If you could live an extra year, on top of your theoretical lifespan of 70 years or so, by killing, or allowing someone to be killed, would you do so?
If not for a extra year, how about 2? 5? 10? 20? Would you accept this deal for immortality?
What if there was no guarantee that the person killed wouldn't be a child, and you had no way of knowing before hand?
What if the majority of adults were accepting the offer, but there was still no guarantee YOU wouldn't
have to kill a child upon acceptance of the deal?
Well, considering the fact I've been smoking for 23 years, which is supposed to shorten my life (statistically) about 10 years, I really object killing a person for only 10 years. I hold myself responsable for my own bad habits. The 20 years are not sufficient either, because I'll spend that time in prison. No use to lengthen my life when it would have be spent in inconvenient circumstances.
So for less than immortality I won't dance. Now.. suppose the devil would turn up and actually put this proposal to me, I'd ask him for proof of his identity first. It may be someone looking for a contract killer, who only impersonates the devil. I probably won't be convinced he is the real one. Or the proposed victim does not want to die. Without consent of the victim I would turn down the offer.
All in all it is becoming very improbable I will ever go along with it.
Now suppose.. the devil proofs he is really the devil AND he would offer me immortality for killing a person of my choice. That would be nice. The next thing I would have to do is find a victim. I would put my dillemma on Facebook. No doubt some voluntary victim will soon pop up in my Messages box. Of course, after the good deed, I will immediately report to the police and have myself busted. These 20 years in prison won't matter, considering the fact I have become immortal.
Hmmm....lol...well.... I guess that answer will do until someone comes out with a more serious answer.
Just out of curiosity...why are you spending 20 years in jail? Do you deserve it, or is the sentence
serving someone else's agenda?
Oww I would deserve it, sure ! My victim probably applied for euthanasia before contacting me.. but I am not a doctor.. I am not entitled to kill, just because there exist euthanasia laws. Maybe my victim is depressed, suicidal. It is illegal to help a person with suicide. I would turn myself in, because I would be arrested anyway. If I would not turn myself in, the law would show up at my doorstep next morning, because I announced the murder on Facebook. I'd really hate to be a known suspect on the run.
By the way, fore some people on this forum this may be shocking to read, but I am very much in favour of liberal euthanasia laws like we have in my country. But even in the Netherlands, sometimes there occur legal procedures against people for "help with suicide" that I find too rigid. A patient may suffer 24/7 for years, desperately wanting to commit suicide, but not able to. Imho "killing" a person in that state of "life" is not always unjust. In a way, prolonging life for that patient is punishment. For the patient, that is.
Put the translator.. here is a story,
This man "killed" his mother. He was convicted and found guilty, but not sentenced to any punishment because of the circumstances.
Of course I would be (justly !) convicted to long prison sentence, because of my motive. I did it for myself, to become immoratal.. that is the difference. This man's only motive was to help his mother, who he loved..
I have not started to worry so much about when I'm going to die yet. I'm still too young. A few years more or less doesn't feel important enough to commit such a serious crime. Even if i don't get caught I might destroy my life in other ways. Maybe I will answer this question differently in about forty years time when I have started to feel that my time is running out.
There is not enough information here for me to make the decision.
I don't think that the length of time matters all that much. Hell, even an extra minute or two might be worth it. Remember, under the right conditions it might even be morally permissible to kill for no extra lifespan, so really the amount of extra lifespan means nothing.
I also don't really see how it matters whether the person being killed is a child or not. I don't understand this fixation on children. Killing a child may be bad, sure... but why is it automatically so much worse than killing an adult, who may have a whole network spanning multiple families of people who love them and may have people who depend on them and may be performing a valuable service that helps society, etc. etc.. You can argue a child has more "potential", but that's waffling bullshit because an adult's contributions to society are real and happening, and there's no reason to automatically prefer someone's hypothetical "potential" contributions to another person's actual contributions. And if you think about it, an adult suffers so much more while dying than a child because the adult is aware of all of the things they are losing - they understand the weight of the things that are being taken away from them - while the child will probably just be confused. Frankly i find the idea that you should be more concerned with killing a child a little morally repugnant, because it says to me that you don't really care about real people, just about ideas (and probably ideas you haven't really given much thought to).
