Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by  $  3 weeks, 3 days ago
    Assuming this was happening as asked, all or nothing, in real life, say I’m piloting a rocket bomb heading toward some giant astroid that will soon annihilate earth, I’d have to say yes. I have friends and family that I care about very much. There is also that bit about not wanting the human race to go extinct.

    Even John Galt was willing to be tortured or possibly killed to save Dagny, the woman he valued beyond all others and could not live without.

    On the other hand, these type of hypothetical questions seemingly have an easy, obvious answer. But the reason for an answer is the key. Is the reason, based on “the greater good?” Or is the reason based on what you value? If you choose, “for the greater good” you could soon be fodder holding some sign screaming some chant as part of an activist mob to stop “climate change” or living-your-own-life-ophobia by any means necessary.

    Another answer, as some stated, is no firm answer, since these type of hypothetical “lifeboat” questions are not real life. Real life has countless sensory perceptions from the past and in the present that real decisions are made upon. In these hypothetical “lifeboat” questions these do not exist.

    That’s MY answer.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Is that what Jesus allegedly did? Was that his "deal" with his father? Sick! I can't imagine a scenario that would make this question the crux of preserving humanity. Who would impose such a condition? Anyone so powerful as to have life-and-death control over all the people on earth is playing a demented game and should be killed, not be left to demand self-sacrifice from anyone. And such a sicko could easily renege on the deal and kill everyone off anyway rather than give up one iota of its omnipotence. Absent such a monster, what condition could arise that would turn on the destruction of a single individual in exchange for the preservation of the rest? How would we know or have assurance that such a cause-and-effect existed? In any case, I am worth more alive than dead. Let's keep it that way.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
      Yes, it's a meaningless invalid question with no connection to reality and causality, intended to invoke a false premise of guilt and duty to sacrifice.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by jrbirdman 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

    This doesn't cover "death". However, if the decision is yours and not the "collective's", it's your life, and if you feel it worth sacrificing it for millions of others -- it's your call. John Galt was willing to sacrifice his life to give Dagny a chance at joining the strike...but it was his decision. That makes all the difference.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      Whether or not something is a sacrifice is not determined by whether or not it is voluntary. Values are not arbitrary. Dagny was a rational value. "Deciding" to kill yourself for the sake of the collective because it is the collective is not. Neither are floating abstraction "questions" with no causal connections posing sacrifice as a virtue. Voluntary altruism is altruism.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      And he said, "I don't need to tell you that if I do it, it won't be a sacrifice." (memory quote; he may have said, "I don't have to tell you...").
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 4 days ago
        "'I don't have to tell you,' he said, 'that if I do it, it won't be an act of self-sacrifice. I do not care to live on their terms, I do not care to obey them and I do not care to see you enduring a drawn out murder. There will be no values for me to seek after that—and I do not care to exist without values.'"

        Galt's oath does cover acts risking death.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  Stormi 3 weeks, 1 day ago
      Absolutely correct! Also, there are some on the "whole planet", whom I really would not lift a finger to save, esp. capitalism-hating politicians. You can't do all the work for the people, they need to act as well, if they want an outcome.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Commander 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I can not enjoin under the context of Sacrifice. I can under the concept of value based choice. I care for my life. I care deeply enough (empathy) for all other life in the universe. Under conditions where my single life, ended, would keep from ending the greatest potential of the present and upcoming generations......I love you! Goodbye!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    As long as I could take all the trouble making leftist, all the great unwashed and all the parasitical humanoids with me...then that would be a Big Fat Yes!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Yes, for the sake of family and friends;but if asked to step forward to trade my one 72-year-old life as ransom for the otherwise doomed entire Jackass Party, me dino would only look around and whistle.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    If that is the only solution. Yes it would be for all my family.
    I gladly sacrifice for my loved ones.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 weeks, 3 days ago
      Well of course you would? But really, the rest of the world? No, no, first my family. I have few enough left. Can't stand to lose one?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 weeks, 3 days ago
        No I can’t stand to lose anymore.
        Two days ago my mother fell and broke her pelvis.
        She will spend many days in the hospital in Dothan Alabama and then more rehabbing. They had a hell of a bad time with Hurricane Michael and now this.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          Understand hip replacement. My BFF whose blood sugar hit 500 and caused her to hit the deck fractured her femur in three places. 14 days in hospital 48 days in rehab. Then 6 weeks before we got the pins out and faces hip replacement. I had hip replacement but I was only in the hospital two days and walking that nite. Had PT at home and am back on my John Deere bouncing across my yard! My Ortho is a real classy lady!
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    It was a short question with short answers. Let me explain mine.

