An interesting dilemma involving rape.

What would you do if?

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Audacious
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An interesting dilemma involving rape.

Post #1

Post by Audacious »

So you're in the middle of a giant stadium seating hundreds of thousands of people; on television, there are hundreds of millions and people watching the event you are involved in. You are a prisoner who was sold as a slave by the hypothetical government in question, and you happened to get sold to the only show which is required viewing in over thirty countries every evening.

In front of you is a seven year old child. If you do not rape the child with a heavy emphasis on violence, over thirty innocent people, including you and the child, will be tortured for days and then killed. Should you or should you not rape the child?

James

Haven

Post #2

Post by Haven »

Ignoring that such a scenario is impossible, one should not commit that atrocious act. Child rape is evil, regardless of the circumstances.

This is one of the primary reasons I reject consequentialism.

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Re: An interesting dilemma involving rape.

Post #3

Post by PhilosoRaptor »

Audacious wrote: So you're in the middle of a giant stadium seating hundreds of thousands of people; on television, there are hundreds of millions and people watching the event you are involved in. You are a prisoner who was sold as a slave by the hypothetical government in question, and you happened to get sold to the only show which is required viewing in over thirty countries every evening.

In front of you is a seven year old child. If you do not rape the child with a heavy emphasis on violence, over thirty innocent people, including you and the child, will be tortured for days and then killed. Should you or should you not rape the child?

James
So on the one hand we have:

- You get to live with horror of inflicting rape on a child for the rest of your life.
- The child gets to live with all that psychological (and probably physical) damage.
- 28+ innocent people get to live.

On the other hand:

- You.
- The child.
- And 28+ other people will all be tortured in agony for days and then killed.

I'd disagree with Haven: this is not impossible, just extremely improbable, and that is what makes it an intriguing scenario.

You do have to consider also, though, that a society twisted enough to result in a scenario like this would probably be a hell to live in anyway.

Even with that consideration though, I would probably choose to perform the rape. Rape is truly awful (in this case it would be awful for both involved), but in no way would I consider it worse than days of torture followed by death, especially when 28+ bystanders will also suffer that fate.

Living on, how would I rationalize this? Probably by noting that I do not consider my own moral purity to be more valuable than the lives of 29+ other people, however romantic it might be to pretend that it's more valuable than my own life :/ Hopefully, the child would one day understand that however terrible it may have been, it was done under coercion to save others and even the child his/her self.

It would be nice to say that rape is always the worst choice no matter the circumstances, but that implies that there is literally nothing worse than rape that could be pitted against it as in a dilemma such as this. I simply don't think that's true. If you offered to me, for example, to be forcibly prison raped 20 times versus an equivalent time's worth of torture, I'd choose the rape every time. No question in my mind.

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Post #4

Post by Bust Nak »

Haven wrote: ... one should not commit that atrocious act. Child rape is evil, regardless of the circumstances.
What if the consequence of not acting is not that thirty innocent people will be tortured then killed, but third children wil be raped instead? Would you still refuse pick the lesser of two evils?

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Choakem
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Post #5

Post by Choakem »

PhilosoRaptor L I think I'd have to second every word the man said.

We can all pretend to take the high road but in that improbable scenario then I'm afraid she's getting raped...

As Spock said - The need of the many out-way the need of the few....

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Post #6

Post by McCulloch »

Cooperating with an unimaginably evil system is not ethically correct. I could not condemn the person who may be coerced into doing an evil act, but to go along with this system would be to condone and perpetuate it. The choice to torture and murder the hostages is not with the coerced victim but with those who set up this scenario.
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Sonofason
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Re: An interesting dilemma involving rape.

Post #7

Post by Sonofason »

Audacious wrote: So you're in the middle of a giant stadium seating hundreds of thousands of people; on television, there are hundreds of millions and people watching the event you are involved in. You are a prisoner who was sold as a slave by the hypothetical government in question, and you happened to get sold to the only show which is required viewing in over thirty countries every evening.

