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View Full Version : A thought experiment on the issue of life and rights



Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2012, 04:35 PM
Suppose you are in your home with your spouse and children as a major hurricane approaches. You understand that the hurricane is of an extreme magnitude, and going outside is a major risk to life. As the wind and rain pick up, a car speeds into your drive way and someone exists the car carrying a body. They walk to your front door, and open it without your permission. The person drops the body on your floor and then leaves, closing the door behind them.

You go to the stranger to investigate and discover that they are fully unconscious, out cold, but still breathing. There is a note pinned to their shirt that says "this man is unconscious and he needs a place to stay for the duration of the storm. If he is left outside in the storm, he will surely die. It is your obligation to house them until the storm passes and until he can safely leave on his own."

You say to yourself "What is this? I own this house and this property, I don't care who this stranger is, I didn't invite them in. I don't have to keep them in here."


Questions:

1. Do you have the moral obligation, according to whichever ethical system you subcribe to, to keep this stranger in your home to protect their life?

2. Is the stranger at fault because he entered your home without permission, even though he was taken there with no intention of his own?

3. Are you at fault for leaving your door unlocked? or if you feel property rights hold regardless of whether or not you lock your door?

4. Do you have the legal obligation to keep the stranger in your home to protect their life?

5. Morally or legally, would removing the stranger from your home be considered murder if they were certain to die because of it?

Bailey
03-03-2012, 04:47 PM
I would check his pockets for cash and credit cards and then get the hell out of dodge.


Oh and any jewelry

Articulate_Ape
03-03-2012, 04:54 PM
WWW, you should really try to refrain from thinking. You aren't any good at it.

Rockntractor
03-03-2012, 04:55 PM
First off there would be two bodies outside my door from when you tried to break down my door and I shot you, next I would call the sheriff to remove both bodies.

Apache
03-03-2012, 05:00 PM
Suppose you are in your home with your spouse and children as a major hurricane approaches. You understand that the hurricane is of an extreme magnitude, and going outside is a major risk to life. As the wind and rain pick up, a car speeds into your drive way and someone exists the car carrying a body. They walk to your front door, and open it without your permission. The person drops the body on your floor and then leaves, closing the door behind them.

You go to the stranger to investigate and discover that they are fully unconscious, out cold, but still breathing. There is a note pinned to their shirt that says "this man is unconscious and he needs a place to stay for the duration of the storm. If he is left outside in the storm, he will surely die. It is your obligation to house them until the storm passes and until he can safely leave on his own."

You say to yourself "What is this? I own this house and this property, I don't care who this stranger is, I didn't invite them in. I don't have to keep them in here."


Questions:

1. Do you have the moral obligation, according to whichever ethical system you subcribe to, to keep this stranger in your home to protect their life?

2. Is the stranger at fault because he entered your home without permission, even though he was taken there with no intention of his own?

3. Are you at fault for leaving your door unlocked? or if you feel property rights hold regardless of whether or not you lock your door?

4. Do you have the legal obligation to keep the stranger in your home to protect their life?

5. Morally or legally, would removing the stranger from your home be considered murder if they were certain to die because of it?

nice try wee. why do you lefties always exaggerate to make a point?

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2012, 05:23 PM
nice try wee. why do you lefties always exaggerate to make a point?

I don't think that qualifies as an "exaggeration". It's a thought experiment that highlights a conflict between different rights. I want to see what people think about this situation.

So far only Rock has given an answer, although not exactly in the form of the questions I posed. It seems Rock believes his home is his property and the person should not be there uninvited and he would use force if necessary to stop it.

Of course, in the thought experiment, the person is dropped there. We can assume for the sake of discussion that the person was dropped through your front door at the brief moment when you weren't sitting in your rocking chair facing the front door holding your shotgun. If you were perhaps grabbing supplies from a backroom or basement, and you came up to discover the person laying there, what would you do? The 5 questions still apply.

Rockntractor
03-03-2012, 05:44 PM
I don't think that qualifies as an "exaggeration". It's a thought experiment that highlights a conflict between different rights. I want to see what people think about this situation.

