Morality, sin, evil, good, bad, whatever man, who cares, tomato TOMATO, who decides, you keep yours, Do you agree? Whatever my pastor says.
Churchill definitely acted morally right because the way i see it, and very probably others do too, churchill acted in the interest of everyone in london as the bombing of central London could have more than crippled the entire city; The obliteration of such a relevant part of the city could result in a lot more chaos, crimes and so on that would ultimately result in more damage done than if the bombings were directed to the suburban areas.I also understand, to some extent, the disconcertion of those who believe that no one's life is better than another, but i still stand by my view that churchill's action were very prudent and were meant to alleviate the forthcoming danger.AmPeEzY
In my opinion, there is the issue of "Pareto optimality" in which one person cannot be made better off without making the other person worse off. The trolley problem is more or less like this. Just as I would rather save five and kill one(even though my conscience will still haunt me knowing that i made some people live and killed someone) I believe that Churchill bombed the suburban areas where there are fewer people as compared to Central London with probably the same reason. If I had the choice, I would be very confused and not know what to do....Kill 5, save 1?...Kill one save 5?...Actually I wouldn't want to be the one to take away someone's life but I wouldn't want them to die either knowing that I could have at least save one. Who am I anyway to judge anyway whether or not his actions were morally right or not? Everybody has this certain "intrinsic feeling" that tells them when or whether to do this or not... To me its more of an issue of conscience...a battle between our minds and our consciences...
I believe in this case there is only the necessary and possible, and unlike right or wrong, these two are not at all mutually exclusive. So in this 'JACK BAUER MOMENT', no outcome was the right outcome but then all Churchill could do was to take the option that was MOST necessary and possible because unlike the trolleyology examples, Churchill's situation was not void of other intricate factors. And Churchill's job is to protect the people, and there are people in Central London, so he actually did his job if you want to look at it from that angle.
Churchill was right for one because he was smart enough to protect the core of his country where the seat of government and most of the attractions like Big Ben are located. As the centre of London, that area was bound to be concentrated with many people so if the Germans had bombed that area, more lives would have been lost. The other interesting point that came up was that there are mostly old people living in the suburbs and these old people are bound to die soon some time so if a decision should be made about life and death then sorry but they have had the opportunity to live for that long so it is only fair that the lives of the young people are preserved. However, to the people in the suburb it is not right because they have the right to live and not to be killed or tortured in order to save other peoples’ lives but let’s face it because in life we always have to make that important choice. It is not possible to make someone better off without depriving someone else as summarized by the concept of Pareto Optimality in Economics as Mina pointed out. I believe Churchill made the right choice although it might have been difficult because sometimes morality can cloud rationality.
Churchill’s decision to divert the target of bombing to suburban London comes off as morally wrong, as working in the total interest of the British people also implies guarding the lives of all under his jurisdiction. Ampong, if we were British and living in Suburban London at the time, I’m quite certain our approach to judging Churchill’s action will be far from as definitive as you sound about the morality and ethics. In accordance with the Harvard Professor, judging the summation of lives lost by thinking that the value of lives is equally the same both in suburban and central London is very insufficient to make such a life and death decision. Yet still, I agree with you because parliament was the heart of the British involvement in World War II. Protecting it by misinforming Germans, means preserving the brain, strategies and British involvement in the war, and still gives the British a chance to still win, whereas this situation would be impossible if Churchill had allowed the house of parliament and central London to be bombed shall. All in all by my little cost-benefit analysis, Churchill made a good choice
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I strongly beleive that no matter what purpose is behind taking somebody's life is not morally right,but is a sacrificial decision to take.Just as Mina said,the only way to make someone better of is to make someone else worse of.Churchill took the decision to take away the lives of people who in a sense are not as important as others and considered their habitat not as important as another.He took a decision for the survival of a nation in general,but some individuals had to pay a very bitter price for this decision.No matter how right this decision was to be taken,it was morally right only provided his conscience said is at peace with it. Claire.D
My problem with Churchil's decision is that he dliberately let other people die who wouldn't have died otherwise. Can't we accuse him of murder?
With the authority invested in Churchill, it would also have been murder to make the Central London folk die as well because with knowledge of the information he called the shots for both scenarios and he would have committed murder by sitting on the information he had anyway. So basically, he was a murderer from the moment he got the details. It was just who to murder!!!!
Either one group or the other would have died anyway so I don't think we can accuse him of murder in this case because he did what he thought was "better"...saving Central London which holds the majority. If I were Churchill, I would probably have done the same thing. I would rather save the area which is relatively more developed and has most of the attractions and what not... Even though it doesn't necessarily mean that it is right to kill the other group. But then again, it is subjective. Those who were killed will have a different view as compared to those who weren't... Its a two way affair...And I agree with Ohene when he says it was a case of "the necessary and possible, unlike the right and wrong"...
This was a situation of all-out war. In the end had Churchill allowed the Germans to bomb Central London then probably Britain would have been lost and consequently the suburbs would have been destroyed either way. This as Ohene described as a situation where no outcome is the right outcome. In this case it is essential to see the greater good that was achieved.