In front of you is a seven year old child. If you do not rape the child with a heavy emphasis on violence, over thirty innocent people, including you and the child, will be tortured for days and then killed. Should you or should you not rape the child?

James
I'll tell you what would happen in such a scenario involving me. Myself, the child, and over thirty innocent people would be tortured for days and then killed.

In my personal opinion, there is no value to human life. People die. They all die. Some suffer, and some don't. If someone should suffer because I've done something right, then so be it. My hands will be clean, and my conscience will be clear. I would be completely justified, and my justification would not come from men. I don't need justification by men.

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Post #8

Post by Darias »

McCulloch wrote: Cooperating with an unimaginably evil system is not ethically correct. I could not condemn the person who may be coerced into doing an evil act, but to go along with this system would be to condone and perpetuate it. The choice to torture and murder the hostages is not with the coerced victim but with those who set up this scenario.
And you just summed up my views on voting, war, and a number of other things.

People may find themselves participants who do harm to others in self-defense, but they do not find themselves in that position naturally -- but from a force imposed upon them. To say that their coerced behavior indicates consent on their part is as fallacious as saying being conscripted into a war makes the soldier a supporter of that war. While the carnage of war may be immoral, the true moral blame lies upon those who create this system. Who is more to blame for the nuclear strikes on Japan, the pilot or his superiors in the US who ordered him to do it? Unfortunately, people hold those in authority to a different standard; the pawns are punished for their immoral actions and the rulers wash their hands and carry on. "I was just following orders" is not a legitimate moral defense of your behavior, but your self-defense is perfectly understandable, given your alternatives. If disobeying an evil command is in any way possible, it is the only moral choice that you can take, because the evil that others do is out of your control; the evil you could do is within your control if of course you have the mental capacity to resist violent impulses.

Let's take taxation for example. A portion of everyone's tax dollars have gone into killing Pakistani children, as well as US training Congolese soldiers who go on to rape women and children. We cannot help being victims of theft. If we resist surrendering our money, we go to jail. But capitulating to extortion is a form of self defense. Other people will continue to suffer and die around the world through "public funding" whether we pay taxes or not, just like in your scenario. So while self-defense explains our behavior, it doesn't make it morally okay, anymore than a soldier following orders to kill and execute innocents makes his actions morally okay.

Even if you make the case that self-defense is morally ambiguous or justified in all cases, pride in an inherently violent system is in no way justifiable. Apologizing or celebrating an inherently violent system clearly immoral.

In other words, no one is just, it's just that some are more responsible than others.


As for rape, one incarnation of the initiation of force, it's always evil when anyone does it. And the fact is, the crime of rape and abuse, sexual or otherwise goes under-reported when women do it. Women can in fact do something that would be criminal if a man did it -- and either get a reduced sentence or not be sentenced at all. If women get drunk and has sex, she is raped, if a man get's drunk and has sex, he's considered the rapist. I don't know what you call this bizarre double standard in society -- "patriarchy" or whatever... but it's messed up.

I personally would rather die than be forced to rape anyone, because as a man, society would never forgive my actions -- having expected me to resist, even at cost to my life. Death is more preferable for a man than an unsalvageable reputation. Having grown up in this society, I wold share in their willingness to have me die, rather than aggress against others, albiet coerced. Society would not hold women to that same moral standard, because women are valued just for existing with female genitalia; men are valued for what they do, and for that reason are seen as expendable.

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Post #9

Post by JoeyKnothead »

From the OP:
Should you or should you not rape the child?
Is she pretty?
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

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Kathie Bondar
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Post #10

Post by Kathie Bondar »

Choakem wrote: PhilosoRaptor L I think I'd have to second every word the man said.

We can all pretend to take the high road but in that improbable scenario then I'm afraid she's getting raped...

As Spock said - The need of the many out-way the need of the few....
Who said anything about gender?
i]Kathie Bondar[/i]
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