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Why Is This A Problem???

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by durangodawood, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    The object of the act is a matter of fact, not opinion.
    Does pulling the lever (trigger) direct a lethal projectile at an innocent person? Yes.
    Does the actor foresee the proximate end, ie., that the trolley (bullet) will kill the innocent person? Yes.
    Did the bystander's act of pulling the lever directly kill an innocent person? Yes.
    The innocent person is in no peril in the situation before the bystander acts.

    There is no trolley operator in the case. Whoever let the trolley "loose" did not foresee the death of any innocent persons so no blame can be assigned to him.
     
  2. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    A couple of relevant articles since even many Christians do not understand this key aspect of our moral theology and why pulling the lever is evil from eternity to eternity:

    The Object of the Moral Act
    The Proper Definition of the Moral Object

    The concept of the moral object of every knowingly chosen human act is one of the many reasons consequentialism in all it's forms is to be rejected by all Christians.
     
  3. Bradskii

    Bradskii Well-Known Member

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    And the linked article (second link) results in this conclusion: 'If you think an act is immoral, and yet you do it, then you sin'. So you can do right but if you think its wrong then you sin.

    You'd think the corollary would stand. So you could do wrong but if you think it's right then you're ok.
     
  4. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    The reason it is not equal is because sin objectively harms the human person, but you are right in that God will not hold it against you (and this is a thing of old, even in the Mosaic Law there were provisions for unintentional violations) if you are genuinely ignorant of it being wrong. I am not good at analogies but it is like someone who in good faith doesn't know that stove burners are hot and they touch it, while you might not blame them for this their fingers would still get burned and so that needs to be mended. So it is with wrongdoing done in true ignorance. So you're "okay" in one sense but not in another.
     
  5. Bradskii

    Bradskii Well-Known Member

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    So the logic of that would suggest that God going to hold it against you in the first instance (thinking something was a sin yet doing it).

    And who decides if something I do is wrong if it's not specifically written? Different religions have different rules. Although I see you are Catholic. I guess you'd say whatever the Catholic church says. Which will put you at odds with other Christians.
     
  6. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is held against you for primarily an evil intention (which there being three parts of a moral act, intention/object/circumstances, if one of them is evil then the action is evil).

    God's Word on morality is in more places than Scripture, and even is in the intellect of the human soul itself, by which we can immediately discern moral truths, and in the active reasoning moral faculty of our souls we can derive answers from principles we learn or know.

    "For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things of the law, these, although they do not have the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written on their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts one after another accusing or even defending them on the day when God judges the secret things of people, according to my gospel, through Christ Jesus." (Romans 2:14-16)

    The natural law of God is promulgated on our nature even when things are not written, by which Cain knew it was a horrible evil to murder his brother Abel even though they had no writings, which is why God punished him for it.

    In other words God decides, and has both given internal and external rules for one to follow, which is what the conscience is for the first thing (co-knowing with God in your soul).

    As for different religions having different moral systems I'd just go through the process of elimination to get to the true ones, and then the usual ways people get to the RCC (although it is still possible to go another way, such as those who become Orthodox on the same evidence, people do this in good conscience so it is not held against them if it is a simple mistake).
     
  7. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    No. The trigger was pulled upstream of you. The deadly projectile is already in motion and the outcome is already set to be deadly to innocent people before it reaches you. Fact.

    But we should celebrate that we seem to have arrived at a shared moral opinion and disagree on just a matter of fact.

    I agree that you shouldnt murder a person even to save other people. But with the runaway train or crashing airplane, everyone within the full scope of the peril is already in danger until the event has played out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  8. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    Passive voice: Who exactly pulled the "trigger"?

    The motorman could not be a "trigger" puller any more than the FedEX driver who delivered the bullets to the gunman. The projectile, bullet or trolley, is not deadly until the act that pulls the trigger or pulls the lever.
     
  9. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    We dont know who pulled the trigger. That will be sorted out later by the investigating authorities. Could have been a negligent motorman. Or poor maintenance. Or sabotage. Or the fedex man who delivered the faulty part. No.. wait... Thats silly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  10. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    ? A rational person would not think an act is immoral and the right thing to do.
     
  11. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    All sin involves evil acts but not all evil acts are sinful.

    An actor who commits an evil act w/o full use of his intellect or free will may have the culpability for the act mitigated or even removed. The act, however, remains evil.
     
  12. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    It's your hypothetical so tell us who did the investigating authorities determine as the "trigger" puller?
     
  13. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Its not my hypothetical. It was quite famous before I ever heard about it. My guess is the authors didnt consider it important for investigating the moral questions for the person at the switch. Can you think of how the cause of the runaway trolley might matter for the person at the switch, or for us discussing his dilemma?
     
  14. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    The cause of the runaway trolley does not matter to the bystander or weigh upon the moral choice he faces.
     
  15. partinobodycular

    partinobodycular Active Member

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    I absolutely love this link for it's reference to one single word..unjust.

    Perhaps o_mlly should give the link a quick read, and reconsider his use of the word "unjust" in his argument for the preemptive use of mortal force.
     
  16. o_mlly

    o_mlly Active Member

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    Be glad to. What specifically do you think I should reconsider?
     
  17. partinobodycular

    partinobodycular Active Member

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    I can imagine the bystander who didn't pull the lever being tormented for the rest of their life by the faces of the people they could've saved, but didn't. And I can imagine them standing before God and asking Him why He didn't do something, and God replying, I did do something, I put you at the lever.

    And I can imagine the bystander who did pull the lever being tormented for the rest of their life by the face of the person they chose to kill. And I can imagine them standing before God and asking Him why He didn't do something, and God replying, I did do something, I saved five.

    Sometimes even Catholic reasoning isn't enough, and we face situations where there is no perfect choice, only hard ones. In such times it's best to heed the council of Micah 6:8...to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  18. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    I am not surprised you imagine such immoral things. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

    On the contrary, God says: "He hath set water and fire before thee: stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt." There are no choices in which sin is necessary, and there is ALWAYS a right moral choice, else the Lord Jesus would not have commanded perfection if it was impossible. You are abusing the Scriptures presuming that your vain imaginations are what God means by "justice," but because you lack the phronema you can not even conceive of what "justice" is. But we have the mind of Christ, and the reasoning of God is with the Church when it comes to morality, and is correct, all other people vain in their thoughts and their hearts.
     
  19. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    But you know the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" actually included "...unless I command you to kill," which any deontologist would also understand.

    For a deontologist, it's not the command to whom one owes duty, it's the commander.
     
  20. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Not so much faith, inasmuch as it has also been the real-world ethical system of military forces since time immemorial. The question facing each decision to act is, "to whom, in this moment, do I owe the greater duty?"

    A real world situation I knew about: The commander of an Air Force Close Air Support (CAS) squadron got two competing calls for air support. One was from the Army Ground Liaison Officer (GLO) attached to his squadron to support an Army battalion (as many as a thousand soldiers), the other to support a rescue operation for one downed Air Force pilot.

    The Air Force commander chose to devote his assets to the rescue of the pilot rather than the 1,000 soldiers.

    Well, there was a lot to be said about his decision at the end of that day, and most of it was by that GLO.
     
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