I also don't really think it matters how many other people are accepting the deal (or the probability of you ending up with a child as your target rather than an adult).
To decide whether or not i'd do it, i need more information.
For example, i need to know why i have to make that choice.
Like, is there some psycho who says they're going to take a year off my life if i don't kill a random person? Or is it that i'm like some kind of vampire and need to kill someone to live an extra year? Or is it that there's something that will add an extra year and me and some other person have to fight to the death over it? Because all of those things are very different situations, morally.
My reaction is a spontaneous "no". It is hard to conceive of any reason to justify killing another human being Inevitably unless one is a psychopath or a murderer, most people would be reluctant to kill their own species. Unless they are completely provoked, irrational, driven in a corner or defending themselves. In which case they won't be arguing it out for themselves ahead of time. It would be something that is done in the passion of the moment.
Their are a few reasons it is worse to kill a child. For one, children are more or less defenseless. In this particular situation it is assumed the victim has no chance to defend their own life, but that aside...
A second reason: Children haven't had time to grow up and become selfish gits. If I KNOW a man is in his forties and has done nothing with his life, it wouldn't make sense to kill a 5 year old if I am given a choice between the two.
YOU are making an accusation that I haven't thought my ideas through. I actually have. In the end, everyone who grows up and throws away all the great education opportunities, fails to fight their government which murders innocent people, etc, is not as worth saving as a kid who has yet to fail as a truly compassionate human being who goes out of their way to help others, to not contribute to war machines, to contribute to stripping resources out of third world countries, etc. I have thought it through VERY carefully. I think it's you who don't do much thinking.
Has anyone guessed what the real point of the topic question was? It's about the concept that if you live in a developed nation, and you fail to protest your government harming the stability of weaker countries, if you fail to protest your government propping up dictators who murder their own pop, and cooperate with us by selling us cheap resources, you are helping contribute to someone else suffering. We SHOULD be protesting and attempting to force our governments out of the Middle East.
We SHOULD be protesting and attempting to force our governments to invest heavily in green energy research and infrastructure building. We SHOULD be protesting and attempting to force our governments into boosting education, heavily, heavily subsidizing education at all levels including tertiary, etc. If you have the ability to at least ATTEMPT to do all of this (again, by protesting) and yet you choose not to, then maybe it is you who don't care about people Indi. Have you adopted children who are starving to death in Africa? Or did you, or will you have your OWN children, and let others starve to death so you can enjoy your own genetic offspring? Will you help protest your government paying unfair, non-competitive prices for third world resources, which keeps those countries poor and willing to continue accepting whatever we offer in the future out of desperation?
If your country performed atrocities, or actively engaged in slave labor, wouldn't sitting back because it's too stressful to oppose the stronger country, or even actively supporting the harmful actions (because they help improve the quality of your own life), be the EXACT SAME as saying, "hey, I'll let others die because doing so means I suffer less stress, and so I can expect to possibly live 10...maybe even 20 years longer."? If you take part in America, Britain, etc, without making sure you do your part to make it as efficient as possible so you don't contribute to it's need to rape weaker nations to make up for inefficiencies, are you saying, "I don't care about people. I recognize it's wrong to support a country which actively manipulates and keeps already weak nations weak, and I wouldn't want another country (i.e. other people) doing it to me just so they can live 20 years longer at my expense...but it's more convenient and less stressful to do it since I am on the winning side." What do you say Indi? If you live in the United States, would you like to help me protest sometime? I will buy a bus ticket and make my way to your state and city, just to protest with you against our country directly and indirectly murdering people. No? Why? Because you have better things to do with your time? Ah...but what about all those real people...not just children....who are losing their lives right now to hunger, and weapons we manufactured? You don't care enough Indi?
I'd appreciate it if you stop and ask yourself these really truly difficult questions. They are not just IDEAS. These are CORRECT OBSERVATIONS. To say you wouldn't appreciate another country destroying us economically because it wouldn't be moral to harm you ability to live your life, but to then sit back while your own does it to others is hypocritical...but that is exactly what most people do. These IDEAS are pointing that out. Seriously Indi....answer me truthfully: How do you reconcile you innate belief that it's wrong to take part in a country which bolsters it's finances by standing on the shoulders of others, when you know you wouldn't want it to happen to you?
