Moral Dilemma: Subjective Inequality or Objective Equality of Human Value

Sep 2013
7,435
Ireland
N/A. (I don't.)
Me neither...Irish families may be like most round the world, I don't know.....Irish boys would chop your head off for their mother, would give you a serious beating for their sister, would quite easily kill their own brother and would go for a beer with their father after having the who's boss row with him.
 
Feb 2016
84
Cairns Australia
The intrinsic value of a human is nothing more than the value of his labour minus the cost of his maintenance, just like with any animal. Any value beyond that for which we can be sold on the auction block is the result of the social relationships and bonds we've formed, first with our family, then our friends, then our community, then our nation. It is these bonds combined with the sense of duty and loyalty intrinsic to a social species that gives us additional value, without those we're nothing.

Not only would the 100 million get the axe if it were up to me, I'd argue that anybody who could ignore the bonds he has with his friends and family to preserve 100 million people he's never met (presumably out of some ideological obsession with humanism) is most likely a psychopath who never rally formed strong bonds with his friends and family in the first place. I'd regard such a person as highly immoral and untrustworthy, devoid of any sense of honour, duty, or loyalty.
Your first statement is strictly in accordance with the scientific view that we are material only and simply animals or more correctly robots/ machines. So in a sense asking for the value of a machine or slave one can only talk in terms of it's usefulness to do work for someone or some group/ company. In this case, speaking purely materialistically, 100 million would generate much more work than a group of 10 or 100 or a few thousand, being the close relatives, friends, work associates etc. So as far as the auction block the 100 million surely get the green light.

The additional value that you see "beyond that for which we can be sold on the auction block" you are attributing to social relationships and bonds and to a sense of duty and loyalty to a social species. So what if that 100 million were in your own country. You still haven't met them but their loss may seriously endanger your country and your freedom. Would you still axe them for your family and friends? My point is that if it were personal, how much would the 100 million be worth?

In the last part of your comment you assume that everyone has good relationships and bonds that are of value. This is not always the case.

I would chose the second option but conditional. My family is not worth a moment of my time. So there is no loss there. But certainly friends and others, who are dear to me, would be a consideration. However I would not agree to help 100 million purely on the fact that they are humans and they are more numerous. I would need more information. Humans are not simply animals/ machines. They are made up of two sub groups, the humane and the inhumane. So while I would consider helping, especially if I must make a sacrifice, I would need to know that they are humane. I would help because I see that Justice is above everything.
 
Feb 2016
84
Cairns Australia
............the west has adopted the cultural idea that everyone is equal, that the idea of nation is stupid and that borders are outdated. Such ideologies are a real threat to the preservation of the western world.
I don't think it is correct to say that "the west has adopted......."
Ironically the idea of everyone is equal helps those in society that prey on others, who exploit others and who abuse the system. Human rights is advocated purely on the basis of being human. But humans are not uniform. They all have a body that is similar enough to be classified as human but this is only a minimalist view of human.

Humans are made up of two sub-classes the humane and the inhumane. When we take this into account we could then talk about equals but only for the humane. They are equal in that they have compassion and empathy and would act in accordance with these characteristics.

I think that the ideas of "idea of nation is stupid and that borders are outdated" can also be seen in the light of these two sub-classes.

Inhumane people, whom I call toxic and whom psychiatrists call "successful psychopaths" or "functional psychopaths" are loosely networked in small networks. And those networks are also loosely interconnected. I am not talking about signed up memberships and leaders etc. Quite the opposite. These are nothing more than a "circle of friends", but those friends are their partners in crime. You might have heard the term "where would you be without your friends". This is a signature call. But these groups are not friends in the normal sense of the word because within each group there is an ongoing struggle for power.

These groups become interconnected as people move from one area to another and form a new "circle of friends". Thus these networks have come to span the globe. They are threaded seamlessly throughout every nation. So they are the ones that can really talk about idea of nation is stupid and that borders are outdated

IF there were only humane then nations and borders might become redundant, but not necessarily because people still naturally develop cultures. However there may be free movement between cultures since there would naturally be respect for one another.
 
Feb 2016
84
Cairns Australia
Some of us toddle through life and some of us make life hard for ourselves and others. Furthermore, some of us try to make a difference and often don't get and prefer not to get recognised, I know some people like that. What greater difference could one make than to save 100 million people. It's an interesting idea and a good question from the OP, it has me thinking anyway.
But saving 100 million is not enough. One needs to be able to selectively save those that are worth saving and scrap the rest. For instance if you are given a bad of apples and you find that 10 or 20% are rotten, you need to be able to save those that are good and throw away the rotten ones.
 

constantine

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
8,545
Your first statement is strictly in accordance with the scientific view that we are material only and simply animals or more correctly robots/ machines. So in a sense asking for the value of a machine or slave one can only talk in terms of it's usefulness to do work for someone or some group/ company. In this case, speaking purely materialistically, 100 million would generate much more work than a group of 10 or 100 or a few thousand, being the close relatives, friends, work associates etc. So as far as the auction block the 100 million surely get the green light.

The additional value that you see "beyond that for which we can be sold on the auction block" you are attributing to social relationships and bonds and to a sense of duty and loyalty to a social species. So what if that 100 million were in your own country. You still haven't met them but their loss may seriously endanger your country and your freedom. Would you still axe them for your family and friends? My point is that if it were personal, how much would the 100 million be worth?

In the last part of your comment you assume that everyone has good relationships and bonds that are of value. This is not always the case.

I would chose the second option but conditional. My family is not worth a moment of my time. So there is no loss there. But certainly friends and others, who are dear to me, would be a consideration. However I would not agree to help 100 million purely on the fact that they are humans and they are more numerous. I would need more information. Humans are not simply animals/ machines. They are made up of two sub groups, the humane and the inhumane. So while I would consider helping, especially if I must make a sacrifice, I would need to know that they are humane. I would help because I see that Justice is above everything.
If you're talking about 100 million of my countrymen, it does become a far more difficult choice. My social bonds with them are definitely weaker than with my family and friends, but they are more numerous and we are bound by a common culture, a common language, a common heritage, common interests, and a common society contract. At least in America we'd have the people to spare, in fact I don't know that some population reduction wouldn't be beneficial to the nation and society in the long run; at the very least, choosing to sacrifice the 100 million wouldn't bring about the destruction of the nation. But if I were from a smaller nation and the decision being face was between the end of my family line and the destruction of my house and the end of my people and the destruction of my nation; then it would be a far more painful and difficult decision and a great sacrifice would have to be made in the case of either choice. I don't honestly know which decision I'd make in either event.

But that's a very different question than asking whether I'd sacrifice 100 million foreign strangers. The question civfanatic was asking is about the significance of social bonds and constructs in general. Your's is a question about which weights and values we should assign to various social bonds and constructs.
 
Sep 2013
7,435
Ireland
But saving 100 million is not enough. One needs to be able to selectively save those that are worth saving and scrap the rest. For instance if you are given a bad of apples and you find that 10 or 20% are rotten, you need to be able to save those that are good and throw away the rotten ones.
I'll leave the judging to someone else I think.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
The intrinsic value of a human is nothing more than the value of his labour minus the cost of his maintenance, just like with any animal. . . .
I would hope you are joking, but I don't think so. Every human life has an intrinsic worth apart from his economic attributes.

Don't know what I would do in this dilemma.

But I would hope my judgement would be closer to that of Curtis Mayfield:

"There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind, just to save his own"

From "People Get Ready"