It was pretty obvious that the destruction the Germans had planned for the British was inevitable and in this situation it was crucial for Churchill to be level-headed and realistic when making a decision. Churchill definitely had no right to play God and decide who was to be saved and who was to be destroyed but he also had an obligation to try to lessen the impact if not prevent it totally. I agree that it is morally wrong, because there is no excuse for killing a human being. In this case the best solution would have been choosing the option that favors everybody, but in the absence of that the next best option was what Churchill went for. What Churchill did in m opinion was is like hacking off someone’s arm instead of his head, because even without the arm the person still has a very high chance of living and getting back to normal, whereas with the head chopped off, life ends instantly. If he decided not to have done anything the outcome would have definitely been worse. Any normal human being would have felt awful if had been in Churchill's shoes to take such a risk, but at the end it was worthwhile. I think when it comes to issues like this we should not allow any room for our emotions to cloud common sense and reality. What Churchill did was absolutely understandable in fact it was the right thing to do!
From the scenario given, I think I would have done the same thing Churchill did though it is not morally right to play the role of God and decide who to favor in place of someone. Thinking of it central London is a more populated area and of great importance to the country as a whole because of the economic advantages it has to the country. On the other hand, the population that was submerged into sacrificing the people as a result of the Nazis is important since the population contribute to the welfare of the country as a whole. We can blame Churchill for murder but empathizing with him in the situation it was a better thing to do but am not saying it was right. By choosing a better thing to do of the situation given Churchill can be blamed for making a place a target for the Nazis.
I think it depends how one defines what is wrong and what is wrong....
Cynthia please what do you describe as wrong? Isn’t what is wrong accepted as wrong by the entire community? I am sure that you cannot live in a community where killing is considered wrong yet you go ahead and kill someone because for you that is not wrong.To answer Mr. Kidane’s question, I do not think that Churchill’s decision makes him a murderer. On the contrary, it makes him a hero. Why because he did not have any evil intentions to kill anybody willingly. Murderers have the malicious intention to kill. If because his decision caused the death of a few people then I agree with Ohene when he says that with the power invested in Churchill he could have also been a murder if he did not fool the Germans into bombing the suburbs.
Ntirwa, you raised the issue of intention which is very important in our moral decisions. Let me go back to the point about Churchill being a murderer or not. Take the scenario of the trolley. Most students said they would save five and let die the one person. Suppose someone sees us diverting the trolley to where the one person is and ‘kill’ him, can one be accused of murder in the court of law? If so is there a difference between morality and justice? Shouldn’t justice have its roots in morality?
To determine whether churcill’s action was morally right depends on the individual’s religion, ideas and values. I will argue from a geographer’s point of view. Personally, I think luring Germany into bombing the suburban rather than London was right. This is because central London is a symbolic area with a higher level of development than the suburban areas… also most of the government officials reside in central London and allowing Germany bomb there would mean a great lose to their economy at large. The people from the suburban areas would mostly be poorer than those from the central London and may not have any significant contribution to the development of the country’s economy….another reason why I also think Churchill’s action was morally right was because buildings found in central London are high rise buildings, meaning that, if the bombing takes place there, more damage would be caused, this would include loss of jobs and settlements though suburban areas will experience the same, it’s would be greater. And also choosing the suburbs would decrease the population of the entire country as these areas are mostly occupied by foreigners. Morally, his decision to selectively bomb an area occupied by humans is not right and against the Christian religion but in terms of economic and welfare of his country I think his decision was perfect. ....~nYarKoa~....
Mama,what you might define as morally wrong might be morally right to someone else. And the opposite is usually true, by allowing the bombing to be done in a less developed area,Churchill probably protected the interests of his people and the country at large.But I dont think what he did was in anywhere morally right,because the bombing probably involved killing some lives of innocent citizens living in that area.
Mr. Kidane, unfortunately, there is a difference between morality and justice. A background of reading in international law has taught me that the interests of states is often regarded as conflictual and in most cases, branded a ZERO-SUM game whereby, as one party gains, the other loses, thus cancelling out to give the sum of zero. Churchill’s decision may be regarded as zero-sum since the people in suburban areas lose their lives, whilst inhabitants of Central London live. This may not be regarded as moral, but in the limit of his conflicting choices, his actions may be regarded as just. Another very striking example we can use to further question the difference between morality and justice especially in terms of the law, is the concept of a JUST WAR. After 9/11 the precedent with which George Bush waged war against Iraq was that it was a just war out of self-defense, because Iraq was suspected of having nuclear bombs. Until now, no nuclear program has been discovered in Iraq but many have been killed. Was America just to wage the war, since Iraq was suspected of shielding terrorists and nuclear programs? If so, does it necessarily mean America was morally right to defend themselves in spite of killing other people??? Mr. Kidane, these are questions I believe will further lead us to a conclusive appreciation and understanding of the distinction between morality and justice …
Metty, All is FAIR not RIGHT in love and war and in that light Winston's action could be justified but that did not really mean he was right: They are two different things. About your questions, America did what was NECESSARY to stay safe but they took a huge risk knowing that all of the Arab world would fight back. Basically I believe and I assert again that some decisions go beyond right and wrong and trolleyology is a BAD way to assess ethics because ethics is societal and in trolleyology we eliminate all societal factors - thus achieving the converse of our ethics discussions.
Mama like I said previously, the consequence Churchill had to endure for being a hero or whatever other tittle we may give to him,is also being called a murdere,because in the end the fairness does not apply to the owners of the destroyed properties and the relatives of the killed ones.Vauable lives have been taken anyway,even if like i said,it was the "right" or "Just" thing to do Claire D.
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