There is a surprising knock at the door......

Simpletruther

Well-known member
Ted lives alone in the remote subarctic. A few scattered natives live in the area. One family is in such a difficult survival mode they drop their 6 year old off in his yard and leaving, hoping ted will take her in.

It’s in the middle of a blizzard in early winter. Ted answers the door and finds the cold little girl. It’s 30 below and she has minutes before dangerous hypothermia takes hold.

Ted ponders what taking this child in means. It means a major inconvenience. She will require feeding though he has a large stockpile more than enough. She will make a mess and he will be cleaning more. She could (though it seems a remote chance) even have a mental problem and kill him in his sleep. He would have till keep her until the late spring thaw at least 6 months before it would be feasible to take her to authorities.

Ted decides it’s his house, his food his labor and he has a right to use them how he sees fit and slams the door as she comes forward hoping for salvation. She cries for help but within 20 minutes she dies.

The questions on the table are is ted morally ok in this decision? Do you approve of ted? Should ted be held accountable in any way?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
[...] is ted morally ok in this decision?
Hard to say. I'm not sure I could answer either yes or no.

Do you approve of ted?
Not at all. He's a ****, and I probably wouldn't want to associate with him after his decision

Should ted be held accountable in any way?
If there are laws against what he did, then yes. However, the parents bear the greater responsibility/liability; they should be prosecuted, and if no laws exist by which to prosecute them, then those laws should be crafted immediately.
 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
Ted lives alone in the remote subarctic. A few scattered natives live in the area. One family is in such a difficult survival mode they drop their 6 year old off in his yard and leaving, hoping ted will take her in.

It’s in the middle of a blizzard in early winter. Ted answers the door and finds the cold little girl. It’s 30 below and she has minutes before dangerous hypothermia takes hold.

Ted ponders what taking this child in means. It means a major inconvenience. She will require feeding though he has a large stockpile more than enough. She will make a mess and he will be cleaning more. She could (though it seems a remote chance) even have a mental problem and kill him in his sleep. He would have till keep her until the late spring thaw at least 6 months before it would be feasible to take her to authorities.

Ted decides it’s his house, his food his labor and he has a right to use them how he sees fit and slams the door as she comes forward hoping for salvation. She cries for help but within 20 minutes she dies.

The questions on the table are is ted morally ok in this decision? Do you approve of ted? Should ted be held accountable in any way?
Yes Ted is ok. He should not be held accountable. Why? If you are obligated to save her you are then obligated to save all children in distress.
 

vibise

Well-known member
Ted lives alone in the remote subarctic. A few scattered natives live in the area. One family is in such a difficult survival mode they drop their 6 year old off in his yard and leaving, hoping ted will take her in.

It’s in the middle of a blizzard in early winter. Ted answers the door and finds the cold little girl. It’s 30 below and she has minutes before dangerous hypothermia takes hold.

Ted ponders what taking this child in means. It means a major inconvenience. She will require feeding though he has a large stockpile more than enough. She will make a mess and he will be cleaning more. She could (though it seems a remote chance) even have a mental problem and kill him in his sleep. He would have till keep her until the late spring thaw at least 6 months before it would be feasible to take her to authorities.

Ted decides it’s his house, his food his labor and he has a right to use them how he sees fit and slams the door as she comes forward hoping for salvation. She cries for help but within 20 minutes she dies.

The questions on the table are is ted morally ok in this decision? Do you approve of ted? Should ted be held accountable in any way?
Is this meant to be an analogy to something else? Maybe poor immigrants or refugees at the border knocking on the door?

Seems to me that Christians and anyone with a moral compass have an obligation to help others, especially to prevent the needless death of a child.
 

vibise

Well-known member
Yes Ted is ok. He should not be held accountable. Why? If you are obligated to save her you are then obligated to save all children in distress.
All children in distress are not knocking at your door, in a remote place in the subarctic. Just one.
 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
All children in distress are not knocking at your door, in a remote place in the subarctic. Just one
I did not say I wouldn't help. Ted however is off the hook. This is a variant of a moral dilemma posed in my philosophy class. You are not under obligation to help or you are under obligation to help all. It does not matter if they are 1 foot from your door or 20 ft or 100 feet or 1 mile or across the planet.
 

vibise

Well-known member
I did not say I wouldn't help. Ted however is off the hook. This is a variant of a moral dilemma posed in my philosophy class. You are not under obligation to help or you are under obligation to help all. It does not matter if they are 1 foot from your door or 20 ft or 100 feet or 1 mile or across the planet.
I find that to be very odd. It is certainly not possible for one person to help everyone in distress in the world, but if each person helps one other person, the world would be a better place. And refusing to help because you can't help others, even though you are trapped in the wilderness for months and could not possibly do that, seems like a cop out.
 

