(Forced)One for All- Ethics

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Krem, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    Let's take a hypothetical situation. Doctors need a patient for important research, but it would destroy the patient. There is no patient willing, and no death-row inmates available for the experiment. They will need to take a citizen. This research will save many lives, and improve many others.
    • Does it justify the taking of a citizen?
    • If the citizen would refuse the experiment, and the refusal will actually mean something, would he be doing a 'bad' thing by not sacrificing himself for the many?
    • Should the citizen be forced for the greater good? Should he be given a choise?
    • Should it be randomly picked, or should it be picked based on "value" or "quality" of the patient's life(Owner of a large company vs. a homeless, for an example)?
    • Should the experiment be halted until a willing subject is found, which might cause deaths due to lack research?

    (Inspired by reading on Wikipedia that painful, possibly lethal spider toxins could help scientists learn more about the body.)
  2. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of the dilemma of a forced draft to send young people to war.

    The only reason there's confusion is because some people refuse to see the benefit in human (not animal) testing. This is also the case with people who refuse to see the benefit in war. Both cases can be irrational, depending on the circumstances.

    Deny ignorance. And btw, I support giving people a choice.
  3. Edgar Roni Figaro

    Edgar Roni Figaro Well-Known Member

    This is for both Krem and johnnysays.

    First for Krem, do not believe for a second that technological advancement requires the sacrifice of life. It does not. All systems of economics and government whether it be communism, capitalism, socialism ect.. base their economies on the same monetary policies. All these policies are controlled by the banking industry. The goal of all of these systems is not to advance technology it is to constrict it along with the constriction of world resources in order keep the prices inflated so that corporations can make profit.

    Everything around us is built to fail in order to force us to pay money to repair it. The goal of pharmaceutical companies isn't to cure disease it is to create medications that upon being taken daily can suppress the disease there bye giving the pharmaceutical company an infinite source of income from people requiring these pills.

    Likewise the goal of every corporation that produces a product is to produce it only well enough to make people want to buy it but never well enough to last forever. This pervasive system is prevalent all over the world. That is why our system is doomed to fail. We do not advance anything for the greater good of the human being, the human being in our society is 2nd to corporate profit.

    A corporation will do anything it can to profit. Whether it is the destruction of the environment or the destruction of human life. A corporation is incapable of being honest or caring about anything other than profit for the very nature of a corporation is threatened if it cared.

    Technology is going to be the end of capitalism. It will be the most ironic destruction of yet another failed system. Over the next 50 years over 90% of all jobs will be done by machines. Corporations in their never ending pursuit of profit will one by one eliminate nearly all of the positions they currently employ people in and replace them with cheap machines. Little by little the purchasing power of the population will begin to falter and eventually collapse as the number of people out of work begins to skyrocket. When this hits critical mass the system will implode on itself.

    Because banks loan money out and require interest to be paid on the loans there is effectively more debt than there is money in the system. This is why the government must continue to create money out of thin air further weakening the value of our currency. They cannot keep this up forever, we have already begun to see the failing of the banking industry and all the corporations that are connected to it will fall right after it.

    This system in which an entire class of people must be poor, must be without basic needs met due to how the system is set up to work, it is coming to an end. Technology is going to free mankind. It's going to happen in our lifetime. Then you will see real advancement in technology unhindered by the powerful elite of the world which holds back all advancement in order to make the most profit they can from it.

    johnnysays there is no benefit of war anymore. In the past there might have been when nations were totally independent of each other but since the initiation of the global economy wars are no longer fought for protection or defense, they are fought to steal large quantities of resources from poor nations that cannot defend themselves. The world bank which is under the control of the same people that control the Federal Reserve banking system loan out billions of dollars to poor countries and then when the countries cannot pay back the loans the banks negotiate with the country to get their resources cheap as payment for the loans.

    Under the current economic system more than 50% of the world lives on less than 1% of the worlds GDP and 1% of the world lives on more than 45% of the worlds GDP. This is the direct result of the world bank, the federal reserve, and the banking practices that subjugate billions of people across the world while systematically draining them of all their valuable resources so that a few sick rich individuals can have everything. Today war is for profit nothing more.

    " The fractional reserve policy perpetrated by the Federal Reserve, which has spread in practice to the great majority of banks in the world, is in fact a system of modern slavery.

