Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Group 3 Discussion 1/27

Our group focused on the mayor's dilemma, and what each group member would do when presented with the choice of death or murder.  Many said that they would attempt to kill the colonel with the weapon.  One person said that they would kill a citizen to try to confuse the soldiers.  The discussion then turned to why a gun was chosen and how the soldiers should have allowed the use of a sword, or pistol, or bat, or some other weapon.  Class ended amidst this very interesting discussion.

How would you react to this dilemma?
Is there a universally "right" course of action?


  1. When I first read it I though, "why not kill the colonel?" This was with two possibilities in mind, but the thought came with the hope that such an act would result in the confusion of the colonel's troops, and would allow the freedom from enslavement of my (theoretical) 80 citizens. The other more grim possibility is the troop could choose to just mow down myself and my people to avenge their fallen comrade. Such a question and instance is one of such extreme dire circumstance that the reaction to such a scenario is forced to have the same level of dire consequence. This is an instance where the greater good is shrouded, for it seems no good may come of it. Causing the solution to be one of life or death, it would enable the primary decider to fight to secure what is his in anyway possible. Thus killing the Colonel seems to be an altruistic, even if it is unsafe and disastrous, decision.

  2. I don't think there is a universal course of action. Everyone has their own solution to the dilemma and whatever it may be, it has its own culturally formed justification behind it.

  3. I don't think there is a universal course of action. Everyone has their own solution to the dilemma and whatever it may be, it has its own culturally formed justification behind it.

  4. If i were placed in this position, I would try in whatever way I could to attack the colonel. There is no basis of trust for the colonel's word. He might not kill the people, but he will enslave them. If the people are put into labor camps, then they will live the remainder of their lives being tortured. I think attacking the colonel is the only personal ethical choice I could make. The attack on the colonel might create a sense of fight in the people, and they could begin fighting as well.

    I don't think their is a universally right answer, but I don't believe that allowing for the people to be put into labor camps for the rest of their lives is the right course of action either. In this situation, a quick death might be the most humane end to the dilemma.

    FQ: (BB61) What two things does Erich Fromm believe religion offers to the believer?
    Answer: a frame of orientation and an object of devotion.
    (BB63) Name two of the religions the author summarized in order for the reader to have a better understanding of different cultures.
    Answers: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

    DQ: How much of bioethics should be based on community (Asian Bioethics)? How much of bioethics should be based on the individual (Western Bioethics)?

  5. Seeing it from a moral perspective, I don’t think there is a “universally” right answer. Everyone would view the situation differently and definitely judge the outcome according to their own beliefs whether it be consequentialism, deontological theory, etc. I personally would try to kill the colonel (even though I don’t see myself successfully killing him sense he is armed and surrounded by his army). Regardless, I think the mayor would be better off dying in attempt to free his people completely. He would more likely be seen as an attempted hero than seen killing his own people, especially since the colonel’s word is not set in stone. Then there is the fact that if he does not succeed in killing the colonel all 80 people will be sent to a camp where they will be tortured and suffer even more. Like I said, there is no universally right answer.

    FQ: (BB 57) What is ‘ethical relativism’?

    FQ: (BB 67) The religion that believes in a timeless state of ‘Nirvana’ is _______.

    DQ: Are the mind and the brain two separate things operating seemingly independent or is the brain in full control of how the mind operates?

  6. Here's my questions:


    1. Gender discrimination is high in which type of countries? (BB 49)
    2. What are the concepts in feminist bioethics? (BB 50)
    3. How is empowerment achieved? (BB 53)
    4. What is ethical relativism? (BB 57)
    5. What features of Buddhism are relevant to bioethics? (BB 66)
    6. What does Judaism emphasize in terms of bioethics? (BB 72)


    Which religious belief would provide the best evaluation of cases in medicine?

  7. DQ: Are we trapped in our own cultutre?
    FQ: (T/F) The key concepts of feminist bioethical literature are marginalization, embodiment, empowerment, and relational autonomy.

  8. I would totally go for the colonel, even though I would probably die in the act. I don't think I could live with myself after brutally murdering 2 innocent people or letting 80 people die also by my hands, even if indirectly. And through the Spartan philosophy, I would die a beautiful death in glorious combat, even if said combat lasted less than a second most likely. But thats just me, and this answer probably defeats the purpose of the question. I think there is a better way of presenting this question through the trolley problem:


    DQ: Do you think that everything in our brain, and therefore everything about us, is controlled by the flow of electrons and how atoms interact with one another? Or is there something more to it that we have yet to discover?

  9. The reason this situation poses such a dilemma is because of the unknown nature of all of the variables. For example, there is no guarantee that the colonel and his men will keep their word. Even if it is a hypothetical situation, it is dealing with the actions and decisions of humans, which makes it wildly unpredictable. Thus, if one were to look at this situation as a utilitarian would, he or she would have a difficult time weighing all of the variables and consequences to make a proper "moral" decision. However, if one were to view this as Kant would, the answer would be simple: Don't murder.

    Personally, I don't think I would be able to kill the two people, regardless of the situation. I believe that there is an innate conscience within everybody that deters them from such immoral acts, and that this conscience is (in most cases) universal. Murder is an act that induces a highly repulsive and sensitive reaction in most people. Even if the lives of the other 80 people could somehow be guaranteed, I simply just couldn't commit murder.

  10. DQ: How does religion influence bioethics? Is it a significant contributor to a reason for carrying out an act, or is it simply an " opium of the people," as Karl Marx thought, entrapping those who hold dear to the tenants and ensuring that they do not think for themselves, only follow the laws set before them?
    FQ: (T/F) Feminist theorists believe in a rejection of a focus on individualism.
    A: True