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Commissar Yarrick

Ethical Problem No. 42

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You are a resistance-fighter in an occupied land. You receive orders from your government-in-exile to assassinate a member of the occupying army. You know, for a fact, that brutal retaliation will be inflicted on civilians if you even attempt the attack. If you succeed, you can reasonably expect 1,000 of your compatriots to be murdered. Your chances of escape are no more than 50/50 and you will certainly be executed if caught.

You can read between the lines and work out that your target is a high-rank, but his precise identity, function and the expected outcome of his assassination are all on a need-to-know basis and you do not need to know. To be clear, you have no idea what effect his death will have on the occupation of your country, or if it will have any effect at all.

What do you do?

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The casualties wouldn't phase me. If I am a part of the resistance than I've accepted people are going to die. 

This question for me, depends on if I trust the resistance leaders. If I don't, then I don't do it. Why risk my life and others for what could be a petty mission to kill someone they don't like? 

 

If I trust them then I can trust the idea that whoever the target is, is someone reasonably powerful and has a meaningful impact on the outcome of the war. 

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1 hour ago, Fart said:

You are a resistance-fighter in an occupied land. You receive orders from your government-in-exile to assassinate a member of the occupying army. You know, for a fact, that brutal retaliation will be inflicted on civilians if you even attempt the attack. If you succeed, you can reasonably expect 1,000 of your compatriots to be murdered. Your chances of escape are no more than 50/50 and you will certainly be executed if caught.

You can read between the lines and work out that your target is a high-rank, but his precise identity, function and the expected outcome of his assassination are all on a need-to-know basis and you do not need to know. To be clear, you have no idea what effect his death will have on the occupation of your country, or if it will have any effect at all.

What do you do?

If I am in the resistance it is because I believe in what it believes (the cause).   I trust the government-in-exile, and believe my superiors.   I am willing to die for my beliefs.

I carry out the assassination, know that I will die (I won't be taken alive) and knowing that brutal retaliation will be inflicted on civilians.   But I have a belief, that many of the remaining civilians will be so angered by the retaliation, that many of them will take up the cause I died to believe in.

 

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For clarity, I will be playing Devil's Advocate in this thread and arguing with everyone, not expressing my own opinion. 

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Are you not responsible for those 1,000 deaths, though? But for your act, they do not occur. What if it transpires that the death of your target in fact has no effect whatsoever on the occupation of your country? Is it not arguable that ruthlessly sacrificing civilians could just as easily turn people against the resistance?

 

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I mean, yeah. I posted about Heydrich yesterday so the inspiration is pretty obvious. 

I wanted it to be a bit more ambivalent than "should you shoot a man who is the architect of the Holocaust and widely described as the most ruthless and evil Nazi that existed, seriously even worse than Hitler" because the answer to that is easy.

Even though Heydrich's death definitively achieved nothing but the razing of two villages. Perhaps it stopped an even greater monster rising in Germany. Who knows?

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2 hours ago, Fart said:

I'd question why you would be a resistance-fighter if you didn't trust the resistance.

I could be against the ruling government, which makes me a resistance fighter, but not trust the current resistance leadership and simply believe them to be better than the status quo with their own negative perks. 

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As a member of the resistance, I'm well aware that war is a dirty business and it's a given people will in fact die, no matter the decision. These are things you have to accept and put behind you if you're willing to fight for a cause. You know that 1000 people may die as a result of your actions, but how many more would die if you instead decided to stand idly by and do nothing?

If I'm fighting for what I believe is a good cause, I will carry out my duties to the best of my ability to make sure the end goal is achieved.

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47 minutes ago, Raiden said:

Why did you bother posting

Because that is hilarious shit right there Raiden....and I feel somewhat responsible for making everyone just a little bit happier through laughter. Tall order I realize, but that's what I am all about.....MLCGA

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On 9/25/2018 at 3:49 PM, Commissar Yarrick said:

For clarity, I will be playing Devil's Advocate in this thread and arguing with everyone, not expressing my own opinion. 

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1.  Are you not responsible for those 1,000 deaths, though? But for your act, they do not occur.

2.  What if it transpires that the death of your target in fact has no effect whatsoever on the occupation of your country? Is it not arguable that ruthlessly sacrificing civilians could just as easily turn people against the resistance?

 

1.  Indirectly responsible perhaps.....how does the killing of one member of the occupying government result in such a disproportional response by the occupying government?   Could they not just turn the other cheek?   Could they not just make some arrests instead?   They are in power....illegally by my beliefs....so they can respond without such a show of force.    Also, if the occupying government does respond by killing 1000 innocents, then they must have been thinking of doing such prior to my actions anyway.....so chances are the occupying government would have killed regardless of what I did.

2.  My actions will surely be met with support by many.   The population will see how awful this occupying government really is, and they will rally to support the cause.    Some might turn against the resistance, but they will not support the occupying government, only they will stand to the side while the true patriots strive to achieve the goal they dream about but are too cowardly to achieve.....if they support the occupying government, they they are no different and will be dealt with accordingly.

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1 hour ago, uteck said:

Ummmmm ............Jesus is Jewish....alliteration is your friend......and its Rabbi's not Priests

Meh.

If you're hung up on the details, jesus isn't anything... apart from stone fucking dead, of course.  

 

But i'll concede that "minions" might've been a better word choice.  

3 hours ago, Doc J said:

Send in the priests his minions to assfuck the shit outta their kids?  

Better?

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On 10/2/2018 at 1:26 PM, uteck said:

what would Jesus do?

What difference does that make?   Oh because I’m Catholic....never said in the role as resistance fighter that I was Catholic.   Maybe I’m atheist....or Muslim....or Jewish...or whatever.   Every religion has been persecuted in some form or another and they’ve also resisted.

 

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45 minutes ago, AJ_2000 said:

What difference does that make?   Oh because I’m Catholic....never said in the role as resistance fighter that I was Catholic.   Maybe I’m atheist....or Muslim....or Jewish...or whatever.   Every religion has been persecuted in some form or another and they’ve also resisted.

 

Jesus wouldn't kill him in the first place.....is the correct answer

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