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Sinking boat moral dilemma - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Sinking boat moral dilemma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:03 pm

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. A dilemma is a choice between two bad outcomes. There must be no other options available.
Constructing a useful moral dilemma is difficult in the abstract and may never be worthwhile in a real world situation.
Unless perhaps you are teaching a group of teenagers who have never thought about this before.

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James the Giant
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby James the Giant » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:15 pm

Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:29 pm

Which what, Big James?

binocular
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:25 pm


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BlackBird
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby BlackBird » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:15 am

It surprises me the amount of people who want to pick holes in, or criticise an abstract idea that I posted for a bit of fun, as a thought exercise. There's really no need for it. There's no real world application here, it's just a thought exercise to generate a bit of conversation. I don't think it says anything about a person one way or another. Sure it's not the best one out there and there's a lot of things that need to be set a side. But why do you care so much? If it's not your thing, then don't post. Sorry I haven't satisfied all your requisite perfections for a moral dilemma :tongue:

Binocular, I'll reiterate what I said above, it's just a bit of fun. There's no desire to satisfy a need for drama or moral superiority in me, nor in anybody else that I can see in this thread.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

SarathW
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:18 am

This question was put to the test on a management training programme.
People came up with different reasons for their decision. Outcome was that there is no right or wrong answer.
You can do whatever fits you for the situation.

However there is a Buddha’s story that he swan with his mother for her rescue, though his life was at risk. Perhaps I would do the same.

Problem is I can’t swim!
SOS
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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zavk
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby zavk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:57 am

With metta,
zavk

binocular
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:01 am


Reductor
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby Reductor » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:30 am

I'd stay, even if I really wanted to get home to my kids. And if they were grown up and no longer needed me, I'd stay without hesitation, since these other people would already be terrified by approaching death, and to leave them would be to compound that fear while increasing the odds of its realization.

Not that I'd be totally at ease with dying, myself, but that's my problem to come to grips with; but I don't trust other people to come to grips with their own mortality, and would seek to spare them that as much as possible.

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BlackBird
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby BlackBird » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:56 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:06 pm

If the good boat is close enough to swim to, it should also be close enough for them to paddle over and assist the sinking one. You could hear your friend, so she can hear you. Why not just yell for help?

alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:16 pm

zavk: I don't understand. Maybe I'm not smart enough. A distillation of the argument would be helpful.

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Zom
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby Zom » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:23 pm

No matter what you decide now by thinking and pondering - in real-life situation your action will be absolutely different :hello:

alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:45 pm

Oh, I'm not sure about that.

The value of mental games like these is that it can help clarify your values, so if the time comes to make a momentous decision, it will not be disorienting.

binocular
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:38 pm


Samma
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby Samma » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:31 am

The essence of a dilemma is that whatever you pick it will be bad right?
So not surprising people don't want to answer.
Yet, I showed the pragmatic response.
If one does not take into account the likelihood of being rescued or not, then one makes decisions not grounded in actuality. And if one does not take into account which person should be saved, then one is selfish. This particular case does not seem any more complicated than that, besides nitpicking. Would anyone disagree?

In this way, I might argue that most dilemmas are not actually dilemmas. From what I understand, in philosophy, there is some argument as to whether there is such a thing as a genuine moral dilemma. There should be a best course of action. And if there are cases where there is not a best course, both are equally bad...well just flip a coin or whatever then.

What moral dilemmas are good at highlighting is what different people take to be most important, and then further discussions can come out of that...

alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:29 pm

Samma, binocular: the essence of a dilemma is that you'll be hurt, either way. You have to chose between two horns of the Bull charging at you. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I will have to point out once again that the choice must be imperative.

It usually boils down to "Do you choose yourself or others?" I think this is useful for introducing young people to basic ethics. Probably best used for soldiers going into war, where these situations are a very real possibility, and they will have to make decisions contrary to their basic presumptions.

Of course, most people in ordinary life will choose to stay alive. Nothing necessarily wrong with that. I do it.

Last point: I tend to disbelieve the motivations of those who claim they'd "be like the Buddha and sacrifice themselves to help the poor rabbit". Those stories are morality plays for children, not based upon the suttas, and not backed up by anything I've understood.

Wish you light on the path,
Alan

binocular
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:41 pm


alan
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:00 pm

Everyone watches out for their own interests first. Everyone holds their life dear; even Queen Maalikaa admitted it to the King.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

binocular
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:38 pm



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