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Will You Create Alex?


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Imagine this situation.  You have a special kind of insight into a particular life that hasn't yet been born.  Let's call her "Alex".  So you are given a special ability to see into the future of this girl Alex who hasn't been born yet.  What you see is very shocking.  Alex is going to be a victim of torture.  Alex has a very hard life, even though she is very sweet, innocent and kind.  Every day for her is a struggle, she is quite unattractive and she hasn't got friends. No one likes her, she has a bit of a physical and mental handicap so she tends to be left on her own.   When Alex is thirty years old, she falls into the hands of a sadistic serial killer.  She is brutally tortured for 18 hours before she finally dies.  The sadist tortures her with medical instruments (he is like the guy from saw).  At the end of the torture, Alex was buried alive, and suffocated to death. 

 

You are responsible to make a decision about Alex's life.  You can choose to prevent Alex from ever existing.  Or.....you can choose to create Alex.  If you create her it will be your responsibility to observe all of her sufferings.  You will not be allowed to look away when she is tortured and screaming.  If you create her she will have no way of avoiding her fate.  She will be doomed.  Let's imagine that all avenues of suicide have been somehow closed off for her so that isn't an option.  If you choose to create Alex, god will grant her eternal life in paradise although he will not change her fate on this earth nor make any interventions for her pain.  God tells you that Alex's joys in her eternal state will make up for/compensate the torture she has went through.  She's had it so bad in life that God's going to make her into a beautiful princess in heaven.  

 

Will you create Alex or not? 

 

 

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Adding one more detail to make it more complicated.  If Alex is created, police will find her killer and execute him before he can ever do it again, making Alex his only victim.  If Alex is not created, the serial killer will torture and kill 8 people before he is caught. 

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The "one more detail" certainly does complicate the scenario!

 

This is a no-win situation. I am usually willing to discuss things like this, but unwilling to posit an answer.

 

Captain Kirk, when faced with the no-win scenario at Starfleet Academy, reprogrammed the computer. His reasoning was that he didn't believe in no-win scenarios.

 

Here we're faced with actually creating a person who will suffer in order to save 8 from suffering. If we create the person, then it's our own fault she suffers. We caused it. That seems worse than failing to prevent it for someone else, even 8 someone elses. But it isn't logically worse, only emotionally.

 

Well, all I've done is restate the dilemma. Since I have all of this information and the power to create a person, then I'm going to assume that I also have the power to hire a hit man. I won't create Alex, but I'll pay someone to murder the serial killer before he ever commits a murder. (In other words, I'll reprogram the computer.)

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I've got a solution! Don't create Alex or the serial killer to begin with. Ta dah! jesus.gif

 

This would be my solution to the problem if I was a benevolent god. Only if I was a sadistic god would I create both Alex and the serial killer or just the killer, but not Alex.

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Those are really good answers.  But imagine that the serial killer does exist and the only choice you have is to create Alex (thereby saving the other eight victims) or not.  Imagine there are no other options. 

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she gets eternity in paradise not the stupid heaven in the bible right?

 

if  yes then sure whats a brief moment of suffering for eternal pleasures and riches.

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Imagine this situation.  You have a special kind of insight into a particular life that hasn't yet been born.  Let's call her "Alex".  So you are given a special ability to see into the future of this girl Alex who hasn't been born yet.  What you see is very shocking.  Alex is going to be a victim of torture.  Alex has a very hard life, even though she is very sweet, innocent and kind.  Every day for her is a struggle, she is quite unattractive and she hasn't got friends. No one likes her, she has a bit of a physical and mental handicap so she tends to be left on her own.   When Alex is thirty years old, she falls into the hands of a sadistic serial killer.  She is brutally tortured for 18 hours before she finally dies.  The sadist tortures her with medical instruments (he is like the guy from saw).  At the end of the torture, Alex was buried alive, and suffocated to death. 

