Date: Thu 08 May 2003 - 18:03:46 GMT
> <Yes, let's presume that. Now, try again.>
> But my point is, as I stated, there's absolutely no reason to
> presume that, except for placing a non-violent person in a situation
> that excoriates them for their non-violence. That ain't fair.
What ain't fair is to leave people under the murderous hand of a despot who had killed a million of them so far, with every expectation that such behavior would continue were he to remain in power. But, luckily for them, that ain't happening.
> Personally speaking and aside from any distinct moral position I'm not
> sure I could pull the trigger. I am not a violent or aggressive
> person, so killing someone in that manner would not come easy to me,
> and as an act of ruthless rationality I think it would be beyond me.
> It's not simply a question of whether or not it would be justified or
> not, it's a question of the personal disposition of each individual
> impacting on the ability to kill. How else can I put it... since,
> presumably you'd have no hesitation in doing, I would rather that you
> were the one with the gun- as long as you didn't then point it at me
> :-) !
I'd just think about all the people I'd be killing if I DIDN'T pull the trigger. The choice would be to be a single murderer by commission, or to allow genocidal mass murder by omission. It's a matter of utilitarianism and the minimax solution to a cost-benefit analysis (most positive sum of combined good and evil to result from a choice between alternatives).
> Are we really talking here about the limits of morality, or perhaps
> the nature of morality? i.e. morality as memes, or morality as
> innate, etc. etc.
I think we're talking about real-world ethics, where perfect solutions to problems rarely exist and all involve both benefits and costs, yet some solutions are preferable to others on a fitness landscape, and where the choicest spots in Karmic Hell (to paraphrase Dante) are reserved for those who do nothing and thus leave others to suffer Hell on earth.
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> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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