Question of the Week #288

Would you be willing to murder an innocent child to end hunger in the world? If so, what if the child had to be yours?

There’s no such thing as an innocent child!

Said the heartless super villain who would have no problem killing a child to eliminate world hunger for the greater good. And that’s why the villain is always the hero of their own story.

For a long time, I’ve seen the logic in this sort of scenario. Maybe I watched too much Star Trek growing up. But I’m reminded of Spock’s immortal words, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” This means that the sacrifice of one innocent child is acceptable in order to save countless millions from starvation. Right?

I worry about myself a little when I begin looking at characters like Thanos and thinking that he’s not wrong… If you haven’t kept up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos was the big bad that they were building to for roughly a decade. His ultimate goal was to collect all six of the Infinity Stones which would basically make him omnipotent. With a snap of his fingers, he could do anything he wanted. And he wanted to erase half of the universe’s population from existence. His reasoning? Because when there are only half as many mouths to feed in the universe, each world’s natural resources suddenly become abundant. See? He’s not wrong…

But, I mean, you’re basically killing trillions of beings in this fictional reality where countless planets are populated by sentient life. If those Infinity Stones make you omnipotent, why not snap your fingers and increase each world’s natural resources by double? You solve the same problem without killing half of all life.

I digress…

Can you see where my head’s at, though? Sometimes that super villain logic really does make sense. You have to do something unconscionable in order to make the world a better place.

But if it came down to it, could I pull the trigger? Could I be the one who sentences some random innocent child to death so that no one would ever know hunger? Heck no. I wouldn’t be able to carry that guilt with me for the rest of my life.

And if it was my own kid? Forget about it. This is the kind of philosophical debate that would come up in Sunday school classes growing up whenever we’d talk about God willingly sending Jesus knowing that He would be crucified for the sins of mankind. The question always comes up… Could you sacrifice your only child for all of humanity?

No… But I’m not God.

Could you do it? Would you be willing to take the life of one child so that world hunger became a thing of legend? Let me know what you think down in the comments.

*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

7 thoughts on “Question of the Week #288

  1. In a television show I watch, this happened. Well not the hunger portion specifically, but someone having to kill an innocent child in order to save the world. It was heartwrenching enough to watch in a fictional situation, I could never do it myself, not for anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First reaction: No. I couldn’t. Not even if it would work. After that: there was/is/ever only will be one child and only one father with the needed ability. It’s not a question we humans could ever face and honestly consider. It’s a fairy tale question. It kind of lets us off the hook for having to deeply consider questions that could change the course of our life. Safe questions only, no real thinking involved. I’m finding I like unsafe questions with real consequential life changing answers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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