For The Good Of The Many?

Jump to Last Post 1-11 of 11 discussions (24 posts)
  1. profile image0
    StormRyderposted 13 years ago

    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?

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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

    2. profile image0
      Poppa Bluesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      No the "good" of the many do not outweigh the "good" of the one and who defines "good"?

    3. Mikel G Roberts profile image75
      Mikel G Robertsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Could, Would and Did......sorta...

    4. tantrum profile image60
      tantrumposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      If I'm in war ,yes.
      but I never am !

    5. Pandoras Box profile image59
      Pandoras Boxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  2. Amanda J. Miller profile image61
    Amanda J. Millerposted 13 years ago

    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.

    1. profile image0
      StormRyderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes Amanda, there in lies the rub. Are you saving humanity or later condemning it?

    2. profile image0
      EmpressFelicityposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  3. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    Take what you need to survive and leave.

  4. Cagsil profile image73
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    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. smile

    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. smile

    1. The Rope profile image61
      The Ropeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thumbs up Cagsil!

    2. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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).

  5. profile image0
    PrettyPantherposted 13 years ago

    No, for the simple fact that I am human, and I could be wrong.

  6. TheGlassSpider profile image66
    TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years ago

    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:

  7. Mikel G Roberts profile image75
    Mikel G Robertsposted 13 years ago

    Swordfish,  I loved that movie...

  8. Bill Manning profile image65
    Bill Manningposted 13 years ago

    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,,,,,,

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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).

    2. TheGlassSpider profile image66
      TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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?

      1. profile image0
        china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        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'?

  9. wychic profile image79
    wychicposted 13 years ago

    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.

  10. HubChief profile image72
    HubChiefposted 13 years ago

    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.

  11. cheaptrick profile image74
    cheaptrickposted 13 years ago

    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.
    The memories?
    like it happened this morning.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image59
      Pandoras Boxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)