So far only Rock has given an answer, although not exactly in the form of the questions I posed. It seems Rock believes his home is his property and the person should not be there uninvited and he would use force if necessary to stop it.

Of course, in the thought experiment, the person is dropped there. We can assume for the sake of discussion that the person was dropped through your front door at the brief moment when you weren't sitting in your rocking chair facing the front door holding your shotgun. If you were perhaps grabbing supplies from a backroom or basement, and you came up to discover the person laying there, what would you do? The 5 questions still apply.

The door was locked, you threw this body through my door smashing it to pieces. Here is this body laying in the doorway with you babbling I'm responsible, I don't wish to be the next body so I blow your brains all over the wall. Hello operator can you give me the number for nine hundred eleven?

Apache
03-03-2012, 05:48 PM
I don't think that qualifies as an "exaggeration".
You understand that the hurricane is of an extreme magnitude, and going outside is a major risk to life. As the wind and rain pick up, a car speeds into your drive way and someone exists the car carrying a body. exaggeration? i think so...

Apache
03-03-2012, 05:51 PM
I don't think that qualifies as an "exaggeration". It's a thought experiment that highlights a conflict between different rights. I want to see what people think about this situation.

So far only Rock has given an answer, although not exactly in the form of the questions I posed. It seems Rock believes his home is his property and the person should not be there uninvited and he would use force if necessary to stop it.

Of course, in the thought experiment, the person is dropped there. We can assume for the sake of discussion that the person was dropped through your front door at the brief moment when you weren't sitting in your rocking chair facing the front door holding your shotgun. If you were perhaps grabbing supplies from a backroom or basement, and you came up to discover the person laying there, what would you do? The 5 questions still apply.


The door was locked, you threw this body through my door smashing it to pieces. Here is this body laying in the doorway with you babbling I'm responsible, I don't wish to be the next body so I blow your brains all over the wall. Hello operator can you give me the number for nine hundred eleven?

:OhNoes::lol:

Articulate_Ape
03-03-2012, 06:32 PM
I don't think that qualifies as an "exaggeration". It's a thought experiment that highlights a conflict between different rights. I want to see what people think about this situation.

So far only Rock has given an answer, although not exactly in the form of the questions I posed. It seems Rock believes his home is his property and the person should not be there uninvited and he would use force if necessary to stop it.

Of course, in the thought experiment, the person is dropped there. We can assume for the sake of discussion that the person was dropped through your front door at the brief moment when you weren't sitting in your rocking chair facing the front door holding your shotgun. If you were perhaps grabbing supplies from a backroom or basement, and you came up to discover the person laying there, what would you do? The 5 questions still apply.

While I'm working on your highly probable scenario, here's one for you to take on:

You're sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when suddenly three men walk in; the first wearing a clown suit, the second dressed as Chewbacca, and the third dressed in a business suit and playing Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug" on an accordion. They sit at the table next to yours and order food. The food arrives and the guy playing the accordion stops, sets it on the floor next to him, and helps the Chewbacca guy remove his mask to reveal that the fellow is actually George Clooney with his face painted blue. The men start to eat and suddenly you hear a racket coming from the kitchen area. The swinging doors burst open and six male midgets wearing cowboy outfits and riding Shetland ponies gallop out overturning tables and chairs as other diners scatter before them. All but one of the midget riders canters out of the restaurant singing "Pennies from Heaven" as they go. The remaining midget jumps off of his pony and, after pushing some tables aside he opens a hatch in the floor that you hadn't noticed before. He then remounts his mini-steed and rides out after his gang. Three tentacles emerge of the dark hole in the floor and snatch the three men at the table next to you and drag them screaming into the pit, with a fourth tentacle grasping the hatch and closing it after them.

Your dilemma:

1. Morally or legally, do you have the obligation to try to save George Clooney so that he can end the plight of the peoples of Sudan and thus usher in world peace?

