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The Morality of Torturing Muslims
Posted: 05 February 2008 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

Note that I have NOT said that I advocate the torture of all Muslims just because they are Muslims, but all I said was that your analogy was inept.

And your entire worldview is inept, if those sadistic ramblings are representative of it in any way.

I see no point in further discussing this issue with you, as you obviously lack the “moral fiber” you so fatuously request others to show.

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Posted: 05 February 2008 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 06:37 PM
arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

Note that I have NOT said that I advocate the torture of all Muslims just because they are Muslims, but all I said was that your analogy was inept.

And your entire worldview is inept, if those sadistic ramblings are representative of it in any way.

I see no point in further discussing this issue with you, as you obviously lack the “moral fiber” you so fatuously request others to show.

What sadistic ramblings?
I haven’t said I agree with A-D.

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Posted: 05 February 2008 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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arildno - 05 February 2008 06:39 PM

What sadistic ramblings?
I haven’t said I agree with A-D.

Let me remind you.

arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

For some of those bullies, a reverse shock therapy in the form of physical correction might well be the only way to deprogram them.

So how are you not agreeing with Antisocialdarwinist?

Besides the fact that you show a profound misunderstanding of how beliefs work, this is also a highly immoral position to take. 

You can’t torture somebody out of a belief.  If you’ve actually read “The End of Faith,” Sam goes on at length about the nature of belief and if you just go re-read those parts you will have a much better understanding of it than I could ever articulate.  The same is true the other way around, you can’t force somebody into believing something.  This is one of the reasons why Pascal’s Wager is logistically impossible.  Indeed, all you can do is live your life AS IF there was a god, but unless you start out believing it, there is no way that you can actually consciously make yourself believe that there is an omnipotent space-daddy who can see your every move and hear your every thought.

You say:

arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

Indeed. It is called brainwashing and torture, and is daily being done within Islam upon their own children, gradually warping their natural instincts of morality, or beliefs if you will.

Talk about inept analogies!  Holy mother of all that is inept.

You CANNOT compare brainwashing a developing child and shaping its worldview to fit your needs with torturing fully developed adults in attempt to change their worldview.

This isn’t comparing apples and oranges, this is comparing apples and watermelons.  With a child you start with a blank slate, a relative tabula rasa.  You can imprint into this slate anything you want and it will stick.  A grown thinking adult is a different beast altogether.

Regardless of whether or not it is possible to just simply torture somebody out of their beliefs, which I fully believe is not, there still remains the question of morality and common sense.  The “1984”-type of regime this undertaking would require is surely nothing to look forward to.  Like I said earlier, once you start down that road, descent into medievalism is unavoidable.  You think that Big Brother would stop at muslims?  How ‘bout them christians?  How ‘bout anybody we disagree with?

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Posted: 05 February 2008 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 03:23 AM

“Some might even welcome us with open arms?”
Why do I get a flashback to Cheney’s pre-war “We’ll be greeted as liberators” bullshit?

Gee, what a subtle coincidence!  Thank you for pointing that out, matriculated01, or I might never have realized it.

matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 03:23 AM

Antisocialdarwinist, are you kidding me?  First off, let me say that your whole idea of torturing Muslims out of their faith is preposterous.  And I can’t believe that many people in this thread have taken that idea seriously and are actually replying as if it was an honest intellectual inquiry on your part.  All of you are just as insane as the insane muslim fanatics.

What exactly do you find preposterous about torturing Muslims out of their faith?  You don’t think it would work?  Or you don’t think it would be moral even if it did work?  Both of these positions have already been addressed in this thread.  Do you have a specific response, or are you throwing the chess pieces all over the floor without even making a move?

matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 03:23 AM

Just imagine, for a second here, that all the Christians in USA decided to torture all atheists until they said that they ackowledge Jeebus as their personal lord and savior because they were afraid that atheism is sinking their society into immorality and therefore is dangerous.

That’s basically the case you’re making, with some different players.  It’s beyond ridiculous.

No, that’s not basically the case I’m making.  It’s not even close.  Atheists are not flying passenger jets into buildings or using mentally retarded women as suicide bombers to kill children.  Can you see the difference between Muslims and atheists?  Can you see the difference between Muslims and members of any other religion?  Harris devotes an entire chapter to Islam because Muslims are exceptional.  Have you been so brainwashed by political correctness that you can’t see that?

matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 03:23 AM

Let’s for a moment put all reason and civility aside and adopt your proposal.

