The argument runs something as follows: “The entire nation of France will drop dead tomorrow unless you kill your neighbor who has only one day to live. What do you do?”
In reality, the questions are a sham that cannot be honestly answered ..
Because my moral code is based on the reality of the existing world, I don’t know what I would do if those rules no longer operated. I presume my morality would be different, so my actions would be as well.
.. At this point, morality becomes a numbers game, a matter of cost-benefit analysis, rather than of principle. This is not an expansion of morality .. but the manufacture of a conflict that destroys morality ..
Suddenly, it becomes obvious that the good of the many outweighs the murder of the one .. If you accept the morality of doing so, you have also accepted the political propriety of murdering an innocent human being.
Phrased in political terms, nonhypothetical versions of the philosophy question come up often. For example, “Should the rich or businessmen (the few) be heavily taxed to provide national health care (for the many)?” Here, a greater good is pitted against individual rights. But more than this, individual rights of two groups conflict, with the rights of a resisting minority viewed as a barrier to the “rights” or entitlements of “the others.” Businessmen are deemed to have no right to their earnings if it prevents the majority from having health care.
This politically manufactured conflict is as absurd as the philosophically manufactured one .. This is not the real world, but one that has been manufactured for political purposes.
To whom was the social construct of conflict convenient? Why would a faux world of inherent conflict be created? By solving the manufactured problems, a great deal of power was transferred from individuals to a ruling class.
Herbert wrote, “The tendency of all great complicated machines is to make a ruling class, for they alone understand the machine, and they alone are skilled in the habit of guiding it; and the tendency of a ruling expert class, when once established, is that at critical moments they do pretty nearly what they like with the nation…”