Yea...I agree...but what if the situation was dragged out...well...I will ask this as a separate comment actually...
What if instead of instant death, the other person has an amount of time cut from their lifespan, and YOU gained that same amount? Would it be justifiable to shorten someones lifespan in order to lengthen your own? Would it be justifiable to take actions which cause someone else great stress so you can profit and live comfortably?
What if we would stop commenting on your improbable - and essentially sick - line(s) of thought ? "life" is not some tradable good.
I agree. I never said life should be traded as a good. My point in these questions is to highlight the fact that despite feeling exactly the way you do, most people still indirectly act as if this IS the case though.
Again, would you be willingly to take actions to ensure our government doesn't harm the livelihoods of third world citizens, or at least leave your richer country to go help build up a poorer one so you aren't contributing to their country being taken advantage of? No? Then you are essentially saying that you want to increase someone else's stress to decrease your own by having access to cheaper resources. What's more sick: Ignoring the fact that kids starve to death because we don't want to learn about hydroponics/help build the industry and instead want to watch football....or questioning people (about this phenomenon of group/personal psychology of ignoring the plight of others) on debate forums to try and inspire highly critical thought about real world problems that aren't going away on their own?
The point about the number of people was to draw attention to "mobbing behavior"...the tendency of people to justify their taking advantage of others simply because "everyone else does it...".
Also, you said you thought is was technically a moot point to value a child's life over that of an adult.
If you had no choice (you were in some way or another unable to NOT comply, you simply had a choice and your body would carry out that choice) but to shoot either a child, or a grown adult, in the face....which would you choose to shoot? You can't cheat and say I wouldn't choose, because not choosing would result in an third choice albeit an indirect one: Your body being forced to kill both. So, with the life of an adult and child being equal, would you have an equally difficult time shooting the child as you would the adult? You said I hadn't thought about my "ideas"...let's see how well you thought about yours before you wrote them. Would you kill children as easily as you kill grown adults? Would you be more likely to step in and stop a fight between adult men, or one between a child and a grown man? Even if the child "started it", I think it's safe to assume the grown man prob has an advantage over the child...
Would you be more likely to intervene with a grown prostitute who WANTS to be a prostitute, or a child who was fine with prostituting themselves? Clearly, all other variables equal, the child would require more attention and care.
The point is this: Children are relatively defenseless mentally, physically, economically, etc. Adults are not quite as much. Hence a child's life needs more protection and deserves greater consideration.
This is a tricky question. I suppose the lenght of time is not important - what is important? Quality time...
So if I hade one month that was good it would be enough.
Yes, let's just put one of the most important points aside.
This is not a rational argument. This is just thinly veiled misanthropy.
There are 3 reasons why this argument is flawed:
I have to be honest, i have found these crazy ideas you people on these forums have about me to be hilarious. Just the other day i had someone accusing me of having no clue what it's like to be poor or live on welfare. And now this: accusing me of not caring about the injustices being carried out by my government(s)... of just sitting around lazy while they exploit poorer countries. A week or so ago, i actually read out this paragraph to a couple of my friends (one of which actually used to post with me here), and they were howling with laughter.
I have been to, and organized, dozens of protest actions. I write on activist sites for topics as various as religious tyranny, aboriginal rights, net neutrality, environmental issues (at the moment my primary focus is the tar sands expansion), income inequality, problems with our FPTP electoral system, and more. I can't tell you what my last published topic was because two were published close together and i don't know which was actually first; one was on stereotyping and anti-science attitudes in popular youth media while the other was creating a map for the International Humanist and Ethical Union's 2013 report of freedom of thought that illustrates systemic governmental and judicial repression of freethought (which you can find here, if you're interested - there's also an article on the topic on Canadian Atheist).
