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is it right to choose the lesser evil?

Started by billy rubin, December 30, 2021, 05:15:15 PM

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billy rubin

this is an ironic question for me and always has been. i do not believe in good or evil, but live my life as if i did. given that absurdist foundation, the idea of "choosing the lesser evil" has always puzzled me.




this question goes to the heart of right and wrong, or of morality in general. life is always messy, but sometimes absolutes and clear questions appear that require a fundamental examination of assumptions and values. this is one of them.

is it right to perform a wrong to achieve a good?

what is the exchange rate? a minor wrong for a much greater good, or a closer balance?

is it wrong to refuse to do wrong to achieve good?

the devil is in the details.

what are they for you?


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin

there is no right or wrong answer to this, by the way

in my opinion


more people have been to berlin than i have

No one

Torturing a pedophile to achieve the location of an endangered child is a lesser evil I would accept any day of the week.

billy rubin



more people have been to berlin than i have

No one

Seriously?

If inflicting pain on a subhuman piece of shit, saves a child's life, then so be it.

I wouldn't lose a moments sleep over it.

billy rubin

yes. seriously.

you obviously believe in right and wrong.

where do they come from?


more people have been to berlin than i have

Tank

IMO the problem of good vs evil or right vs wrong is that it's not a clear cut problem. It is beset be issues of context and perspective. Particularly the 'lesser of two evils choice. In that case who choses which is the lesser evil?
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

the whole right and wrong thing is full of complxities. where does jt come from? whose authorities are preeminent of whose?

but people generally obey a set of moral rules, of some sort, so im curious about the hierarchy that people decide to use.

some things most people will say are always wrong, like causing unnrcessary pain. other people will say some things are wrong sometimes and not at others, like lying.

i used to be very black and white about this, not at all anymore.


more people have been to berlin than i have

No one

It's not about the rights or the wrongs, it's about the way it works.
If you attack a small child, and seriously harm them, then you have no right to complain when someone much bigger and stronger than you returns the favor.


I'm just saying if a person who raped and strangled a 4 year old girl, is found beaten, hanged, with hockey stick full embedded in their ass, I won't lose any sleep over it.

Tom62

Interesting discussion. What is right, what is wrong and what is the lesser evil? So many grey zones. Like the discussion about transgender women competing in women sports. Discriminating transgender women by banning them from participating or allowing them to crush women records and making it nearly impossible for other women to compete? Or other discussions about for example Antifa, defunding the police, CRT, Kyle Rittenhouse, etc. where many people are likely to disagree.
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

jumbojak

Quote from: No one on December 30, 2021, 06:30:24 PM
Torturing a pedophile to achieve the location of an endangered child is a lesser evil I would accept any day of the week.
I don't consider that evil at all. Then again, not that long ago I was admiring a sticker that read, "Kill Your Local Pedophile" so maybe I'm biased.

"Amazing what chimney sweeping can teach us, no? Keep your fire hot and
your flue clean."  - Ecurb Noselrub

"I'd be incensed by your impudence were I not so impressed by your memory." - Siz

Tank

"is it right to choose the lesser evil?"

Assuming for the sake of discussion we agree that the two actions are evil and that one is less evil than the other.

Given that evil is undesirable then choosing the lesser of the two is to reduce undesirable activity.

Thus choosing the lesser evil should, on the face of it, be the better course.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

#12
thats the old utilitarian view, greatest good for the greatest number.

but then is it okay to oppress a minority to make the majority better off?

oppressing a few is a lesser evil than allowing the many to suffer instead. its the omelas question, which leguine posed but would not answer.

this is the hard question:

QuoteAssuming for the sake of discussion we agree that the two actions are evil and that one is less evil than the other.

when we agree that something is evil, how do we decide that it is lesser?


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin



more people have been to berlin than i have

Old Seer

When the universe was created, right and wrong wasn't created. Right and wrong was invented/created  by authoritarians to control the actions of people. To mitigate the harm one can do to others requires regulation, however, control of others has gone beyond harm to manipulate for specific social purposes creating societies to the liking of the authorities, and also to the liking of societies members in general.
Good and evil are automatic consequences of existing in the universe. IE- the sun is both good and evil (helpful vs harmful) being good for life to exist but harmful when in too much sun. There are good and evil consequences with all things and decisions, hence- no good deed goes unpunished, as almost all things have opposites. The universe cannot be right or wrong, it just naturally is---it's nature. A person cannot be right or wrong, but deemed so by peers who agree that something is to be made as such by determination. 
The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.
I'm not a Theist
https://sites.google.com/site/oldseers