    Think about it. Money is created out of debt. And what do people do when they are in debt? They submit to employment to pay it off. But if money can only be created out of loans, how can society ever be debt free? It can’t. And that’s the point.

    Physical slavery requires people to be housed and fed. Economic slavery required people to feed and house themselves. It is one of the most ingenious scams for social manipulation ever created, and at its core it is an invisible war against the population. Debt is the weapon used to conquer and enslave societies, and interest is its prime ammunition. And, as the majority walks around oblivious to this reality, the banks, in collusion with governments and corporations, continue to perfect and expand their tactics of economic warfare… " - Zeitgeist 2
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2010
  4. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    Your massive reply was offtopic, I'm sorry to say. Like, very much off topic. It didn't answer any of the questions. If you have the need to make posts about corporate business plans, make a thread about it. This is a post about the ethics of taking one life to save others. :)
  5. Edgar Roni Figaro

    Edgar Roni Figaro Well-Known Member

    It wasn't off topic. The ethics of taking a life to save other lives is something that would only come up in a system in which people have been taught that the only way they can get something is to step on someone else. That is what every one of us has been taught from the moment we enter the school system until we go to college and get a job.

    The whole premise of "ethical decisions" in our society today is based off the sick presumption that in order for progress to occur someone must be sacrificed. You should understand that the very question you are asking is a direct byproduct of the indoctrination received through the society you are living, and that the question is a mere deflection of the greater question "why does our system brainwash us into believing that the only two choices are someone must die or the cure won't be found" when in fact neither one is true.

    That is why my post above is on topic because you would not be asking that question unless you were made to believe that those were the only two options for progress, a belief that reverberates in every aspect of our capitalist "I must step on you to survive" mentality in the society we live in today.

    There are better ways through technology that we can study the human body without harming anyone. You're question only exists in the world we have been taught to believe is -the only way to exist-. It does not exist in the world in which technology and the human mind have free reign unrestricted by the sick inhumane interests of a few powerful individuals at the top who pour the shit down our throats every day through the news, the education system, and the corporate world, that someone always has to be sacrificed for others to live.

    The correlation between the question you just asked and what I posted above is that capitalism has already made the decision to your question for you. It has sacrificed billions of people to utter poverty and death to basic illnesses and lack of nutrition so that a few hundred million people can live far beyond their means.

    So why even ask if *one* particular person is worth the lives of thousands when every day we are sacrificing the lives of *billions* for a few hundred million.

    Here is the large scale question. Is it ethical to have a system that guarantees a certain large percentage of the worlds population must be sacrificed so that a small percentage of the worlds population can have incredible over abundance?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2010
  6. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Why not inform the public about the study, approach certain people who meet certain crietria and tell them more about it, then give them a choice to volunteer or opt out? If he refuses then I don't think it would be "bad" because that citizen has his right to life and liberty like every other citizen. And if the research is so important, then it's not likely that everyone will refuse to participate anyway, especially when it's supposedly a huge epidemic when the lives of everyone is at stake.

    Why don't you have any faith in brave people? We see stories of people dying to save individuals all the time. There's no reason to believe people would suddenly cop out when they're needed the most.

    And aside from this hypothetical, there are real-life examples of people "sacrificing" their own well-being for the survival of others ie. on the Titanic, in the World Trade Center, in families, etc.

    Taking people and deceiving them about what they're being tested or treated for, and instead giving them something else which leads to their illness or death and without their consent, is a great injustice. Injustice is certainly not in the interest of the greater good.
  7. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Edgar, I realize somewhat what you're saying, but what if someone WANTS to sacrifice themselves?

    I'm trying to look at this from the perspective that a willing person that sacrifices themself can somehow help the greater good. I believe it can, even if we were better off or weren't being held down by a wealthy elite.

    I already know that the wealthy elite own most of the world. For example, the top 1% of our population owns nearly 40% of the practical wealth in our country. The top 10% own nearly 90% of the wealth. So, in practical terms, the bottom 80% (up to 90%, depending on how you do the math) only owns about 10% of the wealth in the country.

