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Titanic or a Moral Salvation

Titanic or a Moral Salvation

The movie “Titanic” has been hit with moral dilemmas. In one of the screens, the owner of Star Line, the shipping company owned by Onsinkbaar, jumped into a reduced lifeboat. The tortured expression on his face shows that he experienced more discomfort even on his own behavior: before the disaster he instructed the captain to break the transatlantic speed record. His hubris proved fateful to the vessel. In addition, only women and children are admitted by the officers in charge of the lifeboats.

But the owner of the ship was not the only one who broke general orderliness and ethics.

The boats could only accommodate up to half the number of people on board. First-class Passengers, High Society, were preferred for low-level immigrants under deck and other third-class passengers.

Why do we all feel that the owner remained on board and confronted his inevitable death? Because we judge him responsible for the destruction of the ship. His disastrous interference motivated by greed and the pursuit of celebrity was an important contributing factor. The owner must be punished for what he did, we feel. This closure makes an intuitive appeal to our sense of natural justice.

Would we have the same judgment if the Titanic fate was the result of accident alone? If the owner of the ship had no contribution to the circumstances of his terrible end, would we still have condemned him to save his life? Less serious, maybe. Thus, the fact that a moral entity has acted (or omitted or not being dealt with) is necessary to determine and divide future rewards or penalties.

The “product liability” approach also applies here. The owner (and his “long arms”: manufacturer, engineers, builders, etc.) The Titanic is considered responsible because they have implicitly contracted their passengers. They made a presentation (which was explicitly in their case but implicit in most others): “This ship was built with knowledge and understanding. The best design was employed to avoid danger. The best material to enhance pleasure. “

That the Titanic was sinking was an irreversible breach of contract. In a way it was a lifting of duties and obligations. The owner / manufacturer of a product must compensate those consumers whose product is remunerated in any way that they have not explicitly, clearly, visibly and repeatedly warned. In addition, he must even compensate if the product fails to reach the reasonable and justified expectations of consumers based on such warranties and representations.

Compensation may be either in kind (as in older justice systems) or in cash (as in modern Western civilization). The product called “Titanic” has taken away the lives of its end users. Our “gut instinct” tells us that the owner had to pay in kind. Incorrect engineering, insufficient number of lifeboats, excessive capacity, hubris, passengers and crew not drilled to experience emergencies, excessive demands on the resilience of the ship, which violates the captain’s professional judgment. There seems to be enough reason to kill the owner on his own zinc product.

But should the unfortunate owner not use his precious place for women and children? Should he not obey the captain’s orders (the marine legislation)? Should he have been willing to adhere to rules of conduct that endanger his life?

The reason why the lives of women and children prefer men in career situations is because they represent the future. They are either able to bring life to the world (women) or to live longer (children). Community labels reflect the arithmetic of the species, in these (and many other) cases.


But if it was complete and exclusive, young girls and female babies would prefer all other groups of passengers. Old women would be let go of men to die. That the actual (and stated) selection processes on the Titanic differ from our theoretical considerations, say much about the strength and applicability of our theories and even more about the real world.

The owner’s behavior might be regrettable, but it was definitely of course. He put his interests (his survival) beyond the concerns of his society and his species. Most of us would have done the same in the same circumstances.

The owner of the ship, although “New Rich”, undoubtedly belongs to the Passengers of the First Class, Upper Cross, Room of Society. It was treated to the lifeboats for the passengers of the lower classes and decks. Was it a moral right decision?

It was certainly not politically correct, in today’s terms. Class and money distinctions were formally abolished three decades ago in the enlightened West. Discrimination in now allowed only on the basis of merit (based on one’s natural endowments).

But why should we prefer one foundation for discrimination (merit) rather than another (money or property)? Can we completely eliminate discrimination and if it were possible would it be desirable?

The answer is that no basis for discrimination can hold the moral high ground. They are all morally problematic because they are deterministic and assign independent, objective, exogenous values ​​to human lives. On the other hand, we are not born equally, and we are not going to develop evenly, or live under the same circumstances and circumstances. It is impossible to compare the uneven.

Discrimination is not imposed on people in an otherwise equitable world. It is introduced by the world into human society. And the elimination of discrimination would be a serious mistake. Human inequalities and subsequent conflicts are the fuels that fuel the engines of human development. Hope, desires, aspirations and inspiration are all the derivatives of discrimination or the desire to be favored or to elect others.

