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Author Topic: The Assassination Principle  (Read 5107 times)

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Offline InkiduTopic starter

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The Assassination Principle
« on: July 26, 2008, 03:05:39 PM »
The assassination principle. For those of you who don't know is the old philosophy of kill one save one thousand. To do so undermines democracy. One person is taking in it his own hands to say who lives and who dies.
So here's my question to you.

Would you kill a little baby called Adolf Hitler, to save the lives of millions of people?
My answer is a resounding no.

Offline Sherona

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2008, 03:14:26 PM »
That creed is not about killing innocent people, particularly babies because they MIGHT be evil. That creed is to kill someone who IS evil, such as hitler as a grown man, even though its against the law.

Offline Chat Noir

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 03:49:17 PM »


It's all subjective. Depends on what you're saving, I suppose.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2008, 04:58:44 PM »
That creed is not about killing innocent people, particularly babies because they MIGHT be evil. That creed is to kill someone who IS evil, such as hitler as a grown man, even though its against the law.
Assassination, in the preemptive sense not the preventative sense. I didn't leave it up to might be's I said would you kill Adolf Hitler knowing without doubt he'd kill millions of people.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 05:01:19 PM »


It's all subjective. Depends on what you're saving, I suppose.
What on Earth does that comic have to do with the assassination principle?

Offline Lisossa Etasu

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2008, 05:07:21 PM »
If I knew it would save hundreds of thousands of lives and a World from an unnecessary war then I believe one life is worth taking to preserve thousands. I do not believe in murder but nor do I believe that a person should be put to death just because of their religion.

Offline Chat Noir

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2008, 05:11:43 PM »
I was just thinking abstractly I guess. Does the assassination principle apply only to actually killing one person to save many?

I just thought it related in that it depends on what your ideals are and where you place importance in your life. Choosing life and death could be for various reasons and it's kind of about where to draw the line. Saving lives becomes saving quality of life which becomes aesthetic and so on...

Either way, in my mind the comic applies, but my thought process is confusing to most and likely there isn't a real connection like I thought there was.

Offline Sherona

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008, 05:14:48 PM »
I do not like impossible scenerios. There is no way I could possibly know that someone is going to kill hundreds of thousands of people unless the plan is being put into motion that they are.

Offline Chat Noir

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2008, 05:22:19 PM »
Sherona, this is similar to the train and two possible tracks scenario. A train is headed onward to 10 people, but you can pull the switch and send the train into one person instead (there's no getting out of the way for any of them... let's say the train's coming too fast and they're all trapped in cars on the crossings). Do you pull the switch and kill one person but save 10 or do you let it continue on into the ten people?

This is a slightly different principle, seeing as all parties are innocent I suppose. But similar in concept maybe, at least there's a definite number of people going to die either way.

Offline shadowheart

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2008, 05:33:40 PM »
Kill Hitler.  No WWII.  Weak Germany, that goes Communist, or is overrun by Stalinist Russia.

Now, you have to kill two people to save thousands of lives, Hitler and Stalin.

But without Stalin, maybe, someone else comes to the front.

They have to die too. Etc. Etc.

That's the problem with the assassination principle.  Once you start reasoning this way, killing one to save thousands becomes killing thousands to save millions, or millions to save billions.

It just never stops.

Offline Sherona

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2008, 05:52:55 PM »
Sherona, this is similar to the train and two possible tracks scenario. A train is headed onward to 10 people, but you can pull the switch and send the train into one person instead (there's no getting out of the way for any of them... let's say the train's coming too fast and they're all trapped in cars on the crossings). Do you pull the switch and kill one person but save 10 or do you let it continue on into the ten people?

This is a slightly different principle, seeing as all parties are innocent I suppose. But similar in concept maybe, at least there's a definite number of people going to die either way.

thats how I answered at first and the poster then said no it was not because the person is actively going to kill but because I magically knew they would in the future. That is what I said I did not like.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2008, 06:18:52 PM »
I do not like impossible scenerios. There is no way I could possibly know that someone is going to kill hundreds of thousands of people unless the plan is being put into motion that they are.
No you're missing it the point is you do know you found documents whatever. The question remains the same knowing it would happen would you do it.

Offline Avi

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2008, 10:15:21 PM »
I would say no to killing Hitler as a baby as well.  You never know what kid of effect it might have had on history.  It might have averted a second World War, yes, but for how long?  Who knows if the USSR might have been the new aggressor?  Stalin was just as bad, or worse than, Adolf Hitler.