    What this shows you is that the top 1% owns, relatively, far more resources than any other chunk of the population. This has been true, roughly, since the founding of our country. It's roughly true for most countries on the planet. It doesn't matter what your economic system is. It might be human nature. It could be a personality trait or higher intelligence or some other characteristic that sets the top 10% apart from the rest of the population. It could be hereditary, or inherited. Perhaps just being born in a developed nation is enough. Even intelligence and personality traits can be traced to your birth place. In either case, it's mostly a matter of where you're born. Nobody chooses where they're born. Despite all of this, quality of life standards WILL rise for everyone on the planet. I think unequal distribution of wealth will remain. Perhaps there is some hope that giving spirits will realize that they didn't choose where to be born.

    When you explore that topic it's very revealing. What I want to explain to you is that I know some of this already. I do not know the specifics of how the top 10% of the population owns most of the resources, like you might, but I generally know that it's the case.

    And about your first point. You were saying that as technology improves, more and more jobs will be replaced by machine labor and machine intelligence. While I feel this is true for todays market, I don't feel it will be true in the future. We will invent new jobs. People will become cyborgs (no, that does not mean we will look like robots!). Technology will not replace us, if we do the responsible thing. If we oppose the technology and demand to remain as we're, we will definitely come to a point where we're worthless. However, I do not think that will happen because humans have always desired to change and grow, and they will do whatever it takes to do that. This will mean new types of jobs that we presently do not know much about or cannot comprehend on a larger scale.

    A good bit of how I think is pure optimism. I don't like conspiracy websites because they're too pessimistic. They're self-fulfilling. Just like if christian fundamentalists were the ones given the power to organize our world government. They would fail because they're pessimistic about it working. In fact, most of them feel that it's synonymous with the anti-christ and the return of jesus christ. The failure of the world government would be a self-fulfilling prophecy brought on by the fundamentalists tasked with the charge to bring it about.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  8. Edgar Roni Figaro

    Edgar Roni Figaro Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to sound like I was against technology, on the contrary I fully support the corporations replacing the workforce with machines and I hope that more people lose there jobs then we have ever seen at any time in this country's history.

    That is what it will take to break capitalism. Once broken the new system will emerge the birthright of all of humankind, the Technocracy. And from that all the worlds greatest minds will be working toward improving the lives of all humans, there will be no other obstacles in the way.

    Technology is going to liberate us and end capitalism, communism, socialism, and fascism forever. In the near future machines will do all mindless jobs which humans currently occupy today. The production cost of food, materials for structures, and technology will plummet to near zero. At that point corporations will no longer be able to profit, there will be no need to profit and the world wide corporatocracy will end.

    Human beings will finally be free to contribute in any way they want to the betterment of mankind. With all the basic needs of everyone in the world finally met, crime will nearly disappear as there will be no need to steal. Wars will end as stealing resources from other countries will be like stealing resources from yourself.

    In 1968 a single transistor cost $1. In 2010 50 million transistors cost $1. We are on the cusp of a bloodless revolution. Cures for most diseases, humans easily living to 200+ years or more, massive technological advancement, it's so close.

    There was more technological advancement from 1900 to 1950 than there was from 1400 to 1900.

    There was more technological advancement from 2000-2010 than there was from 1950-1999.

    There will be more technological advancement from 2010-2020 than from 6000bc-2009.

    It is like starting a race on foot, then getting onto a horse, then getting into a car, then jumping in an airplane, then going into a mag lift train going 3000 mph. Advancement is just getting faster and faster and happening in shorter and shorter periods of time. We will see the world transform in years, not decades, or centuries as our ancestors did. This isn't optimism it's not even idealism, it's real and it's going to happen. That is something to be happy about and to look forward to.
  9. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    Since it seems so hard, I'm going to show you the main post. I'll highlight the parts you're missing.

    Let's take a hypothetical situation. Doctors need a patient for important research, but it would destroy the patient. There is no patient willing, and no death-row inmates available for the experiment. They will need to take a citizen. This research will save many lives, and improve many others.
  10. boo

    boo Well-Known Member

    1- Justification is a word with many plotholes.
    2- I think there will always be someone willing to sacrifice himself. Hell, i'll do it. It would give me the purpose i've been looking for all my life.
    3- What if the experiment fails?
    4- Society will pick the lesser important individual. In a perfect world, society will pick neither.
    5- scientists should stop playing god and go back to create the next longer lasting hair gels. Death has its purpose, one of those is to bring balance to life.
  11. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    I would never do it, nor support it. :)
  12. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Yes, but it seems to me that you're saying that the value of humans won't change. Thus, we will become valueless. You state this by saying that everyone will lose their jobs and the tax base will shrink to nothing because of machines and ai. Then you say that this will bring about the end of the current economic system and usher in a new era.