It is no more necessary to put reason and civility aside in order to adopt my proposal than it is to put reason and civility aside in order to accept wartime collateral damage.  It may seem so to you, but that’s only because your intuitive sense of morality was designed for the African veldt.  If you’d only think rationally, instead of reacting emotionally, the logic of my proposal would hit you “like a diamond bullet in the forehead.”

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Posted: 06 February 2008 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 07:11 PM
arildno - 05 February 2008 06:39 PM

What sadistic ramblings?
I haven’t said I agree with A-D.

Let me remind you.

arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

For some of those bullies, a reverse shock therapy in the form of physical correction might well be the only way to deprogram them.

So how are you not agreeing with Antisocialdarwinist?

Besides the fact that you show a profound misunderstanding of how beliefs work, this is also a highly immoral position to take. 

You can’t torture somebody out of a belief.  If you’ve actually read “The End of Faith,” Sam goes on at length about the nature of belief and if you just go re-read those parts you will have a much better understanding of it than I could ever articulate.  The same is true the other way around, you can’t force somebody into believing something.  This is one of the reasons why Pascal’s Wager is logistically impossible.  Indeed, all you can do is live your life AS IF there was a god, but unless you start out believing it, there is no way that you can actually consciously make yourself believe that there is an omnipotent space-daddy who can see your every move and hear your every thought.

You say:

arildno - 05 February 2008 06:53 AM

Indeed. It is called brainwashing and torture, and is daily being done within Islam upon their own children, gradually warping their natural instincts of morality, or beliefs if you will.

Talk about inept analogies!  Holy mother of all that is inept.

You CANNOT compare brainwashing a developing child and shaping its worldview to fit your needs with torturing fully developed adults in attempt to change their worldview.

 

Sure you can.
Psychopaths are very adept in this. Numerous women unfortunate to become ensnared by a psychopath tell how easy and unobtrusively his warping of her mind was.
It begins with chiding, guilt inducement etc, and after a while, they ended up accepting physical beating as what they somehow “deserved”.

The crucial effective factor in order to begin this process of world-view changing, is that of guilt inducement.


It is essentially the same mechanism that works to brainwash children.


The symphony (or cacophony) of eroding self-confidence, tarnishing the victim’s pride in beliefs (for example through the use of scorn), generating fear of (physical) reprimands, and giving rewards for “good” behaviour does the trick, whatever initial beliefs you have.

As for Muslims, and their sincerely held “beliefs”, it shouldn’t be too hard to induce guilt in them in regarding a book that calls for the genocide of non-submissive infidels as holy.

And for those among them who DO hold this, physically slapping them for thinking this is entirely morally justified, because they are moral violators of an extreme degree.

[ Edited: 06 February 2008 01:19 AM by arildno]
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Posted: 06 February 2008 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 01:55 AM
matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 03:23 AM

“Some might even welcome us with open arms?”
Why do I get a flashback to Cheney’s pre-war “We’ll be greeted as liberators” bullshit?

Gee, what a subtle coincidence!  Thank you for pointing that out, matriculated01, or I might never have realized it.

Your dopey sarcasm can’t hide the fact that you exhibit the same type of bullshit-disseminating behavior exemplified by our current vice-douchebag.

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 01:55 AM

What exactly do you find preposterous about torturing Muslims out of their faith?  You don’t think it would work?  Or you don’t think it would be moral even if it did work?

Both.  If you would just read a couple of my earlier posts in this thread you would know that.

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 01:55 AM

Both of these positions have already been addressed in this thread.  Do you have a specific response, or are you throwing the chess pieces all over the floor without even making a move?

My posts have been very specific.  It’s called “reading.”  Try it.  Or maybe it’s the “comprehension” part that you’re having trouble with?

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 01:55 AM

Have you been so brainwashed by political correctness that you can’t see that?

Ok, now you’re just shooting in the dark, and the sad part is that you seem to be content doing that.  Not being a delusional sadistic individual who wants to torture a billion people so that their worldview would align with my own a little bit closer makes me politically correct?  Get a grip.

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 01:55 AM

It is no more necessary to put reason and civility aside in order to adopt my proposal than it is to put reason and civility aside in order to accept wartime collateral damage.  It may seem so to you, but that’s only because your intuitive sense of morality was designed for the African veldt.  If you’d only think rationally, instead of reacting emotionally, the logic of my proposal would hit you “like a diamond bullet in the forehead.”

