Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
softwareNerd

A truly indecent proposal

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

In the movie "Indecent Proposal", a rich man offers a woman a lot of money (1 million? 10 million?), to spend a night with him.

Recently a rich businessman made a much more indecent proposal. He offered to give $1 million to a Florida man, if the man would allow his wife to linger on life-support, rather than letting her die.

Payment for suffering! Compared to this, the proposal made in the movie seems like a really innocent offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I understand the idea is that someone might come up with a cure for whatever’s wrong with her if they keep her alive long enough.

I haven’t read a lot about it so I don’t know all the details and have no opinion about this particular case. But I really don't think he is trying to pay the husband for the sake of prolonging this women’s suffering.

Edited by Lord Poppycock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what I understand the idea is that someone might come up with a cure for whatever’s wrong with her if they keep her alive long enough.

Thank you for pointing this out. This person does not appear to be connected to the usual right-to-life crowd. (On the other hand, I don't have enough to judge. He could well be formulating a stance that "sounds" scientific --- like the "intelligent design" mystics.)

In a related development, some legislators in Florida are trying to pass a law that would prohibit this lady's feeding tube from being removed. It sounds like the law would lay down conditions under which a tube can be removed. (e.g. if a person specifically gives such permission in their living will). The law will be formulated so that the feeding tube cannot be removed in this particular case.

Sounds like a law that attempts to be retrospective. If it goes through, it might at least drag the case on some more while it is challenged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for pointing this out. This person does not appear to be connected to the usual right-to-life crowd. (On the other hand, I don't have enough to judge. He could well be formulating a stance that "sounds" scientific --- like the "intelligent design" mystics.)

This woman has extensive brain damage. How could they possibly cure that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to balance the picture a little (I'm having a really hard time deciding what my own opinion is), let me point out that if Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube is removed as her husband wishes, she will die of starvation and dehydration. Her suffering would end eventually, but first it would be much greater than anything she now endures. I'm sure the husband would prefer that she be "put to sleep" quickly and painlessly, but ironically, that's not legal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How can a person that doesn't have the capability to suffer because there brain can handle no concious thought, suffer? She can't. Like was mentioned in a prior thread, a brain damaged person (we were talking of retarded people there) has the rights a child would have. But the situation is not completely analogous because this person once had a fully functioning mind with full rights. During that time (when one's in a normal state) you can make choices as to what you want done with yourself if you ever end up in a vegatative state. But these wishes need to be known with no doubt, and a will of some sort would cover that. Otherwise, the situation would be like killing a retarded person who has the rights to life like a child.

Edited to remove an extra the and change "system" to situation.

Edited by Rational_One

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were in her position, what would you want the husband to do.

To be honest, it really doesn't matter one iota one way or the other if she is completely brain dead. As far as I'd be concerned, its not my wife anymore. Do what you will with it.

Part of a person's identity is their consciousness. If there is no possibility of that returning, there is no reason to consider it a "person" anymore. A human being has a functioning mind, with the ability to perceive, feel pain/pleasure, reason, take action, and feel emotion. This lump of meat can do none of those things, and thus is no longer a wife over even a person.

If she cannot feel pain and cannot suffer, it really makes no difference what happens to what remains of her physically, whether it is partially biologically active or not. It is "remains", whether the heart is beating or not. The essential characteristic of being a human being has been permanently lost, and that has nothing to do with organ function below the neck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the movie "Indecent Proposal", a rich man offers a woman a lot of money (1 million? 10 million?), to spend a night with him.

Recently a rich businessman made a much more indecent proposal. He offered to give $1 million to a Florida man, if the man would allow his wife to linger on life-support, rather than letting her die.

Payment for suffering! Compared to this, the proposal made in the movie seems like a really innocent offer.

This attitude reminds me of the movie (non-existant) "Show ME the Suffering!"

You seem to be saying that it's severly immoral for someone to purchase that

which should not need to be purchased but apparently is,.. the continued existence

of a person's life who may or may not want to die.