    I counter that by saying humans will change and our value will increase, thus preserving the economic system. I see us moving away from manufacturing and it being almost entirely automated. I see machines that handle manual labor. I see more and more AI handling things that previously required the human mind. In all this I see humans increasingly bonding with computer systems to the point where you cannot see where one begins and the other ends. It will come to a point where AI and humans are like one thing. The jobs of that time we cannot imagine right now. I have faith this will happen because humans won't give up.

    What you call an invisible war against humanity, I call a means of moving around goods and services.

    I am, of course, being an optimist and assuming that you're the pessimist. I'll admit, I could be wrong on some things.

    I also believe we will increasingly become more liberal (tolerant). This is a pattern you see throughout history. Our economic system of tomorrow will look drastically different compared to the present one. There will likely be more control, but the control will be necessary and reasonable as we will live in a world richer in knowledge and understanding. The economy system won't change suddenly.

    Quality of life will be much higher for everyone just like it's better now than in the past.

    That, of course, doesn't make present life any easier. We all have to work to create this next chapter in our story.

    Maybe I am sprinkling too much fairy dust into my argument. Perhaps humans won't be able to keep up and we will indeed become nearly worthless in the vast array of machines and artificial intelligences. Maybe we will go insane because of our inability to understand any of it. Maybe we will not last long enough to mourn. There's a lot to worry about. However, I believe all of this better fits in a Mad Max hollywood movie than it does in reality. In reality, humans are much more stubborn and willing to change in order to survive. Younger generations can change easier than older generations, and that's another reason we need to have kids. We can't stop having children.

    I remember an economics class in 2002. One of the kids I sat next to argued that the value of humans went down as machines were created and that this led to lower wages and less value. I've heard others argue that the value of humans is going down as a result of technology. That we're not able to change fast enough to retain our worth. But, like I say, I'm too damned optimistic to think that way. I have an inner light, a faith, that normal people will not give up so easily.

    Even though some of us will give up, many others won't. And they're enough to keep our species strong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  13. Chameleon76

    Chameleon76 Well-Known Member

    Does it justify the taking of a citizen?


    If the citizen would refuse the experiment, and the refusal will actually mean something, would he be doing a 'bad' thing by not sacrificing himself for the many?

    -No, his life isn't any less imporatant than the lives of the masses.

    Should the citizen be forced for the greater good? Should he be given a choise?

    -Shouldn't be forced under any circumstance, regardless of how many lives could be saved. Would be an injustice to do that to someone.(and i'd stand by that belief even if it was my own life that would be saved). The ends don't justify the means.

    Should it be randomly picked, or should it be picked based on "value" or "quality" of the patient's life(Owner of a large company vs. a homeless, for an example

    since I answered no to the last one, this question is N/A.

    Should the experiment be halted until a willing subject is found, which might cause deaths due to lack research?

    -Yes, allthough whoever would volunteer to be the test subject is neither heroic nor brave, they're just foolish.
  14. Edgar Roni Figaro

    Edgar Roni Figaro Well-Known Member

    Sorry I wasn't clear enough in my previous post. When I say machines are going to do 90% of all the jobs I do not envision us all just sitting around being worthless. What I meant was that 90% of all jobs humans do right now are mindless or in some major way take away from what it means to be human i.e they rob us of our ability to be creative or to use our intelligence.

    When machines do 90% of the jobs, it will -all- of the mindless jobs that require repetitive and meaningless actions. Some jobs will be completely eliminated like anything involving the monetary system since there will be no monetary system.

    90% might seem like alot, but when you think of the 10s of thousands of jobs that exist which require little to none of the attributes that make us human, that still leaves 10% of the jobs which all mankind can participate in.
    And from those 10% of jobs we will discover new fields.

    Those 10% of the jobs that still exist they will comprise only the jobs which offer human being fulfillment. Jobs such as anything in the scientific field's, artists, musicians, these jobs will never go away. all of humanity will comprise jobs such as these and everyone will feel like they have value in their life. Everyone will contribute to humanity in their own unique way.

