Woodchopper wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:14 pm
discovolante wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:06 am
OK I'm going to ask this one again.
If someone has caused harm in the UK - let's say sexual and violent assaults against women and children - and is at risk of causing harm to that same group in whatever country they have come from (even though there may well be a risk to them that might mean they won't be able to cause any harm, we won't always know for sure if that will be the case), do we think about the harm they might cause in that country (messy as that is), or do we ignore it because it's happening somewhere else?
I realize that you disagree with me, but I still think that this comes down to different approaches to morality and responsibility.
If someone looks at it from the perspective of harm caused then of course every human life should count equally.
But seen from the perspective of responsibility, people are most responsible for things that they can directly control or influence. They are less responsible for things which are an indirect consequence of their actions, and the further and more indirect the consequences the more that personal responsibility is diluted.
You're welcome to disagree with me, but IMHO this is how everyone lives their everyday lives. Taking full responsibility for every indirect consequences would be impossible, and most people would see that as an unreasonable burden to place on anyone's shoulders.
This isn't to say that there are no responsibilities at all for indirect consequences. People should still try to buy low carbon products or boycott goods that benefit horrible regimes. But the more indirect the consequences the more complicated it gets.
There are lots of things I wanted to respond to in this thread but let me just try this one first. I don’t really follow how you think the trolly problem and responsibility apply here. It always a bit subjective how you determine control or action vs inaction, e.g. in the traditional trolly problem there is very little difference between pushing the lever and choosing not to push the lever. In the real world often the distinction is more obvious, but in this example I think it’s actually murkier. Are you really saying the uk is less controlling or actively causing the
problem if they release and then deport a known sex offender to another country rather than simply release them and not move them somewhere? It feels to me that the trolly problem applies the other way around, ie deporting them is like pulling the lever and leaving them in the uk is like not pulling it. Not that I think this is a good argument either way, because in principle I think the UK has responsibility in both cases (I know you were not arguing in principle, just saying this to be clear I’m not making such an argument the opposite way around). Regarding the psychology probably the distinction is too murky to play a big role in people’s thinking.
I think the point is more about what groups we feel responsibility for (and maybe this is really what you mean and you just see it as essentially the same?), as per disco’s analogy of saving a drowning man vs saving someone you have never met and indeed I think we do all make decisions like that regularly. However I don’t think it’s very natural to expand your horizons to the level of a whole nation , but not beyond, even though I such thinking is highly prevalent in our time, and I just don’t feel that way at all myself. see my earlier reply to her for more waffling/details on this.