Look, I can tell that you think you’re being very clever here and just trying to make me (because I’m so slow) understand something that seems very simple to you.  But you’re wrong.  I HAVE read Sam, all of his books, and yes I did read the chapter on Islam and morality of torturing terrorists.  But that’s where the difference is between Sam’s case and yours.  Sam’s case revolved around torturing terrorists in order to extract information from them.  He doesn’t seem to be against it and neither am I if we know for sure that the information will save lives.  Sam does mention the idea of torturing people just simply for what they believe but from what I got out of that he doesn’t endorse it.  And I’m glad because that would cast a shadow over him as far as I’m concerned and I would start questioning even more things that he says.  Besides being logistically impossible to implement, such an action would indeed be highly immoral, and that has nothing to do with my “African veldt” sense of morality (nice lift out of Sam’s book, by the way). 

Finally, regarding this charge that I’m “reacting emotionally” while your being the rational one…umm..right.  Now I know for sure that it’s the “comprehension” part of your analysis of my posts that has failed you.

Side note: 
This is what worried me about Sam’s book, that he lays it on so thick on Islam that there would almost unavoidably be some bigoted people who would read that stuff and all it would do is reinforce their bigotry and give them more ammunition to spew their sadistic desires around (such as, “Hey let’s torture people”).  While I respect Sam and agree with just about all his arguments, I’m dismayed by how some people are using his work.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 02:42 PM

My posts have been very specific.  It’s called “reading.”  Try it.  Or maybe it’s the “comprehension” part that you’re having trouble with?

I’ve read your posts.  There’s nothing of substance in any of them.  You’ve bitched and moaned at Arildno, ranted about descending into medievalism and tried to make ridiculous analogies to Christians torturing atheists.  What specifically did I miss?

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 02:42 PM

Look, I can tell that you think you’re being very clever here and just trying to make me (because I’m so slow) understand something that seems very simple to you.  But you’re wrong.  I HAVE read Sam, all of his books, and yes I did read the chapter on Islam and morality of torturing terrorists.  But that’s where the difference is between Sam’s case and yours.  Sam’s case revolved around torturing terrorists in order to extract information from them.  He doesn’t seem to be against it and neither am I if we know for sure that the information will save lives.  Sam does mention the idea of torturing people just simply for what they believe but from what I got out of that he doesn’t endorse it.  And I’m glad because that would cast a shadow over him as far as I’m concerned and I would start questioning even more things that he says.

Of course Harris doesn’t advocate torturing people for what they believe.  I haven’t made that claim.  The point of the thread is to extrapolate his position on torturing terrorists for information, and combine it with his position on Islam.  I understand you disagree with my conclusion.  You’ve made that clear, with lots of hand wringing, caustic blathering and showy adverbs.  But you haven’t been able to articulate anything beyond that.

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 02:42 PM

Besides being logistically impossible to implement, such an action would indeed be highly immoral, and that has nothing to do with my “African veldt” sense of morality (nice lift out of Sam’s book, by the way).

I haven’t “lifted” anything from Harris.  I attributed that quote to him earlier in the thread.  Maybe you should try reading the rest of the thread (or even the opening post!) instead of only the last page before you go shooting your mouth off.  It’s no wonder you come across as so irrational.  And if your irrational reaction to torturing Muslims isn’t an emotional, knee-jerk one which comes straight from that part of your intuition left over from millions of years ago, how else do you explain it?

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 02:42 PM

Side note: 
This is what worried me about Sam’s book, that he lays it on so thick on Islam that there would almost unavoidably be some bigoted people who would read that stuff and all it would do is reinforce their bigotry and give them more ammunition to spew their sadistic desires around (such as, “Hey let’s torture people”).  While I respect Sam and agree with just about all his arguments, I’m dismayed by how some people are using his work.

Has it ever occurred to you that Harris didn’t write The End of Faith to appeal to your own, personal sense of morality?  But rather, to try and explain why it’s deficient?  You’ve obviously read the book with a preconceived idea of what it should be about and ignored anything that contradicts your own beliefs.  And you question my comprehension skills? 

[quote author=“matriculated01”]
“Hello, Kettle?  This is matriculated01.  You’re black!”

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Posted: 06 February 2008 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]  
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This is from your first post:

Antisocialdarwinist - 15 January 2008 11:53 PM

Would it not behoove us then, to persuade Muslims to renounce their faith by any means possible—including torture?  To do any less is to simply prolong the problem and incur more harm at the hands of Muslim terrorists.  The sense that this is morally reprehensible is a misapprehension stemming from our imperfect intuition.  From a rational standpoint, torturing Muslims to persuade them to renounce their faith is morally right.

 

And then in your last post you back away from it:

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 04:15 PM

Of course Harris doesn’t advocate torturing people for what they believe.  I haven’t made that claim.  The point of the thread is to extrapolate his position on torturing terrorists for information, and combine it with his position on Islam.

