Ethical Proposition By A Bunch Of Aliens (from one of my philo classes)

So, a bunch of aliens come along and tell us this:

We are beings from another dimension. In case you're wondering, we are the ones who created the comos in which you live. We can destroy it instantly or let it continue on as is. Your choice."

We ask, "What, then, is the choice?"

"Just give us an 8 year old girl who we'll make immortal and we'll give you back your cosmos."

"What will you do with her? Whatever we want. Primarily, we enjoy torture. We'll torture her till the end of time. If you won't do that, we'll bring everything you know to an abrupt end. What is your choice?"

How would you analyze this? The greatest good for the greatest number or what?

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Ok. That clarifies a little bit. I would not assume that translation was perfect unless that had been spelled out up from the beginning. Again, there is a frame of reference issue. Torture is frequently a subjective experience. Also they do not indicate if they prohibit the subjects ability to desensitize against specific stimuli. Also it neglects the possibility that we as a species might be able to develop the means to rescue her in the future, nor that the alien species might change in their predilection for torture. The overall scenario, like many such contrived moral situations, is oversimplified - which is pretty much religious thinking in general.  

If someone (like the Christian God) can create a universe, I wouldn't hold out much hope that they can't accomplish whatever they can do. I wouldn't want to build a response based on the idea that we'd be able to rescue the prisoner, either, and for the same reason.

Why was it an 8 yr old girl and not a boy?

Because for some reason we see girls as more sensitive and helpless than boys. It's a stereotype, but it's a strong one, and the question was to designed to act on such sentimental feelings. 

Which raises the question of whether it's really a stereotype if it's generally true? Girls generally are smaller, less strong, and more sensitive than their male counterparts, although not so much at a very young age.

Girls have a higher pain tolerance than males if I'm not mistaken....

Yahweh should know. :)

yes :D

I disagree wholeheartedly. Young boys are equally vulnerable when exposed to pain and suffering. 

You're not disagreeing with ME. You're disagreeing with the stereotype.

And young boys are more fun...just ask a catholic priest...:0

Blink of an eye we are done. Living with another humans known torture lasts forever. Pretty easy really. We would always be at the mercy of the aliens. Let them blink us and themselves out of existance.


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