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Old 08-06-2006, 10:50 PM   #1
Father Torque
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Does Progress Justify Suffering?

"Can suffering be justified in the name of progress" was the slightly reworded prompt that I received on an English essay this year. I had an extremely hard time writing this because I seemed to always have a contradiction when I chose a side. In the introduction I explained how many philosophers claimed that progress didn't exist because human ethicality doesn't change, the external societal structure changes. But then I realized that other philosophers believed that there has been progress in making conceptual distinctions. I eventually came up with the conclusion that the question was outside of my reasoning level. I explained to my teacher in a full essay that the question was impossible for me to answer truthfully.

Many of my fellow students referenced the adventures and mishaps of Christopher Columbus to support (it created America) or refute (it caused mass genocides) the question at hand. What do you guys think?

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Old 08-07-2006, 12:07 AM   #2
TK-8252
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Sounds like the question is if the ends justify the means.

Of course not.
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:35 AM   #3
Dagobahn Eagle
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Question

Depends on what the progress is (what field, what extent, etc.) and suffering (amount of being suffering, how much they suffer, etc.).

For example:
If you ask me, it right to test cosmetic products on animals? I believe not. Animals should not suffer merely for advances in the cosmetic industry.

But do I think it's acceptable to test an AIDS vaccination or -cure on animals? Absolutely. I don't like animal abuse (I even care about insects!), but I put human lives above animals' lives any day.

You get my drift.
Quote:
I explained to my teacher in a full essay that the question was impossible for me to answer truthfully.
It'd be for me too, to be honest, simply because it's too broad. The best I can do is answer in the way I did above ("it depends on...").

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