Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus: antivirii

Tony Hindle (
Fri, 1 Aug 1997 05:59:19 +0100

In message <>, Eric Boyd
<> writes
>But who am I, Tony, to judge the value of lives on a *quantative* basis,
>as if three was better than two simply because it is *bigger*?

This is a hypothetical question so I want you to assume all
other things are equal. The law that one death is better than two is a
corollary of zero deaths is better than one. Will you judge in this
>And in calling him a "killer", Tony, who am I to judge the *qualitive*
>aspects of that man, and decide that he needs to die now?

In the example you have a choice, let 2 die or let one. Since at
least one will die you can reduce this to "shall I let a person die?"

>So I *am* involved in this situation. I cannot deny my responsibility.
>But what is that responsibility? Do I *have* to kill him?

Yes. Of course if there were other options you would be best
going for them (eg injury) But I am asking you to try ans answer what
you would do in the case where it is this simple, two or one dies.

>The warrior code: (paraphrased here) "It is better to hold than
>hurt, to hurt than cripple, to cripple than kill. The greatest warrior
>is he who never needs to kill."
Also it is better to run away than to fight.

>I just finished a series of books by Orson Scott Card about Xenocide --
>the killing of entire species of intelligent life -- and I think it
>applies. The basic philosophical outlook of the first part of the first
>book was where you sit. Total destructive force is *necessary* when
>there are no alternatives. i.e. we should feel no remorse at killing a
>man who is going to kill others.

I am not suggesting we should feel no remorse, but I personaly
would feel that I was a murderer if I did not act to kill one and spare
two (asuming I had time to think it through).
>But the novels end on exactly the opposite note. That total destructive
>force is *never* necessary. That it is always possible, at least amoung
>raman[1], to talk it out. To observe, to grow, to understand and
>become bigger, stronger, becuase of our mistakes. (imperfection rant)

So this book starts by saying
>Total destructive force is *necessary* when
>there are no alternatives
Then finishes by saying
>That total destructive
>force is *never* necessary.

This is just saying that there are never no alternatives. That
is just wishfull thinking.

>New (but similar) situation:
>A killer is here. He gives you a gun and tells you to kill him. You
>don't. He kills someone. He tells you to kill him. You don't. He
>kills someone. He tells you...
>Where do you draw the line?
>How do you make him listen?
>The answer is: it's always possbile, given enough training, to merely
>cripple the killer. Shoot his leg. Or his trigger finger, if you're
>feeling hot. Then he has stopped killing people.

Wishful thinking, suppose the only way to stop him shooting is
by pressing a button which causes his death instantaneously (I have left
out the details so you cant nit pick)
>Actually, I am currently considering myself an atheist. That was John,
>who considers himself a Christian.

I am sorry. I never meant to call you a christian, I realise now
that I should refrain from ever calling anyone by this word, it is so
Anyway sorry I got you mixed up but hello again anyway.
>> The essential sameness between the two is this:
>But you will also propagate the meme that one death is *better than*
>two. That force is a good thing, if applied against the prior (or
>potential) use of force. The question is: is that a meme you want to

That one death is better than two, yes.
That force is a good thing
>> Actually if someone does actually kill my defense will be that I
>> was joking.
>I preach honour. Responsibility. Courage. And he's *JOKING*...

No Im not, but thats what my defense will be. Now of course I
have blown it but I know none of you here will grass on me, just get
ready to delete your files please.

>Yes, such "simple" ethical laws are up for questioning. Just look at
>your own words, Tony. "A morally virtuous killing"... how can this be?

In the example we discussed earlier.

>How can force ever be good? Especially *deadly* force?

You are trying to find simple universal rules, good luck to you
let me know if there are any but so far I see none.

> There is an
>inherent contradiction in modern Justice, with it's emphasis on
>retaliating force. I had thought that Jesus' new Justice was the
>answer, but it just doesn't work, in many situations. <sigh>... this
>looks like a life long project.

Again, let me know if you find it.

Who has been informed that using his full name seems so formal and has
now reverted to something less formal.