T Nation

Question or two

Im interested at what people will say.

Would you, personaly, shoot down the plain killing 100 innocent people about to crash on the WTC and kill 3000?

its not so simple as it sounds. or is it?
lets say youre family is in the wtc, but not in the plain.

if the answer is yes:
would you personaly, carpet bomb german/japanese cities if you thought it would help you win WWII?

maybe not the place but lets hear what t-folk thinks.

Would you, personaly, shoot down the plain killing 100 innocent people about to crash on the WTC and kill 3000? My answer here is a definite yes, and I stand behind those who did just this. There’s always a chance that you WOULDN’T have to crash the plane. So it’s not a matter of saying “We’re going to crash this plane to kill 100 rather than 3000” but instead it’s a matter of “We’re not going to let these guys carry out their plan.”

if the answer is yes: Would you personaly, carpet bomb german/japanese cities if you thought it would help you win WWII? My answer to this questions is this: any one in a position to do so is in no position to question the order that says to do so.

It is that simple.

The 100 innocent are doomed either way, regarless of family ties.

I’d shoot the plane down.

And I’d have dropped the A-bombs.

Shoot it down, same reasons. My family in the plane or not.



Why wouldn’t someone do either of those?

Billyboy – I did a copy and paste for the questions. Didn’t check the spelling. Sorry.

Of course, on both counts.

Sorry Brider, I was aiming at glute-spanker, I got ya.


I would have to agree with all the other replies. 100 to save 3000, regardless of ties, is a simple solution. The 100 are doomed anyway.
As for carpet bombing, Brider said it best.

To speak in philosophical terms, generally speaking, negative rights are stronger than positive rights. Hence, the people on the plane’s negative right not to be killed likely trumps the people in the WTCs positive right to be rescued. So that would lead one to the conclusion that it is not right to shoot the plane down. However, if it is probable the people in the plane will be killed either way, then the answer becomes very clear - shoot it down.

Sniper – well-thought-out answer. Very Kantian / deontological. But I still disagree.

Let’s suppose the question were, “Would you kill 100 innocent people to save 3000?”, in which the 100 won’t die in the killing of the 3000. I, personally, would do it. Utilitarian, not deontological. If my mom or dad were among the 100, obviously I would be very upset, but I think I would do it and I think they would support that decision. I would feel I have a duty to do so to save the greater number of people.

But would I kill 100 people to save 101? Probably not. To save 200? I’d probably kill 100 to save 200 if there would be no consequences to myself – it would be the better moral choice. But if I would go to jail for killing 100 people to save 200, I would probably choose self-preservation over doing the right thing. To save 3000, I would do it even if I was sacrificing my own freedom and/or life.

Bombing civillians to end WW2? If I thought I was saving more lives than I was ending. (This is assuming I’m giving the orders, so I have a choice.) It’s interesting how killing massive numbers of civillians by firebombing residential areas was considered acceptable warfare less than 60 years ago – such respected men as Churchill and FDR ordered it – and it’s considered an unspeakable atrocity now.

all of you who answered yes and yes, my point in this questions was to show that in light of actions like this, assassinating terrorist leasers hiding inside civilan population while trying to minimize civilan casualties to zero is not so inhuman right?

Except there is a difference Glute. The examples you gave are clear cut. When Israel gives them a country, or rights and then they continue to fight, then maybe you can make a legit claim of aggression against them, and undertake actions that have the possibility of civilian/collateral damage. If you’re point is taken to the next logical conclusion, you are equating the Palestinians to Nazi’s/Japanese. A more apt description would be to compare them to Manchurians or Czech’s who were trying to oust the people who had taken over their country. I am not saying the killing of civilians is a good move under any circumstances, but it certainly becomes less rephrensible given the circumstances.

I’m thankful that carpet bombing is out of favor. However shitty those tactics were, both sides were using them.

The Palestinians who Israel is targetting have sworn their intention to kill all Jews in the Middle East, sometimes to kill all Jews everywhere. So by the measure of stated intention they do compare to “Nazi’s/Japanese.”

Their leaders have also been inspired by fascist literature and continue to pass it along, not just “Mein Kampf” in Arabic either.

Actually, the essence of my interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the destruction of Totalitarianism that has gone out of favor in Europe after WW2 but reawakened inside Wahaabi Islam and Baathism.