Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Moral Symmetries

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

It is recurringly claimed that omission and commission are morally equivalent, that failing to assist someone is as blameworthy as injuring that person. But, were that really the case then, by the same token, failing to injure someone would be as every bit as laudable as acting to prevent his or her injury by some other agency. The man who did not kill a random stranger upon whom he chanced would be as much the hero as one who rushed in to save one stranger from another.

A cat is penned up in a steel chamber

Friday, 25 April 2008

Neither the Woman of Interest nor I would ordinarily wish to live forever, whether it be on Earth or on the other side of some Pearly Gates. But I posed a problem to her:

What if I had a device by which I could make the Beet Weasel immortal?
I have little doubt that, so long as it were kept in good health and otherwise fairly physically comfortable, the typical cat would choose not to die. A dog might additionally need friendly companionship, but then it too would not ever want to die.

I don't know whether the Woman of Interest knew where I intended to go with my hypothetical, but in any event her first question about the device was of who would take care of the Beet Weasel, and I offered that I would have a slightly larger device for her. So, now the question becomes one of whether one would allow one's companion animal to die in order that one might oneself have the freedom to die.

Immortality

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