Denying a remote hypothetical:

Definition Example
When a hypothetical introduced to assess the coherency of a concept is rejected on grounds it is rare or improbable. I don’t need to assess my moral code against your scenario of having to choose between killing my child or my father or letting them both starve since such a dilemma has probably never actually occurred in real life.
  Notes
If someone suggests they are in possession of a universal moral law, then even the most improbable scenarios are fair game to test that universal moral law. If you say killing another human is always wrong, then you’ll need to address any conceivable scenario in which one human is faced with the choice of killing another.

Case Study One

One remote scenario and moral dilemma is a situation in which you have the opportunity to save several lives on a brake-less train by pushing a single person onto the tracks, thus killing him. The fact that the scenario is improbable does not mean that it cannot be used to test the validity and consistency of a moral principle.


Case Study Two

Another scenario and moral dilemma is a situation in which there are 10 persons of various ages, sizes, intelligences, talents and genders on a lifeboat with only enough food for 20 meals. How do you allot the food? This remote scenario is a legitimate test of a moral code.


Case Study Three

Another remote scenario is a situation in which a mother, hiding with her child and 20 other innocent people from men with guns, must decide to smother her crying child in order to save herself and the 20 others.


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


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