So to answer your questions directly: No, i do not live in the US and have no intention of setting foot there unless i absolutely have to - that place is a shit hole even for citizens, and as a non-citizen i effectively have no rights whatsoever (and yes, Canadians have been picked up by US authorities and just shipped off to other countries without notice) - so you'll have to manage your protest actions there on your own. However, if you want to come to a protest in Canada, go for it. The next one i'm taking part in is on the 20th (though i haven't yet decided whether i'm going to go to Hamilton or Toronto).
Honestly, i really should be offended by your ignorant personal accusations. But frankly, they are so ****** stupid, that i'm too busy laughing to be offended. So you go on, sir/madam, and keep accusing me of propping up the oligarchy or whatever else your inflamed imagination thinks about me. If nothing else, it's giving me a laugh.
Let me answer you truthfully... i don't; i take action. In fact, that's more or less how i spend all my free time.
But "everyone else does it" is not a philosophical argument. It is a psychological bias - and it will only show up when the person is actually in that situation. In other words, pretty much everyone will tell you "no, i won't jump off a bridge just because everyone else is doing it!"... but when people actually start jumping, pretty much everyone will actually jump, too.
If i were being forced to kill one - and if i don't, then both will be killed - then it doesn't really matter which one i pick. In fact, doing what you're suggesting - consciously weighing the worth of one potential victim over the other - is highly immoral. Making the choice that way would make me immoral. Making it fairly would not.
I would just flip a coin. It doesn't matter which one i kill, because i would not be responsible - morally or factually - for killing them. The person who forced me to kill is morally (and factually) responsible for whoever dies. The only moral responsibility i would have in the situation is that by not refusing, i saved a life. Doesn't really matter which - saving either life would be morally good.
If i did what you are suggesting - weighing one person against the other and deciding whose life has more value - i would be taking moral responsibility for the murder. Because when you consciously and willingly make the choice to kill the adult and not the child (or vice versa), you become part of the moral equation. You are now morally responsible for the adult's death.
It's the exact same situation - in theory (ignoring things like likelihood of survivability) - as if i were on a train that was about to run down a child and an adult, and i had only enough time to swerve to avoid one. If i just blindly swerve - without knowing who was going to be hit - i would have absolutely no moral responsibility for the death of whoever died... because, obviously, i didn't know who was going to die - all i knew was that by doing what i did, someone would be saved. However, if i saw both potential victims, and made a moral judgement that one was more expendable than the other, then i do have moral responsibility for the one i've killed.
So, there's your answer: i would not take moral responsibility - i would not make a moral judgement, and choose which one deserves to live and which one deserves to die. I would flip a coin. Someone would die, which is unfortunate, but (going by the logic of the mental exercise) i couldn't do anything to save both... so the moral choice i made - the only moral choice i made - is to save as many as i can: which is one person. A person can only be held morally responsible for their choices: i made one choice, to save one person rather than one; i did not choose to kill person A over person B.
I wouldn't kill either "easily". The fact that you apparently would kill adults "easily" is worrying.
I don't see what the point of this question is. Under most circumstances, obviously i would step in to help the child, but not because i think the child's life is "worth more" than a grown person's, or that a grown person has less "value" than a child. I would do it because in most circumstances (for example, the adult isn't disabled, or the child isn't very strong compared to the adult, etc.) a child is at a physical disadvantage in a fight against an adult. I would help the person who needs it most.
That means that if you were comparing, for example, a fight between a healthy, energetic child, versus an adult who was frail, sickly, disabled, tied up, or had some other disadvantage in comparison to the child... i would help the adult. Not the child. I would help the person who needs it most - age doesn't matter. Would you leave a completely helpless adult to be beaten in favour of helping a child who has at least a chance, however small, of fighting back?
But as i said, i don't see what the point of this question is. It has nothing to do with the other situation. In this fight thought experiment, you have a child literally versus an adult in a physical match, which, normally, the adult would dominate - the obvious moral choice is to help the weaker party. In the "random killing" thought experiment, there is no physical advantage, there is no "weaker party" - both the adult and child are completely helpless, both could be certainly killed with no chance at being able to fight back. There is no moral reason to favour one over the other.
