RE: Darwinism/Compassion

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 12:58:45 EST

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    I think that your conclusions are derived from an approach to making ethical
    decisions called consequentialism. In this view, we allow the consequence to
    determine the morality of the act, and therefore, we do some sort of
    cost/benefit analysis. But how can one ever measure the worth of a human
    life, no matter how wretched the conditions of living are? I would argue
    instead that the end (consequence) does not justify the means (the act). The
    moral status of the act has to be assessed independent of intention and
    consequences. In Romans chapter 3, Paul specifically condemned those who
    argued for doing evil so that good may come out of it. Consequentialism is a
    dangerous approach, and can potentially be used to justify unspeakable acts
    of horror.

    Please consider my humble opinion.


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Lucy Masters []
    > Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 7:24 AM
    > To:
    > Subject: Darwinism/Compassion
    > Lucy responds:
    > I have never held the popular opinion that "social Darwinism" or
    > "survival of the fittest" was in any way cruel or inhumane.
    > Because of
    > this, I have also not had philosophical difficulties
    > accepting that God
    > would design a system that seemingly works this way.
    > the long run, it is much more humane and
    > compassionate to
    > have some humans lose their lives so that others may not only
    > live but
    > may live well. In the movies this is presented as heroic, but in
    > biology we somehow depict the process as inhumane. So, we can take a
    > small population of starving people and feed them, and forty
    > years later
    > we end up with millions of starving people - because they
    > reproduced and
    > still live on non-arable land. Have we created a humane
    > situation? Or,
    > we can extend the lives of a small population of people with an
    > incurable cancer, who then reproduce and create a much larger
    > population
    > of people with incurable cancer. Is this a more humane
    > situation? Or,
    > we can provide welfare and housing to long-term drug addicts,
    > who then
    > reproduce and bring a whole family of long-term drug addicts into the
    > population. Is this a more humane situation?
    > Is long-term planning for the human race unGodly? Does God
    > think in the
    > long-term or only act in immediacy?

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