    The terms of the challenge are not explained at all. It can be an example of Orwellian thinking. I mean by that the way that in Orwell's 1984 "thinking" (so-called) was reduced to short, declarative statements without context. Modern schooling is built on that with multiple choice and True-False questions. Ideology and religion depend on that, of course, which was Orwell's point.

    I said Yes because I am almost 70 and since I read Anthem at 16 and the rest of Rand's works soon thereafter, I have always lived by the virtue of selfishness, what Rand called "man qua man." If everyone else on Earth were dead, I might live another 10 years at best, but be limited by whatever I could achieve alone. And when I died, that would be the end of humanity. If I could make my way to one of the radio astronomy sites and begin broadcasting the history of humanity into outer space, that would be about the limit of what I could hope to achieve. And it would end there.

    We all have to go. No one gets out of here alive. Working in protective services and the military, I learned a bit of fatalism. The perfect soldier is still the guy standing in the wrong place when the mortar round comes down. I am not at heart a fatalist. I believe that choices matter. But if the Fickle Finger of Fate chooses me, well, there it is.

    I believe that humanity is destined to inherit the stars. Individuals of stellar potential will always be born. What is most important is that those individuals flourish. Human intelligence is the most precious resource on Earth. Look at the evolution of the hand ax. Going back about 1-3/4 million years to about 200,000 years ago, it changed little, even though it was inherited and used by two or three successive kinds of humans or hominids. Even an ice age ago, a genius might be born once every three or four generations. If they lived, if they thrived, their material inventions - fire, tattooing, rock art, ceramics, the atl-atl, herding and domestication -- might be passed on. Now, with 6.5 billion people on Earth, we are awash with geniuses who need to be liberated so that we might all benefit from their intelligence.

    And as far as "ordinary" people go, the Flynn Effect suggests that the average intelligence is rising. Capitalism, industrialism, the Information Age, the scientific revolution, they all have consequences.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    If all the other people on planet earth were to die, it would mean no more Gilbert&Sullivan performances, and all the Coca-Cola would be gone. So I think maybe I would choose to die then, but if I did, I would consider it not a sacrifice, but a submission to a hard trade.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by starznbarz 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Nope. I would, however, use the heads up to notify a few select folks so they would know I had the opportunity to save them and declined based on the fact they were worthless a@@holes.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by GaryL 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Anyone who served in the military or in law enforcement and first response services offered to give their lives in the service to others.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    There are degrees of survival instincts, each with a demand on personal sacrifice: survival of self, no sacrifice intended; survival of family, may result in loss of life; survival of tribe/nation, may result in loss of life; survival of species, most likely to result in loss of life. The determination of the worth of possible loss of life follows an odd curve: survival of self, instinctive, unconscious reaction; survival of family, partly instinctive, partly emotional conscious action; survival of tribe/nation, subjective, rational conscious action: survival of species, back to partly instinctive, rational decision.

    I would more than likely decide to offer my own life to protect my species.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by chad 2 weeks ago
    I would probably look for a way to sort them out, saving those who had an objective morality, which would mean that very few would be saved.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 2 weeks ago
      There is no choice of any meaningful action or cause and effect in the question, just sacrifice your life for everyone else. There isn't even a hint of how that would allegedly accomplish anything by any means in reality. It has no connection with reality at all.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by CTYankee 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    Saving them from what? Some existential crisis?Pfft! No.