Again, i don't understand what you think you're talking about. Like the fight, this is a situation where the child has an actual disadvantage over the adult. In the fight, the disadvantage was physical (because children are usually physically weaker), and in this example the disadvantage is cognitive (because children are usually not as mentally developed as adults).
In every... single... situation. ... no matter how convoluted you try to make it... i will always help the person who needs it most. Always. Every time. No exceptions.
In most situations in every day life where the choice is between a child and an adult, the child will usually be the one who needs help most. Usually, but not always, and in cases where the adult needs help more, then i will not help the child; i will help the adult.
It's not complicated. Whoever needs help the most, gets it. Period.
Yes, and this point is bullshit.
In the fight the child (usually) needs more help than the adult, because children usually have a physical disadvantage compared to adults.
In the case of prostitution, the child (usually) needs more help than the adult, because children usually have a cognitive disadvantage compared to adults.
In the "you have to kill a random person" thought experiment, however, neither party needs help more than the other. Whichever one gets chosen will certainly die - the adult has no advantage here over the child - and neither has the ability to influence the choice of who dies - so again, no advantage for either party.
How does being physically weaker, less mentally developed, and not having a bank account make the child less likely to survive in a random "choose one to die" game? It doesn't. The adult is physically stronger, fully mentally developed, and has an investment portfolio... but none of that gives them a better chance of living through the game. None of that matters.
If you can come up with a logical reason why the child has a disadvantage in this particular case... not in general, in this particular case... then, sure, there might be an argument for favouring the child. But i see no such reason. I see desperate attempts to use other situations to make an argument for this situation, but those are clearly ridiculous. What reason do you have for picking the child relevant to this particular case - not some other situation - other than a general dislike for humanity once they've passed a certain age.
Generally speaking, any time you make a decision based on something irrelevant to the choice at hand, that's unnecessary discrimination, and that's immoral. If you're hiring a programmer, taking their skin colour into consideration is completely irrelevant to the job, so that would be immoral discrimination... but if you were hiring an actor to play Martin Luther King Jr. in a biopic, skin colour is not irrelevant, so that would be acceptable discrimination. In the case of your thought experiment, the physical capability, mental development, and economic status of the individuals being considered is all irrelevant to the choice being made. Thus, considering those things is immoral discrimination.
Is my thinking clear enough to you now?
It took you an awfully long time to respond considering your so active. Did you have to sit down and think out how to try and answer? If it was so laughable, why respond? If I am a maniacal ranter, why not just pass this post up, since it is not a topic worthy of debate? Because you know damned well it bothers you and you don't find it so laughable.
First, another good reason, aside from the quality of their lives: children simply haven't had the chance to experience life.
On average, adults simply just don't give a damn about the safety of others. The average American will NOT be able to tell you if our congress is tri-cameral or octo-cameral (neither...it's bi-cameral folks). Americans can't tell you many of the thieving contractors our government is handing money to "protect" our freedom by creating more terrorists. The average adult I meet openly states they do not support gay marriage and will not vote for, protest for, or otherwise support that human right. Many are willing to actively attack in opposition...but this is getting rarer...people don't want to rock the political boat. If you ask people if they would like to protest our government killing innocent folks for the wrong reasons, they state "No thanks. I have other stuff to do. Like go to a concert tomorrow." Ok...ok...fine. Human right's always seem to take a back seat when people feel they are safe and comfortable, because after all, " Hey...that is that persons problem. They need to handle their own." . People only get upset when their own rights are under attack. This is getting better and better with social media and what not, but still, the average adult says "I don't give a damn.". Literally. I have gone to jail because of this "phenomenon". So maybe I am a little jaded. But after dealing with the government and my community, I have come to realize that the average adult looks out for self, and does not step out of line for the sake of others. Despite the civil rights movement being effective in truly winning freedom, adults continually try to obfuscate the issue: "Oh...well those were different times.", or "Oh, listen, you are young...too young to realize no one cares now.". I am sick of hearing that shit from people who consider themselves to be grown adults. In the end, because the average American adult (greater than 90%, I swear on it) tells me they have no interest in protecting the rights of others. That