Jim And The Indian Villagers Essay

947 words - 4 pages

Jim, a member of the Peace Corp, is traveling to various traditional Indian villages scattered throughout Central and South America. During his travels, Jim comes to a very isolated village high in the mountains. When Jim arrives, the village is in turmoil. The small village is being destroyed by an extremist group who plan to kill all the remaining villagers. Jim runs into the havoc and screams for an end to the violence. The leader of the extremist group, Pablo, offers Jim a choice—Jim can either, pick any one villager and shoot them, having the sworn oath of Pablo and his men to spare the remaining nineteen villagers, or Jim can choose not shoot one villager and leave them to be ...view middle of the document...

This reason takes the point that you should do what would bring about the greatest amount of happiness in any situation.3 Making it okay to kill because if you didn’t kill one, then none would remain alive and that would be the situation with the least happiness. Based on these two reasons Jim would be morally justified to shoot one of the villagers.
Jim would also be morally justified to not shoot, in that every person has their right to life, and that it is not morally right to take away one person’s right to life without consent, even if it would be to save another nineteen lives. This belief shows that the value of each life is immeasurable so you can’t compare the life of one to the life of many. Making Jim unable to make a decision of which person to shoot in order to save the others because each life is immeasurable and therefore he could not kill any without considering the loss of all the villagers any less than the loss of one villager.
[1] http://debatepedia.idebate.org
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/#HumFor
[3] Class Discussions
[1] http://debatepedia.idebate.org
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/#HumFor
[3] Class Discussions
A second account on why it is morally acceptable for Jim not shoot is that he would be using a person’s life as a means to an end, and it can be considered immoral for Jim to do this.2 With this premise Jim himself would also be being used as a means to end the violence by making him have to decide which villagers lived and which villagers died. With these reasons in mind Jim could not shoot and still be acting morally.
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