    As others have questioned: Some implausible scenario from the movie Armageddon, would I do what Bruce Willis' character did? Almost certainly.

    Lastly, I'd comment what a silly topic this is for a survey. But it was fun to play.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by JohnJMulhall 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I have a "spiritual life" (not a 'religious' one) and I believe there is a life after this one... and it doesn't have to be on planet Earth.
    Earth has had the "Great Flood", volcanoes that smothered life, 'ice ages' that froze man and beast, "Atlantis" collapsing, etc. etc. Life survived, and civilization (as we know it) rebuilt. It'd just be nice if we learned from the previous experiences, but we won't...
    Short answer - probably I wouldn't.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  3 weeks, 2 days ago
    I suspect that this type of question would have little debate on most other forums. My question originally ended as, “…if it meant saving planet earth?” But a growing number of individuals would happily choose to save the planet but sacrifice the people. And unfortunately that is a more likely scenario.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    If a person has faith in an afterlife, then one would be taking a risk that something better exists after this life, in which case such "sacrifice" might be viewed as hastening a better life for oneself.

    This is a variant of Pascal's wager, for which the pros and cons of this argument are fairly well summarized below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%...

    It makes no sense to sacrifice one's own life if there is no afterlife. There is no self interest. Certainly if one is an Objectivist, one is also an atheist. Can one believe in an "afterlife" if one is an atheist?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by TheRealBill 3 weeks, 2 days ago
      I can conceive of a conscious existence after death that does not involve deities, so sure. You could even have a soul with no deities - especially if that "soul" is your consciousness.

      An objectivist could be agnostic, thus not necessarily atheist. You can call Buddhism an atheist religion as there are no personal gods in it. Indeed, if there is one tenet shared by all groups of Buddhists, it is that there is no creator god. I mention all of that because the Buddhists do believe in a post-death existence of sorts, though it is not surrounding a "soul", and not quite "reincarnation" as is commonly used.

      There are enlightened/ascended beings but they are not what we'd call deities. Even then among the Buddhists system they are generally regarded as symbolic anyway. I mention this because

      With atheism there are two poles if you will: "god does not exist" and "I have no proof or evidence god exists, so I do not have a belief in god existing" (yes, semantically belief means no proof but this is the way the phrasing is used).

      So I'd say it may be likely that an Objectivist is atheistic, it would not be certain. Even among atheist Objectivists, I'd expect them to be more of the nontheist side. But maybe that's just me.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 2 days ago
        I have made the agnostic argument in this forum on several occasions before. Saying something is unknowable in this life is an acceptable answer for me, but Ayn Rand uses an Occam's Razor argument to say that atheism is the logical position. I disagree with her premise.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          Ayn Rand never invoked Occam's razor. If there is no evidence for something then rationally one does not believe it. That is not Occam's razor.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by TheRealBill 3 weeks, 2 days ago
          I would tend to disagree with that as an acceptable use of the Razor, and thus disagree with the premise as well. While it may appear initially that to say something is unknowable is the same as saying god does not exist, we have no shortage of items where we can define things as unknowable.

          For example we have the Halting Problem, Göedel's Incompleteness Theorum, and Tarski's Undefinability Theorum to go with it. These and more do demonstrate that certain things are, so far as we can reason, un-knowable. Of course, Schrödinger's feline companion may have something to say about it. Or not, we can't say.

          Even if we were to reduce logic to numbers (Gödel numbering IIRC), Turing and Church showed that we still could not prove certain things as true or not. And this is in the realm of computers, math, and logic.

          Perhaps the great irony for non-agnostics is that there is one and only one way to prove, or "know" there is a creator god. It must make itself present to you and provide you with the historical knowledge sufficient to be unequivocal proof. Conversely, there is no proving the negative.

          At most, assume we are able to create the ability to see into the past - at any time on Earth in any location (great story for this: The Light of Other Days - Clarke and Baxter). Could we prove there is no god? No. All we could prove was whether events portrayed in religious texts actually happened.

