[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

Stefan Detrez stefan.detrez at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 08:46:47 MDT 2010

Thinking the problem through can lead to a bizarre conclusion: anything
might afterwards have been the morally right action, especially in such
extreme situations. Killing one man in order to save the others seems right
from a utilitarian point of view.  Allowing the five to die seems morally
justifiable too. There is no calculus possible here. What if one person on
the track was a family member or a beloved?  Or what if the five persons
were known killers? What if one of the five persons was your beloved and the
rest killers? What if those five persons where suffering from a terminal
decease? Even if you do not act, you could not be blamed for not having
taken your responsibility. What would be that responsibility? How, if, would
'a normal person is similar circumstances' act? That is very difficult to
discover. Not acting would motivabe not wishing to actively cause pain

2010/6/10 Dan Lusthaus <vasubandhu at earthlink.net>

> Hi Joy,
> >Why always this urge to
> > intervene? Let Mother Nature do her job.
> Careful not to jump to the other extreme. There is a difference between
> having to do something as opposed to having something to do. Sila is one of
> the tripod legs on which Buddhism stands, and shouldn't be neglected in the
> name of observation-only samadhi (or some other name, such as Father
> Nature). There is no compassion, no prajna, no Buddhism, without
> responsibility.
> Dan
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Stefan Detrez
Lokkaardstraat 18
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