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Tolerance Test(20 posts)

Tolerance TestWayne
Jun 27, 2002 4:57 AM
O.K. lets see where you really fall on this tolerance issue:
An 4-month pregnant mother of a 2yr old and a 13yr old returns from missionary work in Zaire. Unfortunately all three have contracted a parasite that will kill them within about 3 months. Fortunately this parasite is easily removed with a standard drug therapy if they start soon and they should all live happy lives except for the fetus which will be aborted due to the drugs. Mom belongs to that sect of christianity that doesn't believe in medical intervention and rely only on prayer to bring god's benevolent intervention.

This parasite is 100% fatal and the cure is 100% effective. So do we, as tolerant Americans respect her religious views and allow mom to reject medical intervention leading to the inevitable death of her, her fetus, and her 2 and 13 yr old children?

After a few days of reflection, Johnny her 13 yr old son decides he doesn't trust the big fellow upstairs and wants to take the sure deal, as a minor his mother must consent to his treatment but she refuses. Does he get the drugs or not?

Finally, 3 months down the road mom is about to expire and her fetus is now 7 months old and viable outside the womb with medical intervention. Mom doesn't consent to it, in fact she expressly forbids it when she dies is it all right for the docs to perform a C-section and save the fetus, again violating her religious beliefs?

Discuss....
re: Tolerance TestDougSloan
Jun 27, 2002 5:42 AM
Wow, that's certainly a tough one. I'm not sure it really tests tolerance, though, as it does common sense.

Children cannot make life threatening decisions for themselves. The 2 year old and the 13 year old get the drugs.

Unless it is contagious, mom does not get the drugs. Following the same reasoning above, the child gets c-sectioned.

Doug
Sure it tests tolerance...Wayne
Jun 27, 2002 6:02 AM
you are being intolerant of her religious beliefs which are medical intervention is wrong and her lives and those of her children are entirely in the hands of God. What if she believes that by rejecting God and excepting the medical intervention she sends her children to an eternity of damnation in the fiery pits of hell? What's a little early exit from our mortal bonds compared to an eternity of pain and misery at the hands of the dark lord?

So you believe society is responsible for the welfare of children and not the parents who made the decision to bring them into existence?

If you're going to be tolerant of other persons beliefs you gotta be willing to stomach the ugly ones too!
ok, how about this one?DougSloan
Jun 27, 2002 6:14 AM
A mother has a religious belief that every 2nd child she bears should be sacraficed and eaten by other family members when it reaches the age of 5.

The 2nd child of this mother is age 4 years, 11 months, and you work for the county department of family services. You find out about this situation. What do you do?

The point is, we have priorities of beliefs. While religious beliefs are very important, a higher priority is the sanctity of life, particularly for the young and innocent.

Do we also tolerate the Taliban killing thousands? Should we respect their religious beliefs in that way?

There is a difference between tolerance and blind acceptance of stupidity and evil.

Doug
LOL. "post of the week". nmJS Haiku Shop
Jun 27, 2002 7:40 AM
Question: Do I work in Fresno or ancient Babbalon? (nm)Kristin
Jun 27, 2002 8:41 AM
Agree with Dougmtber
Jun 27, 2002 6:37 AM
No question here. Kids get drug. Baby gets delivered after mother dies. NO ONE has the right to force their religious (or otherwise) beliefs on another.

IMHO religious beliefs have done much more harm than good in this world, however that is a whole 'nother subject.
this is probably the right answer, nmweiwentg
Jun 27, 2002 7:53 AM
Tolerance is the wrong approach entirelyAllisonHayes
Jun 27, 2002 7:36 AM
Tolerance has become a virtue and is what political correctness is all about. In practice it means leaving each other alone and letting others do what they want without interference. Tolerance means that I will indulge your behavior even though it differs from my beliefs.

Tolerance leads to separation of groups and ideas without trying to understand the differences:

-it does nothing to break down the walls of misunderstanding between people
-it does nothing to improve moral and ethical conduct
-it does nothing to determine if there are higher standards by which to behave.

Tolerance is a weak sister to respect and love and understanding. These are what bring people together.

And there are times when one's beliefs need to be subsumed to a higher authority where a life may be endangered. This has nothing to do with tolerance, but with having a higher--and legal--standard. So, I would say that medical intervention should be administered.

Just my opinion,

Allison
The Ethical QuagmireJon Billheimer
Jun 27, 2002 8:04 AM
I believe it was John Stuart Mill who came up with the idea of harm to others as a situational ethical guideline. And in our legal and social ethics this has become a more or less guiding principle. So tolerance of others' behaviours and beliefs is circumbscribed by their probable effects on others. If one's beliefs will lead to actions which harm others or the community then the community through its courts, police, and public opinion are justified in being intolerant of that particular set of beliefs.

Doug's solution is a common-sense one which takes into account the harm principle. However, here's another angle: the mother by choosing to end her life because of her religious beliefs is also going to do harm to her children, family, and friends, depriving them of her roles as mother, provider, etc. So should she be allowed to refuse the medication? Ditto, for the eating the second child routine, etc.

Aristotle made a comment about ethics to the effect that this is an area of inevitable imprecision, but somehow we all muddle through.

Although I generally fall on the liberal end of the spectrum when it comes to tolerance and ethics I do understand the moral absolutists' concerns that at a certain point we throw the baby out with the bathwater, ending up in a state of normlessness or anomie, which the sociologist Emile Durkheim observed accompanies the functional breakdown of a community. Food for thought.
Yeah, but those pills to increase intelligence don't really workKristin
Jun 27, 2002 8:10 AM
Just a thought... The dictionary definition of tolerate that I looked up yesterday is:

tol•er•ate
tr.v. tol•er•at•ed, tol•er•at•ing, tol•er•ates
1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
2. To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others).
3. To put up with; endure. See Synonyms at bear.