    The big difference between the jobs of today and the jobs of the near future is the value those jobs mean to the individual. Today most jobs offer nothing to human beings but a paycheck in which they need to survive. There is no artistic, intellectual, or spiritual growth involved in these jobs. In other words they are all dead ends to human growth. These are the jobs that will be replaced by machines.

    The next era of humanity in a technocracy will be focusing on space and creating human colonies on the moon, mars, and eventually other solar systems like Alpha Centauri.

    I am not a pessimist John, I am an optimist like you. The loss of these jobs will not leave humanity behind. We will use our technological know how to augment our intelligence, we will keep up with machines, but the idea of a job will take on an entirely different role than it does today.

    A job of the future will be a reflection of a human beings personality and their desires in life. There will be a major paradigm shift in how humans think. We will no longer wake up every morning and think about how we will survive or pay bills, those things will be eliminated. Instead we will wake up and think about ways in which we can contribute to mankind and we will all feel pride in the contributions we make.

    The first generation of children in this new system will be taught a very broad education that focuses on critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems. Today our education system is narrow and teaches children to focus on one specific path and ignore anything outside of it. In the near future children will be encouraged to have new vastly different ideas in the hopes that those ideas will improve humanity.

    We will no longer be a world of bankers, construction workers, fast food workers, corporate executives or stock brokers.

    We will be a world of astronauts, genetic engineers,cpu technicians, space engineers, quantum physics scientists, artists, musicians, philosophers, Neurobionics scientists.

    The world will have a different focus. It will no longer be based on the desire to accumulate material goods. Society will move away from the childish belief system that material wealth = success and come to realize that knowledge for the good of mankind = the greatest success one can accomplish.

    But the first step is breaking the back of the final system that is holding us back, the capitalist system. Technology is going to take care of that in the next 20 years though.
  15. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    Edgar and Jonny, you two mind taking your large off-topic replies to another thread? Prefarably a thread which is about said topic?
  16. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Sorry Krem.

    Btw, could you explain the spider toxin more, and how it would help if humans could be used as test subjects?
  17. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    It's completely irrelevant. It just got me thinking.
  18. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Lethal spider toxins, eh?
  19. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Right, but I can't help thinking that some people want an example.

    Otherwise, you could be setting up a scenario based on false pretext.

    What if it was a global pandemic, and millions were dying. And what if testing on humans would be ten times quicker than testing on animals due to the genetic differences between humans and other animals. I think it would influence peoples choices if they could quantify the danger and the sacrifice. This kind of issue is easy to be black versus white until it meets the real world. We can talk all we want here in this forum about what we think, but in real life we could quickly change our mind.

    That's a lot of What Ifs, as well. Is there a situation where human testing really would help, and where's the source?

    At least give a link about the spider toxin you referenced in your first post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2010
  20. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to think people have some difficulty with the word 'hypothetical', and reading the first post. If it helps you to name something, and you are unwilling/able to do it yourself, let's say.. It's AIDS. And, the experiment means giving a person aids, and then observing them and testing on them from day one. (Meaning that a previously-infected person wouldn't work. Needs to be a 'controlled environment'.) Or, perhaps it's cancer. Localised cancer. Let's say at the top of the spine. The doctors/scientists want the tumour there, and wish to see how it works with the nerves, or something along those lines. Perhaps they need to infect someone with a new super-lethal virus, which has been stolen by terrorists, in an effort to make a cure. Take your pick.

    Anyway, since only two or three people have replied to the actual questions, and the threat has been bloated and polluted way beyond the PONR, I'm just gonna let it die. Hopefully quietly.

    But first, I'm going to answer my own questions. Hooray.

    1. Aye, so it does. The more lives, the more its justified.
    2. Selfish, yes. Bad? Not really. Survival of the fittest and all that, he gains nothing from being experimented on.
    3. He should not be violently forced, no, unless he himself is needed, over his neighbour. Although if the gains of the experiment are wide enough, then yes. It'd be up to the individual in charge weather the situation warrants such a drastic solution.
    4. Based on value. An owner of a corporation has a far larger effect on society than a homeless person, for an example. Of course, since the quality is up for debate, its up to the one in charge, again, how to best measure it, should it be financial success or family/life success.
    5. Tied to #3, actually. If the situation is extreme enough for the government/whoever it is to commit murder in the name of science, it should not be halted.
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