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View Diary: Sociopaths, Neuroscience, and Morality (139 comments)

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  •  Apparently I'm not a sociopath (6+ / 0-)

    but I'm not 'normal' either.

    I have the same amount of difficulty in both situations - I can't accept the premise (the "only" way to save them? I can't yell at them to move? And you really think I'm going to believe that the train is going to kill five people but I can stop it with a single fat guy? How do I know that, anyway?)

    And even if I force myself to accept the premise, I start asking more questions (After I pull the switch, can I jump down and pull the single guy off the track? Am I not fat enough to throw myself in front of the train? Does the fat guy want to volunteer to jump? Maybe we can both jump and together we can get all five off the track.)

    When I finally stop asking questions about the scenario, I start asking questions about the question: Do you want to know what I would actually do, or what I think is the right thing to do? Am I supposed to take this scenario literally, or is it a metaphor? Are you interested in the answer, or in the process by which I arrive at it? What if I think this is a morally ambiguous situation with no clear 'right' answer?

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 02:58:42 PM PDT

    •  Great points! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      Actually, the second scenario made me question my response to the first scenario.  

      Five potatoes are worth more than one potato.  But people are not potatoes.

      Love your tagline, BTW

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

      by mathGuyNTulsa on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 03:34:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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