Monday, 3 December 2012

The Depth of Singer's Pond

I’m looking at this post:
rescue rule
and wondering whether or not there is behind it some ironic intent some manner of ‘modest proposal’ but there doesn’t seem to be, no it’s just that rationalist sincerity in the following a principle to the brink of absurdity and then over the cliff treading air like the coyote in the cartoon. Neep-neep.

So we are to say to the Chilean or Chinese miners trapped underground sorry about that, Massa Beancounter says that you must left there as the cost of drawing you from live entombment is too great and the money might be better spent on speed traps which would save vastly more lives. Sorry about that chums.

How deep is Singer’s pond, how heavy is the fat man that is to be cast upon the tracks? Hark the unutterable pathos of the violinist!

2 comments:

ktismatics said...

I tried to decide what I think about your post and the one to which you link. Instead I found myself doing some informational strip-mining on the 2010 Chilean disaster. The mine had already experienced a number of prior collapses, resulting in 8 deaths in the 12 years preceding the famous collapse. Between 2004 and 2010 the government had levied 42 fines on the mine owners for safety violations. In all likelihood these fines were merely scratching the surface: due to budgetary cutbacks there were only 3 inspectors assigned to 884 mines in the region.

When the big collapse trapped 33 miners a half-mile underground, the mining company declared bankruptcy, throwing responsibility for the rescue onto the government. The human drama held the world in empathic captivity culminating in the nearly miraculous release. In the immediate aftermath the Chilean President fired the head of the mining regulatory agency, vowing a major overhaul. Within weeks 18 other mines were closed for safety reasons, while another 300 were put on probation pending repairs and installation of adequate safeguards.

ombhurbhuva said...

Thanks for that background.
Singer shares with The Shadow the power to cloud men’s minds. Wouldn’t the Samaritan have been much better off leaving the hapless traveller to his fate and putting all that energy into helping several other people? It’s not triage like a real war where there are several live options before you which have to rank. The idea that you abandon the good that is before you to do in order to do good for unknown unmet with individuals is a false dichotomy based on a twisted consequentialism or preference utilitarianism.