Djcnor’s Weblog

It’s World Philosophy Day: Question 1 of 4

Posted on: November 20, 2008

Very small joke there. Still, far be it from me to no participate in yet another major holiday. Make that minor holiday. Whatever.

In any case, we are asked to consider four questions, philosophically, of course. It’s asking little enough. I’ll do it.

1) Should we kill healthy people for their organs? My answer? NO! Why? Because it violates the Golden Rule which is the basis of all moral codes. I think I’m healthy. I don’t want my organs harvested, except as I choose, preferably in a way that keeps me alive. I have been known to offer a lobe of my liver to a dear friend who might need a transplant some day.

Ah, but they make it more difficult. What if killing that one saves five, and that one is a relatively worthless human being? (First, we have no right to make that judgement.) NO. Still the Golden Rule holds me back.

What? One more complication? This time you have to kill that one person. Otherwise, 6 others will be killed. And they pose it two ways. One way, you’ve been kidnapped with several others and are told you must kill one to save the others. I still say no. I won’t be responsible for killing when I can avoid it. If someone else does the killing, that’s their soul sacrificed.

Once, on the Donahue show, I saw Lilian Gish talking about the things she was put through as a young actress before there were such things as special effects, things like floating down a river on a slab of ice wearing very little in winter. She said “Only the young allow themselves to be abused so.” Then she looked straight at the camera and said “That’s why they send them to war.” Think about it. It applies.

Oh, the other way was, you in a train traveling a track that splits, 5 people tied to one side of the split, one to the other. The difference is that you cannot avoid having the killing on your soul, you can only minimize the number of deaths. To me, that’s a major difference.

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