means, taking into consideration that each new generation becomes more politically aware and active in trying to fix the world in all manner of ways, I feel completely justified in blowing away the adult rather than the child, or simply choosing the adult to die. The chances are OVERWHELMING that the adult would tell me they don't give a damn about their government murdering others. Fine. Then the child takes greater precedence since, again, each generation has become more tolerant, better educated, more likely to be pro-active and take an interest in the broader world. If it comes down to it, I'll put a bullet in the adult, without skipping a heart beat, rather than the kid. I'll take the risk of hope that child is on the higher end of motivation and ability, and hope that given the statistics of my personal past experience (as well as 13 years of war/unnecessary-civilian-casualties going un-opposed by the GENERAL masses), I have indeed done away with the adult who was indifferent to the plight of others, except when the fight for "human rights" suited THEIR own personal agenda. A good example of using statistics to choose who to kill: If you are in a male prison where the male guards have been made to wear prison uniforms right alongside the actual prisoners, and a female guard is the only one you can discern to not be a prisoner, who would you kill if you had no choice, for whatever reason? A random male, who may or may not deserve it, but has a likelihood of being someone who does, or the female, with gender bias aside (which was introduced solely for identification purposes)? You would be crazy to kill the female when yes, it's a possibility that she may still be a bad person in a position of power, but it's more likely you'll off someone deserving of it if you kill a male.
Even in my original proposition, it is safer to kill a random adult since adults are more likely to have committed a heinous crime with premeditation, versus a randomly picked child.
Now I will admit that 1. I didn't expect you to be a protester. Fine. Point's for you, and an apology. Most adults, again, rag on me, but do little to actually further rights beyond their own. 2. I did sorta of jump around with different situations that seem to defy the previous rule-set. this was unintended, and was done merely to illustrate that in similar though not 1-for-1 situations, children are often the better choice to defend. Of course, in a enormous burning building, if the child is at it's dead center, and an adult is trapped at the very edge, then yea, I'll save the adult (unless they say it's ok to attempt for the kid instead). But again, considering statistics, adults of a previous generation are more likely to be bigots, war-mongerers, or just plain indifferent about human rights. So screw it. The adult would get the cut.
I am almost out of time at my library. I will be re-reading this post and responding to the other portions later.
Yes, that must be what it was. That's the only obvious conclusion for the delay... other than, y'know, the fact that Frihost was down for almost a week due a DDOS attack so didn't even get a chance to read your posts until a day or two before i responded.
(Incidentally, i'm not quite as active as you seem to think i am. I only pop in once a week, roughly - and sometimes not even that. To put it in perspective, Bikerman and i joined at almost the same time - i joined about 5 months before Bikerman - and i have ~3500 posts... he has ~13500... ten thousand more posts than me.)
Because you asked me to. Why did you ask me to if you didn't want or expect a response?
If you were a maniacal ranter i would. But i never said that you were, and - this may shock you - i don't think that you are. I'm baffled about why you think i think so little of you. Are you trying to make me think you're a maniacal ranter?
Oh, is that what i think? Well, i suppose you would know better than me, right?
Yes, well, adults use the words they mean.
You meant physically easier?! Not emotionally easier, not intellectually easier... physically easier? You know, i have to be honest... i really did not think that was what you meant. Because, frankly, that is really, really stupid. I was giving you way more credit.
Why would it matter which one requires less effort to kill, or which one is more likely to be successfully killed for the same effort? Are you saying that the reason you would choose to kill an adult is simply because they'll give you more of a challenge? Seriously?
What if the system were set up so that it was actually physically harder to kill the child than the adult? What if, for example, killing the adult just required pushing a button, but killing the child required pulling a lever that was so stiff you had to put all your weight in it. Are you implying that would change which one you'd kill?
But that means they won't have the same loss that an adult would, which means it would be crueler to kill the adult.
Seriously, think about it. You could, if you had time, convince the child that they're just going to close their eyes and wake up in the land of sugar cookies and unicorns, and not only will they accept their death, they'll probably even welcome it. (This is what religions do to kids all the time, after all.) But you can't do that with the adult because the adult knows better. They know what they're about to lose, and they know (assuming they haven't been brainwashed by religion) that there's no land of sugar cookies and unicorns waiting for them. Death for them is much crueler than it is for the child.
