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Would you lose a limb to save someone's life? Watch

  • View Poll Results: What would you be willing to give up?
    Finger / toe
    26
    68.42%
    Hand / foot
    9
    23.68%
    Arm
    5
    13.16%
    Leg
    9
    23.68%
    2 limbs
    3
    7.89%
    3 limbs
    2
    5.26%
    4 limbs
    2
    5.26%
    Your life
    5
    13.16%

    • Thread Starter
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    This is inspired by the organ donation thread (though a different matter from a dead body) - just trying to gauge the altruistic demographics of the population.

    Rules
    - For reasons unknown, a healthy 20 year old will die if you choose to keep it, and live if you choose to have it cut off.
    - The limb will be removed under general anaesthetic, with no other side effects, pain, or recovery period.
    - You do not know anything about the person, apart from their age, and the fact they are from the same country as you. You never meet them.
    - You are personally approached, to help a specific person - nobody else can help this person.
    - No similar requests will ever be made of you again.

    Taking all this as given, how much would you sacrifice for this person? If anything? What if it was a finger? Or multiple limbs? Poll attached.

    To be honest, I'm expecting a lot of people to say nothing, particularly since you don't know the person. I'd certainly give up a finger - gets a bit murky after a hand, but assuming this is all theoretical, and therefore guaranteed to be kosher and not a trick, I'd like to think I'd put somebody's life above a limb. May be a lot harder in reality.


    Edit: Forgot to put a 'nothing' option.
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    What, for a complete stranger?

    Nothing.

    If it was somebody I knew and cared about, it would depend on how much I liked them. I wouldn't give my life for anybody, nor an arm, leg or hand. Potentially a foot or fingers/toes, but it would depend entirely on the person. I would have to make an evaluation of the enjoyment I would get from whatever I would have to lose versus the enjoyment I would get from keeping the other person around.

    For a stranger though, I can't see why I - or anyone - would give anything. There's no rational basis for it.
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    For someone I didn't know I'd give blood and would stretch to bone marrow.

    Family member, maybe a couple of toes

    For my children I would give anything/everything.
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    Not being cruel but it depends on how much I value the person.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    What, for a complete stranger?

    For a stranger though, I can't see why I - or anyone - would give anything. There's no rational basis for it.
    From Singer's The Life You Can Save:

    'Suppose that on your way to work you see a toddler flailing about in a pond. There is no one besides you around to help. If you don’t act to save the child, he will probably drown. However, saving him means ruining your new shoes, muddying your clothes, and making yourself late for work. “What should you do?”'

    Most people asked this confidently state that they would and should save the child. Even a complete stranger...
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    For a total stranger? Toe/finger.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    For a stranger though, I can't see why I - or anyone - would give anything. There's no rational basis for it.
    That's interesting, because your position is rational, but it's not shared by everyone. From previous conversations I'd say a large proportion of the population would give at least a finger or toe, and about 10% might give more.

    The rationality is that although you have no emotional connection to the person you know somebody else (or at least that person) does, and you weigh their pain against yours. Some people seem to have this will / ability to empathise with an almost fictional stranger, and some don't. Both have clearly survived the evolutionary process, and I suspect both are probably useful, but in different ways.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    From Singer's The Life You Can Save:

    'Suppose that on your way to work you see a toddler flailing about in a pond. There is no one besides you around to help. If you don’t act to save the child, he will probably drown. However, saving him means ruining your new shoes, muddying your clothes, and making yourself late for work. “What should you do?”'

    Most people asked this confidently state that they would and should save the child. Even a complete stranger...
    I wouldn't. The world is rather overpopulated as it stands.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    That's interesting, because your position is rational, but it's not shared by everyone. From previous conversations I'd say a large proportion of the population would give at least a finger or toe, and about 10% might give more.

    The rationality is that although you have no emotional connection to the person you know somebody else (or at least that person) does, and you weigh their pain against yours. Some people seem to have this will / ability to empathise with an almost fictional stranger, and some don't. Both have clearly survived the evolutionary process, and I suspect both are probably useful, but in different ways.
    I weigh my pain against my gain.
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    I'd give a leg or an arm. Prosthetic legs are common and we can deal with loss of a limb.
    Even if I didn't know the person, if I didn't sacrifice something comparatively small and they were to die, even if I didn't know them, I'd feel a pang of guilt. Think of the feeling knowing you've saved a live?
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    i'd get over the other person dying, it happens everyday. if i wanted to save a life i could just send money to an African charity, no need to lose a limb.
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    I'd give a leg, can always get a falsie.I am registered as a blood, bone marrow and organ donor.All of those go (or would do in the case of bone marrow and an organ) to a stranger , so why not something else?
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    Where's the option for 'nothing'?
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    Nothing at all.
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    Nothing that I can't regenerate.
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    I probably would lose a finger/toe, because that person could be a parent, but I wouldn't be happy about being asked.
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    Nah. I'd buy some flowers for their grave though.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    ..........if i wanted to save a life i could just send money to an African charity, no need to lose a limb.
    lol. Man they got you........REAL GOOD. Sainsburys Fair Trade sugar has probably saved more lives than African "charities"......
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    lol. Man they got you........REAL GOOD. Sainsburys Fair Trade sugar has probably saved more lives than African "charities"......
    Never have given to an African charity but I would fly to Africa with food/medicine rather than lose a limb whilst actually saving more lives...
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    Nothing at all for a complete stranger (as in the question), life for a close friend / large number of unknown people.

    Is it odd that I am far more scared of losing limbs than dying? :curious:

    Death doesn't scare me too much - it's just nothingness - I will have ceased to be!
    On the other hand, living my life knowing that there would be things that I couldn't do would get to me, even if prostheses do manage to fully interact with the nervous system some time in the future.
 
 
 
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