Author Topic: Right or Wrong?  (Read 8216 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dena

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 16,185
  • Reputation: +122/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2016, 09:15:57 pm »
well we do know that a full-scale invasion of the Japanese islands would have been a bloodbath on both sides and include the native populations. So it can be deduced that far more lives would have been lost. The total deaths attributed to the two bombs is just over 200,000. Some estimates of what the alternative would : 200 to 550 thousand allied deaths, and native populations in the millions.
But back to the topic, the mindset of 1945..it was good because it saved so many mothers from losing their sons. In hindsight 2016, it can be seen as wrong because of the deaths and the fact that it changed the world forever.
(but the research gave us x-rays, surgical machinery..and yes..our beloved microwave oven..)
The genie was out of the bottle before WWII, America, England, Russia, Germany and even Japan had the knowledge and were working toward a bomb. Second guessing this one is wrong because had we not developed and used the bomb first, the world would have not been aware of it's destructive power and the first time the bomb would have been used in war might have been by a not so friendly power. There are indications that Japan set off a single nuclear weapon before the war ended but they lacked the ability to produce a second before the war ended.

A question like this is far more complex than it first appears.
Rebirth Date 1982 - My Transition

Offline Deborah

  • *
  • Posts: 4,109
  • Reputation: +55/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Trying to find my way into the light.
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2016, 03:31:15 am »
We killed as many people with incendiary bombs in Tokyo so the outrage about the two nuclear blasts is selective.  Overall though in both Japan and Germany the allies conducted terror bombing of civilian populations in an effort to break their will.  Today we would call that a war crime and had we lost the war many of our politicians and Generals would have been hung for it.


Sapere Aude

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,381
  • Reputation: +74/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 04:16:22 pm »
I wonder if the allies had dropped an A-bomb somewhere else instead (such as a certain famous mountain) whether that would have been a visible enough display of the utter destructive power of that weapon that would have been enough for the Emperor, or any head of state anywhere, instead of on two cities. But, I know they chose those two cities for strategic reasons, and that the Emperor was not in the level of control over the Japanese military as the Allies at first believed, and that the Allies probably wanted to see what the two bombs could actually do.

Offline Deborah

  • *
  • Posts: 4,109
  • Reputation: +55/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Trying to find my way into the light.
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2016, 04:27:04 pm »
If we had possessed more bombs we might have tried that.  But at the time we only had two so they used them where they thought they would have the greatest effect on the Japanese decision to surrender.


Sapere Aude

Offline Soli

  • *
  • Posts: 229
  • Reputation: +4/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2016, 05:32:39 pm »
'' Imagine that an out of control trolley is speeding towards a group of five people. You are standing on a footbridge above, next to a large man. If you push him off the bridge onto the track below, his body will stop the trolley before it hits the five people. He will die, but the five others will be saved. Should you push the man off the bridge? ''

http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/want-be-popular-you-d-better-follow-some-simple-moral-rules

Offline Dena

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 16,185
  • Reputation: +122/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 05:33:48 pm »
We had three bombs to use at the time and more that would have been available latter on but the time lag would have been months.

As for bombing a famous mountain, Japan figured we only had one bomb and the first bomb didn't bring a surrender. It took two in order to change their mind. Had we dropped one where nobody was injured, they might have figured we didn't have the courage to use the bomb on a population center. Japan consider us to be inferior because we didn't always fight to the death. The warrior culture at the time felt that the loss of the civilian population was an acceptable tradeoff to preserve the rule of the emperor and the military. Not all the military felt this way but those close to the emperor did.

We make a huge mistake if we think our enemy has the same values and thinks the same way we do. Not understanding our enemy is deadly.
Rebirth Date 1982 - My Transition

Offline Marlee

  • Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
  • Reputation: +1/-0
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2016, 05:56:32 pm »
'' Imagine that an out of control trolley is speeding towards a group of five people. You are standing on a footbridge above, next to a large man. If you push him off the bridge onto the track below, his body will stop the trolley before it hits the five people. He will die, but the five others will be saved. Should you push the man off the bridge? ''

http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/want-be-popular-you-d-better-follow-some-simple-moral-rules
I say no. but if that large man asks you to push him off, and you realize why,as he has, then you are helping his heroics.
lately I've been watching some videos about Mount Everest. Near the top, is what they call the "death zone" a human will die without supplemental oxygen. A mistake can be fatal, since even a twisted ankle might mean you cannot make the trip back down out the death zone.
Going up, a group of climbers encountered a man who was frozen, but still barely alive. he cannot walk. you cannot carry him. There is no way he is getting down from there. Do you spend time with him, depleting your own oxygen supply? do you walk right by and complete your summit climb? Do you turn around and go back down because you cannot help him?  Are any of these options right..or wrong?
Every climber that goes up there know this unwritten rule...but does that make it right to just pass a dying person?