This is not a "good reason" at all. Because when you say "the child hasn't had a chance to live life, the adult has", what you're actually saying is that you've passed judgement on the adult's life - you're saying "you've had your chance, you don't deserve any more". I don't think anyone has the right to say that.
Now that is a bald-faced lie. The evidence is manifold - piled on volumes thick - that whenever there's a real crisis, people band together and help each other out... and even help out complete strangers.
Experts on emergency management response often bemoan that fact that while everyone thinks that when there is a crisis, there will be chaos, violence, looting, and disorder, the opposite is almost always true. This is a chapter from an anthology by experts on disaster response, hosted by the CDC in the US, written by one of the experts in the field (who has published textbooks on the subject). It focuses specifically on the myths about "the nature of people" that you seem to believe, and points out how wrong they all are. Not only do people actually really do give a damn about the safety of others, the fact is they will even "give a damn" about others even when they themselves are victims of the same disaster. As i said, the evidence of all this is manifold - i've seen data like that over 90% of the people who escape a disaster area do not escape alone (they are bringing along others they have helped), that in over 95% of cases people react rationally to an emergency (as opposed to freaking out or taking actions that might harm themselves or others)... that essay is chock full of data, and you can find plenty more elsewhere.
I have witnessed disasters myself - a couple floods and a major hurricane in the Caribbean - and i can attest that contrary to what people think, when the chips are down people do band together and help each other. I even witnessed, firsthand, dedicated racists who wouldn't even deign to spit on the wrong colour people helping their neighbours with no discrimination.
In fact, the experts say that beliefs like yours are actually what causes a lot of harm in emergency response situations. Take Hurricane Katrina for example. Because they believed that it would be an anarchistic nightmare where every man was for himself, the authorities issued shoot-to-kill orders for "looters". It's impossible to give exact estimates of how many people this misanthropic ignorance killed, but there were at least a few. The article linked talks about one such case during Hurricane Katrina, where a man was shot dead by a police officer then his body was burned by other police officers to cover up the crime (they all got off, of course). But it mentions some others, and there are plenty of other stories of survivors who took the initiative to save others being called "looters" and sometimes summarily executed. Also, authorities were diverted from helping victims in order to protect property - basically leaving the victims to die - and in other cases their "security" prevented the movement of supplies and the injured.
So no, not only do people do give a damn, it turns out that the belief that they don't is responsible for more suffering than people actually not giving a damn.
Even if it were true that "the average American" were a completely ignorant, self-absorbed jerk, that doesn't warrant a death sentence.
Besides, have you ever had any experience with kids. It boggles my mind that you can seriously try to argue that adults should be killed rather than kids because adults are clueless and egotistical. Seriously, have you ever met a kid?
Alright, here's what's wrong with that logic.
First, it assumes i would "prefer" to kill an inmate rather than a guard. Again, that's passing judgement on who is "deserving of it"... which i don't do, under any circumstances. I will not ever decide that someone's life is mine to take. If i am ever forced into a circumstance where i have to kill to protect myself or someone else who is being threatened (and the original case was a case where i was being forced to kill to protect myself), then i will do what i have to do... but even in that situation i will consider the death of whoever dies to be a tragedy - i will not stand there, shrug, and say "they had it coming", because i do not have the right to say someone is "deserving of it".
Second, you've already spotted half the problem - that the woman guard might be just as bad as the convicts but just hasn't been caught yet - but, unsurprisingly, you've failed the spot the other half: what about convicts that have been wrongly convicted (or who have been convicted on trumped-up charges)? That's not exactly a rare occurrence. Consider this: the woman, good or bad, consciously and knowingly chose to be there - she took the job as a prison guard with all the risks that might entail... but every inmate in that prison who was wrongly convicted or convicted unjustly or on trumped-up charges for whatever reason (they're the wrong race, for example), is a victim who did not choose to be in that place, don't deserve to be there, and are helpless to leave. In other words, your choice is actually between killing a person you know made the adult, rational decision to be in that situation... and killing someone who might potentially be an innocent victim. In that case, wouldn't you kill the woman? Or would you roll the dice and take the risk that the man you kill is really bad, and not an innocent victim of circumstance?
