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Old 16th January 2021, 07:28 AM   #41
theprestige
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
In terms of ethics, I think organ donation should be opt-out rather than opt-in
Can you explain what you mean by this? Who would be opting out? What would they be opting out of?
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:30 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Actually the point of such "trolley problem" type dilemmas is to force us to imagine in situations where no alternative options are available.
Unfortunately it's in human nature to "Kobayashi Maru" their way out of contrived dilemmas. You end up either presenting a dilemma with (unstated) alternatives, or a dilemma that's so absurdly contrived that nobody takes it seriously anyway.
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:35 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you explain what you mean by this? Who would be opting out? What would they be opting out of?
Yes, at the moment you become an organ donor by signing a form or card and checking boxes saying which organs you are happy to have used after your death. That is opt-in.

With opt-out, you are assumed to be an organ donor unless you have signed forms and carry a card saying "DON'T USE MY ORGANS!" Presumably the next-of-kin will also know of your wishes.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:42 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yes, at the moment you become an organ donor by signing a form or card and checking boxes saying which organs you are happy to have used after your death. That is opt-in.

With opt-out, you are assumed to be an organ donor unless you have signed forms and carry a card saying "DON'T USE MY ORGANS!" Presumably the next-of-kin will also know of your wishes.
Gotcha, thanks.

That seems unethical to me. It violates basic principles of bodily autonomy. With opt-in, my body and all its parts are mine. I and I alone decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them.

With opt-out, my body essentially belongs to the state by default. The state decides what to do with it, and I have to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default.
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:42 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Yeah waiting for someone to die is also an option, although some might argue that after the first patient death it might be too late to rescue most if not all of the patients.

Actually the point of such "trolley problem" type dilemmas is to force us to imagine in situations where no alternative options are available.

The current one that I brought is about choosing between a huge number of victims or a few number of unfairly (randomly) chosen victims.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Unfortunately it's in human nature to "Kobayashi Maru" their way out of contrived dilemmas. You end up either presenting a dilemma with (unstated) alternatives, or a dilemma that's so absurdly contrived that nobody takes it seriously anyway.
I get the point of the ethical dilemma, which is why I tried to close up the loop-holes for the OP in my second post.

All I am pointing out was that in the first place the thought experiment doesn't present an ethical dilemma as raised. In the second, I was saying, it could be better phrased that way (steel-manning and also answering other objections raised).

Now, usually, the thought experiment is asked with the assumption that one perfectly healthy person walks into a hospital with remarkably suitable organs for five dying patients with, perhaps, unsuitable organs for donation (due to illness).

Then it becomes a difficult ethical decision, because only then are we sacrificing someone for others.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:50 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Gotcha, thanks.

That seems unethical to me. It violates basic principles of bodily autonomy. With opt-in, my body and all its parts are mine. I and I alone decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them.

With opt-out, my body essentially belongs to the state by default. The state decides what to do with it, and I have to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default.
True, but after death is body autonomy really an issue? To some extent body autonomy cannot be considered absolute given that if I break some kind of rules on a social contract that I never knew I even signed, they can fling me in jail.

I would say that society is far more likely to benefit from something that will no longer be of any use to me once I am dead:

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Opt-out legislative systems dramatically increase effective rates of consent for donation as a consequence of the default effect.[27] For example, Germany, which uses an opt-in system, has an organ donation consent rate of 12% among its population, while Austria, a country with a very similar culture and economic development, but which uses an opt-out system, has a consent rate of 99.98%.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 08:48 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Tell me about your mother.
Mine:

87 years old.
Lives independently in her own home.
Does not walk in deserts.
Has a cat, but no turtles.
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:15 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
True, but after death is body autonomy really an issue?
Of course it is. Most cultures have strong taboos about what to do with human corpses. We even have procedures in place to handle the material possessions of the deceased as they wish. After your death in a meteorite storm it would be wrong for us to loot Angrysoba Manor of its fancy jewel-encrusted ceramic clown clocks, just as it would be wrong for us to loot your corpse of its fancy jewel-encrusted organs.
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:32 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you explain what you mean by this? Who would be opting out? What would they be opting out of?
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yes, at the moment you become an organ donor by signing a form or card and checking boxes saying which organs you are happy to have used after your death. That is opt-in.

With opt-out, you are assumed to be an organ donor unless you have signed forms and carry a card saying "DON'T USE MY ORGANS!" Presumably the next-of-kin will also know of your wishes.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Gotcha, thanks.