Offline Soli

  • *
  • Posts: 229
  • Reputation: +4/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 07:50:21 pm »
I don't know what I would do in the trolley out of control situation, probably nothing as I would only figure out what happened the day after  :P

but what is right and wrong refers to a given set of values that a certain group of people agree on, nothing more, there is no right and no wrong, only opinions about it... morality.

I remember that when I was young my mother would tell me what is wrong and right and it always seemed to me totally nuts, didn't make any sense. How in the world could there be a good war? My mom used to say that: it would take a good war to fix things up.

For some people, the fact that I'm crossing the gender fence to the other side is totally wrong. For me it's not wrong.

so in the absolute, there is no right nor wrong.

The Aztecs used to do human sacrifices and that was not wrong for them, it was right. Young people were proud to be sacrificed. It was wrong to the Catholic Spaniards who got there, so they killed everyone  :P

Offline Soli

  • *
  • Posts: 229
  • Reputation: +4/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2016, 07:57:26 pm »
but the article explains why moral choices are very popular

"(...)Over the course of nine experiments, we found that people who took a deontological approach to the dilemmas (refusing to kill an innocent person, even when this maximised the greater good) were seen as more trustworthy than those who advocated a more flexible, consequentialist approach."

" (...) But this wasn’t the whole story: simply deciding whether or not to sacrifice an innocent person was not the only thing that mattered. We also found that how the choice was made was crucial. Someone who had decided to sacrifice one life to save five – but had found that decision difficult – was trusted more than someone who had found the decision easy."

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,381
  • Reputation: +74/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2016, 10:41:25 am »
We make a huge mistake if we think our enemy has the same values and thinks the same way we do. Not understanding our enemy is deadly.

Pearl Harbor made that clear at the time, I suppose.

The interesting thing about the Japanese military was that it was not really under the direct control of the Emperor in the same sense and capacity the American armed forces were under the U.S. government. The military caste was almost self-operating during WW2 at several points. A good deal of misinformation was spread by the military in Japan about what the Americans would do if they conquered Japan, and apparently some civilians and their children literally jumped to their deaths or committed suicide on hearing the Japanese defeat, not because of a sense of shame but because they feared the Americans would rape and murder their way through the population as a matter of course. Some of those Kamikaze pilots were literally forced into their planes because they did not want to go, glorious though some must have said it would be. The impression I have gotten from reading quite a number of accounts on the subject is that Japan was both socially cohesive but also highly fragmented as a nation, particularly in terms of who is ever "in charge" at any one time (Japanese bureaucracy is a nightmare now and then); not everyone thought the same way. However going against the Japanese status quo/tenural hierarchies is demonstrably near-impossible there.

the Emperor has never been a particularly powerful figurehead in terms of what he could actually do. As the symbolic owner of all land in Japan though, it would have been up to him to turn it over to the winning Americans.

For a nation so apparently steeped in warrior culture and values, where public shame was popularly believed to be worse than death, Japan saw sense very quickly. And recovered very quickly too, for a nation that supposedly believed so strongly in victory or death.

Offline Deborah

  • *
  • Posts: 4,109
  • Reputation: +55/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Trying to find my way into the light.
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2016, 10:50:48 am »
Quote
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

We used to understand this and it was the reason we used to win wars instead of drawing them out into interminable morasses.  Well, that and hiding the ugly reality from the voting public through censorship of the press.


Sapere Aude

Offline Dayta

  • *
  • Posts: 398
  • Reputation: +5/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Erin
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2016, 12:59:19 pm »
so in the absolute, there is no right nor wrong.

I don't buy this.  In the trolley example, as taught by academic ethicists, you may not throw the man under the bus, so to speak, in order to try and save more people.  It's a very different case if you are faced with pushing someone out from in front of it in order to save them, as you WOULD have an obligation to act.  If you make the choice of pushing the man, then that's YOUR choice.  You choose to kill him, despite the fact that it may save others.  Unless it was you that set the trolley in motion in the first place, you don't have an obligation there, nor a responsibility to determine who or how many people die. 





Offline Soli

  • *
  • Posts: 229
  • Reputation: +4/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2016, 06:03:15 pm »
Dayta that quote from me has nothing to do with the trolley example, I was lost in my own reflections

I don't remember studying this trolley situation in an academic context and didn't know that that one was a twist from the original, is that what you're saying?

Still, I can't see why or how I would have an obligation to act. What is the original ethic problem exactly?

Offline Soli

  • *
  • Posts: 229
  • Reputation: +4/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2016, 01:40:40 pm »
my English is not perfect and I realize now that my thoughts would have been better expressed if I would have written it this way, rather.

