Is it worse to kill than to let someone die?

Minichamps 1 43 Benetton Renault B196 Gerhard Berger 960004

Despite the disturbing consequences, let’s consider whether a case can be made against the idea of active harm and passive harm being inherently different from a moral standpoint. Consider the following:

NOREV 517533 Renault Clio Cup 2006 No 6 Factory Sealed

Scenario 1.  (Passive Murder)


Scenario 2. (Active Murder)


Bruder Claas Disco 8550 C Plus Triple Mower 1 16 Scale Model Toy Present Gift

Roman 26CM Vintage Tinplate 311 Citroen 15CV Battery Operated car

If you believe that active harm is inherently better than passive harm, then you must therefore conclude that walking away in Scenario 1 is superior ethically to walking away in Scenario 2. Is this something you are truly willing to accept? In both cases walking away will mean the man will die, and preventing his death is equally easy in both cases. Can we really conclude that the initial motion of the pendulum is sufficient to change the ethical characteristics of the problem?

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy | 2 Comments
Midland Red white-metal or resin bus kits by W&T WTP19

Gemini Jets General Aviation Cessna 172 Skyhawk Sporty’s 1 72 Scale GGCES007

Tonka Polistil 016793 Porsche 911 Cabriolet Top Down 1 18 Mint & Boxed

Mercedes 20-35 Ps Taxi Berlino 1911 Rio 1 43 RIO4474 Model

Car Model Keng Fai W MOTORS Lykan HyperSport 1 43 (Red) NOTHING OPENS + GIFT

While I have met a great many non-believers and self proclaimed atheists, I have never heard anyone claim that they could absolutely disprove the existence of all possible forms of God. In fact, using some definitions of “God” (such as an unspecified “higher power”) God cannot be disproven even in theory. Furthermore, an all powerful God, if He existed, could simply make us 100% certain in His absence while he continues to exist, showing that we can never eliminate ALL possibility of such a being.

Corgi Norfolk Line Ltd Edition

Posted in God, Religion, Ferrari 250Lm 3.3L V12 Francorchamps Le Mans 1965 LOOKSMART 1 43 LSLM061 Mod, Truth | 8 Comments
Nissan 1971 DATSUN 240Z 1 18 Maisto Diecast Allory Car Model W Force Control

How to REALLY Answer a Question: Designing a Study from Scratch

Britains JCB Radlader 419S 1 32 Scale Model Toy

Honda Gyro Canopy 03 ALSOK 1 12

Valentino Rossi helmet 2005 1 2 Minichamps

WOW EXTREMELY RARE Opel Astra V8 2001 Sport Bild DTM 1 43 Minichamps-M3 OPC

Unfortunately, just examining how you feel after taking aspirin a single time won’t be adequate, since the aspirin may be more helpful some times and less helpful others. For example, it could be the case that it works on moderate headaches but not on severe ones, so if your next headache happened to be really severe, it would look like aspirin was useless. To solve this problem, and give yourself more data, you might resolve to make these records of how you’re feeling for each of the next 20 headaches you get.

Peugeot 905 h Le Mans 1993 1 18 - 184773 NOREV

Your analyses would be a lot simpler if you scored how unpleasant each headache was on a simple scale from 1 to 5 (1 meaning slight unpleasantness, 3, moderate unpleasantness, and 5, extreme unpleasantness). That way, you can simply look at all the scores you got just before taking aspirin and average them together. You can then compare this to the average of the scores 30 minutes after taking the aspirin and 60 minutes after taking it. That way, you can see if the amount of unpleasantness you feel really does drop substantially after taking aspirin.


Audi Quattro Th Rally Of Portugal 1984 Rohrl Geistdorfer Trofeu 1 43 TFRAL43

Herpa 188746 MB Mercedes Benz Sprinter Box HD Albert muenkel eiterfeld BOXED

Porsche 911 Carrera Rsr Winner Daytona 1973 - Spark 1 43 MAP02027314 - New

Fortunately, these problems are easily remedied. Instead of giving half the group nothing, you instead give them pills in an aspirin bottle that look just like aspirin, but which have no effect on headaches. Sugar pills are a reasonable choice, because a small amount of sugar is unlikely to effect a person’s headaches.

CIJ Europarc - Peugeot 404 Sedan Skis Trailer - 1 43

Porsche 911 991 Rsr Le Mans 2017 Bachler Lemeret Al Qubaisi SPARK 1 43 S5840

Matchbox No.18B Hondarora early version with chrome handlebar

Dinky Toys no. 1422 Ferrari F1 v12 Racing Car

But, if the results fluctuate randomly, that implies that sometimes, just by luck alone, the aspirin might seem to be effective even if it isn’t. Likewise, it might, through bad luck, seem to be ineffective, even though it does work. So whatever your experiment shows, how can you be sure you’re getting the right answer?

Porsche 911 R (White with Red Writing) 2016

Lotus F1 E21 R. Grosjean 2013 Minichamps 1 43 410130008 Model

Posted in Science, Truth | Leave a comment