Parents - would you sacrifice SOMEONE ELSE'S life for your child?

Inspired by this thread, which I just don’t get. Not that I don’t get parents willing to sacrifice their life for their child (which, well, I comprehend the idea, but as I don’t have a child, I don’t comprehend the execution), but all the “Without a second’s thought” statements seriously disturbed me.

I’m curious if that’s true.

I’m not talking about a Sophie’s Choice between save your child or save a perfect stranger if both are drowning in the ocean…I’m talking about choosing to kill a stranger in order to save your child. I dunno, like a *24 * scenario in which you have to kill an innocent stranger or the terrorists kill your child. And no waffling…let’s assume that your child being released if you do the deed is a certainty, not a ruse, and you would never get caught.

Or maybe you know of a person who is the perfect match for your sick child’s kidney, and you have the “opportunity” to acquire said organ. And there’s a 100% guarantee that your child will live a normal, healthy life and you would never get caught.

The recent “would you take vengeance on someone who killed your child” thread had a lot of people horrified by the merest possibility of ending the life of someone who did unspeakable things to their child, and I’m curious if people would so easily, “without a second’s thought” murder a perfect stranger who did nothing wrong.

Never - someone else’s life is not mine to take.


It’s an attitude that runs in the family, too. My mom always told my dad that if it came down to either us (the kids) or him, she’d fill his gut with birdshot.

Such hypotheticals are silly, though :smiley:


I’m only an uncle, but my nephew and niece come before everyone else. I’m not sure I could live with myself afterwards, though.

Sacrifice someone else? I’d sacrifice whole nations.

Nope - pacifist, me.

I was puzzled by this attitude as well when I first encountered it here on the boards after an episode of LOST where one of the losties ends up killing TWO, count them, TWO people in the hopes his kid will be released by the bad guys.

I immeadiately thought what he did was monstrous and evil, and was fully expecting the SDMB crowd to completely agree with me.

This was not to be however. I was completely shocked when the general sentiment was that not only had he done the right thing, but that they (the posters themselves) would have killed every damn person on the island to save their kid.

I still thinks it’s monstrously evil. And no, of course I would not kill another innocent person for my kid. If I can’t help my kid though the appropriate channels, then revenge will have to be my only comfort. I’m not going to go ahead and kill some other parent’s child for the sake of my own.

People are fucked up.


Yes absolutely. China or one of my daughters? Hmm, I take obvious things for $100 Alex.

So genocide is perfectly fine when it comes to your kids?

You’d happily turn into hitler, stalin, whatever other evil scum of the earth the world (and humanity) has had the misfortune to bear, for your kid?

Jeebus Horatio Christ! Save me!

What do I look like, your mother? :smiley:

Hmmm, which invites the question, WOULD my mom kill off the entire world for me? honestly, I would be hurt if she didn’t at least lie and said yes :slight_smile: But I would hope in actuality she would let me friggin die rather than kill some innocent people for my sake! Wouldn’t you?

I am not really opposed to genocide in general as long as it doesn’t affect me or my family. It is a simple fact of sociobiology and human nature as well as a recurring theme in human history. It is going on all over the world right now and there isn’t enough news space to cover it all. A lot of it is sub-optimal and even cruel but it isn’t like it will ever go away. Given that, I might as well have a turn for my purposes some time.

BTW, this deal is way sweeter than having to sacrifice myself for my child. This is what you call a win-win.

Probably, but dying myself is far preferable to letting one of my kids die. (It’s weird, I even feel that way about the crabby one.)

So this is likely a hard wired evolutionary trait, makes since. But then am I lacking some sort of survival gene? Do I have a HTHP (hippie-treehuggin-pacifist) gene? Will I ::wide eyes:: become extinct?

Seriously, we all have hard wired evolutanary response systems. I thoguht morality was about overcoming at least some of those?

For those of you who would commit attrocities in the name of your kids:

Is there any part of you that tells you such an action would be evil - wrong, wahatever? Or is it 100% the correct thing to do in your heart of hearts?

If we later found out that hitler only killed of jews and tried to take over the world because someone had his daughter locked up in a basement and demanded that he did these things, would you feel sorry for him? Sympathise?

No way. I said in the other thread that I would trade my own life for my child’s, and I would, gladly and without a second thought. But committing murder to save them doesn’t strike me as the same thing, at all.

Yes. I would.

In a heartbeat.

You are trying to make a simple question overly complex, Kinthalis. My daughter is more important to me than the entire population of, say, Australia. Why wouldn’t I sacrifice the Aussies for her?

Hell, I would kill some close friends and family members to protect my kids.

A Stranger? Line them up.

I once did some things with the intention of killing another human being, in order to spare a different human being mental anguish. I didn’t, and I got better, I suppose, but really…

My kids>everyone else.