I just think everything happens for a reason, and I doubt killing Hitler as a kid would change much of anything in the long run.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2008, 05:39:01 AM »
Messing with the time line never ends well.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2008, 08:29:54 AM »
Messing with the time line never ends well.
I'm not saying messing with time. It's just hard to come up with examples to illustrate the point.
Okay like presidential assassination. No matter how much I'd disagree with a president, I'd never want them dead. It undermines democracy. A person who kills someone just because they don't agree and think it's the right thing by killing that person is playing God. 

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2008, 12:08:04 AM »
It's the whole undermining democracy phrase that's throwing me off, here. You do not kill people because it's wrong... ideas of democracy are in about the same place as laws as far as I'm concerned. People do not refrain from killing others because it's illegal. They don't do it because it's wrong, and the illegality pretty much makes sure that people who don't hold to that are punished. I don't think it's a deterrent. It's a clean-up.

By the same token, you don't kill someone. Because you have no right. Because it's wrong. Period.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2008, 02:21:17 AM »
By the same token, you don't kill someone. Because you have no right. Because it's wrong. Period.

 Someone who tries to kill me, looses their right to exist. I would not consider killing them a wrong thing.

 On the assassination principle of this topic, I would say now. It would change the world drastically from what we have today. The history is in the past. Let it stay there and be an example of what to avoid or do right.

Offline James

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2008, 02:00:55 PM »
Democratic governments have been performing assassinations for a very long time.

This is nothing new. You wouldn’t need more than a brief political oversight to start listing the cases. In fact, I’ll bet you that “democratic” governments are responsible for more assassinations than any fascist/communist government. It’s a democratic trait, just another political tool. I’m not only talking about people that have already openly committed genocide, such as Saddam Hussein. They’re not the only people being arrested by foreign military. Don’t stroke yourselves people, if practical democracy was anything like the philosophical version, I’m sure we’d have more wars, and I’m sure more innocent people would have died by now.

It’s very easy to go on. In case you want fresh material, look at the heavy foreign military presence in the Middle-East. How many times haven’t we (I’m from Sweden, presence in Afghanistan) arrested/executed rebellious leaders and small-time gangsters because they had a high probability of attaining bombs, bigger guns and killing a whole lot of people?

You don’t want to kill Adolf Hitler because you’re afraid it’s going to undermine democracy? I wouldn’t care too much – because if your  democratic government had that option, they’d do it for you.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2008, 02:05:29 PM »
Yes because America shoots people on a daily basis for speaking out. Not like China, or Cuba, or some African country. You've been reading a few too many Clancy's. I'm not saying America doesn't do it. But no by far they do not do it as much as you think.

Offline James

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2008, 02:15:20 PM »
I'm really not open to discussing quantity, Inkedu. I just don't see how it matters. Five assassinations? Fifty? It doesn't matter. This principle is a part of the modern political defense of democracy. Sweden does this too, rest assured. I'm not mocking the United States, I'm just pondering over how sanctimonious it is to say that you undermine democracy when you kill to save people.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2008, 03:23:17 PM »
Yes because America shoots people on a daily basis for speaking out. Not like China, or Cuba, or some African country. You've been reading a few too many Clancy's. I'm not saying America doesn't do it. But no by far they do not do it as much as you think.

They just stopped telling us about it, chagrined by the leak about Castro's exploding cigar and the ribbing they got about it.

*sage nod*

I always thought it would be funny if Castro returned the favour while Clinton was in office...

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2008, 07:19:56 AM »
They just stopped telling us about it, chagrined by the leak about Castro's exploding cigar and the ribbing they got about it.

*sage nod*

I always thought it would be funny if Castro returned the favour while Clinton was in office...
America doesn't assassinate people. President Ronald Wilson Regan passed quite a few laws about it. Look it up, believe me those laws are part of foreign affairs. They're enforced.

Offline James

Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2008, 11:08:41 AM »
I'm sorry, but since when did the law books reflect how the world really works?  ::)

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2008, 12:24:30 PM »
I'm sorry, but since when did the law books reflect how the world really works?  ::)
The next time you're getting arrested and told your rights remember that.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Assassination Principle
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2008, 12:25:30 PM »
Debates are good. Personal attacks are not.

Can we please try to continue the intelligent discussion? Thanks.