Differences of resources create markets, labor, property, planning, wealth and capital. Spiritual inequalities lead to innovation and theory. Knowledge differences are the core of educational institutions, professionalism, government and so forth. Osmotic and diffusive forces in human society are all the consequences of incongrucy, asymmetries, inequalities, differences, inequalities and the negative and positive emotions that are attached to them.

The Titanic’s first-class passengers were preferred because they paid more for their tickets. Inevitably, a tacit part of the price has amortized the cost of “class insurance”. If something bad is happening to this boat, people who pay a higher price will be entitled to receive better treatment. There is nothing morally wrong about that. Some people go to the forefront of a theater or on a luxury trip, or to get better medical treatment (or any medical treatment) just because they can afford it.

There is no practical or philosophical difference between an expensive liver transplant and a place in a lifeboat. Both are lifeguards. A natural disaster is not a big equalizer. Nothing is. Even the argument that money is “external” or “coincidental” to the rich individual is weak. With the exception of marvelous heirs and scions of old families – a minority – most wealthy people work hard for their prosperity.

Often people who marry money are considered to be sluggish or worse (sluggish, conspiracy, angry). “He married her for her money,” we say, as if the owner and her money were two separate things. The equivalent sentences: “He married her for her youth or for her beauty or for her intelligence or for her erudition” compares “wrong”. These are legitimate reasons to marry. Money is not.

But youth and beauty are more passing than money. Unlike hard cash, these features are really coincidental because the beneficiary is not responsible for the “generating” of them and can not do anything to preserve them.

Money, on the other hand, is generated or saved (or both) because of the personality of his owner. Possessing, raising and retaining his wealth reflects more on your personality than the youth, beauty and many other (transitional or situation-dependent) traits. Money is an integral part of his owner and a reliable indication of his mental attitude. It is therefore a valid measure of discrimination and choice.

The other argument in favor of first class passengers is their contribution to society. In a short and medium term, a rich person contributes more to his society than a poor person. Vincent Van Gogh was perhaps a million times more valuable to mankind as a whole than his brother Theo in the long term. But in the meantime, Theo made it possible for Vincent and many others (relatives, employees, suppliers, their dependents and his country) to survive on the basis of his wealth. Rich people feed and beat poor people directly (by employment or charity) and indirectly (by tax). The opposite, unfortunately, is not the case.

This argument is somewhat wrong because it does not take time. We can not predict the future with any certainty. Every person carries the Marshall’s staff in his pocket, the painter of the painter, the author’s fables. It’s a potential to count – not one who is alive. A selection process, which Theo chose for Vincent would be wrong. In the long run, Vincent proved more beneficial to human society and included in more ways, financially than Theo could have ever been.

But in the absence of knowledge and knowledge, we can only choose those who have shown the rich to those who do not have the poor, and those who can create or live life (women and children) to those who can not or do not (men and the elderly).

Appendix – Causality and Causality

Yet the real question is: Why should someone pay for his actions?

First, we must confront certain daring issues, such as determinism. If there is no free will there can be no personal responsibility. Another problem is the preservation of personal identity: Is the person who committed the act and the person made for paying one and the same? If the answer is affirmative, in which sense are they the same, the physical, or the mental? Is the “overlap” between the two only limited and probabilistic?

We can accept for this discussion that personal identity is undoubtedly and absolutely preserved and that there is free will and thus that people can predict the outcomes of their actions to a reasonable degree of accuracy and that they prefer to accept these outcomes prior to the assignment of their actions or their omission.

However, it does not answer the question. Even though there was a contract signed between the agent (acting person) and the world in which the person willingly, consciously and intelligently (without reduced responsibility or capacity) accepted the future outcomes of his conduct, the question will remain: why should is that so? Why can not we understand from a world in which actions and outcomes are separated? This is because we can not believe in a world without causality.

Causality is a relationship between two things, or rather events, the cause and the effect, one that generates or produces the other. The first is the latter’s effective cause and it deals with it (it deals with it) by the mechanism of effective cause.

A cause can be direct (mediated by a physical mechanism or process) or merely explanatory (historical cause in a narrative). Of Aristotle’s four causes (Formal, Material, Effective and Final), only the effective cause creates something that is separate from itself.

