1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

POLL: Your Life vs the Life of a Random Person

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Deathmage, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Deathmage

    Deathmage Arrr! Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,891
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    This came from a conversation I had with Aikanaro. A simple question, but I'll give a scenario.

    You and a random person are in the room. And by random person - I mean any random person, drawn from the world's population. You may or may not know this person (however the chances are of course extremly slim given the world's population). Let's say that the age and gender of the random person is the same as you (somehow).

    A third person now enters the room, armed with a death laser, and asks you a simple question. Either that random person dies, or you die. Would you rather you die, or the random person die?

    Give reasons for your answer, if possible. Also, do you think it's selfish to save yourself? Why? What factors does your answer depend on? Would you feel guilty if you killed him? Why is your life worth more than his? And how long would you hesitate for? Would you at all? What would your reasoning be?

    And the other questions, simplified version of it - would you rather you die or some random person somewhere, anyone, die? What about ten? Or a hundred? Maybe even a thousand? (the murdering bastard Third Guy got his hands on an orbital version of the death laser that's very, very precise)

    Please don't say you'll overpower the third guy with the random dude and shoot him with the death laser. :p

    Poll Information
    This poll contains 5 question(s). 53 user(s) have voted.
    You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

    Poll Results: Your Life vs the Life of Random Dude (53 votes.)

    Your life or random person's? (Choose 1)
    * I die - 30% (16)
    * Random person dies - 70% (37)

    Your life or a random person's anywhere in the world? (Choose 1)
    * I die - 23% (12)
    * Random person dies - 77% (41)

    Ten random people? (Choose 1)
    * I die - 40% (21)
    * They die - 60% (32)

    A hundred? (Choose 1)
    * I die - 45% (24)
    * They die - 55% (29)

    A thousand, even? (Choose 1)
    * I die - 51% (27)
    * They die - 49% (26)
     
  2. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,389
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    Depends if I know the random person. It could be my best friend
     
  3. Deathmage

    Deathmage Arrr! Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,891
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    However, the chances of that are exceedingly slim because it's a random person your age and gender from ANYWHERE in the world...for the sake of argument, let's assume you don't know them at all.
     
  4. Greenlion420 Gems: 8/31
    Latest gem: Skydrop


    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    In all cases, I live and he/she/they die.

    The basic human instict for survival is not one to be ignored.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no coward if it were a war for a just cause I'd be right there. However, a situation like those presented here where I have no fighting chance. They die, I live.
     
  5. Arabwel

    Arabwel Screaming towards Apotheosis Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,965
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Female
    Bye bye, Random Person redshirt.

    I like my skin whole,t hank you very much.
     
  6. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    20
    When it comes to preserving myself - I'll gladly have those people die.

    Selfish to save myself? Maybe, but so what? These people mean nothing to me - I've never associated with them, they are not real people from my point of view. It's like money that you're never allowed to spend, it's absolutely useless no matter how much of it you have. Sure, these people might be worth more than me, but I'm never going to find out by meeting them, so what's the point?

    For random guy in the room - well, he'd die, that's for sure, but I'd be more miserable about it than random people I would never encounter. Still, from my point of view, I'm far far more important...

    A good counter to this question, I think, would be: 'what lengths would you be willing to go to in order to save someone who will certainly die if you don't act?' - this one isn't quite so binary. I might be willing to risk my life to save someone I've never met before - but to just die, well - what's the point?
     
  7. Greenlion420 Gems: 8/31
    Latest gem: Skydrop


    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen to that one.
     
  8. Shadowdrinker Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't wanna die.I just wish i was never born :D
     
  9. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,393
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    Of course I'll save myself. For the time being I plan to have a brilliant future as a research scientist, in which I may save more than a thousand lives. If I fail to accomplish that, I'll reconsider. The point being that I can't be sure that the thousand people about to die in my stead would even try to make the world a better place, but I know that I will make the effort and do what ever in my abilities working for that goal.

    I wouldn't feel good about it, but the price to pay for a better future might well be worth it. Terrible thing to say, but it might be true. How did it go? "I see just as bad those set to justify their actions as those that do evil"?