As you’ve proven yourself to be quite a twister of words I’m sure you’ll try to twist this one as well.  But the discerning ones among those who read this will see right through it.

You started this thread and titled it “The morality of torturing muslims.”  Not terrorists, not military combatants, but muslims.  Your screenname seems to describe you more closely than one might think.  Hiding behind some sort of pseudo-intellectual, ultra-rational, in-your-face, if-you-disagree-with-me-you’re-an-emotional-weakling facade, you think that you can spew your nonsense and not get called on it.

Saying that my posts have no substance is pretty funny coming from somebody who keeps screaming “WE CAUSE COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SO THAT MAKES IT OK TO TORTURE MUSLIMS OUT OF THEIR BELIEFS!”

Get a grip on reality and realize that just because somebody doesn’t agree with you that doesn’t mean that what they say is lacking in substance.

I’m glad that you’ve backed off of your original rambling, as evidenced above, and I think this is where I’ll end this exchange because you seem so entrenched in your little “I’m rational and whoever disagrees is irrational” bubble that it’s become impossible to have an intelligent conversation with you.  Have a nice day.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]  
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matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 05:00 PM

This is from your first post:

Antisocialdarwinist - 15 January 2008 11:53 PM

Would it not behoove us then, to persuade Muslims to renounce their faith by any means possible—including torture?  To do any less is to simply prolong the problem and incur more harm at the hands of Muslim terrorists.  The sense that this is morally reprehensible is a misapprehension stemming from our imperfect intuition.  From a rational standpoint, torturing Muslims to persuade them to renounce their faith is morally right.

 

And then in your last post you back away from it:

Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 04:15 PM

Of course Harris doesn’t advocate torturing people for what they believe.  I haven’t made that claim.  The point of the thread is to extrapolate his position on torturing terrorists for information, and combine it with his position on Islam.

As you’ve proven yourself to be quite a twister of words I’m sure you’ll try to twist this one as well.  But the discerning ones among those who read this will see right through it.

I wasn’t clear in my last post.  What I meant to say was, I haven’t made the claim that Harris advocates torturing people for what they believe.  I don’t want to be accused of putting words into Harris’s mouth.  And thank you for taking the time to read some of my earlier posts.

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 05:00 PM

You started this thread and titled it “The morality of torturing muslims.”  Not terrorists, not military combatants, but muslims.

Yes, that’s right.  That continues to be my position.  But not Harris’s.

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 05:00 PM

Saying that my posts have no substance is pretty funny coming from somebody who keeps screaming “WE CAUSE COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SO THAT MAKES IT OK TO TORTURE MUSLIMS OUT OF THEIR BELIEFS!”

Okay!  Now that has some substance, albeit buried beneath all your capital letters.  That’s the key point of my extrapolation, isn’t it?  Harris’s position was that torturing terrorists was morally no worse than causing collateral damage.  I’m extrapolating from there using the same logic (is it really the same logic?) he used to justify his position. 

It sounds like you’re going to bail on me, but if you change your mind I’ll try and convince you that it is possible to go from Harris’s position to mine without sacrificing any more morality than Harris himself has already sacrificed.

matriculated01 - 06 February 2008 05:00 PM

Get a grip on reality and realize that just because somebody doesn’t agree with you that doesn’t mean that what they say is lacking in substance.

I do realize that.  But your earlier posts really were lacking in substance.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]  
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Antisocialdarwinist - 06 February 2008 07:53 PM

That’s the key point of my extrapolation, isn’t it?  Harris’s position was that torturing terrorists was morally no worse than causing collateral damage.  I’m extrapolating from there using the same logic (is it really the same logic?) he used to justify his position.

But isn’t the problem with both yours and Harris’ logic that when you start targeting Muslims for torture they are no longer “collateral damage”?

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Posted: 07 February 2008 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]  
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camanintx - 07 February 2008 03:27 PM

But isn’t the problem with both yours and Harris’ logic that when you start targeting Muslims for torture they are no longer “collateral damage”?

I agree that targeting Muslims for torture probably doesn’t fall within the definition of collateral damage.  The point is that harming Muslims by torturing them is no more wrong, morally, than harming them in a bombing raid.  If collateral damage is morally acceptable, then torture should be, too, because the end results of each are similar.

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Do-gooding is like treating hemophilia—the real cure is to let hemophiliacs bleed to death, before they breed more hemophiliacs. -Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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Posted: 07 February 2008 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]  
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Antisocialdarwinist - 07 February 2008 06:58 PM
camanintx - 07 February 2008 03:27 PM

But isn’t the problem with both yours and Harris’ logic that when you start targeting Muslims for torture they are no longer “collateral damage”?