The causal discourse is therefore problematic (how can a cause have an effect that is not self-evident?). Simple paradigmatic causal statements (event A causes event B) differs from common persons (event A causes event B). Both are insufficient in dealing with everyday, routine, causal statements because they do not reveal an open relationship between the two events discussed.

In addition, we treat daily use of facts (as well as events) as causes. Not all philosophers are consistent with factual cause. For example, Davidson acknowledges that facts are relevant to kousal statements, but refuse to accept it for proper reasons. Acts can be distinguished from facts, philosophies, but not in daily regular use. Files (the vast majority of humanity, it is) consider them to be the same things.

Pairs of events that cause and follow each other are assigned special status. But that one event follows the other (though always), insufficient grounds to name their “cause and effect.” This is the famous “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” error. Other possible relationships between the two events must be weighed and the possibility of common cause must be seriously considered.

Such sequencing is, conceptually, not even necessary: ​​simultaneous cause and backward causation are, for example, part of modern physics. Time seems irrelevant to the status of events as cause or effect, although both time and cause share an asymmetrical structure (A causes B but B does not cause A).

Yet the direction (the asymmetry) of the causal chain is not the same as the direction (asymmetry) of time. The former is formal, the latter, presumably, physically or mentally. A more serious problem, in my mind, is the reverse: What distinguishes causal (cause and effect) pairs of events from other pairs in which both member events are the outcomes of a common cause?

Event B can always follow event A and still not its effect. Both events can be a common cause. A cause necessitates the effect, or is a sufficient condition for its appearance. The order is either inevitable, or possible. In short, we are little aware of causality.

Here, philosophers differ. Some say (following Hume’s reasoning and its constant relationship between events) that there is an essential causal link between events when one is the inevitable outcome (inevitably follow) the other. Others suggest a weaker version: the necessity of the effect is hypothetical or conditional, given the laws of nature.

Put differently: to say that A necessity (causes) B is simply to say that it is the consequence of the laws of nature that when A occurs, B. Hempel also generalizes this approach. He said that a set of facts (either a private or a general fact) is only explained if it is deduced from other statements, at least one of which is a statement of a general scientific law. It is the “Covering Law Model” and it implies a symmetry between explanation and prediction (at least where private facts are involved). If an event can be explained, it can be predicted and vice versa. Needless to say, Hempel’s approach did not bring us closer to solving the problems of causal priority and indefinite cause.

The empirics went a step further. They indicated that the laws of nature were unconditional and not necessarily truths. Other chains of events are possible where the laws of nature are different. It is the same tired rule of law in a more exotic cover. The empirical treatment of causality is a descendant of Hume’s definition of causality: an object that is followed by another and where all the objects that look like the first are followed by objects that look like the second. “

According to Hume, nothing in the world is a cause necessity, events are only constantly connected. Frequencies in our state of experience make us the idea of ​​causal necessity and to derive the causes must generate events. Kant calls this latter derivation “a bastard of imagination, fertilized by experience” without lawful application in the world.

This hybrid was also a theological barrier. God is regarded as “Causa Sui”, His own cause. However, any application of a causal chain or power already assumes the existence of a cause. This existence can not therefore be the outcome of its use. God had to be recreated as the unaffected cause of the existence of all things, and His existence need no reason because He Himself is needed.

These are foul things and it becomes even flimsy when discussing the issue of kousal deviation. A causal deviation is an abnormal but causal connection between events or states of the world. This occurs mainly when we establish deliberate action and perception in the theory of cause.

Let’s return to the very evil owner of the sinking Titanic. He wanted to do one thing and another happened. Granted if he was planning to do something and his intention was that he did, we could have said that he intentionally committed an act. But what if he was planning to do one thing and another? And what if he wanted to do something, did it wrong and still reached what he wanted to do?

The popular example is whether someone intends to do something and become so nervous that it even happens without an act being committed (intending to reject an invitation by his boss, becomes so nervous that he is asleep Touch and miss the party). Are these actions and intentions in their classical senses? There is room for doubt.

Davidson reduces the demands. For him, “thinking causes” (causal effective propositional attitudes) are nothing but causal relationships between events with the correct application of mental bias that prescribe conditional attitudes that attributes the correct use of physical preaches. This approach completely ignores the intention, not to mention the heading of desire and conviction.

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