That seems unethical to me. It violates basic principles of bodily autonomy. With opt-in, my body and all its parts are mine. I and I alone decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them.

With opt-out, my body essentially belongs to the state by default. The state decides what to do with it, and I have to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default.
Many countries have moved to an “opt out” option as default.

From a USA perspective - it seems it would work well in the USA to increase suitable organs: https://sparq.stanford.edu/solutions...organ-donation
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Old 16th January 2021, 01:17 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Gotcha, thanks.

That seems unethical to me. It violates basic principles of bodily autonomy. With opt-in, my body and all its parts are mine. I and I alone decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them.

With opt-out, my body essentially belongs to the state by default. The state decides what to do with it, and I have to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default.
But is there a 'you' to belong to after pushing daiseys? Seems 'you' have foregone autonomy and are leaving someone else to deal with the decomposing discard pile. Unless survivors say it's really important to them to have your corneas rot in a box, why shouldn't it be a default that the living get first dibs over the dead?
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Old 16th January 2021, 01:27 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Yeah waiting for someone to die is also an option, although some might argue that after the first patient death it might be too late to rescue most if not all of the patients.

Actually the point of such "trolley problem" type dilemmas is to force us to imagine in situations where no alternative options are available.

The current one that I brought is about choosing between a huge number of victims or a few number of unfairly (randomly) chosen victims.
Ok then, no. We can't kill one at random, even though he would die anyway. Its still murder, even if it saves others. The same logic would apply to a healthy person, who will eventually die anyway, mortality being how it is. The benefit of a few does not give you the power of god over one random.

Reminds me of a short story called The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. There's a town called Omelas where everyone is happy. But their happiness relies on the wretched suffering of one random innocent child, for reasons. When residents are old enough to understand, they are taken to see the child once, so they know where the town's joy comes from. Some return to Omelas, and some walk away.
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Old 16th January 2021, 02:37 PM   #52
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Wills, estates, and inheritance. If I have the right to dictate how my possessions should be allocated after my death, how can I not have the right to allocate my most fundamental possession: My own body?

My possessions, my choice, is a fundamental principle of inheritance law.

My body, my choice, is a fundamental principle of human ****-ing rights.

So where does the state get the moral authority to decide what I'm allowed to do with my own body?
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Old 16th January 2021, 02:42 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Wills, estates, and inheritance. If I have the right to dictate how my possessions should be allocated after my death, how can I not have the right to allocate my most fundamental possession: My own body?

My possessions, my choice, is a fundamental principle of inheritance law.

My body, my choice, is a fundamental principle of human ****-ing rights.

So where does the state get the moral authority to decide what I'm allowed to do with my own body?
It is, when you have made that decision in advance. Contrast with someone who did not have his affairs in order: the State grabs it up by default. Having a Will is the loose equivalent of opting out in advance.
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Old 16th January 2021, 02:50 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
If a criminal is doing a dangerous act such as shooting at people and there is no other option for neutralizing him other than to kill him, then it's probably acceptable.
In this case we have no additional information about those people. Actually I mentioned that there is no possibility of rational preference.
Different ballpark. Legally, it is acceptable to stop a killer by killing them, if there is no other immediate way to stop them. You may even do so if you have adequate reason to assume that they intend to kill somebody (including yourself).

Morally, I suppose mileages would differ, but personally I would accept killing a potential killer to stop them.

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Old 16th January 2021, 05:59 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
It is, when you have made that decision in advance. Contrast with someone who did not have his affairs in order: the State grabs it up by default.
Which states do that? If you die intestate the state doesn't "grab" your estate, it just means that without other instructions they divide the estate according to state law. Only if you die intestate with no relatives at all would the state wind up keeping any of it.
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:02 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Which states do that? If you die intestate the state doesn't "grab" your estate, it just means that without other instructions they divide the estate according to state law. Only if you die intestate with no relatives at all would the state wind up keeping any of it.
Which was the extent, and indeed the point, of the analogy. Without opting out of State seizure and no heir apparent, you default to the State. Why not with the carcass you abandoned as well?
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:05 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Of course it is. Most cultures have strong taboos about what to do with human corpses. We even have procedures in place to handle the material possessions of the deceased as they wish. After your death in a meteorite storm it would be wrong for us to loot Angrysoba Manor of its fancy jewel-encrusted ceramic clown clocks, just as it would be wrong for us to loot your corpse of its fancy jewel-encrusted organs.
Sure, almost all cultures also have strong cultural beliefs about how supernatural people created the universe. But it doesn't follow that these beliefs are correct.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:13 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Wills, estates, and inheritance. If I have the right to dictate how my possessions should be allocated after my death, how can I not have the right to allocate my most fundamental possession: My own body?

