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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We are beings from another dimension.


They prove it with empirical evidence.

we are the ones who created the comos


They prove it with empirical evidence.

We can destroy it instantly or let it continue on as is.


They prove it by destroying the cosmos.


At any given moment in time, right now for instance, there are several eight year old girls that are being tortured one way or another. The net suffering in this world is worse than your scenario. So the answer is easy.

I see: Let them off the universe to end the suffering.

Damn Robert.... that's a sobering realization.... reality sucks in many ways 

I'd give up someone else's kid in a heartbeat.

I first heard this in a philosophy class in 1971.

Cut back on the cold pizza just before bedtime, and you'll quit having those dreams --

In this case, easily the greater good be damned, no pause for thought. However, if you had said the aliens told us we would be tortured for nine days before our destruction, then yes I admit I would have not only pause for thought but I would be stuck.

This sounds so much like a labor issue I had once. I was told to go up on a second story roof, without safely equipment, no spotter, with only Workmans Comp to put me make together if I fell! I went up looked the job over, had a moment of unhappiness, closed the access door to the roof, went back to the office and said, 'Sorry sir, we are at this moment at cross purposes! It is not in my best interests to do the job, and I think you know this!' The real estate agent then said, 'Well I quess you don't want the job enough do you?' 'NO SIR I DON"T!' 

No sir, I think you'll need someone desperate enough to risk their life for you. (Hint, hint... I could be a witness in court against you one day.)

A question for those advocating for annihilation.

Considering that all the people being tortured around the world at this moment is probably up in the hundreds, or perhaps thousands or millions if you also consider unofficial torture in family units, and maybe even considering all the pain and suffering not even due to torture, shouldn't you all be considering ways to end the entire world's misery right now? Instantly?

Even just wiping out portions of the planet over time would cure the "problem", right?

Not to mention, we wouldn't be responsible for wiping out the entire universe that could be teeming full of cool, sentient, innocent beings.

(Btw, if any of your responses include something like "fuck the whole universe", realize that some aliens out there might be listening in, and prompted into preempting Earth. Maybe they could even infect all humans with a virus that tortures every Earthling for eternity.)

I'll stop here. It just gets weirder, depending on the moderator.

Oh oh. You don't want to know what I think.I think instant annihilation is the answer and any innocent that has seen or felt intense suffering would hopefully agree. I realize some people wouldn't agree if they believe God says to annihilate everyone would be wrong. However, I think it would so go against our instinct to survive we would find it almost impossible to commit to bringing annihilation about.


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