Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Philosophical corner 3

I have decided to make this a reoccuring event in my blogging; the philosophical corner-assignments I mean. (As always the most recent language I have heard to the instance of me writing affects the language used; in this case the clinical language of Dr. Brennan. I take great pleasure in observing this linguistic adaptation that does not appear to affect my spoken language at quite the same rate as it does my written. I take slightly less pleasure in the fact that this sometimes makes my longer-stretching writings appear the patchwork of several distinct schitzophrenic personalities; I work hard on preventing this.)

* You discover the secret basement of a highly influential and credited doctor (or some other likely profession). The person in question is conducting highly advanced medical experiments on people, quite a far distance outside the safe ring of law-abiding research. They are as immoral as they are painful to the subjects. You know neither the researcher or the subjects personally. The reseracher can provide proof that the result he receives can be the solution to a great problem; say the cure for AIDS, and that it cannot be done any other way. (The term "proof" is to be considered as not beyond doubt, but very, very nearly so, for whatever unrealistic reason.) The researcher can also provide proof of that there is a method of erasing the subjects memories after the research is done, so that none of the traumatic experiences will remain; they will go about their lives as if nothing happened.

Will you:
A) Leave it as it is; this is none of your business.
B) Allow it to continue, but demand to be kept "in the loop" to observe that things actually happen as the researcher says it will.
B) Alert the police.
C) Demand something in return of letting the researcher continue; be it money, credit for the cure of AIDS or whatever else.
D) Leave it as it is; clearly a foolproof cure for AIDS is worth a few people wether they remember or not.
E) Demand the researcher quit and release the subjects but do not alert the authorities; maybe this brilliant mind could think of a different way to do this.
F) Offer to take the subject's place; you would at least be a willing sacrifice for the cure.

Please answer before reading the following.

Would it make a difference to your answer if one or several of these statements were true:
*A close friend or relative of yours is carrying the HIV virus.
*The cure is not for AIDS but for a special resistant infectious virus currently spreading worldwide, like the plague.
*The subject group are children.
*You know the researcher well; a friend or relative.
*A friend or relative of yours is in the subject group.
*You work in law enforcement.

The point with philosophy, as far as I see it, is to understand the world by understanding yourself. Be honest with yourself. Eh, and also, philosophy needs to be discussed, because it's all about perspective and sometimes we tend to get stuck in one unless shoved around a bit by others. That is part why I'm doing these corners! Awesome, huh? ^^


Kristin said...

I'm leaning towards B, even without the amendments. But as always there is no way to know for sure. I'm going with 15% reasoning and 85% gut.

Rik said...

I'm going with A, and the only amendment that makes any difference to my statement is whether a friend or relative of mine is in the subject group.

The reason why it is not B) Allow continue or C is that I could not endure being part of such a project. The reason why it is not D is because the decision is not mine to make (nor is it the researcher's, of course, but that doesn't matter to my decision).

The reason why it is not B) Alert the police is that again, it is not my decision to decide whether this is right or wrong, and alerting the police would destroy the project.

The reason why it is not F, is because I personally dislike pain.

Finally - if I knew a person in the research group, I would choose B) Alert the police. This because it is not my decision whether this experiment is morally right or wrong, but I still feel I have moral responsibility for those I know and care about.

Kristin said...

Oh, yeah. I meant the first B :p

Nightflyer said...

My first choice was D). Hard to say what I would do for real though...

It does make a difference to me if it were children, then I'd alert the police.

Kristin said...

Oh, the reason I choose B1 is because I start out with D, but I know that I lack the necessary expertise to determine that there really is no other way to do it. So in order to convince myself that I wasn't fooled I would demand insight.