A 2 month old baby and a 20 year old are about to die, however you may save one and there are no bullshit ‘I save both’ option. Which one do you save?

I’d save the baby. I don’t know what problem the 20 year old is having or why either of them are dying or *how* I could save them.

The 20 year old theoretically has more capability to save him/herself. Maybe he/she doesn’t. I don’t know how he/she
got into the situation to NEED saving and really there’s not much information to go by.

The 20 year old could have severe brain damage, the baby none.

We don’t know any of these things.

But the baby has more possibilities. If there are medical problems or mental problems, they’re fixable still.

The 20 year old? Not so fixable.

Baby doesn’t have a chance to save itself.

The 20 year old, theoretically could have made choices to NOT end up in that situation, whatever it is, or have had 20 years of parents, family, and friends that could have given him/her more chances to NOT end up in a situation of certain death.

The baby?

Helpless entirely.

The guy/girl could’ve had thousands of chances to NOT end up there and need saving.

The baby? No choices, no chances. You’re it.

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I was a premature baby. Were I born 20 years sooner? I wouldn’t be here to type these words.

Had I lived until I was 20, in my last moments, I would be grateful to have been given an impossible chance.


What if the baby and the 20 year old were one and the same person? You save the baby and both live. You save the 20 year old, the baby dies, and then the 20 year old dies.

What if the baby were you?

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All things being equal, I’d still save the baby. More logical choice. I am in the minority but I always am in this question. People aren’t mathematics. There’s nothing about a 20 year old that makes it more inherently irreplaceable than a baby, nor is there anything about the baby that makes it inherently more replaceable than the 20 year old.

My bias? I’m a futurist. The 20 year old represents past. He/she is just going to repeat learned patterns for a lifetime in various forms.

Hm, so maybe people _are_ mathematics but I just use a different set of mathematics

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I’m an individualist, also.
The # of people crying doesn’t matter to me.
A democratic vote of a life’s validity based on the number of tears shed? That’s fangirl talk. I’m all for fandom, mind you, but the majority of tears or the heartfeltness of the loss – is *that* the measure of a life’s validity?


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57,000,000 Fans on Facebook. He’s 21.
Justin Bieber. 57 million hearts broken, billions of tears shed.


Is he more valuable than the baby? He had his turn. He did well. Good for him. It’s really a stupid question honestly. It’s a variation of the “would you save the 96 year old physicist or the 2 month old? Most people pick the 2 month old in that case.

The younger the “older person” is, the less likely people will chose the baby.

It’s ageism.

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I can’t chose the hearts of other people. The 20 year old could easily have been a total prick that the world is glad to get rid of with no heartfelt anythings felt. I don’t know. I also don’t have a problem with you choosing to choose the 20 year old for your reasons. That’s fine. It’s your choice. Robin French I’m not going to chose for you.
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I could never abort. Yet, I’ve paid for abortions twice with no trouble to my conscience. My friends needed the money. I knew why and I was ok with it.

Why? It was their choice and their friendship to me is important, and what’s important to them
is important to me. I wasn’t going to impose my will on them. It’s not my way. It wasn’t my choice to make.

If I was in their shoes? I’d do something different. But I wasn’t. They needed money to solve a problem and luckily I had it. If I didn’t have the money to spare, I wouldn’t have. Ethically, I’m fine with it. Friendship was more important and I like to help. I was in no position to demand their girlfriends carry, nor would I have. Not even if it was my son or daughter who needed the money for it.

This question can easily be an abortion question. That’s why I bring it up.

The first 3 months after birth has become considered, “the fourth trimester” and eventually, it will become legal. That’s just how it will be – societies attitudes change and they’ll be entirely justified by reams of paper.

I’ll be fine with it. Not my choice. Society has its own will. I have mine. My choices are never up to a majority vote

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They’re equal but not equal.

Learning difficulty for example.

I was born with cerebral palsy. If you saw me at 2 months, I would appear useless, replaceable, a mistake. By a year I wasn’t even stopping myself from falling if you put me on a yoga ball to roll me down. I’d just fall flat, face first. Total waste of life. Expendable.

I was born before abortion was legal. My mother wouldn’t have aborted, but she might have.

By 2 months, all that was known is that I wasn’t responsive.

yet, I had physical therapy and by the age of 5, there was no way to tell I ever had cerebral palsy. Entirely 100% successful.

So yes, I’m biased.

Bizarre? Perhaps. But I was given a chance. All lives aren’t equal. Mine matters. I’m glad I had my chance. I’d give that same chance to another unknown.

The known is already known and it’s boring. The unknown is far more interesting to me. I’m not boring, although I *can* prove tiresome

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My criterion still remains maximize choice. It’s a simple one. Maximize choice for all possibilities whenever possible.
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Oh I don’t want to influence the baby.
I’d be a terrible father most likely.
No, I believe in choices, period. I don’t need to be involved in those choices.

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Palsy certainly does restrict you. I volunteered with them for a year when I was 21. It doesn’t restrict your imagination though.

And, that’s my point.

“Mental retardation” wouldn’t affect my choice either.

Hydrocephalus? Even that, too soon to tell. 2 months is too soon. Brains rewire. Even it it doesn’t, there’s something in there and it deserves to utilize what it has.

I’m assuming neither the baby nor the 20 year old are hooked up to machines at the time of saving. They are breathing without assistance.

I’m still not convinced that the 20 year old is the superior choice. Are you replaceable? Am I? No. We’re layers of learned patterns yes, but we also have choices.

Mental retardation let’s say: Can we measure the imagination? It doesn’t matter of they are “productive” to society or if people feel the loss or don’t feel it. They still deserve a chance, even if it fails.

This is why Science and statistics should advice courts but never rule them. Eugenics would be the answer [and it eventually will, but there’s nothing I can do to sway popular opinion when it comes and it will]

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“How useful/valuable you are to society” is, to me, not a valid measuring stick for the value of a life. It is to many and that’s fine, but not me. I believe that uniqueness should be given an opportunity.


But I wouldn’t choose for anybody else. If it was only up to me, I’d choose the baby, for the reasons given, even if had horrible parents and led a crappy life. Its theirs to live, not mine.

Maybe you can convince me, but so far, nothing’s sticking.

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While you framed it differently than me, I’m in total agreement.

I like how you fleshed out the concept of ” fully realized, narrowed, specialized […] that she is less valuable” – yes, that was also my train of thought.

I removed the aged part though as I don’t agree that age necessarily plays a part. Rather, the “fixed-ness” of established patterns. Then again.. maybe age does play a part…

It might become harder if the choice was between a 4 year old and a 2 month old though. There’s fixedness of patterns in 4 year olds as well and in a sense, the question doesn’t change much whether the other party is 4 yrs old, 20 yrs old, 96 years old.

Still, it would make it trickier to be logical in that case. There’s the whole “survival beyond the hardest parts of babyhood” issue with _some_ remaining flexibility still there, which might add to the complexity.

But 7 or 8 and up, the answer would remain the same. The world is run by a bunch of overgrown 3rd graders anyway, who finally got into positions of power and learned a few more tricks.

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