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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    That means now there will be terrorist attacks on Australia I assume...
    That doesn't follow, of course. The intervention may have had an ongoing effect.
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    btw, when was the last time Taliban attacked Australia (not USA or Europe but Australia).
    Ten Australians died in the 9/11 attacks.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    That doesn't follow, of course. The intervention may have had an ongoing effect.
    Ten Australians died in the 9/11 attacks.
    Which was not the Taliban

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    What's wrong with killing?

    Is it ok to wage war? Is it ok to defend yourself against an attacking army? Ethics Bites asks if it's always wrong to kill. ...
    I don't believe that humans have a right to life (or any other rights) and a lot of this mentioned the right to life. I might have to listen again to further understand what is being said.

  4. #49
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    Question 3:
    I have decided killing is such a wrong act that it should never occur and everyone should do everything they can to stop killing. If everyone had the attitude that killing is not an option for them in their lives then there would never arise the situation where someone was put in a position where they have to decide whether to kill to save lives because no one would ever be killing.
    That sounds rather like the categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, which I regard as one of the larger dead ends in the history of philosophy (though his bit about the "serpent windings of utilitarianism" had its moments).

    The problem with judging actions by what would happen if everyone had the same approach is simply that not everyone ever does or will, and one person's choices won't change that - indeed there will always be some people not even capable of thinking about moral questions - so it provides a poor recipe for practical action in emergency situations.

    Another problem is that multiple rules can handle the same situation. "Do not kill under any circumstances" would if generalised to everyone prevent any situation involving killing, but so would "Do not kill except to stop someone else killing", since if everyone followed that rule there would also be no killing. So such a general argument does not actually preclude killing in self defence.

    It can also be argued that virtually everything is morally wrong using such arguments. An example: suppose I am a football fan (I'm actually not, but suppose I am). Should I go to the football? Well if everyone went to the football there would be massive traffic jams, emergency services would break down, patients would be unattended and die, houses could catch fire and nobody would put them out, etc. Obviously going to the football at a specific time is not something that I can consistently want to be generalised. Therefore according to "if everybody did it" logic, I probably shouldn't be doing it.

    A reply might be that "going to the football" is actually an instance of a principle that can be generalised with no problems, such as "follow your interests except under <insert list of circumstances>". But this just shows how difficult it is to say what principle a given action is actually performed in accordance with.
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    That sounds rather like the categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, which I regard as one of the larger dead ends in the history of philosophy (though his bit about the "serpent windings of utilitarianism" had its moments).

    The problem with judging actions by what would happen if everyone had the same approach is simply that not everyone ever does or will, and one person's choices won't change that - indeed there will always be some people not even capable of thinking about moral questions - so it provides a poor recipe for practical action in emergency situations.

    Another problem is that multiple rules can handle the same situation. "Do not kill under any circumstances" would if generalised to everyone prevent any situation involving killing, but so would "Do not kill except to stop someone else killing", since if everyone followed that rule there would also be no killing. So such a general argument does not actually preclude killing in self defence.

    It can also be argued that virtually everything is morally wrong using such arguments. An example: suppose I am a football fan (I'm actually not, but suppose I am). Should I go to the football? Well if everyone went to the football there would be massive traffic jams, emergency services would break down, patients would be unattended and die, houses could catch fire and nobody would put them out, etc. Obviously going to the football at a specific time is not something that I can consistently want to be generalised. Therefore according to "if everybody did it" logic, I probably shouldn't be doing it.

    A reply might be that "going to the football" is actually an instance of a principle that can be generalised with no problems, such as "follow your interests except under <insert list of circumstances>". But this just shows how difficult it is to say what principle a given action is actually performed in accordance with.
    Thank you for the reply, I will consider it and reply when I have thought about it more.

  6. #51
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    ... The problem with judging actions by what would happen if everyone had the same approach is simply that not everyone ever does or will, and one person's choices won't change that - indeed there will always be some people not even capable of thinking about moral questions - so it provides a poor recipe for practical action in emergency situations. ...
    The Kosovo war comes to mind; it is easy to argue that:
    a) the Serbian ethnic cleansing of the Kosovar minority was morally wrong
    b) the Kosovo Liberation Army's resistance by terrorism was morally wrong
    c) the NATO bombing of infrastructure with its collateral deaths was morally wrong

    If all were allowed to continue indefinitely where would it have finished up? When all the Albanians were dead? All the Serbs?

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    The Kosovo war comes to mind; it is easy to argue that:
    a) the Serbian ethnic cleansing of the Kosovar minority was morally wrong
    b) the Kosovo Liberation Army's resistance by terrorism was morally wrong
    c) the NATO bombing of infrastructure with its collateral deaths was morally wrong

    If all were allowed to continue indefinitely where would it have finished up? When all the Albanians were dead? All the Serbs?
    That is as difficult as finding the original source of the covid virus.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    Which was not the Taliban
    The attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda, which was supported by the Taliban.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    The Kosovo war comes to mind; it is easy to argue that:
    a) the Serbian ethnic cleansing of the Kosovar minority was morally wrong
    b) the Kosovo Liberation Army's resistance by terrorism was morally wrong
    c) the NATO bombing of infrastructure with its collateral deaths was morally wrong

