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Impossible_Sir6196 t1_j24jn60 wrote

This is based on the false premise of duality. Life almost never presents a simple ‘this’ or ‘that’ option.

Very often this argument is used to justify morally reprehensible actions. However the ‘lesser’ evil often is far from the only other actual option.


Rethious t1_j285dyd wrote

Of course there are a plurality of approaches to any given situation. That does not mean dilemmas are useless for examining schools of philosophy.

As well, in reality, when faced with a situation, from the myriad of options, we tend to eliminate them until we are left with a dilemma.


Ok-Mine1268 t1_j27b6uk wrote

Isn’t that the whole story model of the Witcher? Omg you to have to choose but don’t worry either choice will result in some horrible outcome. See! Hahaha we got you!


MeetInPotatoes t1_j25fvxp wrote

>Geralt insulates himself from what happens in the world. He shows that, to some extent, he doesn’t care what happens to people, as long as he isn’t involved.

Interesting article but I take issue with this paragraph in particular. The "doesn't want to get his hands dirty" angle is overreach. He chooses to take a more humble approach to his own judgment. He knows what is evil and what is not, but to judge between two evils requires more than knowing whether something is wrong or right..a feeling that I think most of us feel "in the pit of our stomach." It requires a belief that one is right about the matter of degrees. The instinct of wrong or right is the feeling he trusts, and the lore is big on communicating that Witchers are highly instinctual. But comparing two evils no longer involves that gut instinct but is instead a heady affair where bias can roam more freely. That he prefers not to choose does not say that he won't if he is forced either.

Lesser or greater evil is a matter for society to decide. He detects evil in a binary, instinctual way and won't pretend otherwise.


InTheEndEntropyWins t1_j24waw6 wrote

>If I have to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

Isn't this essentially the Trolly problem, If a trolly was going to kill a thousand people then Geralt wouldn't pull the switch to kill one person instead.


Also I hate the use of torture. It kind of suggest through the backdoor that torture works. It's a framing where it makes it look like torture could be morally good, but in fact it's an impossible hypothetical.

>should a political leader order the torture of a terrorist in order to find out the location of a series of bombs that will harm innocent citizens?


>For utilitarians (the specific targets of Williams’s critique), it doesn’t matter that Jim has to kill someone—what matters is that either twenty people will die, or one will die, and it is far better that only one dies. Williams’s point was that it clearly does matter, especially to Jim, that to secure this optimal state of affairs Jim has to kill somebody.

I'm not sure it's a valid criticism of utilitarianism. If no-one would want to live in a world where they had to kill someone then that would be taken into account into any utilitarian calculations. Although I think most people would rather someone live with the guilt of killing than having more dead people.


>Even if there is something noble about Geralt’s desire to avoid getting his hands dirty,

I don't think there is anything Nobel about Geralt’s position, it's just small minded and selfish.


Bennito_bh t1_j278gx0 wrote

How familiar are you with The Witcher source material? Because the article’s author missed a lot.


XiphosAletheria t1_j29a68h wrote

>Isn't this essentially the Trolly problem, If a trolly was going to kill a thousand people then Geralt wouldn't pull the switch to kill one person instead.

No. That is being forced to choose between bad outcomes, not two moral evils. Choosing between two evils would be, say, choosing between supporting a trolley conductor who wanted to run over one specific person he hated and one that wanted to run through a crowd to rack up a high kill count. The correct choice would be to support neither, since both are evil people.


Gomez-16 t1_j24b6nq wrote

Thats how us politics has worked for 50 years


Rethious t1_j285mlf wrote

Geralt learns pretty quickly that refusing to get involved doesn’t work out. Refusing to choose means an endorsement of the status quo by inaction. To choose between a greater and lesser evil is an unfortunate fact of life. Triage, for example, is a fairly irresistible example of this. The choice must be made to allow some to die so that others may live.


XiphosAletheria t1_j299g6d wrote

It seems a lot of these dilemmas are only dilemmas if you believe one person can be morally responsible for another person's actions. In the case of "Jim", for example, if he kills the one person, he will be morally responsible for that person's death. But if he refuses, he will not be morally responsible for the death of the twenty - the executioner will. Nothing about Jim's refusal forces the executioner to kill, and the executioner is still free to choose not to execute anyone.


Ok_Recognition6972 t1_j2ba07b wrote

This is related to the difference between the morality of government and politics, as opposed to the morality of a person. A person can keep their hands clean - any evil others commit, it is on them, and anything we do personally is on us.

The government however has a different kind of thinking, as it is responsible for events under it's jurisdiction, while a person doesn't have such responsibility. Thus, governmental "ethics" aren't ethics at all - the government uses the rule of law to strike the hammer, not morality. It can be thus seen that utilitarianism is closer to how the governments thinks, while deontology is more of a personal ethic. It is only the government that has to choose the lesser evil to keep a modicum of order, not the citizen.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, for example when so many people's lives depend on a personal choice, that someone is pushed to choose the lesser evil. However, I would argue that at these times, that person acts as a representative of a governement, or humanity, and not as a person.