Saturday, November 28, 2009

Justice with Michael Sandel

In general, my approach towards determining if an act is right or wrong is based on the followings:
1. Intention/Motive
(What's the main intention behind the act? Is it Justifiable and based on which value systems or principles?)
2. Wisdom
(Were all the possible solutions and alternatives been considered? Were all the implications & consequences been considered?)
3. Compassion
(Have you put yourself into the shoes of every individual/stakeholders? Is it an act of love & compassion for yourself or/and stakeholders?)
Harvard University Professor Sandel challenged all conventions:
(warning: it is quite addictive)

Example: Espisode 1
Part 1 - The Moral Side of Murder: If you had to choose between (1) killing one person to save the lives of five others and (2) doing nothing, even though you knew that five people would die right before your eyes if you did nothing—what would you do? What would be the right thing to do? That’s the hypothetical scenario Professor Michael Sandel uses to launch his course on moral reasoning.
Part 2 - The Case for Cannibalism: Sandel introduces the principles of utilitarian philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, with a famous nineteenth century law case involving a shipwrecked crew of four. After nineteen days lost at sea, the captain decides to kill the cabin boy, the weakest amongst them, so they can feed on his blood and body to survive.

Part 2 was challenging for me, especially IF the surviving crew members is 30 or 300 or 3000 people.
I felt that killing 1 innocent person to ensure 3 people survival is unjustifiable.
How about killing 1 person to ensure 3000 or 3million or entire planet people survival?
I would kill that innocent person to save the lives of 3000 people.
Then, what justify my decision? Just a number consideration??
Then, what is the number to justify the killing of 1 person?
Tough tough tough.....
I still dunno... not sure if I could ever justify any killing.


karenthecat said...

your blog always makes me feel like mine is sooooo pointless.....!

Boon said...

Mine are just random thoughts to share la... and also to remind myself of certain important values & things in life. =)

Melissa said...

hey boonie, watch house season 6 episode 3. its abt the doctors who decided to let an african dictator die, just so that they can save more people in the process. after watching that episode, life just feels even more queer than before. ah, the philosophy of life.

Boon said...

when you mentioned a dictator, naturally, our judgment would be biased. I would let the dictator die so that more innocent lives could be spared. I think i accumulated more good karma (as the motive is justifiable).

How about sacrificing the life of an innocent person for the sake of saving a few hundred "evil" people?

I would be caught in a dilemma.