2. Do you steal the accordion and start a polka band so you can raise money for Occupy Joe's Crab Shack?

3. Do you finish your breakfast and eat what remains of Cthulu's victims' meals so you can skip lunch and use the money to buy weed?

4. Do you call the police even though you have $4000 in unpaid parking tickets?

5. Do you open the hatch and jump in because you forgot to ask George Clooney for his autograph?

What do you do, hotshot, what do you do?

Apache
03-03-2012, 06:48 PM
While I'm working on your highly probable scenario, here's one for you to take on:

You're sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when suddenly three men walk in; the first wearing a clown suit, the second dressed as Chewbacca, and the third dressed in a business suit and playing Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug" on an accordion. They sit at the table next to yours and order food. The food arrives and the guy playing the accordion stops, sets it on the floor next to him, and helps the Chewbacca guy remove his mask to reveal that the fellow is actually George Clooney with his face painted blue. The men start to eat and suddenly you hear a racket coming from the kitchen area. The swinging doors burst open and six male midgets wearing cowboy outfits and riding Shetland ponies gallop out overturning tables and chairs as other diners scatter before them. All but one of the midget riders canters out of the restaurant singing "Pennies from Heaven" as they go. The remaining midget jumps off of his pony and, after pushing some tables aside he opens a hatch in the floor that you hadn't noticed before. He then remounts his mini-steed and rides out after his gang. Three tentacles emerge of the dark hole in the floor and snatch the three men at the table next to you and drag them screaming into the pit, with a fourth tentacle grasping the hatch and closing it after them.

Your dilemma:

1. Morally or legally, do you have the obligation to try to save George Clooney so that he can end the plight of the peoples of Sudan and thus usher in world peace?

2. Do you steal the accordion and start a polka band so you can raise money for Occupy Joe's Crab Shack?

3. Do you finish your breakfast and eat what remains of Cthulu's victims' meals so you can skip lunch and use the money to buy weed?

4. Do you call the police even though you have $4000 in unpaid parking tickets?

5. Do you open the hatch and jump in because you forgot to ask George Clooney for his autograph?

What do you do, hotshot, what do you do?

oh. dear. Lord. that happened to me last week! i picked#2, however with a now broken arm, #5 should've been my choice :biggrin-new:

Articulate_Ape
03-03-2012, 07:10 PM
oh. dear. Lord. that happened to me last week! i picked#2, however with a now broken arm, #5 should've been my choice :biggrin-new:

I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me in the last six months. I've grown to really hate midgets.

Apache
03-03-2012, 07:13 PM
I've grown to really hate midgets.

bet your nuts over them...:rotfl:

Articulate_Ape
03-03-2012, 07:18 PM
bet your nuts over them...:rotfl:

:gorilla:

Odysseus
03-03-2012, 09:34 PM
Wei, thought experiments presume thought. You fail.

Rockntractor
03-03-2012, 09:48 PM
Wei, thought experiments presume thought. You fail.

He should have put his head together with Dolby, with their minds combined they could.............never mind.http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/confused/smileys-confused-307465.gif (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/)

Apache
03-03-2012, 09:54 PM
He should have put his head together with Dolby, with their minds combined they could.............never mind.http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/confused/smileys-confused-307465.gif (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/)

help princess with his homework? i noticed he slinked away as well.....

Retread
03-04-2012, 12:16 AM
I'm with Rock - my front door is locked all the time and will be double locked with that storm coming down the pike.

www needs to get a brain.

Zeus
03-04-2012, 12:23 AM
Castle doctrine.

Rockntractor
03-04-2012, 12:28 AM
I was tempted to move this to humor, that Ape would make a great writer!http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/applause/smileys-applause-597229.gif (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/)

JB
03-04-2012, 12:33 AM
1. Do you have the moral obligation, according to whichever ethical system you subcribe to, to keep this stranger in your home to protect their life?
2. Is the stranger at fault because he entered your home without permission, even though he was taken there with no intention of his own?
3. Are you at fault for leaving your door unlocked? or if you feel property rights hold regardless of whether or not you lock your door?
4. Do you have the legal obligation to keep the stranger in your home to protect their life?
5. Morally or legally, would removing the stranger from your home be considered murder if they were certain to die because of it?Yes.
No.
No. Yes.
Probably Yes.
Yes.

