Things you'd sacrifice the life of a stranger for

Is there anything other than the preservation of another life (or lives) that you would sacrifice the life of a perfect stranger for? You don’t have to kill the person yourself or even know who they are, you just agree ‘Yes I want this that much’ and a random human being drops dead ahead of their time.

This doesn’t have to be a material thing or anything that could practically be achieved via other means. You could wish for eternal perfect health, or for every religious person to wake up the next day an atheist, or whatever.

I guess I don’t place much value on human life. I’d probably do it for money, and not incredibly large amounts either - I wouldn’t for $10,000, I’d think about it for $100,000, and I know I’d do it for a million.

Money? Feh.
Get between me and NuTella or a Toblerone and you’re toast.

If I could choose the person that would die I would be a lot cheaper to buy. However, if the person that would die was completely random, that would make me pause and I don’t think I would do it. I’m not that hung up on money (I have enough of that). There are ways you could tempt me, but…

…Well, now that I think a bit more about it, there are probably quite a few ways to make me give up a human life… It would have to do with someone falling in love with me or so… Not moneywise. Yuck! Creepy, I didn’t think I was like that. Thanks a lot Badtz :frowning:

Nothing. Now, if I could choose the person, I might be a little more likely to play.

“Timothy McVeigh for $100, Alex”

A really good cheeseburger, a good night’s sleep, a new yo-yo. There are plenty of people out there. :smiley:

This is kind of easy for me. If I didn’t know the person who died I’d ask for something simple. Random people die all of the time.

Although if I could only do it once I’d ask for something big. Lifelong happiness for my daughter would be a good wish.

If I could rely upon this magic unlimited, I’d probably use it to get chicken nuggets a couple of times a week.

If I could pick the person to die and there weren’t any consequences, It wouldn’t take much for me to offer my ex-wife up.

Now, how would your answer be affected if you knew ahead of time that YOU are part of the pool of potential victims?

Well, I think I can say there is no amount or object for which I would kill a complete stranger; however, if I could pick the person, I’d be willing to spend upwards of $10,000. :smiley:

[sub]Seriously though, I was watching Grosse Point Blank and thinking “I could do that” the whole time. It’s not that I have psychotic or violent tendencies or anything, heck, I’ve never been in a fight in my life, but I think I could snuff someone if I chose to.[/sub]
DISCLAIMER: I have no intention of killing anyone, now or in the future. Thank you.

The world doesn’t work that way, IMHO. I believe in accountability and that this world is a really small place. If I wish a random stranger’s death so I can have some really adorable shoes, or a perfect-fitting pair of jeans, who knows that I may have needed this person in my life one day?

Wasn’t there a Twilight Zone episode on this premise? If you press the button, you get a million dollars and a someone you don’t know will die?

And then he takes the box away to give to someone who doesn’t know you…

I never saw the Zone episode, Kat, but there was definitely a short story on it. I remember neither the title nor the author, but I think it was Isaac Asimov, as a quarter-assed guess.

Stranger offers fellow a box with a single button. Push the button, and he gets a million bucks or somesuch, and someone dies. It’s stressed it won’t be anyone he knows or has ever met. He spends the story agonizing, then finally pushes the button. No fireworks or anything, the stranger just gives him the money, takes the box.

“Now what?” protagonist dude asks.
“Now the button goes to someone else to make the same choice. But don’t worry about that. It won’t go to anyone you know.”

Short and effective.

The proper answer is nothing, get thee behind me. Certain things would of course be sorely tempting–a loved one dying that would be cured by the button press, for instance.

Drastic, how about the cure for AIDS? Or cancer (all types)? One life in exchange for thousands?

Ah, well that veers rather close to GD territory. “Great Debates” == “More emphatic than usual IMHO’s”…IMHO. :slight_smile:

The First Noble Truth is, life is suffering. Life is troubles. No way around that–it’s built into the very fabric of living and being human. Once cancer and AIDS join the troubles-of-the-past file, along with things like dying from appendicitis (yes I’m aware people still do here and there) and smallpox (at least until someone uses some funk military-grade variant on it), other troubles will replace them, some of which we can’t imagine yet. When those troubles are solved–and they will be, because that’s what people are, problem-solvers–other ones will follow. That’s life, and there aren’t shortcuts.

But hypotheticals, yes. Let’s look at possibility one: you’re being offered this “receive benefit A for the anonymous sacrifice of X” from someone/something else. Said Something has the power to do A–but won’t unless you personally will the death of another human being? That Something is…well, a jerk. Life’s short and precious, I don’t willingly truck with jerks.

Possibility two: this hypothetical rests in some hitherto-unexplored bit of natural law, you’ve just happened to discover it. That’s more squarely in a philosophical/ethical debate. My answer’s still no. I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be enormously tempting to say yes, but ethical behavior isn’t necessarily the easy way.

The motto of the “World Game”, from (popularized by?) R. Buckminster Fuller is “To make the world work for 100% of humanity, without ecological offense, through spontaneous co-operation, to the disadvantage of none.” Italics mine, here. It is, obviously, an ideal approach to dealing with the problems facing the world, emphasizing non-coercion and a defiance of the “truism” that life is a zero-sum game–both also GD-able, of course, but I know my position.

Now tying these bits together–there will always be troubles and problems to solve. And though the process is slow and painful, and leaves suffering in its wake, those problems do get solved once sufficient numbers of people simply gain the will to do so.

If the world actually worked by the ability to wave one’s hand, cause some stranger who’s never done you any harm to drop dead (or die slowly, screaming and twisted in agony, as loved ones looked on helplessly–how the hell would you know? And why care, you’ve got your million bucks out of the deal, or get to be the Cancer Slaying Hero, whatever strokes your ego in the right manner)–if the world worked like that, it’d be a worse place. Because you might wish for an end to war. The next person using the option might wish for an end to the filthy darkies. The next person, an end to the white devils, or the “Jewish Bankers”, or for something terrible to happen to the Joneses new boat that’s so much better than his. Then someone from VHEMT–without valuing that “Voluntary” bit so much, might thoughtfully rid the poor Earth from the scourge of human reproduction.

Hmm. There’s a story in that.

Anyway, the answer’s still no. Others will and have say “oh heck yeah! Pass the button!”, and that’s their right.

Just be glad there is no button.

S&g’s… nah… I don’t think I’d do a stranger, no telling who they are. I’d have to know more about the person.

World Peace.

An end to poverty.

Someone to love who loves me back.

A pepperoni pizza.

(Pizza’s important, dammit.)