 

You are responsible to make a decision about Alex's life.  You can choose to prevent Alex from ever existing.  Or.....you can choose to create Alex.  If you create her it will be your responsibility to observe all of her sufferings.  You will not be allowed to look away when she is tortured and screaming.  If you create her she will have no way of avoiding her fate.  She will be doomed.  Let's imagine that all avenues of suicide have been somehow closed off for her so that isn't an option.  If you choose to create Alex, god will grant her eternal life in paradise although he will not change her fate on this earth nor make any interventions for her pain.  God tells you that Alex's joys in her eternal state will make up for/compensate the torture she has went through.  She's had it so bad in life that God's going to make her into a beautiful princess in heaven.  

 

Will you create Alex or not? 

 

Shouldn't you be worried about making sure you keep up the quota of believers if you are god? Who cares about alex. It takes followers and lots of them to give any god real power. If we simply stop wasting time with exercises like this and really set "god" down then why does it matter what happens to alex. He didn't and can't create her because he isn't it isn't the isn't there. This might be amusing for you but there really is no merit to it other than for fun and entertainment. If that was the goal then go to it.

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No it is not about amusement or entertainment it is a moral question.  It is about....regardless of whether you believe there is or isn't a god is it acceptable to create someone who is going to suffer (whether by birth or cloning or whatever method) and then sacrifice them for a perceived greater good. 

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Okay, suppose you answer "Yes, you do it." You do it because you're helping 8 while hurting 1. You do it knowing that she's going to have a horrible life and die a horrible death but gets to spend eternity in paradise. That last bit helps you to not feel quite as guilty about the horrible pain you have inflicted.

 

But when you do it, you may have condemned any of those other 8 to eternal torment because they would do something later in life to lose their chance to go to paradise. If that is the case, you've done more harm than good; and because this scenario doesn't allow you to have all of the information, you have no way of knowing whether you did that or not.

 

Now suppose you answer "No, I won't do it". You won't do it because you do not want to be personally responsible for the suffering of Alex. Yes, 8 other people will be murdered, but who's to say they won't wind up in paradise? Maybe I've done more good by not creating Alex!

 

This is a moral question for which there is no right answer because we don't have all of the information. In order to have enough information, we would have to be as omniscient as the imaginary god that created the imaginary paradise and allowed the imaginary evil to take place. (Or, the creator of the scenario would have to give us more information.)

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If we really could see into the future, we would have all gone insane and wiped out the race through suicide a long time ago.

 

We can design hypotheticals with real life dilemmas such as "would you kill one to save five" and various personality types will answer differently. My type would say, "ask another question."

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If we really could see into the future, we would have all gone insane and wiped out the race through suicide a long time ago.

 

We can design hypotheticals with real life dilemmas such as "would you kill one to save five" and various personality types will answer differently. My type would say, "ask another question."

 

agreed.

 

It is like those uselss group exercise that put you and 5-10 others in a raft at sea all going to die unless you... It goes no where and there is not right answer when you apply MORALITY since it is always subjective and never objective. Even if you applied ridiculous biblical parable to it it holds zero water. Morality does not exist in REALITY only ethics. Ones morality is beside the point in an exercise like this since that is pesonally yours and not us as a race. Exercise useless can we ask some real questions or at least ones that amuse the senses.

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Those are really good answers.  But imagine that the serial killer does exist and the only choice you have is to create Alex (thereby saving the other eight victims) or not.  Imagine there are no other options. 

 

Why do you want me to be such a limited god?

 

 

 

If we really could see into the future, we would have all gone insane and wiped out the race through suicide a long time ago.

 

We can design hypotheticals with real life dilemmas such as "would you kill one to save five" and various personality types will answer differently. My type would say, "ask another question."

 

Maybe the easiest way to answer "Would you kill one to save five?" is to say, "Kill all six."

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If we really could see into the future, we would have all gone insane and wiped out the race through suicide a long time ago.

 

 we can only wish that would have happened.  what is stopping us now? 

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If we really could see into the future, we would have all gone insane and wiped out the race through suicide a long time ago.

 

 we can only wish that would have happened.  what is stopping us now?

Speak for yourself! I, for one, am quite content to be alive. I don't know why seeing into the future would make us want to commit suicide. Life is better now than it was 100 years ago (for most people). Yes, there is a lot of misery in the world. There's also a lot of happiness.

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