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Some more 'Situations'

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  • Charles Vermont
    ... I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 14, 1999
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      I was very interested to read the responses to the situations I proposed. Here are my own thoughts:

      >A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast. <

      I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the woman has asked him to perform a breast implant operation on her then it seems to me she 'should' be grateful. They have both agreed to do this work together. If he is a complete stranger then she 'should' be outraged.

      The other point was about the imprecision of words. If I had used the term 'makes a surgical incision just below her right breast' instead of 'gashes her with it just below her right breast' then I believe the list's response would have been different.

      >A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois. She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive. After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands. However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate lust for the man.<

      For me this is a key moral dilemma - 'should' the woman follow her instincts or, of her own free will, choose to delay gratification? It seems to me that if she had already chosen to avoid one night stands prior to meeting the man then she will be acting in 'Bad Faith' if she invites him to her room. If, however, she genuinely believes this experience will be better than all the previous ones then she 'should'. The important distinction here for me is whether she is taking full responsibility for the free will she possess - this is what I call 'giving herself choice'.

      >A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company. <

      This is a dilemma which has been taxing me a great deal recently. My view today is that he 'should' probably accept the invitation and then cry off later by claiming he is ill. Normally I am dead set against lying since it 'denies' other people the information they need in order to exercise their own freedom of choice. (For instance, I tell you I have repaired the car brakes when I haven't, you go for a drive, you have no way of stopping and crash. You would not have gone for a drive if I hadn't lied.) However, in this example there are Laura's feelings at stake. By telling a lie the man is not trying to mislead her, or encouraging her to make the choices he prefers rather than the ones she would make if he had not lied. He is merely finding a way to establish his own choices without offending Laura. In my terms, he is giving her choice - she may choose to keep her views on family intact while at the same time taking no offence at his non appearance.

      What do other members of the list think about the above?

      Charles Vermont
    • hank alphonse
      I dig it. I understand what your saying. I don t having anything intelligent to say just lurking . Shawn Reed Portage, Indiana ... From: Charles Vermont
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 14, 1999
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        I dig it. I understand what your saying. I don't having anything intelligent to say just "lurking". Shawn Reed Portage, Indiana
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Charles Vermont <Funchoice@...>
        To: Existentialism List <existlist@onelist.com>
        Date: Saturday, August 14, 1999 8:22 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Some more 'Situations'


        I was very interested to read the responses to the situations I proposed. Here are my own thoughts:

        >A man picks up a sharp knife with his right hand, walks over to a woman, and gashes her with it just below her right breast. <

        I agree that I did not give enough information here. However, one point I was trying to make is about agreement. If the man is a cosmetic surgeon and the woman has asked him to perform a breast implant operation on her then it seems to me she 'should' be grateful. They have both agreed to do this work together. If he is a complete stranger then she 'should' be outraged.

        The other point was about the imprecision of words. If I had used the term 'makes a surgical incision just below her right breast' instead of 'gashes her with it just below her right breast' then I believe the list's response would have been different.

        >A woman from Denmark is on a business trip to Chicago, Illinois. She goes down to her hotel bar for a drink around 10pm on the evening of the day before she flies out and meets a man who she finds very attractive. After a while he suggest they repair to her bedroom for a 'night cap'. She knows this is code for sex. The man really turns her on but she is aware from her previous experiences that she does not enjoy one night stands. However, as in her past experiences, she is overcome by raw, passionate lust for the man.<

        For me this is a key moral dilemma - 'should' the woman follow her instincts or, of her own free will, choose to delay gratification? It seems to me that if she had already chosen to avoid one night stands prior to meeting the man then she will be acting in 'Bad Faith' if she invites him to her room. If, however, she genuinely believes this experience will be better than all the previous ones then she 'should'. The important distinction here for me is whether she is taking full responsibility for the free will she possess - this is what I call 'giving herself choice'.

        >A man is invited to his cousin Laura's wedding. He has no desire whatsoever to go. However, he realises Laura will take great offence if he fails to show. She is of the belief that family is very important, and would not have considered for a moment not inviting him, even though they openly acknowledge that they thoroughly dislike each other's company. <

        This is a dilemma which has been taxing me a great deal recently. My view today is that he 'should' probably accept the invitation and then cry off later by claiming he is ill. Normally I am dead set against lying since it 'denies' other people the information they need in order to exercise their own freedom of choice. (For instance, I tell you I have repaired the car brakes when I haven't, you go for a drive, you have no way of stopping and crash. You would not have gone for a drive if I hadn't lied.) However, in this example there are Laura's feelings at stake. By telling a lie the man is not trying to mislead her, or encouraging her to make the choices he prefers rather than the ones she would make if he had not lied. He is merely finding a way to establish his own choices without offending Laura. In my terms, he is giving her choice - she may choose to keep her views on family intact while at the same time taking no offence at his non appearance.

        What do other members of the list think about the above?

        Charles Vermont
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