Save a life by maiming someone?

You (a lesser God) are no more credible than the madman. I will not alter my hypothetical actions. I don’t have to play your game either. And if you are there I will go after you with the hammer next. And yes I have the gun, but the hammer will be more fun, I won’t have to fake the psycho act, and I have no compunction or moral impediment to maiming a diety.

Well! You don’t play well with others. GO TO YOUR ROOM!

Make me

You are SO lucky I’ve used up my month’s supply of lightning bolts!

You Gods are all alike.

Hell, as the hostage, I’d rather get the bullet to the head. Seriously, letting this guy go through getting every last bone in his body smashed by a hammer and living his remaining years crippled is a better outcome than death? Let him shoot the hostage. I don’t feel any moral quandary with the question as phrased.

That’s interesting. It’s not a rationale that I expected, but now that you’ve said it, it makes perfect sense.

I would hit myself on the head with the hammer until I am rendered unconscious. With any luck, by the time I come to the man and his hostage will have gone next door to present the dilemma to my neighbour instead.

For anyone coming up with alternative situations (ie: wrestling the gun away from him like some batshit crazy ninja, beating HIM with the hammer first, etc.) need to realize that this is a hypothetical supposed to generate moral discussion (at least imo).

Unless you’re doing it for purely humor purposes, in which case I approve and have THOROUGHLY enjoyed some of the replies.

I’d refuse the maiming. I’m against committing violence. Of course, I’d also be pressing my silent alarm so hard my thumb breaks.

I’ve tried not to fight the hypothetical, as I get vexed when others do it to me. But the alternative solution I and a few others suggested–taking the hammer and going for broke–is really the only one that seems reasonable to me, because the maniac is ipso facto unreliable and untrustworthy. I’m not saying that I think I’m going to succeed in taking out the gunman: just that that infinitestimal chance is better than waiting to become his next victim.

It’s not conceivable to me that I would believe the maniac. He is, after all, a maniac.

Of course, as Oak (I think) pointed out, the correct answer is “Vamp until I can get to my own gun.”

Fuck 'em both. I’m not going to maim the guy, and I couldn’t give a shit if the other guy kills him. I walk away clean no matter what.

The other guy is morfe likely to be innocent than the maniac presenting the sadistic choice. I’m not an island, being involved in mankind and all that, so I judge myself morally obliged to help him if I can.

That said, my reason for going after the maniac is practical, not moral. He’s clearly inclined to violence, and it’s likely I’ll be his next victim. Unless the danger to my wife increases by my action, I’m going to go for broke.

Not at all, he seems quite reasonable, despite having what you more conventional folks would consider a maniacal request.

And remember, God says you believe him.

I like this reply because it followed the rules.

While something else might be REASONABLE, it is not an option, so you work with what you have.

And maybe revealing a bit about your character in the process! Fun stuff.

I’m sorry, Jim. I just can’t avoid fightingn the hypothetical there. I CAN think of circumstances in which this would be a genuine dilemma, though; you’d have to add more stipulations.

Forgive me for fighting your hypothetical like this. I know it can be annoying.

ETA: And I am certainly NOT conventional! Rhymers are paranoid and untrusting!

Even though my answer is the same, it is of some concern to me that my refusal to participate results in the guy’s death, and I could have taken an action at no risk to myself that would have kept him alive. So I don’t think I would walk away ‘clean’.

I think I should be able to walk away with a clear conscience, but I don’t think I would.

Why should I give a rat’s ass if the guy lives or not? You’ve said that I am convinced that he is an evil, evil person. I should dirty up my karma (and my rug) just so he stays breathing?

If you look at the reality-based thread that inspired this poll, you’ll see something not too terribly different. The Saudi government is asking the medical establishment to paralyze a guy as punishment. So far no one is agreeing to do so, and I hope it remains that way, and AFAIK there is no incentive being offered in an attempt to sweeten the deal.

I added the “…or I will shoot him” part as an ‘incentive’ for an average Joe-Sixhammer to participate. Obviously, if someone just walked up to you and asked you to cripple another person, the odds would be like zero of getting agreement. Well, not for YOU, Skald. You might to it for fun.

Yeah, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have made this a condition. I added it thinking it would reduce the aversion factor of beating him with a hammer, but I didn’t realize that it would reduce the aversion to just letting him be killed even more.

My Evil Overlord persona would be the person presenting the sadistic choice, of course. Though he wouldn’t faff about about the victim being guilty of anything or pretend that he was doing anything but amusing himself.

If the choice were presented to my EO persona, he’d do just what the real me would: attack the maniac. But you’re right that he’d beat the victim first for yuks.

As to the Saudi court example: the EO wouldn’t have their problem, because he wouldn’t present this as a CHOICE to the doctors in the first place. He’d have shot the guy in the spine himself.