Dayta that quote from me is not directly related to the trolley example, I was lost in my own reflections

Offline Dayta

  • *
  • Posts: 398
  • Reputation: +5/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Erin
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2016, 11:24:12 pm »
Dayta that quote from me has nothing to do with the trolley example, I was lost in my own reflections

Yes, I'm sorry for pinning that on you, I understand that your statement was not addressing the trolley problem. 

In short, the "trolley problem" is a series of thought exercises regarding whether or not to act when presented with choices where not acting vs acting to save people vs acting to kill one person and save many are weighed on their relative merits. 





Offline autumn08

  • *
  • Posts: 566
  • Reputation: +3/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2016, 02:39:15 pm »
I don't buy this.  In the trolley example, as taught by academic ethicists, you may not throw the man under the bus, so to speak, in order to try and save more people.  It's a very different case if you are faced with pushing someone out from in front of it in order to save them, as you WOULD have an obligation to act.  If you make the choice of pushing the man, then that's YOUR choice.  You choose to kill him, despite the fact that it may save others.  Unless it was you that set the trolley in motion in the first place, you don't have an obligation there, nor a responsibility to determine who or how many people die.

I don't understand how you're connecting choice and obligation. Every action, whether active or passive, is a choice.

Since we can't escape moral arithmetic, in the trolley situation, I would use my definition of morality (reply #14), and ask would the world be a better place if we always threw the person under the bus, or not. (For obvious reasons, it wouldn't.)

P.S. I'm just arguing for the fun of it and to learn new perspectives.

Offline Dee Marshall

  • I'm not hiding anymore! I'm who I am and proud!
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,917
  • Reputation: +27/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2016, 05:28:47 pm »
well we do know that a full-scale invasion of the Japanese islands would have been a bloodbath on both sides and include the native populations. So it can be deduced that far more lives would have been lost. The total deaths attributed to the two bombs is just over 200,000. Some estimates of what the alternative would : 200 to 550 thousand allied deaths, and native populations in the millions.
But back to the topic, the mindset of 1945..it was good because it saved so many mothers from losing their sons. In hindsight 2016, it can be seen as wrong because of the deaths and the fact that it changed the world forever.
(but the research gave us x-rays, surgical machinery..and yes..our beloved microwave oven..)
We had no idea what the real affects of an atomic bomb were when we dropped it. Even later in the fifties they would perform tests where soldiers were given powerful sunglasses, placed near the blast zone and told to dig in.

My father was in Japan at the end of the war. He didn't talk about it much but he was part of the cleanup in either Nagasaki or Hiroshima. No one realized that they were endangering those soldiers lives. Eventually he died of cancer.
April 22, 2015, the day of my first face to face pass in gender neutral clothes and no makeup. It may be months to the next one, but I'm good with that!

Being transgender is just a phase. It hardly ever starts before conception and always ends promptly at death.

They say the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. I say, climb aboard!

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,381
  • Reputation: +74/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2016, 03:18:39 pm »
It's quite amazing to see Hiroshima and Nagasaki as they stand today. Normal cities, full of people going about their everyday business. It's almost incredible to me, seeing that juxtaposed with epicenter photographs just after the bombs of an abject wasteland.

The bombs did change the world (and war) forever. But it was going to be realized by someone, somewhere. It was an idea "whose time had come," in our age, and there was no avoiding it, I suppose. If the current number of human casualties from atomic bombs and testing remain the only ones for all time, I think I would say that would be a miracle of sorts, too, because it could have been so many more.

Alex Forbes

Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2016, 06:38:15 pm »
What a fascinating and difficult question to ponder.

Right and wrong are moral decisions. They are evaluated by the social group and often codified in law. They can be informed by religious beliefs, but not necessarily so. The rub is that social groups evolve, right and wrong is reevaluated, and laws change accordingly.

I guess what I'm saying is that right and wrong are not fixed conditions in the universe. They are human constructs.

On the other hand, I might be entirely wrong :D

Offline Just Me Here

  • Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
  • Reputation: +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2016, 01:18:39 pm »
I often wondered whether right or wrong really existed. It seemed so often that morality has been used as a truncheon to bring outliers into order. Is that not itself immoral and hypocritical.
I find it to be far more illusory than that. Good intentions are often not good enough, so is the road to hell paved. And yet good can arise out of what we would see as the most despicable of actions.
Trying to be perfectly right is not enough when the world we live in is not perfect, a world in which the best actions can be subverted, often by good intentions.
I think it is better to give up on thinking of what is right and wrong as a way of informing our actions. Instead we should try and raise the standards of life and happiness for everyone who shares this world with us. Yes it might fail, yes it might explode in our faces. But keep on picking ourselves back up and keep on soldiering on until we create a world better than ourselves, and selves better than our dreams.

Tags: