Answer 1 of the 2 questions1. John Harris argues that when we let very sick people die when they could have been saved from a transplant from a healthy person, indeed a healthy person whose organs could have saved *many* very sick persons, we are unfairly discriminating against the sick. His points are that:
A. Whether someone gets sick is (typically) a matter of luck. It is also a matter of luck whether your name gets pulled from his imagined “survival lottery.”B.If we sacrifice a healthy person via survival lottery, we can save many more total lives than if we just let sick people die. This is because one healthy person has multiple organs that can save multiple sick persons.C. Hence other than tradition, there is no*ethical* reason to not sacrifice the healthy for the sack of the sick.
Sometimes in politics, we make laws not entirely because of ethics but also because of pragmatics. Because of human nature, social organization has limits to what works. Some things that might be technically possible might not work well in the “real world” because of the way humans tend to behave. For example, there might be lots of ethical reasons to make driving illegal, given the number of people who die in car accidents. But some political theorists would argue that outlawing automobiles is just too impractical.
Putting the ethical issues aside, can you think of aspects of Harris’s survival lottery that make it too impractical, or at least practically problematic? What are potential solutions to these practical problems? Ultimately, do you think these solutions would be enough to make the system work in today’s modern society?
2. Socrates is famous for accepting his own death at the hands of the government who unjustly convicted him. Socrates argues that it would be unjust to escape because as a member of his society/community, he has agreed to abide by the community standards, and these standards include accepting the result of a jury trial.
Imagine that you get a ticket for going 15mph over the speed limit, when the truth is you were not speeding at all. Suppose that your friend was with you when you got this ticket. Further imagine that you received the ticket just weeks before you are scheduled to leave for a year-long study abroad system. You happen to know that because of technicalities within your city, leaving the country means you can get out of paying the ticket. You smile and explain this to your friend, but your friend gets very upset. Said friend explains that Socrates would not approve, and that as a member of the community you have an obligation to pay the ticket, even though both you and your friend know that you were never speeding at all. How would you respond to your friend? How would you try to justify your actions?
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