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Current time: 15th December 2017, 15:28

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Favorite Philosophers?
RE: Favorite Philosophers?

RE: Favorite Philosophers?
(9th December 2017, 06:11)possibletarian Wrote:
(8th December 2017, 13:31)vulcanlogician Wrote: Let me play devil's advocate then. A woman is attacked by a rapist (who only intended to rape her--not kill her). She defends herself by shooting him in the head with a 38 special. Justified?

I know you used that simply as an example but it does highlight difficulty in cases like this, if someone were to attack me I have no idea what the intentions are, so by instinct I'm likely to assume the worse case scenario.  I remember a judge in the U.K. arguing that in the case of a shoplifter for instance, the theft actually took place the moment  a person decides to steal and reaches out for it, but of course not being privy to a persons thoughts means that you have to wait till it's obvious the person is not going to pay for it through actions in order to have a case in court.
This is fine of course when what we are talking about is a bar of chocolate, but if someone is under attack, they clearly cannot afford to wait for it to play out.

Good point.

But of course in Vulcanlogician's question to me he says that the rapist does 'only' intend to rape her. Not that he might have been wanting to steal her purse and we assume he wanted to rape her. But he did intend to rape her. And scare quotes because I don't see that as an 'only'. In many cases I think I'd rather be murdered than raped. Again, it depends.

I think shooting someone dead in the head when they may have only been stealing a purse would be very bad. Because I don't think theft is anywhere near as bad as rape or murder at all. But if someone is clearly trying to rape someone then despite it not being legally justified I think killing them instantly with a shot to the head is morally justified because I don't actually think that's as bad as rape, at least in most cases, morally speaking.

Of course if we also have to factor in the consequences of the woman going to jail for manslaughter and having that trauma on top of the attempted rape, then I guess it depends really. Depends whether however long she spent in jail when being a victim would cause her more suffering than the being raped would have. And despite the fact that all rape causes huge amounts of trauma I do think some rapes are even worse than others. Some are more violent than others, some last longer than others, etc.

I still wouldn't think she did anything wrong morally because I think in many cases rape is so traumatic that it's worse than death. Maybe it wouldn't be worse than death if the attempted rapist had survived and had painful brain damage for many years, but again, even then I'm not sure. My best guess is that the psychological trauma would be worse. After all, we can experience great amounts of pain without necessarily being miserable and we can experience great amounts of physical pleasure and still be miserable . . . so overall I'd say that psychological pain is worse. Which is one of the reasons why I think that I'd probably even rather experience painful brain damage than experience being raped. Although I wouldn't really like to choose either to be honest!

It's certainly possible to be a rape victim and go on to live a fulfulling life despite that trauma, thankfully. But sadly it is not always the case and some people never recover, and lives are ruined. Whereas if someone dies instantly they not only suffer less but they don't really have any life left for there to be anything to fulfill or suffer with. I think death is morally neutral if you put aside the other people who grieve for the dead person. And my guess is that 1. People are less likely to grieve huge amounts for a rapist. 2. Even grief over death of a loved one may not be as painful an experience as rape. I guess, again, that depends. It's certainly a different type of suffering I think. And the experience of losing a child is probably usually a more painful grief than the experience of losing a parent, for example.

This all depends really. But at the end of the day I'm going to say that whatever causes the most suffering overall is overall the most immoral consequence.
We do not change our minds. Our minds change us.
RE: Favorite Philosophers?
I've always failed to understand how I am responsible for the intentions of some other person.  The woman in the hypothetical above had no possible way of knowing that her assailant wasn't going to kill her.  I can't understand how she wouldn't be justified in shooting him. 

Let's try another:  My best mate Danny and I have a falling out.  Danny says that the next time he sees me, he going to cut my throat.  He goes round to all of our mutual acquaintances and tells them, 'The next time I see Boru, I'm going to cut his throat.'  He visits Big Mick's House O' Knives and purchases 'The Boru Throat Cutter Mark IV' knife, with optional eye gouging attachment.  He later sees me come out of a shop, draws the knife and screams, 'I'M GONNA CUT YOUR THROAT!!'.  He charges me, but I manage beat him to death with a cricket bat (like you do).  When the cops arrive, they find a note in Danny's pocket that reads, 'My intent is to just frighten Boru, not cut his throat.'

Should I be charged with a crime because I didn't know Danny's intentions?


addendum:  Any woman who kills the man who 'only' intends to rape her has my full support, whether or not she knows of his intentions beforehand.
'There are people who long for immortality in the afterlife who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.' - Isaac Asimov
RE: Favorite Philosophers?
(9th December 2017, 14:59)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I've always failed to understand how I am responsible for the intentions of some other person.  The woman in the hypothetical above had no possible way of knowing that her assailant wasn't going to kill her.  I can't understand how she wouldn't be justified in shooting him. 

Yeah in real life we can't know the intentions.

It kind of depends if it is incredibly obvious he is just trying to grab her handbag or not.

If he clearly wants more than that then it's safe to assume the worst and shoot him dead, IMO.

But Vulcanlogician gave it to me on a silver platter because he straight out said in this hypothetical scenario that the person was intending to rape her.

He says he is 'only' intending to rape her, not murder her. She shoots him dead and is that justified. The short answer is: YES. And I don't know why he says 'only'. In many cases I think I'd rather be murdered.

Maybe not legally justified, but we're talking morally here. Not talking about what the law thinks. I don't think my answer is 'cold'. Or if it is I don't care. There's been a whole book out about how in many case empathy gets the morally wrong answer. *

I may lack empathy but I don't lack compassion. And perhaps my lack of empathy might make it more easy for me to clearly see who is suffering the most, in some cases, than if I relied on feeling the suffering that my emotions think the other person is feeling? I struggle to feel my own emotions let alone anyone else's (I'm very likely on the autistic spectrum and going to have my final testing soon). But I'm well aware that rape is a worse suffering than dying instantly from a handgun.

* https://www.amazon.co.uk/Against-Empathy...0062339338

I certainly don't agree with this guy completely though. Because I think there are morally rationally reasons for supporting people's intuition that helping the one rather than the many is better at least in some cases. I don't aggregate people together and treat them as one super being suffering tremendously, 1000 people suffering is just 1 person suffering from 1000 different perspectives. Perhaps a person begging on the streets is suffering more than ANYONE who gets killed by a typhoon will suffer no matter how large the group? Notice I say "anyone" rather than "everyone". Because only persons suffer, there is no super person known as "people". If 1000 people suffer identical amounts that's morally identical to me than if one of those people suffered that amount . . . but in reality no one suffers the same amount so the larger the group the greater the chance of greater suffering qualitatively. That's why quantity matters IMO. For probabilistic reasons. It doesn't matter in and of itself. 1000 people suffering is worse than 1 person suffering because the more people suffer the greater the likelihood that one of those people will suffer more [i]qualitatively[i]. So, quantity only matters indirectly.
We do not change our minds. Our minds change us.
RE: Favorite Philosophers?
(8th December 2017, 13:15)Hammy Wrote: By the way, I love how Dean Rickles explains something I already figured out myself all by myself! Big Grin :

I've listened to Dean Rickles in the past. Pretty impressive stuff, especially with regards to the various theories of time.

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