If you see Bill Gates is drowning, and you know how to swim, and there's no one around except you. Would you save him?

@redstarfish I'd save him. It'd be wrong not to. Of course, then I'd install Linux on his computer wasn't looking.

@redstarfish Are we seriously considering wether we must let *person* die?

This isn't funny on any level. No matter how much I disagree with what MSFT and Gates did, standing by and letting that person die is .... well... . I mean, seriously, this is a human. A person who loves and is loved. Even considering this is arguably worse than what Gates ever did. It's beyond "stooping to his level", its diving way below that.

@Lofenyy @redstarfish yes.

Because it is not up to me, a single person, to determine whether someone else is allowed to live or not.

@berkes @redstarfish Hitler, a single person, dictated whether or not millions of innocent human beings were allowed to live or not. He decided no, based solely on their race.

And you believe that it's not your place to prevent the deaths of millions of human beings from dying in the most horrible ways simply because you'd rather wait around for someone else to solve the problem for you?

@Lofenyy @redstarfish That's a silly argument that requires a lot of details.

But sure, if I'm the only person who has all 2021 knowledge, and am the only person who can decide in 1930 wether Hitler should live on, sure, making that decision might be warranted.

but that's so silly and hypothetical, it makes 0 sense to even think about it.

@berkes @redstarfish In the 60's, it was silly and hypothetical to ever consider the possibility that one day wireless telephones could exist where both callers could see each other face to face upon a screen while being large distances away.

@Lofenyy uuhhm... what?

Are you now considering letting Lars Magnus Ericsson drown in 1875 or what is your point?

@berkes My point is that you aught to open your mind a little. You might actually learn something.

It's also impolite to be condescending to strangers on the internet, just because you don't care to think beyond your little bubble you've labeled as pragmatism, but I'm sure you already knew that.

"I am 16 and just taken my first philosophy class"


The original question was about Bill Gates, no need to take the extreme cases like AH.

@berkes @redstarfish

@selea @berkes @redstarfish It was a hypothetical. Challenging the idea that sometimes, it does make honest sense to do something no one would ever want to do, in the name of bringing about a better world.

Bill Gates is a tough question, and it's fair to side on saving his life, but Hitler should obviously not be saved. It's essentially the one rare instance where not saving someone is the ethical choice.

@selea @berkes @redstarfish I guess my point is, I thought it'd be interesting to ask where that boundary lies, which is why I asked. To hear back that someone would actually save a drowning Hitler, was shocking. To save Hitler would mean to end so many innocent lives in horrific ways.


No it was not actually, what @berkes wrote makes actually total sense.
If we would see the 5-year old hitler drowning - would you save him? Even if you did not have the knowledge of what he would become?
Should we let everyone drown because of what they might become?

No, that is completely silly, and completely inhumane.


@selea @Lofenyy @berkes @redstarfish

I agree with @selea and @berkes - this question belies a dehumanization of those we disagree with, and I find it in extraordinarily poor taste.

@berkes @redstarfish
I wholeheartedly agree!
As much as I hate monopolist billionaires, he's still a living creature capable of learning and changing, and (let's be honest) a product and symptom of the way 'we' organised our society...

@redstarfish yes, I bet this could be turned to economic advantage somehow.

@redstarfish I would... then ask him to donate a nice smack of cash towards FLOSS projects.

@redstarfish I mean, he's definitely not a bad dude so idk why you wouldn't. Probably one of the least corrupt known billionaire's

@Torden @redstarfish if this poll named Mark Zuckerberg, I bet the results would be flipped.

@redstarfish Why all the hate for Bill Gates? I mean what he did while he was CEO at M$ is nothing compared what Google, Apple and Facebook do today. M$ was (and still is) greedy but our Big Tech today doesn't even bother, they go straight to blackmail governments and let them do the dirty work.

And btw. Bill Gates and his Foundation spend more money on health research than probably a lot of countries do.

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