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The Survival Lottery

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 812
  • Category: Survival

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In this paper I will be addressing the issue of quantity of life over quality. John Harris, the author of ” The Survival Lottery,” argues that two human lives should be saved by the sacrifice of one. He argues that the hypothetical situation of Y and Z having a malfunctioning organ, and being faced with death, can be solved. The solution to his problem is to sacrifice one healthy man to save Y and Z. I believe that this is a truly mathematical approach and cannot be applied to life. Harris’s had many, many arguments for this idea of a lottery for life.

I thought 6 arguments really represented his ideas and arguments. First, he assumes that organ transplanting is perfected. Second, he is giving the entire population a better chance to live. The statistics will increase based on his other thoughts and assumptions in this argument. Thirdly, the lottery is for everyone; from the president and children to the homeless. Fourthly, this policy would be accepted and appreciated by everyone after the proverbial sugar coating. “Implementing suitable euphemisms” for the terms with negative connotations. For example: “killed” should be replaced with “giving life. ”

Fifthly, people who have brought the need for an organ transplant on themselves would be out of the lottery. A smoker with emphazema and an alcoholic with a bad liver would not be able to have an innocent person die for them because it is their own fault. Sixthly, the argument that person A (the one “giving life”) should not be sacrificed because you can not put a number on individuality, is immediately countered by Y and Z, they would argue that they could not put a number on their individuality either.

Harris is wrong for so many reasons. His arguments though more numerous than mine, are not the quality of mine. isn’t that the issue anyways? ) I have responses to each of his and four of my own. His first argument was that organ transplanting was perfected. Unfortunately its not, and it never will be. Operations will be done wrong, misdiagnosis will be made, and these will be even more costly now that an innocent life is being gambled. It has and always will be a gamble nothing is perfect. Secondly, Harris says that he is giving everyone a better chance at life. Wrong again, every one has the same chance at life, the duration is the question. Also because someone has a longer life, it in no way means they have a better one.

Thirdly, he argued that everyone would be in it, to make it fair. Well, another constant in society is corruption. Money being the main access to getting out of situations like this would most defiantly corrupt the situation causing a large class separation and huge conflict between the rich and the poor. Making the entire populations life expectancy shorter, defeating the point of his plan and lowering the quality of life, that he disregards so much, in the process. Fourthly, Harris Basically stated that with a little sugar coating everyone would accept his plan with open arms.

Well, there is no doubt that the media has a huge influence on people. However, it has yet to convince the public to give up their lives to become socially acceptable on a large scale. Fifthly, Harris stated that over indulgers would be out of the lottery. Combining two of my previous arguments, money and misdiagnosis would come into play and corrupt the system. Sixthly, Harris argued that no number could be put on individuality. How then can he make a moral formula with no knowledge of the situation? The lottery could conceivably kill children to save mass murdering alcoholic drug abusers.

Nicely done Mr. Harris. My additional arguments to his idea of a life lottery are simple and undeniable. First, people would run, survival is an instinct. Maybe they would get caught, but the people who are dying don’t have much time. So, Y and Z might die while A is being hunted down. Again defeating the purpose of Harris’ argument. Secondly, Harris is arguing a numbers game. Well it is ridiculous to think that because one life was already sacrificed to save Y and Z’s lives means that they wont get sick again. As people get older, organ failures are more common.

Many people would be needed to keep these people going… many more than two as a matter of fact. Defeating the purpose of his argument again. Thirdly, this instant solution would impede progress of further research of alternative cures. Worsening Mr. Harris’ odds of maximizing life expectancy. Finally, Harris failed to explain how all of this plan would work. Well Mr. Harris, I happen to know that a major social change would need a lot of thinking and planning. Obviously Harris’ ideas are not sufficiently supported, so his ideas should not even be considered by anyone.

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