If you can show me that the existent person is suffering such that they'd wish to

die, then paying to keep them alive would be immoral.

If you can't, then this purchase is stopping a value (of the "lingering wife") from

being forcefully taken from her. A clear violation of the "trader principle."

What is your thinking here? What are you REALLY trying to say?

-Iakeo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the continued existence of a person's life who may or may not want to die.

But if she's as brain damaged as has been stated, she can't "want" anything. A desire is an emotion, and she couldn't be having any. She doesn't "want" anything if she's just a lump of meat on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if she's as brain damaged as has been stated, she can't "want" anything. A desire is an emotion, and she couldn't be having any. She doesn't "want" anything if she's just a lump of meat on the table.

That's not the impression that I get in the video that I've seen.

You may disagree. That's fine. :(

But if she's incapable of "want", then she's incapable of suffering, because

suffering is "wanting relief."

So what is your point?

-Iakeo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were in her position, what would you want the husband to do.

That depends on what her position actually is. I don't have all the facts.

One possibility that's been mentioned is that her condition was caused by her husband; either he abused her or actually tried to kill her. There's no hard evidence to support this, and the people suggesting it have their own agenda, but since they don't know what did cause her condition you can't rule it out. If that is in fact her position, and I were in it, I'd want to grimly hang on to survival as long as possible, both for the sake of his inconvenience and the hope that a medical miracle might someday allow me to wake up and finger him.

But assume for now that he's blameless. If she's brain-dead, then my decision (in advance of the fact; can't make decisions in that condition) would be to pull the tube. But if she's not brain-dead--if she can respond to stimuli and feel pain, but can never return to anything like a human level of cognition--then I'd want something slipped into that feeding tube which would kill me painlessly.

But that's not legally an option in this case. So the choice is: remove the tube and die slowly, suffering the agony of starvation and dehydration until it's over, or continue to exist in this vegetative state for possibly decades. And my answer is. . . I still don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's not the impression that I get in the video that I've seen.

Well, I haven't seen any video... just going by what's been said here.

But if she's incapable of "want", then she's incapable of suffering, because

suffering is "wanting relief."

So what is your point?

Right.. so my point is, if its that totally brain dead it doesn't matter what you do with it. Let it die, keep it alive, toss it in the ocean.. all are equally moral. It is of no moral consequence if its not a human being anymore.

But if that's not the case, there's more to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I haven't seen any video... just going by what's been said here.

Right.. so my point is, if its that totally brain dead it doesn't matter what you do with it. Let it die, keep it alive, toss it in the ocean.. all are equally moral. It is of no moral consequence if its not a human being anymore.

But if that's not the case, there's more to consider.

If indeed, she is "meat", then she is still (apparently) a value to her creator(s).

And as such, taking her away from them is "theft", and as such immoral.

If the creator(s) have somehow "ceded" their ownership of their creation to

someone else (husband), then it's the new owner who decides what to do with

their property.

Any person can offer to buy any property they like. The question of "taste", as in

the "indecency" that is alluded to in this threads title, is not pertinent to whether a

person may offer to buy property, or whether an owner can dispose of it as he

wishes.

Regardless of the way the transaction goes, the parties will be judged by each

individual in society according to the "taste" of those individuals, and each of the

transacting parties will "pay" for their actions accordingly.

Example: I personally find that the "brain dead" woman is not "meat", and

therefore is a person who cannot be terminated without her EXPLICIT APPROVAL,

which I've not seen, and that the husband's actions if allowed would constitute

murder, and that the "buyer" is a hero in offering to save her via a "bribe".

And that if the husband accepts the "bribe", he should be immediately prosecuted

for extortion.

So,.. to me, the husband fails to become a criminal ONLY if he allows the woman

to live by relinquishing his ownership to those who are willing to keep her alive, or

if she dies because no one is willing to keep her alive.

Otherwise he has the choice of being an extortionist or a murderer.

-Iakeo

Edited by Iakeo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...