The price of progress, ethical equations and fascism

There is such an interesting thing - ethical equations. She is very entertaining when it does not concern you personally and you do not have to solve them in reality. I will give a famous example from history:
During the Second World War, the Germans had an Enigma encryption machine, which was considered unsuitable for breaking all over the world. The British were able to decipher the message about the impending massive bombing of an English city. The mass evacuation of the population would have told the German spies that the code had been revealed and that in the further allied forces would have remained without valuable intelligence. This could change the balance of power and possibly change the outcome of the war. The British Prime Minister decides not to evacuate people, killing tens of thousands of his compatriots. It was such an ethical equation that one person had to solve. The main indicator of the ethical equation - a person will feel guilty in any situation.

In theory, there is an unlimited number of equations that everyone can solve for themselves, purely from "academic" interest, and then evaluate their feelings from the process. For the seed I will offer the simplest and most classical equation:
1. You see that a train is coming along the railway lines, which is approaching the arrow. An old man is standing (or lying tied) on one branch of the arrow, and a small child is on the other branch. You only have time to run to the arrow and direct the train along one of the branches. Which branch will you direct the train to?

This is a fairly "simple" equation. The old man has already lived his life, it’s better to let the child live.

2. We complicate the task. On one branch, the child remains, and on the other branch, the famous politician, the Pope, the popular singer, the president of the state, any well-known person who is personally very sympathetic to you.

3. You can further complicate the task. The child remains, and on another branch all the people of the Earth are over 70 years old.

Well, have cats scratched their hearts already?

4. Now the choice is even harder. On one branch, your mother / father or other close person, and on the other branch 100/1000/1000000 of strangers to you. where will you move the arrow? I admit right away, I do not care for a million people I do not know if only my mother lived.

5. And if you replace one member of your family with all your relatives, and put the whole of humanity on the other arrow?

Anyone who wants to arrange a “charge for the mind” or just tickle their nerves can come up with an infinite number of such equations. Why is this all said? Read below, after which I will offer some more similar tasks.

What do you personally think of Dr. Mengell? The younger generation is stupid, they have not heard that name. Many people over 25-30 years old know that this was a psychopath who, in Auschwitz, set up inhuman experiments on prisoners. As a vampire drained their blood, cut off the skin in pieces, sawed people into pieces, hammered pieces of iron into their bodies and pulled out organs from living prisoners. In short, the fascist with a capital letter, they were all sick on the head. It’s just not very widely advertised, and in the USSR it was generally forbidden to publish some details of his work. He drained blood for the wounded German soldiers. Transfusion was performed before, but was often unsuccessful and people died. Killing hundreds of people (both prisoners and his soldiers), he got to the bottom of the fact that there are different Rhesus factors and blood types, as well as various compatibility. Since then, this discovery has saved hundreds of millions of people. His work was monstrous, inhumane and inhuman, but in peacetime this discovery would not have come soon. To grow broken bones, they must be immobilized. For about 100 years, a plaster cast is applied for these purposes. Mengelle began to drive metal rods through the bone, which accelerated their healing by at least 2 times. Moreover, a man on the same day could walk, albeit with a cane. His research later served as the basis for the creation of the “apparatus / methodology of Elizarov,” although it could rightfully be called the “Mengelle method”. Cutting out pieces of skin was not done to satisfy their sadistic inclinations, but for plastic surgery of burnt German soldiers. Torturing thousands of prisoners, he made discoveries, which are now the basis of surgical practice and have since saved hundreds of millions of people. Over 3 years of work in a concentration camp, he created as many revolutionary discoveries and techniques as were done over the next several decades. If you or your family have undergone any surgical operation, you have used a blood transfusion or kept the blood of the necessary group at the ready. Just in case. Knowing this and having the opportunity to return to the past, would you kill this greatest physician and greatest villain in the history of mankind? I have not yet decided for myself this equation. they used a blood transfusion or kept the blood of the necessary group at the ready. Just in case. Knowing this and having the opportunity to return to the past, would you kill this greatest physician and greatest villain in the history of mankind? I have not yet decided for myself this equation. they used a blood transfusion or kept the blood of the necessary group at the ready. Just in case. Knowing this and having the opportunity to return to the past, would you kill this greatest physician and greatest villain in the history of mankind? I have not yet decided for myself this equation.

There is one interesting report by one scientist, according to which mankind was growing too fast at that technological and agricultural level, which was in the early to mid-20th century. Rapid population growth would reach a certain critical mass, and then a series of illnesses and famines would follow, which would kill several billion. The Second World War reduced the reproductive population and slowed down the growth of mankind, which for a long time pushed away hunger and other cataclysms. I do not remember the author of this work, if someone read this book, write down the title and the name!

Often you can hear to hear a phrase from the category "if only the tear of a child would not fall." Here are the next tasks:
1. There are two children with cancer. The likelihood that they will survive is completely unknown. Maybe both will die, maybe one will die, maybe both will be cured. Do you think it is possible to allow the death of one child so that the second survives with a 100% probability?

2. The same task, only one will die, and 10/100/100000 will survive?

3. Do you consider it possible to allow death, ie to exchange the lives of ALL cancer patients at the moment for the formula of a cure for all types of cancer? Those. by killing hundreds of thousands of people now, will you prevent the painful treatment and death of billions of people in the next 100 years?

The cold calculation of rulers sometimes gives rise to fascism, genocide and other terrible things. But so far this is just the price of progress. Can there be an excuse for the vile things in the past that lay bricks in the foundation of a brighter future? Are we ready to pay that price? Is cold calculation and balanced decisions compatible with the concept of humanity?

PS You’ll come up with more difficult ethical tasks - write in the comments, it will be interesting to reflect on your leisure.