My possessions, my choice, is a fundamental principle of inheritance law.

My body, my choice, is a fundamental principle of human ****-ing rights.

So where does the state get the moral authority to decide what I'm allowed to do with my own body?
All the highlighted are examples of the very "hav[ing] to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default".

No one is arguing that the state should have "absolute authority" as the opt-out allows people to say that they would prefer their organs to go into the ground with them.

Again, it doesn't offend my intuitions ethically.

On the other hand, it definitely does offend my intuitions if we have a bunch of dead people and a bunch of dying people and we are told, "Sorry we could easily save the lives of the dying people but we can't remove the organs from the dead people because they never said we could. Even though they may well have been fine with it, according to their relatives."
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:21 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Sure, almost all cultures also have strong cultural beliefs about how supernatural people created the universe. But it doesn't follow that these beliefs are correct.
Argument by analogy fails again: a human belief about the origin of the cosmos has no effect on the origin of the cosmos. A human preference in matters concerning treatment of human dead does have an effect on human behavior. Human beliefs affect human behavior, not physics. This should not be surprising information.
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:30 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Argument by analogy fails again: a human belief about the origin of the cosmos has no effect on the origin of the cosmos. A human preference in matters concerning treatment of human dead does have an effect on human behavior. Human beliefs affect human behavior, not physics. This should not be surprising information.
Alright then, I'll give a better example: In many cultures around the world, they have opt-out rather than opt-in. It seems that this is not a very difficult thing to get people on board with. It should be promoted for the benefits that it can clearly bring to society and those people who want no part of it get to opt-out.

What's the problem with that?
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:36 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Alright then, I'll give a better example: In many cultures around the world, they have opt-out rather than opt-in. It seems that this is not a very difficult thing to get people on board with. It should be promoted for the benefits that it can clearly bring to society and those people who want no part of it get to opt-out.

What's the problem with that?
But it does seem to be a "difficult thing to get on board with", or else people would be agreeing with you on the matter, wouldn't they? Scrolling in this thread suggests the opposite.
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Old 16th January 2021, 09:41 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But it does seem to be a "difficult thing to get on board with", or else people would be agreeing with you on the matter, wouldn't they? Scrolling in this thread suggests the opposite.
You can't please everyone.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 16th January 2021, 11:09 PM   #63
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I met an ER doc who wrote a book about what happens to dead bodies. It was entertaining enough, but his fundamental point was that death itself is a mutilating experience, so don't hesitate to allow organs to be harvested from your loved one's body on those grounds. He said you could die with an organ donor card in every pocket, but it your next of kin doesn't consent, there is a good chance no one will benefit from those organs. I mean some places might immediately do the Y cut and take everything useful, but it was something many doctors hesitated to do without the express approval of family members. He hated to see healthy organs wasted and time was of the essence. The problem was particularly acute with kidneys. He wrote that a long time ago; I don't know if the situation has changed since then.
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Old 17th January 2021, 09:20 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Ok then, no. We can't kill one at random, even though he would die anyway. Its still murder, even if it saves others. The same logic would apply to a healthy person, who will eventually die anyway, mortality being how it is. The benefit of a few does not give you the power of god over one random.

Reminds me of a short story called The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. There's a town called Omelas where everyone is happy. But their happiness relies on the wretched suffering of one random innocent child, for reasons. When residents are old enough to understand, they are taken to see the child once, so they know where the town's joy comes from. Some return to Omelas, and some walk away.

Let's assume one of those people is a known ISIS terrorist who has killed dozens of people, would you still do nothing? From a consequentialist point of view we should avoid the greater evil...

Or maybe one of them has a brain disorder which will either shorten his lifespan or reduce his life quality (other organs are fine). Or anything that can make someone slightly more preferable as a potential organ donor.

Will this make more ethical to select someone?
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Old 17th January 2021, 09:29 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Let's assume one of those people is a known ISIS terrorist who has killed dozens of people, would you still do nothing? From a consequentialist point of view we should avoid the greater evil...