I agree that targeting Muslims for torture probably doesn’t fall within the definition of collateral damage.  The point is that harming Muslims by torturing them is no more wrong, morally, than harming them in a bombing raid.  If collateral damage is morally acceptable, then torture should be, too, because the end results of each are similar.

They are no different to you only because you don’t consider intentions in your subjective morality. Consider the following two scenarios:

1.  You see a bus full of children stalled on some railroad tracks so you pull a switch diverting the train onto another track where it kills an innocent man you didn’t see standing on the track.

2.  You pull a switch diverting a train onto a track to kill an innocent man you see standing there. Because of this, the train misses a bus full of children stalled on the other track that you were unaware of.

If morality does not depend on intent, then wouldn’t you have to say that these two scenarios were morally equivalent since they have the same results?

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Posted: 08 February 2008 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]  
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camanintx - 08 February 2008 12:14 AM

They are no different to you only because you don’t consider intentions…

I knew you were going to say that.

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Posted: 08 February 2008 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]  
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camanintx - 08 February 2008 12:14 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 07 February 2008 06:58 PM

I agree that targeting Muslims for torture probably doesn’t fall within the definition of collateral damage.  The point is that harming Muslims by torturing them is no more wrong, morally, than harming them in a bombing raid.  If collateral damage is morally acceptable, then torture should be, too, because the end results of each are similar.

They are no different to you only because you don’t consider intentions in your subjective morality. Consider the following two scenarios:

1.  You see a bus full of children stalled on some railroad tracks so you pull a switch diverting the train onto another track where it kills an innocent man you didn’t see standing on the track.

2.  You pull a switch diverting a train onto a track to kill an innocent man you see standing there. Because of this, the train misses a bus full of children stalled on the other track that you were unaware of.

If morality does not depend on intent, then wouldn’t you have to say that these two scenarios were morally equivalent since they have the same results?

Good example.  Before I try and respond, let me clarify what I think it means for the two scenarios to be morally equivalent.  Scenarios in and of themselves aren’t moral or immoral, are they?  I might say the two scenarios are morally equivalent if my actions in each are morally equivalent; you might say they are morally equivalent if my intentions are morally equivalent.  But neither of these positions is helpful since they both assume that morality is based on one or the other (actions or intentions) without providing any supporting argument.

So I’m going to assume that the scenarios are morally equivalent if I1 (the main character in case one) am morally equivalent to I2.  This leaves out the question of whether actions or intentions determine my morality. 

At first glance, it appears that I2 am less moral than I1.

I agree that both scenarios have the same results (a busload of children are saved and a man is killed).  My action in each is the same (pulling the switch).  If morality is based strictly on actions and results, then I2 am just as moral as I1 and the two scenarios are morally equivalent.

Maybe it’s just my African veldt intuitive morality raising it’s ugly, emotional head here, but I just can’t buy that I2 am just as moral as I1. 

But the only difference is my intent! 

I have no choice but to concede that in this case, intentions play a role in determining morality.  And if it’s true for this case, I can no longer hold to my position that intentions are divorced from morality.

That’s not to say that I agree with your position that “intent, and not action, is the measure of morality.”  Based on our mutually agreed-upon purpose of morality (a useful social construct that allows us to coexist in groups of more than one), I still think it’s actions which are moral or immoral.  However, you’ve convinced me that intentions may play a role in determining the morality of a given action.

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Posted: 08 February 2008 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]  
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camanintx - 08 February 2008 12:14 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 07 February 2008 06:58 PM

I agree that targeting Muslims for torture probably doesn’t fall within the definition of collateral damage.  The point is that harming Muslims by torturing them is no more wrong, morally, than harming them in a bombing raid.  If collateral damage is morally acceptable, then torture should be, too, because the end results of each are similar.

They are no different to you only because you don’t consider intentions in your subjective morality.

Suppose we do consider intentions?  What is the intent behind a bombing raid?  To defeat our enemy by depriving him of men and materiel which might otherwise be used against us.  But we drop the bombs “with the knowledge that some number of children will be blinded, disemboweled, paralyzed, orphaned, and killed by them” (Harris, chapter 6, A Science of Good and Evil). 

What is the intent behind torturing Muslims?  To defeat our enemy by depriving him of suicide bombers and terrorists which might otherwise be used against us.  Sure, we torture them with the knowledge that some number of them might not actually be used against us.  But our intent is still to defeat our enemy.  How is that any worse, morally, than dropping bombs we know will kill and maim innocent civilians?

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