    Then of course I might try to be heroic and subdue the death-laser swinger, or talk her out of it. At least I'd want to know why she's doing it.
     
  10. Clixby Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose


    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would choose to die, under all of the above circumstances.
    I couldn't ever live with someone else's death on my conscience.

    Iku-Turo, that's a very utilitarian, means-justify-ends way of looking at it. So, if these people aren't going to contribute anything to the advancement of humanity, their lives are instantly worthless?

    The lack of empathy in this thread is vaguely disturbing.
     
  11. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    20
    Well, what makes these people's existances more valid that your own? They don't necessarily have to be worthless for you to consider yourself more important...

    (In this thread I keep wanting to say things which seem nonsensical but make sense in my head like 'you're you, therefore you're more important' and 'how much empathy you have means nothing when you're dead'. If you get what I'm talking about, take them as some of my points, if not, ignore, because they look suspiciously like bull**** even to me :p )
     
  12. Goli Ironhead Gems: 16/31
    Latest gem: Shandon


    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    1
    Let's see... Either I die, or the complete stranger I just met dies...
    I would never die for a complete stranger, there's just no point in it. For a friend or a close relative, a slim chance, but complete stranger is just that, complete stranger. So I would, without more than few seconds of consideration, seal his fate in favor of mine. If other was to die anyway, then it would be the stranger. I doubt that he would have chosen himself in my place.
    I wouldn't probably be even terribly sorry for it, seeing that madman's scheme was not my fault. Heroics or chivalry don't matter in death.

    So, as soon as I would have realised the question, I would have looked at the stranger once, and told it was him to die.
    Even if I would be forced to do it myself, I still would.
    Perhaps we should start a discussion about the same subject, but with the concept that you will need to kill the stranger yourself? Or that your death would be painless, but his would be slow and agonizing? That could yield different answers.
     
  13. Dendri Gems: 20/31
    Latest gem: Garnet


    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wont vote. The loss of ten or more lifes to save my hide? Nope, I cannot give an conscientious, in any way meaningful answer to that. Also I dont like pondering it, or make an easy choice, since that is tempting the Fates. Avoid, avoid.

    But I suspect one would be aghast at what self-preservation will make one do.

    I would not choose death to save a random person, though guilty I would feel about it. Guilty - and in a dark corner of my mind also very grateful that I was given that choice, not the random guy, cause that is the difference between life and death for me.

    Horrific topic btw.
     
  14. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,813
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Whoever holds two random people at gun point and tells them to pick one is already wicked enough to kill both. Especially killing the second one after killing the picked one. It would probably be a good joke in his mind. The best option, I think, would be to refuse to play his game and perhaps attack if possible. There is some chance of at least one person getting away without dying in the process.

    I don't want to play hero, and giving up my lfie for someone random would be a different story altogether, but I can say I wouldn't be able to pick someone to die in my place.
     
  15. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,086
    Media:
    66
    Likes Received:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    assuming that we do not know the other person, it is in our nature to save ourselves.

    however when faced with larger scale death, i would die
     
  16. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
    Latest gem: Aquamarine


    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm with Dendri on this one. I don't vote.
     
  17. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    25
    One. Ten. Hundred. Thousand. Million?

    Doesn't matter to me, if I didn't know them, they'd die. I'd not have to consider for a second.
     
  18. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Messages:
    7,470
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    I hold very little worth for my own life. If I can save even two people, I will do it. If it's only one, it depends on if I think they're more worthy of life than myself. If I didn't know them, I'd probably just charge the laser-wielder and die in the attempt. So yeah, I'm dead. :p
     
  19. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    7,024
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Damn right. Die for someone else? What a completly dumb idea.
     
  20. DarkStrider

    DarkStrider I've seen the future and it has seen me Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,321
    Likes Received:
    2
    Why does one of us have to die, there is no reason to kill, and without reason as I'm not an animal I wouldn't kill. Where's the raison d'etre?
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.