The Moral Veil, and Life.

The basis of this post is to question morality a little.  At least of a utilitarian kind.  To establish a basis of thought there’s the Veil of Ignorance to consider ( ).  In which a person is asked to imagine that they are tasked with creating a purely just society.  They must do so from a position of ignorance of who they actually are, and the resulting life that they may live upon being “rendered” into said creation.

The thought I’d like to present is counter to the implications of the Veil, and that we have already traversed said barrier of ignorance.  A baby prior to birth, or even before its conception is purely nothing.  It has no desires, or sense of anything.  It is purely a ignorant hypothetical entity.  Thus it’d be understandable that such a state would be an ignorant one, correct?  One doesn’t get to pick, and choose their parents.  Although they do get some chance to dictate their personal life events.  They can readily interpret circumstances to suit their needs.  Thus how, or what is the point of a Veil of Ignorance?  We’ve all come into this world as ignorant, and it is through the nature and nurture we’ve received that sets one upon a path.

Thus is it possible to arrive at a conclusion that this is already a Just World?  A notion that may be hard to stomach, I’m sure, but that would be a selfish ego talking now, right?  I’m “hurt”, or there’s “Evil/badness” present.  Who’s to say that those events aren’t created merely as a result of our actions?  That we’ve made this world both Just, and Unjust?  That we are the arbiters that are banging the gavel?

Supposedly the Trolley problem is a good question in Ethics ( ), or one to determine the trade-off’s a person is willing to make.  Now, let’s get hypothetical here.  At what level of salvation is it good to sacrifice one for the many?  In some presentations its five people to be saved, in others, it’s different.  What if I were to pose a situation where it’s all of a set species?  Let’s take Humans, for consideration.

To present/rewrite the dilemma a little.  Say everyone in your set/chosen species of Humanity was able to live a just life to their fullest heart’s content, but the sacrifice that has to be made is that you are the one that must die.  You know everyone else gets to be happy, and enjoy life.  And you are the sacrifice.  The one that has to be punished/let go/imprisoned, in order for everyone else to benefit.  A little absurd isn’t it?

And yet, and yet…isn’t that what Jesus was supposed to have done?  To have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate cause?  How is that any different than Prometheus who brought the fires of intellect?  Or anyone who’s really paid any sort of price to better Humanity?

There’s a game I played growing up called Baldur’s Gate II.  In the introductory chapter of the game, the protagonist (eg You), is presented with a choice.  You and your sibling are caught in a trap, and only one of you may escape it at the cost of the other’s life.  You are presented with two options.  One, you push a button to kill yourself.  Thus freeing your sibling.  Two, your sibling pushes the button to kill themselves.  Thus freeing you.

Now, how is this any different in the moral calculus sense of ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate cause?   Jesus, chose sacrifice for all of us.  He laid his life on the line.  How willing is a person to sacrifice themselves, for another, for a countless amount?  Does numbers really apply here?

Personally, I always chose the “noble path” in the game.  The final question is would you live again?  Had you known what you do know?  Would you go through the Veil of Ignorance again?


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