    If all were allowed to continue indefinitely where would it have finished up? When all the Albanians were dead? All the Serbs?
    The Kosovo war is also a good example how the Trolley often goes based on political interests.
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  10. #55
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    The Kosovo war is also a good example how the Trolley often goes based on political interests.
    The Trolley Problem per se is unaffected by political interests or any other assumptions. The six workers at risk are total strangers to the observer deciding whether or not to switch tracks.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    The Kosovo war comes to mind; it is easy to argue that:
    a) the Serbian ethnic cleansing of the Kosovar minority was morally wrong
    b) the Kosovo Liberation Army's resistance by terrorism was morally wrong
    c) the NATO bombing of infrastructure with its collateral deaths was morally wrong
    If all were allowed to continue indefinitely where would it have finished up? When all the Albanians were dead? All the Serbs?
    In theory, the solution is to stop the fighting first, and then try to work out an agreement between the parties. In practice, of course, it's not that simple.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    That sounds rather like the categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, which I regard as one of the larger dead ends in the history of philosophy (though his bit about the "serpent windings of utilitarianism" had its moments).

    The problem with judging actions by what would happen if everyone had the same approach is simply that not everyone ever does or will, and one person's choices won't change that - indeed there will always be some people not even capable of thinking about moral questions - so it provides a poor recipe for practical action in emergency situations.

    Another problem is that multiple rules can handle the same situation. "Do not kill under any circumstances" would if generalised to everyone prevent any situation involving killing, but so would "Do not kill except to stop someone else killing", since if everyone followed that rule there would also be no killing. So such a general argument does not actually preclude killing in self defence.

    It can also be argued that virtually everything is morally wrong using such arguments. An example: suppose I am a football fan (I'm actually not, but suppose I am). Should I go to the football? Well if everyone went to the football there would be massive traffic jams, emergency services would break down, patients would be unattended and die, houses could catch fire and nobody would put them out, etc. Obviously going to the football at a specific time is not something that I can consistently want to be generalised. Therefore according to "if everybody did it" logic, I probably shouldn't be doing it.

    A reply might be that "going to the football" is actually an instance of a principle that can be generalised with no problems, such as "follow your interests except under <insert list of circumstances>". But this just shows how difficult it is to say what principle a given action is actually performed in accordance with.
    Firstly any similarity between what I am saying and Kant's work is purely coincidental as I have not read any of Kant's work. My thoughts are purely my own.

    Yes it is true that not everyone is going to follow the idea of never killing and yes your alternative of never killing except to stop someone killing should also end up with no one ever killing. However that does not mean it is right to kill to stop someone killing.

    I am not sure example of going to the football works because there is always a capacity of how many people can go to the football and it is a ticketed event so not everyone is going to try and turn up and abandon all other vital services. As long as you have a ticket you are free to go. Apart from that I am a bit lost as to the point you are trying to make. Surely everyone doing something is different to everyone not doing something.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    Yes it is true that not everyone is going to follow the idea of never killing and yes your alternative of never killing except to stop someone killing should also end up with no one ever killing. However that does not mean it is right to kill to stop someone killing.
    Since you've said morality is subjective (which it ultimately is) there is no burden on anyone to show that killing in self-defence is right. After all any argument that it is right could be subjectively rejected. The question is what argument there is for calling it wrong (which could also be subjectively rejected, but is it even convincing in the first place?)

    I am not sure example of going to the football works because there is always a capacity of how many people can go to the football and it is a ticketed event so not everyone is going to try and turn up and abandon all other vital services. As long as you have a ticket you are free to go.
    That's an example of what I was talking about regarding it being difficult to determine what principle underlying an action is being proposed in a universal form. I discussed it in the form 'go to the football' (which causes a problem if everyone does it) and you suggested it was 'go to the football if you have a ticket' (which doesn't). But to eliminate the ticket issue, I could instead make the example something that is free: go to a specific park, go to a specific beach (etc). If everyone does that at the same time, or even if everyone goes to any park or any beach at the same time, there will be problems.

    Apart from that I am a bit lost as to the point you are trying to make. Surely everyone doing something is different to everyone not doing something.
    And I can always find an example involving not acting too. Hypothetical: Person A is considering whether to go to work or not. Person A considers the idea of not doing something, that is, not going to work. Person A works out that if everyone didn't go to work, the economy and essential services would be massively disrupted. Person A therefore decides not going to work would be wrong, and goes to work.

    Unfortunately, Person A had COVID symptoms and that is why they were considering not going to work. Furthermore they in fact had COVID and infected their workmates. So here is an example where a person considered not doing a certain thing, thought about what happened if everyone didn't do the certain thing, and as a result got the wrong answer.

    Of course they should be really operating under the more complex principle 'Go to work unless you are sick (or unless there is some other exceptional reason not to go)', which would be a good principle if everyone adopted it and is also an obviously good idea on a case by case basis. But that is an example of how the best principle is usually qualified rather than simple. Likewise, 'do not kill unless necessary to prevent someone else killing' appears to be a better principle than 'do not kill no matter what'. That's not to say that it's the best principle possible; only that it is an improvement. Both would end killing if everyone followed them (which in my view is irrelevant anyway since this will never occur), but the former can save the lives of innocent people and the latter cannot.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 29-08-2021 at 05:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.nancarrow View Post
    rofl

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