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Do the ends justify the means? - Printable Version

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Do the ends justify the means? - dreamer... - 03-27-2008 12:42 AM

Warning: this is gonna be a long post.

So, I just finished watching Minority Report (awesome movie btw) and it raises a very interesting question. In the movie, three individuals endure extreme suffering- not by choice- in order to save thousands of lives. My question: is this morally wrong? If those three were relieved from their suffering, many people would die. Yes, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but how far should we go in pursuing the needs of the many? Is it right to force those few into agony to save the thousands of lives at stake? Or should the three be spared the pain and liberated, regardless of the terrible consequences? If they are subjected to suffering for the greater good, do they have any right to refuse? What if those few must die? I guess this is just another case of “do the ends justify the means”. And honestly, i'm not sure what I think. The cost of personal freedom (to refuse the suffering) seems so great…perhaps there are times when a few individuals must be sacrificed for the benefit of a larger group…well, I don’t really know.
What do you guys think?


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - HeartofShadows - 03-27-2008 01:51 AM

I've seen minority report.. it was a cool movie.
In real life sometimes the ends justifies the means depending on the ends.
As for minority report the pre crime system was a shitty system that never took into account free thought.
There are plenty of times I've wanted to kill people and commit unspeakable crimes and yet I talk myself out of it.
The pre crime system arrests me before i even have a chance to think about the crime.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - NiteRaidah - 03-27-2008 04:00 AM

Like HoS said, it depends on the ends....

Would it be worth it to, say, suffer for a while just for something miniscule, like a passing grade on a test?

Granted, that's perhaps not the best example, though.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Double - 03-27-2008 06:16 AM

Yes.

And No.

In a big scenario like the one in Minority Report I would never let the ends justify the means. It's just stupid, some people making a job on imprisoning thoughtful people and keeping 3 young girls floating in a water container.
However, I think there are times when the ends must justify the means. It's not always an easy decision to make, I can imagine, but I also suppose there are thousands of different positions you can find yourself in, and ask yourself the same question, every time.

Also, in Minority Report things are very exaggerated and thus the Idea of the ends justifying the means becomes a bit twisted after watching the movie. Still a good movie though.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - dreamer... - 03-27-2008 11:02 AM

i don't mean do the ends justify the means specifically in the movie, but just in general. You guys said "it depends"- so, in your opinions, when is it okay to make a few people suffer to help the greater good? When is it not ok?


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - SoulRiser - 03-27-2008 01:38 PM

How 'bout this really horrible example...

You're standing next to a train track. The person you care about most in the entire universe is tied to the tracks. There's a switch where you can make the train use a different track, which will make it avoid the person. The train is coming, there is no time to untie the person. The other track you can make the train go on is broken, and the train will fall off the cliff and everyone aboard will die (say, 100 people or so). What do you do?

There's no guarantee the 100 people on that train are intelligent, interesting, or even remotely good in any way. I mean, if it was a train with 100 politicians in it... there'd be no question, really. Mwahaha
But you just don't know.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Bob Dole - 03-27-2008 03:18 PM

I'd waste a hundred people.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - liq3 - 03-27-2008 04:09 PM

Anonymous1.0 Wrote:I'd waste a hundred people.



Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Jonno - 03-27-2008 04:36 PM

Anonymous1.0 Wrote:I'd waste a hundred people.
You'd do that even if there was no-one tied to the tracks


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Bob Dole - 03-27-2008 05:13 PM

Thonil Wrote:
Anonymous1.0 Wrote:I'd waste a hundred people.
You'd do that even if there was no-one tied to the tracks
Nah. If it was somebody I loved I would let 100 people die. Or the entire world. Somebody I didn't know or disliked, pull up a chair.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Suicidal-kun - 03-27-2008 05:41 PM

Oh I'd let the 100 fuckers on the train die without a second thought or hesitation if it meant saving the most important person to me.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - dreamer... - 03-27-2008 06:53 PM

Suicidal-kun Wrote:Oh I'd let the 100 fuckers on the train die without a second thought or hesitation if it meant saving the most important person to me.

That's a very selfish thing to do. Not that I wouldn't do the same...but I can't really say what I would do in the train scenario- that is one hell of a traumatizing situation and there's no way I would be thinking clearly!

But...when I think of it logically...I guess I would let the friend die (ok, i would look for alternatives, but we're assuming there are none). That person might mean everything to me, but the 100 on the train mean just as much to their loved ones. So yeah, I suppose I'd save the 100 and sacrifice my friend.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - liq3 - 03-27-2008 07:58 PM

@dreamer : You could also consider it selfish that the 100 would sacrifice your friend for themselves.