          I suspect, based on the context provided, that she was misusing Occam's Razor. The Razor is not a proof tool, it is a tool for extracting bits. Besides, assuming you have the god theorem and the "it just happened, m'kay" theorem and they predicted the same results, then Occam would say to select the God one because it has the fewest assumptions.

          Naturally, I am not saying that is the correct answer, merely the simplest and thus the best match for Occam. Occam's Razor is not a top for logic. It is explicitly a tool for selecting between competing theories that predict the same outcomes - and not based on a provable logic just on a preference for simplicity.

          Incidentally if she was misusing Occam's in the common guise of "the simplest answer is best", that would be incorrect as that comes from the law of parsimony.

          Yet even that "law" is not a tool of logic, but one of convenience and the scientific method's preference for simplicity because we expect falsifiability. The more complex the explanation the more we have which needs to be falsifiable.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            There is no principle that anything that exists is inherently unknowable. Mathematical undecidability theorems you cited are based on paradoxes from self reference within formal symbolic systems, not unknowability.

            Ayn Rand did not use or misuse Occam's razor. It has no fundamental role in theory formation. Theories are cognitive explanations of reality, not floating abstractions manipulated to 'correspond' to facts, from which we arbitrarily choose the simplest. Two different theories that have predicted the same result are still contradictory. At least one of them is wrong, which does not depend on a preference for relative simplicity.

            A form of "simplicity" that is required is what Ayn Rand called "Rand's razor", an epistemological principle for the proper formation of concepts in accordance with what she informally called the "crow epistemology", which is the fact that there is only so much that we can simultaneously retain in our mind at the same time.

            Concepts are a system of cognitive classification. As Ayn Rand put it, a "crucial aspect of the cognitive role of concepts" is that "concepts represent condensations of knowledge, which make further study and the division of cognitive labor possible." That is done through a hierarchy of abstractions from abstractions.

            "The range of what man can hold in the focus of his conscious awareness at any given moment, is limited. The essence, therefore, of man's incomparable cognitive power is the ability to reduce a vast amount of information to a minimal number of units—which is the task performed by his conceptual faculty. And the principle of unit-economy is one of that faculty's essential guiding principles."

            The form of such "simplicity" required for cognition is that principle of cognitive "unit economy". Ayn Rand expressed it as what she called "Rand's razor": "Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity—the corollary of which is: nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity". That is objective necessity, not preference, and is not Occam's razor, let alone based on Popper's negative notion of falsifiability.

            For the full explanation see Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

            On the topic of theism, it implies atheism (a-theism): not believing in the supernatural. It does not allow for agnosticism, a perpetual state of accepting not knowing what to think. It is not necessary or possible to disprove arbitrary assertions in order to not believe them or their possibility (assertion of possibility also requires proof that something is possible). And when the arbitrary assertions are self contradictory or contradict what we already know, as theism usually is, one can further deny their possibility, not just not believe it.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            Thoroughly analyzed. +1

            On a humorous note,
            with regard to Schroedinger's cat, I found the cat frozen and dead in a refrigerator in a game called NetHack once. Once unthawed, my pet dog gained both an experience level and teleportitis upon consuming the cat. Fortunately I had a "magic" whistle that summoned the dog from anywhere on the dungeon level. ;)
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by maxgeoac 3 weeks, 2 days ago
    So a "Kobayashi Maru" situation: Sacrificing 'One' to save the 'Many'... I might consider it depending on the situation. I would consider a situation similar to that of the movie "Armageddon": A Global Killer Asteroid heading towards earth, and I have the skill set to save the planet. Sure, I'd sacrifice myself.

    However, if indeed the Earth is overpopulated and has surpassed maximum sustainable limit of humans, then would sacrificing myself now only allow for a greater doom later on? If the answer to that is Yes, then I would have to say NO.

    Another question is, do the majority of the people on this planet deserve to be saved?
    There is something to be said about "Survival of the Fittest", and saving those whom are not fit enough would only manifest a cruel Wellsian future.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo