Would you kill on principle, and if so, would you find it difficult or easy? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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For discussion of moral and ethical issues.
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#15152652
Local Localist wrote:That's more or less why I could never quite wrap my head around Marxist-Leninism. The general understanding seems to be that if we can just conduct a few more purges, we'll be safe from the revisionists at last.

Meh. Comrade Stalin clearly didn't kill enough people during the Purges. He was always too nice for his own good.... :hmm:
#15152656
I've killed numerous animals, up close and personal with a knife to the throat. Pigs, goats, chickens (axe to the neck there). First few times was hard. But it gets easier. Chickens got to the point of total complacency. It was like stepping on roaches. Granted I was doing it for munchies. But still, an act of killing took place, it was messy, there were grunts, squeals, gurgles and overt signs of terror, most of them in the form of vocalizations and rampant physical struggling. There were strange smells that became ordinary, and strange organs that became as common and uninteresting as skin or eyes.

My point is, you don't need to be deranged or a psychopath to be trained to kill without mercy or second though. There is a process, and it works. The brain adapts, the killing gets done. All these deep hypotheticals are just mental masturbation. Anyone can potentially kill for any reason, just need some compelling motivation.
#15152657
Crantag wrote:
These 'moral dilemma' hypotheticals do nothing but piss me off, and I don't think these heavily contrived stories are useful, and they are very artificial and cheesy to me.

But no, I wouldn't push the guy in front of a train. If there were voices in my head telling me that doing so would save hundreds of lives, I'd try to suppress these voices, and try to go get some rest.



They are intended to create a cognitive dissonance to throw some light on what's going on underneath the hood. I prob would push the guy, but I am exceedingly glad it's a hypothetical few will ever have to face.

Btw, that's just an example of the problems ethics and morality have to confront. There's lots more. Read a medical ethicist talking about abortion, for example.
#15152659
Potemkin wrote:
Meh. Comrade Stalin clearly didn't kill enough people during the Purges. He was always too nice for his own good.... :hmm:



Stalin was a psycho that killed millions of his own people.

Fortunately, there are nukes now. They make it possible to kill enough to meet your standards of purity...
#15152663
late wrote:Stalin was a psycho that killed millions of his own people.

Fortunately, there are nukes now. They make it possible to kill enough to meet your standards of purity...

Good point, @late! *visibly cheers up* :)
#15152725
late wrote:They are intended to create a cognitive dissonance to throw some light on what's going on underneath the hood. I prob would push the guy, but I am exceedingly glad it's a hypothetical few will ever have to face.

Btw, that's just an example of the problems ethics and morality have to confront. There's lots more. Read a medical ethicist talking about abortion, for example.

These stories perpetuate so they must be appealing to someone. To me, they are just cartoonish and stupid (a bit like Freakenomics and shit like that), and at the same time, exceedingly unrealistic.
#15152738
Crantag wrote:
These stories perpetuate so they must be appealing to someone. To me, they are just cartoonish and stupid (a bit like Freakonomics and shit like that), and at the same time, exceedingly unrealistic.



They are part of the academic discipline of ethics.

They are intended to make a point. There is a natural, and moral, inhibition against killing. But, in that case, the rational move would be to kill the guy, saving hundreds of other lives. But we're not especially rational beings.

It's actually the opposite of cartoonish, if you haven't looked at ethics at all, it's worth the effort. I stumbled across a medical ethicist writing about abortion, that was an experience.
#15152741
Local Localist wrote:That's more or less why I could never quite wrap my head around Marxist-Leninism. The general understanding seems to be that if we can just conduct a few more purges, we'll be safe from the revisionists at last.

It's why I am a right wing gentleman. A dying breed on the Internet under the tyranny of Communists. We're usually shut down and oppressed by the Left. Just look at China.
#15152742
late wrote:There is an ethical conundrum to goes like this:

You are standing on a railroad bridge. There is a train full of people headed for a washed out bridge, they will all die if the train is not stopped.

In front of you is a man, if you push him, he will fall on the tracks and die, but the train will see him and stop.

You have no other means of stopping the train.

Do you kill him, saving hundreds, or accept the consequences of murder and shove him? You have 5 seconds to decide.

Interesting thing about this dilemma is that it doesn't give you the option of killing yourself. Of course, the guy might try and stop you.

Our morality is rooted in our biology. Which makes complex moral decisions tricky. Killing someone on principle doesn't justify much. Not without an explanation that renders the principle moot.


Some guy did this with his toddler and a train set.

The kid took the single person, piled it with all the other possible victims, and crashed the train into all of them. The human condition.

Anyway, I am not sure if euthanasia counts as a principled killing. I guess it depends if you define pain avoidance as a principle, but it seems more like an emotional or instinctive response to pain.
#15152743
late wrote:They are part of the academic discipline of ethics.

They are intended to make a point. There is a natural, and moral, inhibition against killing. But, in that case, the rational move would be to kill the guy, saving hundreds of other lives. But we're not especially rational beings.

It's actually the opposite of cartoonish, if you haven't looked at ethics at all, it's worth the effort. I stumbled across a medical ethicist writing about abortion, that was an experience.

I just can't take those stories seriously. There could be something to it in military situations and stuff like that, like decisions that a commander might face in sacrificing some soldiers to try to save a greater number, or even self-sacrifice (throwing oneself on the barbed wire), but I guess these situations seem a bit more controlled, perhaps for being less contrived, etc. If I was with a guy and we were witness to some great train calamity, I am pretty sure we'd both just watch it and have a lot of yelling about it ("Holy shit! It's going for the fucking bridge! This is fucked!"). I don't imagine I would consider that murdering the guy might avert the calamity. And even if it would, who am I to interfere with nature. Those PBS nature series did moralize me there.

But again, I have an aversion for these sorts of hyper-contrived moral thought experiments. A lot of popular mainstream economics relies on milk toasty quaint stories and I find it noxious as hell. I'd prefer it if there was more realism, and (I could be wrong, but) it seems that more realistic stories could be more effective because I would take them more seriously and not just role my eyes. But maybe these stories have less to discuss and sportingly debate.
Last edited by Crantag on 24 Jan 2021 22:14, edited 3 times in total.
#15152745
Igor Antunov wrote:How about YOU?

The ability to act based on abstractions and not direct triggers is what defines a man, so yes, I think I'd be able to handle it. I can imagine multiple situations where I'd find not acting amoral (mostly somewhat like Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" situations) though I doubt I'd enjoy a murder. But I never tried so I don't know.
#15152753
@Igor Antunov

You are not a psychopath Igor. Killing is a fact of life. Sometimes you have to do it to survive. You killed to eat and survive. I enjoy meat so I do not judge the butcher. Anybody is capable of anything too. That being said, I don't think anybody kills on principle quite frankly speaking, but I do think they kill to survive and in the case of psychopaths they might kill because they feel nothing. Psychopaths, when they first kill don't feel anything. It's just the way the biology of their brain is hardwired.

Plenty of psychopaths live in society and are not criminals and never commit a crime and never kill anything or anybody. You do not fall into that category (psychopath). Most people are not psychopaths, however, psychopaths are psychopaths because they are born that way and it's just the way the biology of their brain is wired. Many psychopaths, despite high profile criminal cases, do not commit murders or crimes. Of course, people who are not psychopaths can become desensitized to killing and might even get to the point to killing for the thrill of it because of a sense of power they get from it. Other times, people kill other human beings because they have dehumanized other groups of humans but they are not psychopaths.

Or they might kill to keep themselves and their fellow human beings in their group safe. But I came from a family of hunter and farmers though I am a nerd myself. My dad was like a Billy Bad Ass Davy Crocket sort of hunter who could go into the woods and live off the land and hunt and get his own meat. He taught me how to hunt, shoot firearms and legally kill wild game, skin them, process them myself using a field dressing knife and cook them and eat them. He also taught me how to garden and grow my own food which I do have a small vegetable garden.

However, I was not inclined to be the outdoorsman that my father was. But I can do it and I have done it because my dad taught me and made me do it when I was younger. It's a good skill to know. I take after my mother's side of the family which is the nerd side of my family. We have people on that side of the family who qualify as nuclear engineers and computer whizzes. My dad's side of the family do a great deal of hunting and raise and slaughter their own livestock just like you do. They also have their own vegetable gardens which are much larger than my own.

When it comes to politicians, they might order the killing of others to retain power or to gain power, but many of them don't do the dirty work themselves.
#15152758
@Crantag

Dude, the point of it was to illustrate the points I made in the post above the video. That should have been obvious to you. Sometimes people kill other human beings to protect their friends and yes it comes at a cost of dehumanization of some people. As in the case of the video, they also do it to survive and it's part of their job. But it's something man has been doing since the dawn of time as the guy said in the video.
#15152760
Igor Antunov wrote:I've killed numerous animals, up close and personal with a knife to the throat. Pigs, goats, chickens (axe to the neck there). First few times was hard. But it gets easier. Chickens got to the point of total complacency. It was like stepping on roaches. Granted I was doing it for munchies. But still, an act of killing took place, it was messy, there were grunts, squeals, gurgles and overt signs of terror, most of them in the form of vocalizations and rampant physical struggling. There were strange smells that became ordinary, and strange organs that became as common and uninteresting as skin or eyes.

My point is, you don't need to be deranged or a psychopath to be trained to kill without mercy or second though. There is a process, and it works. The brain adapts, the killing gets done. All these deep hypotheticals are just mental masturbation. Anyone can potentially kill for any reason, just need some compelling motivation.

Doing it because you have to in order to eat is different than what you said, which is killing for an abstract idea and you'd enjoy it, and "fulfillment will be mine".

Anyone who kills a person or animal for joy is a psychopath. I would suggest not procreating.
#15152761
Pants-of-dog wrote:
Some guy did this with his toddler and a train set.

The kid took the single person, piled it with all the other possible victims, and crashed the train into all of them. The human condition.

Anyway, I am not sure if euthanasia counts as a principled killing. I guess it depends if you define pain avoidance as a principle, but it seems more like an emotional or instinctive response to pain.



Wow. You really didn't like that.
#15152764
I would not kill on principle unless there was a racial extremist in front of me with an assault rifle who wanted to kill me and any other non-Whites in the world. I would not like it, but I would kill him to stop him from hurting many others. I cannot stand intolerance of different races. I would probably get myself killed but if I could impair his ability then it would be worth my effort to strike out at him. So it would be a difficult choice for me. I am the scholarly type who does not believe in violence and killing.

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