You come close to the original idea of tolerance when you said: "Tolerance is a weak sister to respect and love and understanding. These are what bring people together."

Its the same old story. Instead of thinking through issues carefully, people tend to believe everything they see on TV and react in kind. To alter the meaning of an idea like tolerance you simply need a few uninformed fools with a microphones--how many uninformed fools are in Hollywood these days?? Suddenly, a good idea like tolerance is distorted completely.
They don't work?AllisonHayes
Jun 27, 2002 11:22 AM
Do ya' think Ron Teeguarden might be selling us a wee bit of snake oil...I can't tolerate that kind of a scam! :)

AllisonHayes "Disappearing refusenik posts" 6/20/02 10:44am

I wonder if it helped weiwentg?
You know whats so frustrating?Kristin
Jun 27, 2002 8:20 AM
We live in a society that believes there is only one right answer to a question. Its a cultural thing that I have to fight within myself. There are a million acceptable answers to this delema and not a perfect one in the bunch. This situation sucks regardless, because either way, loss is involved.
Life is difficult! Accept the ambiguity and be happy! nmLen J
Jun 27, 2002 8:52 AM
Kristen gets the A...Wayne
Jun 27, 2002 9:25 AM
because there is no right answer and morality is ambiguous to a large extent and certainly situational (just think about the old thou shalt not kill). Doug certainly expresses the mainstream view. I thought of this scenario because I knew a man whose wife's job largely consisted of taking these type of people to court for the government to force medicine on their children. I'll give you my viewpoint. The 13 yr old boy definitely gets the drugs because he shows the conscious ability to think about the situation and can decide for himself. Mom doesn't have to take the drugs, she's a fully capable human being who can make her own decisions no matter how reprehensible we find it. Arguements that she "hurts" her children by dieing are not a direct cause/effect situation so don't hold water. They might even be better off without her! The fetus is also easy, it gets saved as soon as mom dies because her existence is no longer and she becomes irrelevent. So if the state or relatives want the baby then it gets saved. The 2 yr old is the hard-one. I believe heavily in personal responsibility and if you bring kids into the world they are yours to raise not societies. That being said society will not allow certain abuses to go on and has a right to take a child in extreme situations. Emotionally I say the kid gets the drugs, but am I endangering her eternal well-being? See I'm really an agnostic not an atheist so I don't know what if anything is out there (but I suspect nothing). Tough question, emotionally I say yes she gets the drugs on a personal freedom/responsiblity, rational level I say sorry, as much as it sucks, mom thinks she knows best and you die, hope there's an eternal happiness out there for you.
re: Tolerance Testjrm
Jun 27, 2002 10:52 AM
hey if the mother makes the choice to die, and in the process killing the fetus, it is here body. Asumming that the authories warrent the mothers decision as not in the best interest of the children the children would live.
but suffer eternal damnation! (nm)Wayne
Jun 27, 2002 10:57 AM
thats great that she has such strong beliefs and is...OutWest
Jun 27, 2002 1:44 PM
...willing to die for them but that doesn't mean everybody else shares them. Her attitude is selfish. Her children have yet to decide their beliefs and until then they get the drugs (IMHO). If she dies because of her beliefs then perhaps they will be so impressed they will follow in her faith, more likely they will be turned off to it. Isn't she coming close to attempted murder by insisting her children must die?
I am a Christian, my wife isn't, I hope she will join me but thats up to her (and God). We have 3 children, they go to church with me, I hope that they will become Christians one day but I am sure as heck not going to try to force them. I try to set an example, not ram my opinions down anybodies throats!
One other point, as a Christian she must realize that we are all sinners and that our sins are forgiven when we accept Christ. This "sin" of accepting medical intervention came from a source outside of the Christian beliefs I know. Why would God give us the ability to administer to ourselves then punish us for using that ability?
Not much of an answer and I am sure glad I don't have to make a decision like that. Good question though, I spent an hour trying to answer it and had to really think about it. It really helps to get the brain working when you tackle moral questions like this.
No, actually it's just sad...Wayne
Jun 28, 2002 4:49 AM
that her belief system would allow her to let kids die (a certainty) on the off chance there really is an after-life (not a certainty by anyone's definition of certainty) or that she somehow has been lucky enough to hit upon that belief system that has it all right about the afterlife and what god requires to get there. In a perfect world this decision would never have to be made but the fact is there are people in this country that deny their children medical attention because of religious beliefs.
you all flunk the test!Hap
Jun 28, 2002 3:00 PM
Wayne's question is tricky indeed but you all have failed to see the issue. You condemn the mother for allowing her children to die and you choose intervene to save them. But your actions are based on your belief system and with no regard for the beliefs of the mother. Who are you to say you're right and she's wrong.

Let's try this. You're traveling in a third world country with your children. Your 4 year old son gets ill. You see a doctor. You're not too impressed with the doctor or the hospital. The doctor tells you that your son has a rare disease that is quite often fatal and must be treated with a drug that is normally effective but sometimes has bad side effects. You decide to return to the US for a second opinion. The local authorities inform you that time is of the essence and local law dictates that you must allow your son to have the treatment at once. How do you feel?

#2 - In the orginal case, the treatment for the parasite is 100% effective but it costs $1,000,000.00 per dose. Because of the ladies beliefs, she does not have medical insurance. Who pays for the forced treatment?

#3 Doug, you said the children can't decide for themselves and the mother made the wrong decision so society should step in and decide form them. You are a new parent and I think that you will soon find that you want to be the one making the choices in regard to the welfare of your son. You won't want strangers with a value set different from your own making these decisions for you.