At Stake…

You have the power to cure all the world’s diseases but the price for this is that you must kill a single innocent child, could you kill that child?

Thats the question asked by the protagonist during the climax of Swordfish… I have thought about that question many times, asked it to a few ppl too… Frankly, the answer might tell you something about yourself; About if you can in metaphorical terms ‘pull the trigger’ when the time comes… But what is usually ignored is that, this question is not entirely complete…

The amount of information given is very small compared to what is put at stake… One might wonder about what is to happen to the child after being spared or what about the people of the world, will they live forever? But that actually also does not matter… the question is just a test… there is not child in harms way or no cure for all world’s diseases…

But what if you have the choice to choose between an ethical compromise and helping someone?

What if someone approached you to help some deeply in need. Your heart goes out for the person in need but you doubt the authenticity of the person in front of you. Would you extend you hand to help them knowing full well that you might be getting conned or would you walk away knowing somewhere in your heart that you possibly refused to help someone who direly needed your help.

You might consider weighing your options… but what if the decision has to be made at the moment?

Lets raise the stakes…

What if the help is not insignificant for you? What if your help would be a huge boost for the person in need?

Thinking? Lets see how far we can go with this

What if the help is very significant for you? What if your help would could save someone’s life?

—-

I read a short story a long time back, it was about a barber who was visited by the Dictator of the land. He had in his hand the sharp blade and in front of him the throat of a tyrant who had tortured and destroyed his country. Professional ethics dictated that he do his job and not be biased the political situation…

What would you have done?

During the entire time he is shaving the Dictator’s beard, the barber mentally tries to make the decision… In the end, he does his job. The Dictator walks away a clean shaven man…

So did the Barber make the right call?

I believe, the amount of information given is very small compared to what is put at stake…

  • Hemanth

    Like you have clearly pointed out, the premise to begin with might not be complete. But it bears an uncanny resemblance to any situation in life, there is always something you wished you had known earlier…. after you make a decision :)
    How you feel is relevant only to you, but what you do (even as a result of how you feel) is relevant to everyone around you ….. the hard truth. So i guess it comes down to saying,either … i am going to play this one for me, or…. i am going to play this one for someone/everyone else. Judging the choice however is a catch 22.

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  • Dhananjay Patil

    Great elaboration … ! but one word ‘ sticks ‘ in my eyes …and that is ” Ethical compromise ” …
    is there anything like that ?
    Mahatma Gandhi had once said that , ” All Compromise is based on give and take , but there can’t be give and take on fundamentals .Any compromise on fundamentals is a mere surrender . For it is all give and no take ….”