I was on another website discussing Humanism, and someone posted this:


A moral question I'd like to ask humanists (who I think are really just in-the-closet Christians). If you start with the axiom "all humans have the same value"... What conclusions do you arrive at in practical scenario?

Example: if a boat is sinking, who should go first to the life boats?
1. random order (all are equal in all situations)
2. women and children (old gender prejudice)
3. the most moral of the people (all are equal, but the moral ones will contribute to more well-being, and so save more people e.g. more worth by their survival)

Now, aside from this guy claiming that I was an "in-the-closet Christian" (which I am not in any way), his question stumped me for a little bit. Upon further consideration, I gave the answer: "I would allow the women, children and aged to go before me, but I would let others make their own decisions regarding whether or not to be self sacrificing."

This is my first reaction, so I went with my instinct, but I'm not sure how it matches up against the ideals of Humanism. I'm still in the stage of studying Humanism, although I feel like I know enough to identify as a Humanist. So, I'd just like the opinions of other people here.

Thanks

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Well, as women are the superior gender, obviously we should be given preference....lol, just kidding! Personally, I think that children, the elderly, and anyone with a physical disability should be first to the lifeboats since they are the ones least able to save themselves as the boat goes down. But realistically, I don't think it would play out like in "Titanic" where they establish an order. It would most likely be a mad rush to the lifeboats with everyone for themselves, civillity be damned! And I'm fairly certain that nowadays there have to be enough lifeboats for all of the passengers anyway, so it doesn't necessarily matter who gets on them first.
I think there has been a lot of diversity in how people act in life-or-death situations; some have been survival of the fittest, and others have been cooperative, with people acting in a self-sacrificing way. (How was it in the real-life Titanic?)

Whatever people do, arguing about how to decide it, or going for a time-consuming method of decision making could kill everyone!
The answer may depend on additional factors uch as the moral person factor you mention or one being a scientist who is close to a medical cure. .
The term humanist is usually mis-used. Humanists are first and foremost Christians... they needn't be in the closet. However if you're asking about secular humanists, then, yes, I'd agree they're closet Christians.

As for the lifeboat, if there were only a few thousand people on the planet, then yes, women and children are more "valuable" to the human race.

Otherwise, I completely disagree with. Myself I don't see myself as "female" simply as Homo sapiens, but when some idiot uses my genitals to push me down, I push back. And if someone wants to agrandise me because of my genitals, then it's their loss!

At our present billions in numbers, human life has astonishingly little value. A moose is worth more than a human.
aw... didn't mean to make you sad! But the truth is often painful... I know you don't like biological realities so much...

I just don't ascribe to valueing numerous humans over less numerous mammals. The only reason to value humans above other less numerous species is religiously derived anthropocentrism. And I'll be damned the day I'm forced to be a good samaritan lest some bloke dares call that murder... ya right.

Oprah Winfrey once asked on her show: do you not kill because it's wrong or because you fear being caught. I ascribe to the latter.
Yes biologists often seem like psychopaths to people who have no understanding of the functioning of ecosystems.
You are truly clueless. :(

I am not spiritual in the least, I do not worship or hail, I just get fed up with people who understand nothing about biology, the very closest science to life, and then spend their time dumping on it.
Who was dumping on biology? I'm pretty sure the scenario in question is strictly about humans, no regard to any ecosystem- so where is this confusion coming from? Tnt666 would apparently leave everyone to die, so we have our answer; as inhuman as it seems. In the grand scheme humans are just animals, yes, but that was not what the premise of the question. you Missed the point, and hopefully the boat.

(Sent from my android phone)
Now you speak of me in third person, weird... Did you not notice who this little diatribe was between??????

My inclusion of a moose in my original reply was a side thought. It's John D. who is dumping on biological sciences by completely denying that human life has long outlived it's useful value.

Humanists often say that we can find morals in science, well, this might be an example. When ascribing value to living beings, one must place them in the grander scheme of life forms on earth. As humans are now the top predators on earth, we should be less numerous than herbivores. It is in this sense that valueing "reproductive" women over other humans makes absolutely no sense.
That must be one awesome moose!

Most people dodge that whole issue by not bringing a moose on a boat to begin with!
Laugh all you want, but any mammal who exist in lesser numbers than humans is more valuable than humans. You anthropocentrism is beyond scary.

A moose once bit my sister...

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