1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured I would hate to be in a position to play God.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jonathan Bailey, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    American presidents may find themselves in such positions. Positions in which one has to decide who lives and who dies.

    Take the film Executive Decision with Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, David Suchet and John Leguizamo from 1996.

    Terrorists take over a jumbo jet with about 450 innocent people on board. The plane might crash into Washington DC killing thousands if the president doesn't' shoot it down. 450 innocent people WILL die for certain if the president orders the plane to be shot down over the sea before reaching Washington. What do you do? How can your conscience allow you to live with whatever you chose to do?

    Do you sacrifice a few innocent people to guarantee saving many more? Do a few innocent people become the "stitch in time to save nine"?

    Do you refrain from shooting down the plane altogether taking a gamble that you might be playing into the enemy's hands with the possibility that nobody will be killed, a few might be killed, some might be killed or many might die?
     
    #1 Jonathan Bailey, Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  2. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    506
    Ratings:
    +288
    Religion:
    Christian
    My thoughts on the matter:

    The right thing to do would be to shoot it down before it crashes into the city

    It would be selfish not to

    Saving human lives should be more important than maintaining a clean conscience

    And by shooting it down you would be saving lives - which you wouldn't be doing if you let it crash into the city
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    23,349
    Ratings:
    +8,664
    Religion:
    Zen Buddhism
    You would think most people would understand that type of scenario in the first place. Though you would like to save everybody, it would of course be logical to proactively preserve the greater good as it were , in wake of no other alternatives or options.

    It makes a good case as to why emotion shouldn't supersede reason in the name of preservation.

    One however could always up the ante considerably if you were to adjust the scenario to include having a personal loved one on board. ;O)
     
  4. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    12,901
    Ratings:
    +6,213
    Religion:
    None
    We all get to play god, whether or not we even know it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    Whether I had a loved one on board or not, I as an American President would NOT order the plane to be shot down (unless God, Himself, commands me to do so). Otherwise, I would play the whole ordeal out to the end trying to save as many innocent lives as I could. If many people were to die, including myself, then it is the will of God and God could not hold me guilty for my decision whatever the outcome. The Christian thing to do would to NOT shoot the aircraft down in such scenario. I would pray for God's help as I was trying to foil the enemy's plans while trying to prevent each and every innocent casualty.

    I don't ever want to even become an American President in the first place. I only pray to God that the standing President, whoever this person is, always make the right choices, guided by the Lord's will, in crisis situations.
     
  6. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    Ok, add the hypothetical scenario where your spouse and children are on the plane to make it really tough. I would only hope your decision would be guided by the will of God. It's a case of cutting off the head (innocent people) to cure the headache (the terrorists thugs).
     
  7. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    By shooting the plane down, a president would be pawning innocent lives.
     
  8. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    14,763
    Ratings:
    +10,311
    Religion:
    None
    Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, it not even playing god, it is using basic logic
     
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    12,606
    Ratings:
    +4,722
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    It all works out in the movie. :handok:
    I wouldn't be president because I would make the wrong decision.
     
  10. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    506
    Ratings:
    +288
    Religion:
    Christian
    By ordering it to be shot down a president would be taking responsibility for the good of his or her nation's citizens (which is what is expected of a president) by favouring the welfare of the many over the few in his or her decision making

    To not shoot it down and say "oooh no, I'm not going to pawn innocent lives" would be to do what's politically expedient (and easy) rather than what morality requires - it's a cop out

    Not shooting it down is not even doing nothing, it's making the active decision to let it crash into a city and kill more people than would be killed by shooting down the plane

    The course of action which cost less lives is the right one and in this scenario the people on the plane would be going to die anyway whether or not it crashes into the city

    I'm glad I'll never be faced with such a hard decision
     
  11. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    It's not likely anybody here will become president and ever have to face such situations.
     
  12. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    There is no absolute guarantee that anybody would die for failure to shoot down the plane. The suicidal terrorists might chicken out at the last minute. God or His angels might intervene and save everybody by some miracle. To intentionally shoot down the plane means you don't trust in God.

    It's pretty much guaranteed that somebody is going to die if the president gives the fighter jets the order to shoot.

    If the terrorists, for example, were demanding a political prisoner to be released in exchange for saving the innocents on board the plane, I would give in to their demands and hope all the innocents would be saved.
     
    #12 Jonathan Bailey, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  13. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.

    A good technology to avoid or deter terrorist takeover of planes is to have some remote control device that takes control the plane like a drone so the plane is completely out of the terrorists control. Arming pilots with guns and special bullets that won't pierce aircraft skin is also a good measure of security.
     
  14. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    It is all about numbers? The lives of 50,000 are more sacred than the lives of a mere 450? Does God play a numbers game in His judgement?
     
  15. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    506
    Ratings:
    +288
    Religion:
    Christian
    No, it's not all about numbers, it's all about lives and every life is of equal value

    And in your scenario you've provided we are in the president's position, not God's (whose opinion we cannot know)

    And why are you assuming God is more likely to not want the plane to be shot down? We have no idea what's on God's mind and to not do anything is fatalistic and in my mind is an active decision to kill 50,000 people

    I would rather my president make his decisions based on lives rather than on what he or she might imagine God does or doesn't want, which is something about which we can only speculate

    And, as I said before, for a public servant saving human lives should be more important than maintaining a clean conscience
     
  16. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,891
    Ratings:
    +923
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    If I were god I hope I would do a better job than the god character in the Bible.
     
  17. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    14,763
    Ratings:
    +10,311
    Religion:
    None
    So? The premise still remains valid
     
  18. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    Well, the bible still says, "Thou shalt not kill". It doesn't say, "Thou shalt not kill except to increase the likelihood that many innocents might survive."
     
  19. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    653
    Ratings:
    +162
    Religion:
    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    If the President were to fail to shoot the plane down, God MIGHT still act to save all the innocents by a miracle or act in ways to help the President work on alternatives that all innocents might be saved. Once the President shoots the plane down, it's too late for God to intervene to save all innocent lives involved. I say shooting the plane down is acting in bad faith. Sometimes risks are necessary evils.
     
  20. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    506
    Ratings:
    +288
    Religion:
    Christian
    This is the way I see this problem:

    There are two options, option A and option B

    You can only select one

    Option A = shoot down the plane and kill the 450 people who are on the plane
    Option B = don't shoot it down and 50,000 people die by it crashing into a city

    Forget about planes and city the options can be simplified to:

    A: 450 people die under your watch
    B: 50,000 people die under your watch

    There is no option C or D

    I believe morality requires option A and that a good leader would select that option

    Indeed I believe option B would be irrational and cowardly

    And by choosing A you are being more in-line with "thou shalt not kill" than by choosing B
     
Loading...