Or maybe one of them has a brain disorder which will either shorten his lifespan or reduce his life quality (other organs are fine). Or anything that can make someone slightly more preferable as a potential organ donor,

Will this make more ethical to select someone?
From a consequentialist point of view we should pick whatever leads to the best future outcomes.
We should not consider who is deserving based on their past behavior, but who might do the greatest good going forward.
Granted, past actions might indicate future actions, but maybe being trained as a Terrorist is what will be necessary for preventing evil going forward.
See the Documentary "Suicide Squad".
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Old 17th January 2021, 10:11 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Let's assume one of those people is a known ISIS terrorist who has killed dozens of people, would you still do nothing? From a consequentialist point of view we should avoid the greater evil...

Or maybe one of them has a brain disorder which will either shorten his lifespan or reduce his life quality (other organs are fine). Or anything that can make someone slightly more preferable as a potential organ donor,

Will this make more ethical to select someone?
So we are going to walk through the Trolley Problem scenario by scenario? Ok. Already did it in Philosophy, but ok.

No, we still don't murder to harvest. To cut to the chase, my tipping point is +/- when the extinction of the species is guaranteed if we don't. I have some vascillation around using a mortally wounded mortal enemy to save your own comrades lives, but it gets too situational to broad brush in the abstract.

Without specifics, we can't assign meaningful relative values, which is ultimately what the alternative scenarios require, as others note. If asked about what you would do at random, the question is answerable. As soon as you fill in one specific, but not the rest, it is not.
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Last edited by Thermal; 17th January 2021 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 17th January 2021, 10:57 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
my tipping point is +/- when the extinction of the species is guaranteed if we don't.
Hmm, so you admit that there is some point when killing is justifiable?

Actually I wonder whether it makes a principal difference between saving 4 people or millions of people (not a threat for our species just an insane amount of victims) by selecting a victim.

Mildly saying, human values, ethics, experiences and actions are difficult to measure compared to length, weight or temperature. And this is a problem if there is a difference between 4 and 100000 potential victims.

It would sound somewhat odd and cynical if somebody claimed that 25496 (OK, maybe a range such as 20000 - 30000) is the starting point when killing somebody is necessary in a certain situation .

The last example somewhat resembles a strategy that is often used in chess programs. Each figure is given some numeric value. The more powerful a figure is the bigger value it has, for example, pawn - 1, knight - 3, queen - 9, king - 100000 or even "infinity", etc. This is because both humans and programs cannot predict the whole match. These values and even the strategy are unlikely to be the most optimal way, they're just good enough.
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:08 AM   #68
Thermal
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Hmm, so you admit that there is some point when killing is justifiable?

Actually I wonder whether it makes a principal difference between saving 4 people or millions of people (not a threat for our species just an insane amount of victims) by selecting a victim.
Why start with four? Start with one. As a random decision, can you justify killing one person to save another, all things being equal? How about 2? Does a second person change the moral imperative?

Quote:
Mildly saying, human values, ethics, experiences and actions are difficult to measure compared to length, weight or temperature. And this is a problem if there is a difference between 4 and 100000 potential victims.

It would sound somewhat odd and cynical if somebody claimed that 25496 (OK, maybe a range such as 20000 - 30000) is the starting point when killing somebody is necessary in a certain situation .
Which is why the specifics would outweigh the abstraction. You can't plug one specific in and have the abstraction remain meaningful.

Eta: your chess eta: that is a practical valuation. In practice, some people are valued more highly than others, but morally that is an awkward can of worms.
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:28 AM   #69
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Follow up question for those who've responded.

Is your moral belief system at least theoretically something that could be written down as some finite number of axioms like a system of doing math or modelling physics would be? I don't care if those axioms describe a system based on outcomes, rules, virtues or some combination, do they potentially exist?

Or do your moral judgements rely on unformalizable gut reactions.

To put it another way:
When you say you can't weigh in on an unrealistic case without without the detail and specifics of the real world, does adding those details make it processable because you now have the information to run the situation through your value system, or because you now have a set of information to have a moral intuition about?
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Old 17th January 2021, 12:34 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Eta: your chess eta: that is a practical valuation. In practice, some people are valued more highly than others, but morally that is an awkward can of worms.
Yeah, this is probabilistic strategy, because either the information is incomplete or the result is not fully computable.

As Cavemonster noted, how much will our moral judgements rely on rational and formalizable thinking and how much on unformalizable moral intuition?

