be saved to feel worth dying for?
Everything is relative,,,,,,
i agree with Bill here - everything only exists - or means anything - relative to ourselves, and/also everything must be subjective. The question should be turned around, should I kill myself for the good of the many. To kill myself for the 'good' of my ten children is an easy call, to kill myself for the good of maybe untold billions who I do not know and who maybe haven't even be born yet, not an easy call. Because 'other' issues come into the originally simple question, maybe they who predict are wrong, maybe 'my' DNA string will survive (and that is the whole child issue without the emotion).
Imagine I walk up to you with a lead pipe in my hand. Imagine that I think it's okay for me to beat the crap out of you with my lead pipe, but you think it's NOT okay for me to beat the crap out of you with the lead pipe.
Imagine I'm pulling back the lead pipe to start wailing on you. Is right or wrong relative then?
Aren't we pretty sure that SOMETHING is wrong with that picture?
surely that is exactly what is RIGHT with the picture - this is relative to the 'me' and 'you' in your scnario. Relatively you are wrong (for me) and I would break your relative arm and be right in doing so.
But what it hides is what the 'me' did to 'you' to get you so wired up, that act must also be me being wrong relative to 'you'?
Personally, I think we only have the right to make that decision for ourselves. In other words...if my own death would benefit many, it is up to me to allow or not allow that. If it's other people's deaths, then it is for them to decide whether they will serve humanity with their deaths or not.
That said...I'm not sure how easily I would hold on to this way of thinking if I were faced with, say, a Hitler and I had a clear shot.
killing is not a great idea ever. IN some beliefs, the death woudl occur when it is destined and the killer is just means of god's desire.
In civilized society definition, no matter whom one is kiiling, one is harsh, hard hearted animal and not human.
Every time you kill a man part of you dies with him.
Its an easy thing to do when your rage has got hold of you,but the thing is, your rage will subside with time,the killing you did stays with you for life.
Every time you think about it a hammer blow hits your chest.
My nephew came back from Iraq and told me he didn't know how many kills he had because of the distance involved.perhaps that is a blessing.
In Nam we did it from ten feet.
like it happened this morning.
I'm certain you are right. A part of everyone involved dies, the witnesses, your comrades in arms and theirs, the folks back home. It is a violation of the better side of the human spirit.
I thank you and your nephew for your willingness to serve, however misguided the actions of our government may have been.
by Paul Swendson7 years ago
Is it possible for pro-life and pro-choice people to find any common ground? Too often, the argument becomes fixated on the morality and legality of abortion, which are both worthwhile topics. But in the end, I think...
by Edward4 years ago
If you could take someone's life and it have no consequences, would you?Just one life, and there are no consequences. That person just ceases to exist, and life goes on as per usual. Would you?
by Tom Rubenoff3 years ago
"Good" and "evil" are concepts we apply to human behavior. When are these terms accurate, and when are they labels of convenience we apply out of laziness or prejudice?
by R. Fritz3 years ago
Is it right or wrong even though it is legal?
by Highland Terrier3 years ago
Why did God design life in such a way that to survive you must kill another life form?
by Annabella2 years ago
Why do people sign up to the army? What could they justify killing people with?Why would anyone want to kill other people? Unless of course they actually believe that there are people out there who deserve to die? How...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.