Finally, statistics is blind. GIGO, as we say in engineering - garbage in, garbage out. It is only as good as as your logic when you use it. If your reasoning is flawed, statistics will give you an answer, but it will be a flawed answer. In this case you are starting with the assumption that certain people deserve to die because they (presumably) committed crimes (and you don't even specify which crimes - they could be harmless, non-violent drug offences, for example - but for the sake of argument i'm assuming they've violent crimes) and they were caught... with absolutely no consideration for whether the guards might also have committed crimes but have simply not been caught yet, or for whether the convicts have changed as people and would now never again harm anyone but would rather make the world a better place. You take none of that into account, so the answer statistics gives you takes none of that into account. Statistics doesn't make bad philosophy good.
Okay, here's the first thing wrong with that notion: the main reason kids are less likely to have committed a horrible crime than adults is not because they're innocent little angels... it's because they simply don't have the same means at their disposal. Why do you think we keep guns away from children? Gee, could it be because if they could get their hands on them, they would probably blow away the first person who happened to piss them off? I could give you a long list of kids who had casually murdered others, sometimes even gleefully - Carl Mahan (1929, 6yrs, blew another kid away with a shotgun over a scrap of iron), Mary Bell (1968, 10 yrs, strangled a 4 year-old then a 3 year-old with her 13 year-old friend, carving an 'M' on the second victim's stomach and mutilating his genitals), Robert Thompson & Jon Venables (1982, both 10 yrs, lured a 2 year-old away from his mother and tortured and beat him to death, possibly also molesting him), Dedric Owens (2000, 6 yrs, shot a classmate for yelling at him for spitting on his desk), not mention the hundreds of thousands of brutal and vicious child soldiers in various conflicts (you may not know this, but when they train aid workers to go into dangerous areas, they give them special warning about the kids - i'm paraphrasing, but the message was basically this: "if you get captured by armed adults, stay calm; if you get captured by armed kids, you're pretty much dead")... need i go on? I haven't even mentioned some of the more spectacular cases. Google "sure beats the hell out of algebra" for just a glimpse at how ****** up kids can get. A child's "innocence" means they cannot be held morally responsible for their decisions because they do not have fully formed reasoning faculties... it does not mean they can't or won't made decisions that are horrifying and evil. (Indeed, the role of adults is to prevent them from being able to make truly horrifying decisions, so they will not have to carry those regrets when they become fully formed moral agents.)
The second thing wrong with that notion is: even if it were true that your choice was between an innocent, sweet, caring child an adult who is an unrepentant serial murderer, it would STILL be wrong to unilaterally be judge, jury, and executioner and decide to kill the adult "for his sins". Lex talonis is barbarian "justice", not real justice, but even if it were legitimate, it's not clear who gave you the right to decide and carry out the sentence.
I won't. In the first place, why would I even want to live an extra few years? Life is suffering, because we have to struggle to survive and to continue working on being happy (this applied to both rich and poor). We may not be certain what happens after death, it may be better or worse, but I sure hope that we simply won't feel anything and won't exist. And it's the end of the very cycle of your life.
# 1 - cool that over 7 people replied to this, but only 4 actually took the poll
more importantly, i'm guessing this changes the closer you are, but i'm scared of living past 70... so why would i want extra years on my life? just seems insane... you lose your independence... so i hope i don't live on that long.
and if you needed proof from the devil that he was the devil, etc... your post was more funny than a serious discussion
I say I won't kill anyone to extend my own life.
Appreciate the honesty...most don't have the balls.
nah, i dont want to choose.
Well, you can live in fears, sinners and disruption on your mind so i preferred die and have peace on mind.
I don't think taking one person's life or even allowing it to be taken by your help is somthing that can be done for just the selfish wish of yourself to have some extra time to live.
In my opinion you can allow this to happen only if there is a good for other innocent people for example, like saving their lifes by killing their kidnapper or so. but doing this crime to someone who is innocent in exchange for an extra year on top of my theoretical lifespan. Impossible