I guess probably we should try to formalize as much as possible (even if it is probabilistic). The rest leave for moral intuition.

So it seems there is no right answer... Someone's moral intuition might tell that 20000 is the tipping point, for others is the extinction of humans (although considering that our universe will likely to have heat death, this will still save a finite number of people).
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Old 17th January 2021, 01:16 PM   #71
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Arrow

Originally Posted by suren View Post
Yeah, this is probabilistic strategy, because either the information is incomplete or the result is not fully computable.

As Cavemonster noted, how much will our moral judgements rely on rational and formalizable thinking and how much on unformalizable moral intuition?
Even more fun: your moral intuition likely varies with your emotional state.

Quote:
I guess probably we should try to formalize as much as possible (even if it is probabilistic). The rest leave for moral intuition.

So it seems there is no right answer... Someone's moral intuition might tell that 20000 is the tipping point, for others is the extinction of humans (although considering that our universe will likely to have heat death, this will still save a finite number of people).
Now if you are getting all nihilistic I'm taking my ball and going home. Or having a drink. Yeah, that second one.
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Old 17th January 2021, 02:25 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Now if you are getting all nihilistic I'm taking my ball and going home. Or having a drink. Yeah, that second one.
I'm not nihilistic, actually it's the contrary.
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Old 17th January 2021, 02:43 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Gotcha, thanks.

That seems unethical to me. It violates basic principles of bodily autonomy. With opt-in, my body and all its parts are mine. I and I alone decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them.

With opt-out, my body essentially belongs to the state by default. The state decides what to do with it, and I have to take extra steps to claim what should rightfully be mine by default.
If I were still alive at the time that my organs were harvested, yes. But bodily autonomy means little to me when I'm dead.
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Old 17th January 2021, 02:47 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
You can't please everyone.
Those people who disagree are more than welcome to opt out.
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Old 17th January 2021, 03:42 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Those people who disagree are more than welcome to opt out.
Indeed. And I have pointed this out. But those who disagree argue that it is a fundamental insult to human rights that they have to check a form to say that they don't want to donate their organs. The principle they object to is that the state gets the first say in how a person's own body is used.

I am pretty sure I understand the objection, but I don't find it compelling. Other analogies that theprestige gave are writing a will, inheritance etc...

Well, in most countries the state gets to either make the default decision when it comes to those (by what right?!!?!?), or in many cases to take a portion of it as tax.

Besides that, the state often gets to incarcerate people if they breach certain parts of a social contract that they never signed, they get to make conditions on certain vaccinations, children are wards of state, etc...

There is really no such thing as the kind of radical autonomy over your own body that opponents of opt-out argue for.
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Old 17th January 2021, 04:02 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Indeed. And I have pointed this out. But those who disagree argue that it is a fundamental insult to human rights that they have to check a form to say that they don't want to donate their organs. The principle they object to is that the state gets the first say in how a person's own body is used.

I am pretty sure I understand the objection, but I don't find it compelling. Other analogies that theprestige gave are writing a will, inheritance etc...

Well, in most countries the state gets to either make the default decision when it comes to those (by what right?!!?!?), or in many cases to take a portion of it as tax.

Besides that, the state often gets to incarcerate people if they breach certain parts of a social contract that they never signed, they get to make conditions on certain vaccinations, children are wards of state, etc...

There is really no such thing as the kind of radical autonomy over your own body that opponents of opt-out argue for.
I find it hard to get upset about my wishes not being followed after my death. I mean, how will I know? I could be cut to pieces and fed to dogs for all I'm going to care. I can't be angry about something I have absolutely no control over.
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Old 17th January 2021, 08:20 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I can't be angry about something I have absolutely no control over.
Really? I find that extraordinary. You've never gotten angry at something you see in the news, that you have no control over?
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Old 17th January 2021, 08:42 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Really? I find that extraordinary. You've never gotten angry at something you see in the news, that you have no control over?
Not what I was talking about.
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Old 17th January 2021, 08:53 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Not what I was talking about.
So you do get angry over things you have no control over. What's the difference that makes you not angry when it's about your corpse? The timing? Or is it just that you don't think you feel a particular attachment to your corpse the way you would about other things?
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Old 17th January 2021, 08:59 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
So you do get angry over things you have no control over. What's the difference that makes you not angry when it's about your corpse? The timing? Or is it just that you don't think you feel a particular attachment to your corpse the way you would about other things?
The difference is that I will be dead and not able to feel anything.
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