Articulate_Ape
03-04-2012, 03:34 AM
That's right, you bastards, just ignore my highly relevant query. :livid:

djones520
03-04-2012, 03:41 AM
While I'm working on your highly probable scenario, here's one for you to take on:

You're sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when suddenly three men walk in; the first wearing a clown suit, the second dressed as Chewbacca, and the third dressed in a business suit and playing Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug" on an accordion. They sit at the table next to yours and order food. The food arrives and the guy playing the accordion stops, sets it on the floor next to him, and helps the Chewbacca guy remove his mask to reveal that the fellow is actually George Clooney with his face painted blue. The men start to eat and suddenly you hear a racket coming from the kitchen area. The swinging doors burst open and six male midgets wearing cowboy outfits and riding Shetland ponies gallop out overturning tables and chairs as other diners scatter before them. All but one of the midget riders canters out of the restaurant singing "Pennies from Heaven" as they go. The remaining midget jumps off of his pony and, after pushing some tables aside he opens a hatch in the floor that you hadn't noticed before. He then remounts his mini-steed and rides out after his gang. Three tentacles emerge of the dark hole in the floor and snatch the three men at the table next to you and drag them screaming into the pit, with a fourth tentacle grasping the hatch and closing it after them.

Your dilemma:

1. Morally or legally, do you have the obligation to try to save George Clooney so that he can end the plight of the peoples of Sudan and thus usher in world peace?

2. Do you steal the accordion and start a polka band so you can raise money for Occupy Joe's Crab Shack?

3. Do you finish your breakfast and eat what remains of Cthulu's victims' meals so you can skip lunch and use the money to buy weed?

4. Do you call the police even though you have $4000 in unpaid parking tickets?

5. Do you open the hatch and jump in because you forgot to ask George Clooney for his autograph?

What do you do, hotshot, what do you do?

I wanted to up your "Karma" for this, but it said I couldn't.

So awesome job on that post full of pure win.

Articulate_Ape
03-04-2012, 03:53 AM
I wanted to up your "Karma" for this, but it said I couldn't.

So awesome job on that post full of pure win.

Thanks and I forgive you. I'm good that way. :smile-new:

Wei Wu Wei
03-04-2012, 03:56 AM
Yes.
No.
No. Yes.
Probably Yes.
Yes.

Thanks for the response. Interesting, it seems that in your opinion, property rights find their limit when they immediate conflict with the rights of someone's life. This means that in cases where a person's life is at risk, and only a violation of another's property rights will keep them alive, then those property rights should legally cede to the rights of the person in question.

JB
03-04-2012, 04:48 AM
Thanks for the response. Interesting, it seems that in your opinion, property rights find their limit when they immediate conflict with the rights of someone's life. This means that in cases where a person's life is at risk, and only a violation of another's property rights will keep them alive, then those property rights should legally cede to the rights of the person in question.No, it means that if someone ends up in my house, through no fault of their own, and kicking them out of my house means that I will have killed them (and I am aware that it will kill them)...then I can not kick them out of my house. In other words, abortion is wrong. ;)

The scenario you describe in your OP is completely ridiculous. If the man could survive in my home, he could certainly survive in the car he was in. There would be no reason to break into my home and run the risk of having everyone in that party shot on sight.

Odysseus
03-04-2012, 12:36 PM
You really want to play this? You know that you're going to get spanked, but okay...


Suppose you are in your home with your spouse and children as a major hurricane approaches. You understand that the hurricane is of an extreme magnitude, and going outside is a major risk to life. As the wind and rain pick up, a car speeds into your drive way and someone exists the car carrying a body. They walk to your front door, and open it without your permission. The person drops the body on your floor and then leaves, closing the door behind them.

