Qaanol wrote:You and your family are trying to decide which of these two countries to move to. Let’s say you got a great job offer from a company with locations in both countries and nowhere else. Everyone in your family agrees you should take the job, and they all want to move with you. There are no overriding factors and the two countries are otherwise equally good places to live. No one in either country will try to convince you or your family to adopt any particular viewpoint.
Qaanol wrote:So, given that this is simply the way it is, and given that you have found these two particular countries to be more appealing than anywhere else, you are trying to decide where you want to live and work and raise your child.
Recall that in the first country each person has a 1.8% chance of being killed by a trolley in any 18-year period. That makes for about a 95% chance that you, your spouse, and your baby will all survive the next 18 years.
In the other country, each person has a 16.5% chance of dying in 18 years, which makes for about a 58% chance that all three of you will survive. That’s a 42% chance that at least one of your family members will be killed by a trolley before your baby turns 18 in the second country, compared with 5% in the first country.
No matter how good the job offer is, I would not move to a country that openly condones the killing of random people.
I doubt such subtle numbers are going to convince any adherent to change their intuitions, so let's take a page from Cradarc's other thread and make it less subtle.
There are only two countries in the entire universe - no wilderness in which you might disappear into. Both countries face a situation wherein, in 10 years or so, they will face one of two options. Either:
- 5/6ths of the population will die, via some known cause, or
- The government can use advanced technology to redirect this cause, killing the other 1/6th of the population.
Who belongs in which group is randomly chosen and unknown beforehand; there is no way to game which group you, or any of your family members, belong in.
The exact details of the event are unimportant; you could even imagine it as a national trolley problem if you want.
The good news is that society is advanced enough that there will be no secondary problems - no one else will die, or suffer a lowered standard of living, even if 5/6ths of the population disappear. You just have to choose: the conveniently named Country 1 is dedicated to option 1, while Country 2 to option 2.
Nothing else is different about either country; you would have an equivalent lifestyle either way, both before and after the event. The only thing you have to choose whether to subject yourself and each family member to an 83.3% or 16.7% probability of death within ten years.
I contend that anyone who chooses Option 1 for a small trolley problem but Country 2 for this large trolley problem is suffering a failure of scope. You know that 5 million deaths are worse than 1 million deaths, yet somehow that does not scale down to 5 deaths being worse than 1 death. The only reason such inconsistent preferences have not yet screwed you over is because you are not personally exposed to such situations. (They do indirectly screw society over, make no mistake.)
Meanwhile, I contend that choosing Country 1 is nothing less than idiotic, for obvious reasons, and your children will not thank you for it.
- There is only one country in the universe, and you are its leader. You and your immediate friends/family are excluded from the problem, and will survive either way. You get to choose which option the country will take.
- The cause of death is not some potentially redirected force, but some AI holding the 5/6ths hostage, unless the country's military directly kills the other 1/6. (The military hardware is advanced enough that this would similarly take the same 2 minutes; the only difference is in the framing.) How the AI acts in the future is known to be independent of your decision now.
- The cause of death is some strange disease from the 1/6th that will spread and infect the other 5/6th, coincidentally within minutes of the two groups being identified.
- The disease in alternative c is temporary zombieism/rage virus; the 1/6th will hunt and kill the other 5/6ths, then revert to their human state.