The "Burning Building" Moral Dilemma, Your Choice!

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TotoMimo
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#1
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The "Burning Building" Moral Dilemma is one that's often rephrased or changed in terms of details, but the concept remains the same. It's perhaps one of the most-used moral dilemmas used in psychological assessment in various capacities but... which is your own personal choice, and why?


For those not familiar with the dilemma, it goes something like this:

"You are attending a family and friend reunion in a large building - for the purpose of envisioning, we shall say it's a hotel. Absolutely everyone you love, friends and family, have congregated in the function hall. In the adjacent room is a professor writing the last of his memoires, the only existing documentation of his research. The research in question is the potential panacea - be-all-and-end-all - of all human cancers. Nobody but you and the good professor know that this potential set of cures exists, though you don't know the details yourself. Suddenly, a fierce fire causes debris to smash between the two rooms, trapping both parties (your party of family and friends on one side, and the professor on the other) in their respective rooms with no hope of independent escape. Thankfully you were in the hallway and barely escaped the initial debris falling, and are now faced with the task of trying to remove the debris from the doorways of both rooms... but only have enough time to move one. By the time you have saved one, the other will have perished. Knowing that if you save all of your friends and family, the professor and the set of memoires will vanish forever (though you will not be publicly tarnished as nobody will know but you that the cures potentially existed), and knowing that if you save the professor, everyone you knew and loved would die - which room would you try to save from the blaze?"


There is obviously no real "right" answer. If you choose the professor you are saving one *physical* life but potentially (and ONLY potentially) countless *possible* lives if the cures prove to be effective. If you choose the family and friends you will save more lives physically, retain the life and loves you always have (and in a sense preserving what you've always had) but at the expense of potentially saving countless others.

To which do you place more value, and which would you choose to save from the burning building?
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username874291
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Hmm. My family are a pain. But if cancer were cured the world population would go out of control leaving less space and stuff for me. Difficult one.
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TotoMimo
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Personally I would find it exceptionally difficult to live my life without my family, but I would be absolutely overcome with guilt to have potentially shunned a cancer cure.

That said, if I was to opt for the professor and his cure, and it turned out to be ineffective, I would be even more distraught. I suppose this is a dilemma for a reason!

Call me selfish, but I may perhaps opt for my family and friends.
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PinkMobilePhone
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family and friends most definitely.

As much as I care about finding a cure for cancer, there's no way in hell I'd let my children die in a fire. What if the cure didn't work anyway? You said it was a "potential" cure, not that it would definitely work.
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Iron Mask Duval
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You might as well save your family and friends.

If you saved the prof. and cure for Cancers, all that'd happen is pharmaceutical companies would get hold of it and then charge ridiculous prices for the cure that nobody could possibly afford anyway....kinda like what they're doing now.
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TotoMimo
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It's a difficult one to gauge because you get more "immediate relief" and gratification personally because of your own family ties if you were to save your folks etc, but it would be incredible irony if one or more of your family were to develop cancer (god forbid of course) somewhere down the line, and if you're anything like me, any mention of cancer death statistics in the future would fill me with personal dread and unmatched guilt.
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imperial maniac
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Save my family.

A cancer cure could ultimately mean the end of humanity. People need to either 1) die 2) stop giving birth, or there won't be any human race left anyway.
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Flibbles
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Friends/family/loved ones.

Because without them we would be nothing anyway.
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TotoMimo
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I have to say, I'm finding it interesting as this is quite one-sided; when we used to debate this in university the lecture halls would almost be 50-50 split!
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username874291
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people are probably more honest online
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animalnitrate
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Family and friends, definitely.
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HearTheThunder
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I would get Captain Hindsight to tell me where the fire escapes should've been built.
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britishgoose01
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I would use my brain and think of every possible solution, ive thought about this sort of scenario before, i would get every1 to pee at the same time(its liquid), i would turn on all the taps, get all the fire extinguishes available and fight for both,radiators contain water/steam,would help....so much to your advantage and these days with so much health and safety all is guaranteed
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Guru Jason
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Save family and friends... If one person can cure cancer then somone else will do it further down the line.
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