You go to the stranger to investigate and discover that they are fully unconscious, out cold, but still breathing. There is a note pinned to their shirt that says "this man is unconscious and he needs a place to stay for the duration of the storm. If he is left outside in the storm, he will surely die. It is your obligation to house them until the storm passes and until he can safely leave on his own."

You say to yourself "What is this? I own this house and this property, I don't care who this stranger is, I didn't invite them in. I don't have to keep them in here."


Questions:

1. Do you have the moral obligation, according to whichever ethical system you subcribe to, to keep this stranger in your home to protect their life?
No. The person who brought him had an obligation to protect him, not me. In order to deposit him in my home, he had to break and enter. His departure doesn't absolve him of responsibility.


2. Is the stranger at fault because he entered your home without permission, even though he was taken there with no intention of his own?
Possibly. We have no way of knowing how his pal arrived at the decision to dump him with us. He may have had a hand in planning it. He may be faking. His pal may be planning to come back with a lawyer and claim that we caused his injuries. We don't know what his intentions are.


3. Are you at fault for leaving your door unlocked? or if you feel property rights hold regardless of whether or not you lock your door?
I don't leave my door unlocked, however, property rights apply. If the guy had left with my TV set, my leaving the door unlocked doesn't absolve him of theft.


4. Do you have the legal obligation to keep the stranger in your home to protect their life?
Possibly. There are legal precedents by which any action which deliberately endangers a person's life can be deemed homicide by virtue of depraved indifference. It would depend on the state, and the jury.


5. Morally or legally, would removing the stranger from your home be considered murder if they were certain to die because of it?
See 4.

Now, for the fun part. A person who enters your home without permission, the guy who deposited the unconscious person, let's call him the perp, has committed a crime. At the least, he is guilty of criminal trespass. At the most, breaking and entering. But either way, he had no right to deposit a person in your home and expect you to care for him without assistance. Had he been invited in, that's a different matter, and it carries obligations, but by breaking in, he has simply dumped a responsibility on the homeowner, making the homeowner his chattel. The sexual equivalent of this is rape. A woman who consents to sex is, necessarily, consenting to the possible consequences of sex, which includes pregnancy. Now, this opens up other questions:


Do you see any difference between consensual sex and rape?
Do you see any difference between breaking into a home and being invited in?
If the guy who'd broken in said that he was starving and broke, would he have had the right to raid your fridge and take your cash before he left?
The storm would have been just as deadly for the perp as for his unconscious friend. Would he have the right to hold you and your family hostage in order to remain safe for the duration of the storm?

This is the point in the conversation where you complain that you shouldn't have used an analogy, or that no analogy is perfect, but you picked it.

ABC
03-04-2012, 03:50 PM
That's right, you bastards, just ignore my highly relevant query. :livid:

Oh Mercy! I am still laughing so hard, I can't even take in what the following comments that were posted, had to say!!!

I agree with Rock, I think it was, that said you would make a good writer.

Just for all to enjoy again without going back ... here is what you so cleverly wrote. It is a keeper!


You're sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when suddenly three men walk in; the first wearing a clown suit, the second dressed as Chewbacca, and the third dressed in a business suit and playing Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug" on an accordion. They sit at the table next to yours and order food. The food arrives and the guy playing the accordion stops, sets it on the floor next to him, and helps the Chewbacca guy remove his mask to reveal that the fellow is actually George Clooney with his face painted blue. The men start to eat and suddenly you hear a racket coming from the kitchen area. The swinging doors burst open and six male midgets wearing cowboy outfits and riding Shetland ponies gallop out overturning tables and chairs as other diners scatter before them. All but one of the midget riders canters out of the restaurant singing "Pennies from Heaven" as they go. The remaining midget jumps off of his pony and, after pushing some tables aside he opens a hatch in the floor that you hadn't noticed before. He then remounts his mini-steed and rides out after his gang. Three tentacles emerge of the dark hole in the floor and snatch the three men at the table next to you and drag them screaming into the pit, with a fourth tentacle grasping the hatch and closing it after them.

Your dilemma:

1. Morally or legally, do you have the obligation to try to save George Clooney so that he can end the plight of the peoples of Sudan and thus usher in world peace?