Also, going my beliefs, it's the peoples fault for getting on the train. It's their time to die, whether they like it or not.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Suicidal-kun - 03-27-2008 08:20 PM

dreamer... Wrote:
Suicidal-kun Wrote:Oh I'd let the 100 fuckers on the train die without a second thought or hesitation if it meant saving the most important person to me.

That's a very selfish thing to do. Not that I wouldn't do the same...but I can't really say what I would do in the train scenario- that is one hell of a traumatizing situation and there's no way I would be thinking clearly!

But...when I think of it logically...I guess I would let the friend die (ok, i would look for alternatives, but we're assuming there are none). That person might mean everything to me, but the 100 on the train mean just as much to their loved ones. So yeah, I suppose I'd save the 100 and sacrifice my friend.
Hey, I never said I wasn't a selfish person. I just don't value the life of 100 random people compared to the life of the person most special to me.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - HeartofShadows - 03-28-2008 06:20 AM

This is coming from a guy who would turn his back on the world for the one most important to him. compared to 100 people I wouldn't give a shit. Humans are greedy by nature and although you say that it will be a hard choice think of this dreamer. Living life with the one most important to you beside you or 100 people who wouldn't even give a shit about what you went through to save them.

I guess the ends justifying the means depends on the person's attachment to the means.

Another shitty example(Soulriser yours was good)
I got this from swordfish but what if you could stop all suffering and pain in this world put you would have to kill a school full of kids for a sacrifice in a horrible and bloody way could you.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Suicidal-kun - 03-28-2008 09:21 AM

Well, in that situation HoS, I would have to say, sucks to be those kids, for I'd probably kill them.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - dreamer... - 03-28-2008 09:50 AM

Quote:what if you could stop all suffering and pain in this world put you would have to kill a school full of kids for a sacrifice in a horrible and bloody way could you.

Uhoh That's a hard question...
Noo
so instead of answering I'm gonna argue that this example doesn't make sense. Killing the kids would lead to a lot of pain and suffering on behalf of the parents. Instead of stopping the suffering in the world it would create more... so yeah. i say the example is irrational.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Suicidal-kun - 03-28-2008 09:54 AM

dreamer... Wrote:
Quote:what if you could stop all suffering and pain in this world put you would have to kill a school full of kids for a sacrifice in a horrible and bloody way could you.

Uhoh That's a hard question...
Noo
so instead of answering I'm gonna argue that this example doesn't make sense. Killing the kids would lead to a lot of pain and suffering on behalf of the parents. Instead of stopping the suffering in the world it would create more... so yeah. i say the example is irrational.
Its a hypothetical question, it doesn't have to be rational.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Bob Dole - 03-28-2008 11:43 AM

Lock and load. Time to go Cho.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - HeartofShadows - 03-28-2008 02:45 PM

Dreamer notice I didn't say what kinda kids.
Especially if it was high school kids I would think about it.
Depends on what kinda mode I'am in but then again I could give a shit about the world so ehh.
But think about world peace for a school full of kids.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - SoulRiser - 03-28-2008 03:00 PM

Let's change this a bit. If you had to kill everyone on SS for world peace, would you do it?


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - dreamer... - 03-28-2008 03:06 PM

You know, Heart of Shadows, you have a good point. With the train scenario I could easily decide what to do, but with the schoolkids I hesitate.

The two scenarios are different in that the train one is passive- someone will die no matter what, I have to choose if it's 1 or 100 people. But I'm not killing anyone, just picking the lesser of 2 evils.

With the schoolkids scenario though, it is active...I would be murdering, intentionally. Part of me says world peace would be worth those lives, but another part reminds me that killing is a horrible crime. I don't think I ever have any right to take someone else's life for the greater good. Unless I got the kids to agree to sacrifice their lives...then, it might be justifiable. Well, i'm leaning towards no, save the kids...but as I said, I really just don't know.

Wow, your question really makes you think!


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - HeartofShadows - 03-28-2008 03:08 PM

Ok on school survival.

I would kill wolf, maybe thunder, Darthmat, and Thats all.
(Just Joking)

In all seriousness nah I could kill you guys if I knew you.
(If I had amnesia though...


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - HeartofShadows - 03-28-2008 03:09 PM

I would say Zero and rebelnerd but Rebenlnerd is the kinda guy that if he was going to die would take you with him and he might blow me up and Zero just ain't human.

Oh and thanks dreamer.


Re: Do the ends justify the means? - Suicidal-kun - 03-28-2008 07:15 PM

SoulRiser Wrote:Let's change this a bit. If you had to kill everyone on SS for world peace, would you do it?
Nope, I couldn't kill you guys, especially one particular member.