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    Global Moderator

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  • Darwins +485/-5

On reflection, I think Hal is completely correct.  I think perhaps the problem lies in that the hypothetical was TOO hypothetical.  So I scaled it down.

Imagine....you feel a blow to your head, and it all goes dark.  When you wake, you are strapped in a chair in a darkened room, and standing before you is Hannibal Lechter.....or Dahmer, or West, or whoever.  Whatever, you know that this is a sociopath who has no problem inflicting pain on his victims.  To his side is a tray full of torture implements.  He points to the tools and speaks.  "Tell me how great I am, how valid my 'work' is, or I'll use these on you."

When I framed the hypothetical in these terms, all of a sudden I had no problem 'pressing the red button', perhaps because it was something that (through movies and books and TV) I eally could envisage happening.

Sure - I loathe his 'work', and everything he is.  But would there be any gain at all in telling him that, alone and helpless and with no sign of rescue?  I can't see any - and that includes my biggest stumbling block about "how can you speak against something that - in the crunch - you would support?" 

Before the crack on the head, before the time of crunch, we have got the freedom to oppose and to speak out.   Indeed, if I were in a room with Lechter, unbound and capable of action, I would do my best to take him down.  Its the point at which all options are closed, where it's real and now and the final point of decision, that I feel there is no shame in pressing red, and nothing at all to be gained by pressing blue. 

I grok where Hal is coming from.  And I've gained some peace of mind from my lesser hypothesis.  You can - should - do your damndest to try to track down and incarcerate the serial torture/killer and prevent him spreading his evil....but ther is no shame in stroking his ego when he has you at his mercy. 

Where there is something to be gained....then, there is a reason to try to hold out.  But that's where the parallels with things like resisting the Gestapo fail.  In that situation, be resisting for an hour or a day has some point.  It gives time for your friends to move the base, execute the attack, get the plans on the boat, and every moment could count.  You can be brave and grit your teeth and try to survive and - after a while - cry "uncle" and it stops and you will have acheived something by taking "some" pain.  In the god or killer hypotheticals, not only does it not stop when you cry uncle, but there is no gain in pressing blue at all.  It's the everything-path doing it who doesn't care about your pride and who will be unaffected by any displays on your part, so tell him what he wants from the moment you are in his power.

Then clock him one if he ever releases the straps.
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Kimberly Makes sense, took me some time to think of it like that too July 10, 2012, 08:08:07 PM
screwtape glad you worked through it. July 10, 2012, 01:10:13 PM
HAL Thanks for chiming in again July 10, 2012, 07:36:51 AM