Simpletruther

Well-known member
Is this meant to be an analogy to something else? Maybe poor immigrants or refugees at the border knocking on the door?

Seems to me that Christians and anyone with a moral compass have an obligation to help others, especially to prevent the needless death of a child.
It's an abortion analogy.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I would say at the very least because it's fairly easy low risk and you are the only option.
Well, that's a reasonable POV, yeah, but it doesn't describe an obligation.

If you're obligated to save one girl on your doorstep, how can you not be obligated to save them all?

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I just understand where Faith was coming from...
 

Simpletruther

Well-known member
Well, that's a reasonable POV, yeah, but it doesn't describe an obligation.

If you're obligated to save one girl on your doorstep, how can you not be obligated to save them all?

I'm not I'm
Well, that's a reasonable POV, yeah, but it doesn't describe an obligation.

If you're obligated to save one girl on your doorstep, how can you not be obligated to save them all?

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I just understand where Faith was coming from...

I gave my answer for how you are not. Because not all children in destress are fairly easy to meet, withlow risk and you are not the only one capable. In fact it's literally impossible for you to save most of them. It would be nonsensical to claim you are obligated to do something impossible.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I gave my answer for how you are not. Because not all children in destress are fairly easy to meet, withlow risk and you are not the only one capable. In fact it's literally impossible for you to save most of them. It would be nonsensical to claim you are obligated to do something impossible.
That would make the obligation subjective, then; something it requires your personal interpretation to recognize whether it's owed or not.

This is someone I can save, but that little boy 10 feet away from her - is he too far away? Do I have enough food for them both? WHat about that baby who's 100ft in the snow, am I obligated to save it as well? It sure looks cold out there, I wouldn't want ME to catch frost bite...

I usually think of obligations as simple, easily identifiable. If it's easy for me to save the kid on my porch, it's also pretty easy to get in my car and drive around town looking for other kids to save. That's why I wouldn't say there's an obligation to save the child on your doorstep - because where that obligation stops isn't easily understood from the scenario.

Again, not looking to argue. You can have the last word if you want.
 

Simpletruther

Well-known member
That would make the obligation subjective, then; something it requires your personal interpretation to recognize whether it's owed or not.

This is someone I can save, but that little boy 10 feet away from her - is he too far away? Do I have enough food for them both? WHat about that baby who's 100ft in the snow, am I obligated to save it as well? It sure looks cold out there, I wouldn't want ME to catch frost bite...

I usually think of obligations as simple, easily identifiable. If it's easy for me to save the kid on my porch, it's also pretty easy to get in my car and drive around town looking for other kids to save. That's why I wouldn't say there's an obligation to save the child on your doorstep - because where that obligation stops isn't easily understood from the scenario.

Again, not looking to argue. You can have the last word if you want.
Isn't everything moral subjective? The same reasoning you offer says we are not obligated to do any good in our lives at all. Because an obligation to do any good would mean an obligation to do all good.

And I suspect your argument would bite just as hard on all kinds of things you would consider obligations.

Leaving us with a cold world of no obligations.
 
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Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
I find that to be very odd. It is certainly not possible for one person to help everyone in distress in the world, but if each person helps one other person, the world would be a better place. And refusing to help because you can't help others, even though you are trapped in the wilderness for months and could not possibly do that, seems like a cop out.
Sure you can send all your money to those who are helping in areas you cannot access yourself.
 

Simpletruther

Well-known member
Sure you can send all your money to those who are helping in areas you cannot access yourself.
The reasoning you are using doesn’t necessarily follow and all. It’s just your assumption.

I assume you are libertarian as this doctrine would highly conflict with progressive politics.
 

Faithoverbelief

Well-known member
The reasoning you are using doesn’t necessarily follow and all. It’s just your assumption.

I assume you are libertarian as this doctrine would highly conflict with progressive politics.
It does follow. If you are obligated then that carries meaning. I contend you are not obligated to help. That does not mean you don't have to if you like.

I lean libertarian rather than authoritarian.
 
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