Picture a hypothetical situation where, for some odd reason, ten human embryos (as Group A) and one human child (Group B) are about to die. I can only save one group, A or B. What is the moral answer to this question, if it’s even a fair question?
And, what if Group A was to be raised by same-sex ‘couples’ and the child by a traditional family? What would be the moral answer there? For vice versa?
I don’t believe the Church has a clear doctrine on this question. But, to quote Spock, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.
The problem is that we don’t know the viability of the embryos. The process of bringing an in vitro embryo to term is very uncertain. It is highly possible (or even probable) that none of the ten will ever survive, and if just one survived, it would be considered a medical victory.
To quote Aesop, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I would thus probably choose the certainly viable infant over the probably unviable embryos.
If medical science was better, and there was a good probability that more than one embryo would be brought to term, then I would choose the embryos.
The future parentage is completely irrelevant. The value of human life is independent of its circumstances.
One thing that bothers me about this, is that whether a child is raised by a same sex couple or has their mother and father is irrelevant to the value of their life. I don’t care if the kid is raised by monkeys, it mades no difference to their intrinsic value and dignity as a human being.
We couldn’t know if all the embryos would survive till birth or if any would. The logical choice seems the child. Still not sure how I’d react in that situation though, I do believe an embryo has as much a right to live as myself.
Neither is more moral. The single act of saving a life is itself noble and good. Whether you save ten of them or one, they are morally equivalent if you have no other choice, as seems to be the case here. I guess what I’m saying is that the quantity of people saved given the situation is irrelevant.
As for the second part, that’s irrelevant too. The child has no decision as to who raises him or her, and is therefore not morally culpable. And for a person to decide on saving this child’s life on the basis of how or by whom the child is raised is grossly problematic.
No choice is automatically more moral than the other. In this case, we would be called to make the best decision we can with the information we have at the time. And whether somebody saves the ten children (embryos) or the one, they would (and should) be commended as a hero.
Who’s raising the child should have no bearing on the decision. As LightFromLight and jonathan_hili pointed out, every human being has intrinsic worth, regardless of their family situation.
I couldn’t tell you what decision I would make in the moment, but I could see it either way. Saving the ten over saving the one has better numbers – saving ten lives is ‘better’ than saving one, at least in a sense. But embryos, presumably not in wombs during this rescue, might have a lesser chance of survival even if they are saved (since they might just be stuck in a freezer nowadays :mad:). Even if they are all implanted later they might not ‘take’. So I could also see the argument that the older child is a ‘sure bet,’ while saving the ten younger ones might not actually save them.
That’s also assuming equal risk/difficulty in either rescue. If I can save the one child at minimal risk to myself and others, but saving the ten would put myself or others at serious risk of death in the process, that could shift the equation. We can (and should) consider our chances of success when considering these things; we aren’t *obligated *to sacrifice our own life on the mere chance of saving another, although doing so can be a very powerful witness (see St. Maximilian Kolbe).
I don’t know what wisdom you hope to glean from such a hypothetical. What about saving one of two groups in these situations?
*]Group A = 10 old, terminally ill people; Group B = 1 young child
*]Group A = 25 drug addicts; Group B = 1 pretty lady
*]Group A = 1,000 poor people; Group B = 1 future Nobel Prize winner who will single-handedly solve all world hunger
Every human being is created with equal dignity. It doesn’t matter what arbitrary example we come up with that will manipulate our emotions into thinking that one group is “more human” than another. Following those types of emotions is bound to lead in directions we probably do not want to go.
I always hate these types of questions because they’re intended to trip you up. A similar question was posed to me: “Take, hypothetically, that there are 5 people on one train track and one guy on another, which track do you divert to?”
Personally I feel it’s a failure of safety procedure when people are on tracks and for some reason can’t be warned by a very loud horn or whistle from the train, or can’t hear it and see it from far away.
Putting that aside, you pretty much just have to go with your gut and save who you can, regardless of bias or the situation.
The problem with these arbitrary hypotheticals is that they force you to assume you couldn’t somehow save both. (Hey, Spider-Man did it in the first Spider-Man movie. :p)
These types of questions are way too devoid of detail to make a concrete decision. They are designed to play on emotions and bypass reason. This question seems designed to subtlely move people to think that the unborn aren’t really human.