2. Do you steal the accordion and start a polka band so you can raise money for Occupy Joe's Crab Shack?

3. Do you finish your breakfast and eat what remains of Cthulu's victims' meals so you can skip lunch and use the money to buy weed?

4. Do you call the police even though you have $4000 in unpaid parking tickets?

5. Do you open the hatch and jump in because you forgot to ask George Clooney for his autograph?

What do you do, hotshot, what do you do?

Love it! ~ ABC

Odysseus
03-04-2012, 07:58 PM
While I'm working on your highly probable scenario, here's one for you to take on:

You're sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when suddenly three men walk in; the first wearing a clown suit, the second dressed as Chewbacca, and the third dressed in a business suit and playing Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug" on an accordion. They sit at the table next to yours and order food. The food arrives and the guy playing the accordion stops, sets it on the floor next to him, and helps the Chewbacca guy remove his mask to reveal that the fellow is actually George Clooney with his face painted blue. The men start to eat and suddenly you hear a racket coming from the kitchen area. The swinging doors burst open and six male midgets wearing cowboy outfits and riding Shetland ponies gallop out overturning tables and chairs as other diners scatter before them. All but one of the midget riders canters out of the restaurant singing "Pennies from Heaven" as they go. The remaining midget jumps off of his pony and, after pushing some tables aside he opens a hatch in the floor that you hadn't noticed before. He then remounts his mini-steed and rides out after his gang. Three tentacles emerge of the dark hole in the floor and snatch the three men at the table next to you and drag them screaming into the pit, with a fourth tentacle grasping the hatch and closing it after them.

Your dilemma:

1. Morally or legally, do you have the obligation to try to save George Clooney so that he can end the plight of the peoples of Sudan and thus usher in world peace?

2. Do you steal the accordion and start a polka band so you can raise money for Occupy Joe's Crab Shack?

3. Do you finish your breakfast and eat what remains of Cthulu's victims' meals so you can skip lunch and use the money to buy weed?

4. Do you call the police even though you have $4000 in unpaid parking tickets?

5. Do you open the hatch and jump in because you forgot to ask George Clooney for his autograph?

What do you do, hotshot, what do you do?

I unleash the Kraken!:biggrin-new:

ABC
03-04-2012, 08:16 PM
I unleash the Kraken!:biggrin-new:

Shouldn't you check with Ban Ki Moon first?

Don't want to get the US in trouble now.

~ ABC

fettpett
03-04-2012, 08:33 PM
He should have put his head together with Dolby, with their minds combined they could.............never mind.http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/confused/smileys-confused-307465.gif (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/)

http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/black-hole.jpg

Hawkgirl
03-05-2012, 12:30 AM
I would dress him up and have a tea party!

NJCardFan
03-05-2012, 02:09 AM
Wee, you're an idiot but that's a given. You're trying to catch is in some kind of gotcha moment in the argument about abortion but you're analogy fails on many levels. for starters, unless a woman is raped, that "little person" that enters her body didn't do so against her will. Sex is a 2 way street and if she was willing yet failed to do anything that would have prevented the pregnancy, then IMO she has no argument. In your analogy, this person now in my house was dropped there by someone forcing their way into my house uninvited and dropping someone off their. Personally, I'd shove the poor bastard outside and call the authorities. Why? Because since he was dropped there unannounced and is unconscious, I have no idea of knowing what is wrong with them hence I don't know if they're carrying something contagious so pushing him out of my house is done so to protect my family. With abortion, more often than not, the pregnancy came because of irresponsibility and since procreation is a natural act, if you're having unprotected sex and get pregnant, it's your fault, not the baby's. And by aborting said baby, you're denying them their right to life. The only person with no fault in this argument is the baby. They didn't ask to be conceived but since the irresponsible act of 2 people resulted in it's conception, it is the obligation of the mother to protect that child. There is no argument that will convince me otherwise. So, in short, you can take your little "thought experiment" and shove it clean up your ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDW0ZnZxjn4