Thursday, October 16, 2014

“This makes Parisians' treatment of American tourists look good in comparison.”

“This makes Parisians' treatment of American tourists look good in comparison.”  Researchers recently posed a (supposed) moral dilemma to a number of people and measured the results.  They posed a situation in which the participant had to choose between saving the life of their own dog versus the life of a person.  They varied the degree of attachment between the participant and the person, from sibling to foreign tourist.  When they tested their own dog versus the foreign tourist, about 40% of the participants chose to save their dog.

My reaction: what the hell is wrong with the other 60%!  This seems like an easy choice to me: my dogs are far more important to me than the vast majority of humanity.  Far more worthy, in most respects, too.  The moral choice is to save my dog!

The general reaction: what the hell is wrong with that 40%!  I find this utterly appalling.  They'd let their dog, whom they love, die to save some random person with whom they have no connection?  That seems highly immoral to me.

The studyHuffington Post discussionWall Street Journal discussion.


1 comment:

  1. I wasn't really aware that morality even came into play until you need to do something contrary to what you feel like doing. ...nor that who I feel closer to has much influence on the morality of who to save. My dog is more replaceable than your family member, so your family member takes precedence, even if I'll miss my dog a lot more than I'll miss your sister. The morality part comes in when I consider how things effect people besides me and mine.

    ...but then, I'm more of a cat person.