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An Ethical Dilemma! Honesty VS Good Consequences

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Fifty, Jun 15, 2010.

?

Is it morally permissable for Pharma Company X to lie to the public to cure cancer?

  1. yes

    87.2%
  2. no

    12.8%
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  1. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    No, because according to me anyway, the Bible is the basis for morality. The Bible says thou shalt not lie, hence lying is wrong under all circumstances.

    However, if the sugar actually cures cancer and doesn't just trick them into thinking it does, the company is really telling the truth. Assuming it is a lie, its wrong, IMO.
     
  2. Link

    Link Scarves

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    The bible says though shalt not kill. We should never have attacked the Nazis.
     
  3. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    There is for me as well. I was assuming that the cure only worked because of the lack of knowledge. Otherwise I'd rather have the knowledge of course.
     
  4. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

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    There is neither knowledge nor truth in this hypothesis. The cure works if belief is sustained, and ceases to work if belief is broken - contrary to the real World, where things are not true or untrue based on belief. Concepts such as lying, truth, reason and knowledge can't be applied here in the same way that they can in reality.
     
  5. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    In the hypothesis, the cure works if belief is sustained. The cure stops working when you have the knowledge how the cure works, namely through belief.

    I was assuming that the cure only worked because of the lack of [ed]that[/ed] knowledge.
     
  6. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

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    Yes of course, I just meant that knowledge isn't constructed here in the same way that it is in reality. This is not a hypothetical about certain material conditions existing or not existing, but a hypothetical about certain logical conditions existing or not existing. But we can't reason logically about conditions where logic doesn't apply, although Kant does, and considers them the highest Forms of knowledge.
     
  7. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    You sound like a lawyer who likes to argue that "the details aren't important, only the interpretation of the law."

    That makes even less sense, as there is no such thing as a drug that only works while you believe it to. And a "drug" that only works depending on belief is a placebo. So we're back to placebo.

    See above as to why this is inherently contradictory and non-sensical.

    There are surely better ways to come up with an exercise like that without resorting to such inconsistency.
     
  8. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Prince

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  9. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Yeah nano, calling it a placebo or a drug or whatever doesn't matter at all. Mentally replace "placebo" with "klweryakljha" and "drug" with "uy4oiqurouio", which I define as things having all the properties I listed in the OP, and the hypothetical stands.

    Read what Dudemeister just linked... you're quite missing the point.
     
  10. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    Really? So when Dennet points out Mary's Room has some quite impossible stipulations (I.e complete knowledge) which we simply can't factor into our normal intuitive reactions, he's 'quite missing the point'?

    I wouldn't say so. The point with hypotheticals is that we move from intuitive reaction to generalizable knowledge about the world. If those hypotheticals are set up in a way that distorts our intuitive reactions out of recognition, said reactions can't be used as a proper basis on which to rest any realist theory. There's no point saying "But it was a stipulation!" because the validity of the stipulation has material bearing on any conclusions. If the stipulation is outlandishly absurd, the conclusions are going to be useless.
     
  11. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    I'm having a really hard time understanding this post. I keep reading my OP over and over and don't notice anything having anything to do with Jackson's knowledge argument. And then I look over Nano's posts, both here and elsewhere, and I realize that its highly unlikely that he's Dennett, and certainly nothing in his posts in this thread seem to indicate that he's responding to the Knowledge Argument.

    So I'm guessing you probably just accidentally posted in the wrong thread.

    EDIT: If my guess is wrong, I'd suggest bumping my hypotheticals thread if you want to be educated on how my hypothetical is not analogous to Jackson's.
     
  12. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    That's cute.

    The point, as I stated in a way I'm quite sure you were able to understand, is that hypotheticals have to easily fit into our normal experience in order for our reactions to them to be useful.

    Nano contended that you're hypothetical was inherently contradictory. That a drug could not be both placebo and cure simultaneously. Contradiction does not easily fit into our normal experience. Thus our reaction to your hypothetical will be useless; it won't say anything about the morality of lying.
     
  13. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Maybe I used the terms "placebo" and "drug' carelessly, but a trivial alteration renders the argument perfectly intelligible. Nano should have been able to comprehend that, and so should you.
     
  14. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    It's funny you should say that, because six or seven people in this thread seemed unable to divine what you really meant with your original hypothetical. They pointed out that the company in question wouldn't be really lying at all, despite your stipulation that they were, in fact, lying.

    Perhaps alteration would be less trivial than you make it out to be.
     
  15. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Look, there's no point in trading little barbs back and forth. If you need basic help with elementary issues in hypotheticals and stipulations, bump my previous thread and I'd be happy to educate you.

    If you need help comprehending the incredibly complicated OP, let me break it down for you nice and slow. I'll keep it just to the essentials (essentials is a big word, but it just means "the basic parts" or "the crucial parts") so as not to confuse you. Don't be afraid to take a break half way through to review, or if you start to get a headache.

    1) Some company has to lie to the public about the nature of a pill in order for it to work to cure cancer.

    2) There is no chance that the lie would be found out unless you tell them to reveal the lie.

    3) Do you tell them to reveal the lie?

    4) If not, would you tell them to reveal the lie if it was for a much less serious illness? Where do you draw the line?
     
  16. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    It doesn't matter what you call it. There is no such a thing as a drug/chemical/substance that only works while its user believes it's working, and not while he doesn't. It has nothing to do with the definition of a word, but simply a consequence of science. You cannot envision a scenario that is contrary to the boundaries of reality and expect a rational decision.
     
  17. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Again, you're dwelling on an issue that is completely irrelevant for the point of the question. Read the post directly above yours.
     
  18. lovett

    lovett Deity

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    Rather ironic, given the rest of your post. Dontcha think?
     
  19. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    I'll add irony to the list of things you don't get.
     
  20. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Come to think of it, I'm not in the mood to rehash the days when every thread involving a hypothetical gets drowned in a sea of dumb, so I'll request this thread closed please.
     
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