Free Will

I have a friend who likes to setup ethical thought experiments. One of his experiments is as follows:
To test whether a certain flesh would kill you would you:
    Feed it to your pet dog or cat?
or
    Feed it to a dog or cat in a laboratory?
Dilemmas are only dilemmas if there is an equal positive value or negative value to 2 choices.
In this question he is poking towards giving more value to a family member albeit a dog as to another animal that is more distant in relation.The answer of throwing the flesh away however doesn’t appear in the experiment.Is it really a dilemma?Suppose i set up another experiment:If my daughter and her friend are drowning and i can only save one of them, i have a moral dilemma.But, most of the time, when urged into such situations, the mind is not working anymore and we just act. Maybe even a higher force will activate us – i think this is possible. That means that in my example sometimes three people will die, and sometimes three will live, and sometimes the rescuer will die and both victims will live, or just one of the two people in need will make it, and not the rescuer, and so on. So this leaves us with eight possible survival scenarios, and not two, in this self-fabricated example.So i do not agree with the duality of the DI-lemma.But i understand that these questions are posed exactly to make us think about what value really is, and whether one human or animal life is more important than another. And probably we are not even intelligent enough to answer that question. If Nagarjuna were still alive, we should ask him 🙂

So i cannot answer from my deepest heart, but i know when in such a real life situation, i will be activated to do what is necessary and only fear or cowardice can still keep me a shore. In that case free will is the choice between compassion or fear.

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2 thoughts on “Free Will

  1. Nagarjuna is the guy who wrote a philosophical treaty about the non conceptual world beyond thinking – emptiness in english, sunyata in sanskrit.
    I do not understand a lot of what he is pointing at, but i more or less get the picture. 🙂

  2. So far as people can predict outcomes (and how often does anyone know the situation or the results of doing ____?) triage is often the consideration:

    1) patient will live anyway.

    2) patient will die anyway.

    3) If I act, I might save him.

    In emergency behavior — It doesn’t really look like people behave thoughtlessly, because what they do is often perfectly appropriate — but as if whatever thinking is going on, they aren’t ‘thinking’ it. Stephen Gaskin’s metaphor [probably he got this from Suzuki?] of the individual ‘ego’ as like a hole in a fence, showing some of the mental activity behind it, but not all — fits.

    Who is Nagarjuna? (I know, I could just look him up, but hey!)

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