SACRIFICE ONE TO SAVE MANY
The dilemma of killing one person to save many people seems to be a simple enough concept to understand. But a classic moral dilemma always pits two different values against one another. What are the two values in conflict here? It is the ethical concept to save life versus the ethical prohibition to kill and end a life. In this case, the only way to save many lives is to do the unthinkable, and actually kill someone innocent and end his or her life. Rather than discuss this dilemma in the abstract, actual scenarios based on real-life cases will be presented. However, instead of having to decide what to do in a matter of seconds, as is the situation that occurs quite regularly in reality, this chapter will present what Judaism believes is the right action based on the myriad of ancient sources.
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The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values
By Nachum Amsel
Urim Publications, 9789655241631
(Those who would like to see all of the original quotations in Hebrew can find this in the printed appendix to the book.)
Excerpted with permission from the author.