Thursday, October 6, 2011

Moral Dilemmas

If a train was barreling towards five people who were certain to die, would you pull the switch and re-route the train towards the one person (and thereby dooming him to die, but saving the five?) One life instead of five?

Now what if a train was barreling towards five of your family members? Would you leave the switch and let them die or would you pull the switch, saving them, and sending your love to their death? Let one die to save five?


Enrique said...

Hola Risa,

He leído esta entrada en el blog y la anterior y he estado pensando en ello. Y recordando mis propias meditaciones al respecto. Ciertamente esos dilemas morales que presentas en tu blog son para poner los pelos de punta. Cuando yo tenía una edad más cercana a la tuya que a la mía actual, llegaron a quitarme el sueño. Afortunadamente lo más probable es que nunca nos encontremos en una situación tan crítica. Y, por supuesto, no podemos saber ahora cómo reaccionaríamos entonces. Quizá la decisión que ahora podemos ver como mejor no sea la que ejecutemos llegado el momento. Lo que sí tenemos que decidir en cada instante de nuestra vida es el dilema ético de adherirnos al bien o al mal, al amor o al egoísmo, mirar a Dios o darle la espalda.

Y sí, la cuestión ética tiene que ver con la verdad, porque si no hay verdad objetiva, no creo que haya fundamento para la ética.

La verdad es lo que es, la verdad es la realidad de las cosas. Verum est id quod est (San Agustín, lib. 2, Solil., cap. 5). La verdad es la realidad. La verdad es Dios, como llegó a formular un sincero buscador de verdad como fue Gandhi.

Podemos y debemos emplear toda la vida en buscar la verdad, en ir hacia Dios. Podemos equivocar el camino, podemos confundirnos con apariencias engañosas, con trucos de magia, podemos quedar cegados por el brillo de las apariencias, pero la verdad, la realidad, estará siempre ahí, la puedas ver o no.

Si quedamos cegados por apariencias engañosas, presentadas con el brillo de los trucos de magia y de prestidigitador, si quedamos engañados por un discurso brillante, podemos quedar atrapados por los espejismos. Pero, al final, solamente la verdad nos hará libres.

Creo que Dios está ahí, esperando a que le presentemos nuestro mayor deseo: “Señor, que vea” (Luc 18:41)

Éxo 3:13 ait Moses ad Deum ecce ego vadam ad filios Israhel et dicam eis Deus patrum vestrorum misit me ad vos si dixerint mihi quod est nomen eius quid dicam eis
Éxo 3:14 dixit Deus ad Mosen ego sum qui sum ait sic dices filiis Israhel qui est misit me ad vos

Éxo 3:13 Contestó Moisés a Dios: "Si voy a los israelitas y les digo: "El Dios de vuestros padres me ha enviado a vosotros"; y ellos me preguntan: "¿Cuál es su nombre?", ¿qué les responderé?"
Éxo 3:14 Dijo Dios a Moisés: "Yo soy el que soy." Y añadió: "Así dirás a los israelitas: "Yo soy" me ha enviado a vosotros."

Éxo 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
Éxo 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Éxo 3:13 "But," said Moses to God, "when I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?"
Éxo 3:14 God replied, "I am who I am." Then he added, "This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you."

Jua_8:28 Les dijo, pues, Jesús: "Cuando hayáis levantado al Hijo del hombre, entonces sabréis que Yo Soy.

Jua_1:17 Porque la Ley fue dada por medio de Moisés; la gracia y la verdad nos han llegado por Jesucristo.

Jua_8:32 y conoceréis la verdad y la verdad os hará libres.

Jua_14:6 Le dice Jesús: "Yo soy el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida.

Karen said...

Hi Risa! I found you through your mom's beautiful blog. Her page is so elegant!

I've got to say that I'm sorry to see that you are already being bombarded with "moral dilemma" exercises... the very ones we encountered at the high school where Jenn first attended.

These exercises are Godless in every way, but I suppose that's the point: to subtly break down whatever true moral,ethical foundation the student has and position the student in the place of God. These exercises HAVE no moral choices; they are all based on a culture of death, with only the ethical/moral underpinnings "the world" offers, where the student is asked to choose who lives and who dies... Another one of these Psych 101 (or Sociology 101) exercises is "Alligator River", a really disgusting one. What no one ever sees in that scenario is that the man makes NO effort to get to the woman whom he loves; the woman is "forced" to make compromises in order to get to HIM and then he rejects her because of the choice she makes! It gets worse, but let's not dwell on that one!

The purpose of these exercises is to "help" the student think outside the truths they have grown up with. They are dark and destructive, all of them dealing with death and/or brutality. Christian students are particularly affected by these exercises because they are poisonous in that there is no positive outcome... it's all the lesser of two (or three or four) evils and you are called upon to justify your decision to see someone die because of your choice OR you are called upon to rank the characters in the story from the worst to the best. But we know that sin is sin and there is no ranking in God's eyes of which sin is better or less destructive than another. They all separate us from our Heavenly Father, they all try to negate the price Jesus paid to set us free from that darkness. Wow! I wish you weren't coming up against this stuff so early on.

Have you looked for a Christian group on campus to help you keep your balance? Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ? Finding Christian friends will help you remember that there ARE moral absolutes in this world... something these exercises are designed to try to abolish. This is warfare, Risa. Don't forget that, OK? In fact, take a moment and re-read Ephesians 6:11-12.

Ephesians is a wonderful, practical text on living the daily life God wants us to live. Nothing hard there to understand, but it certainly takes the help of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit to help us live it out. Six amazing chapters!

Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) The way to stand against him and his whisperings is to take to heart what Jesus said in John 8:31-32:"If you abide in My shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." That's a promise Jesus Himself made to us.

Hugs to you, Risa!

Anonymous said...

It depends if you count my husband's relatives. Because I could really do without having to buy some of them christmas presents.