In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is reported that in Italy there is a shortage in medical supplies and doctors are now making choices about who to save and who to leave unattended to die. There are reports that the selection doctors make are in favor of the younger ones. (Source)
If this is the case, then we are dealing with something worse than the death of some people. We are dealing with the death of civilization per se.
Because there is nothing worse than arrogance. Arrogance that man can ride at the level of God and play God’s role. Arrogance that someone can decide who lives and who dies.
It is such arrogance that made crimes as the Holocaust possible. Don’t be fooled. The devil always comes disguised as an angel.
Sure, there is logic in selecting the younger ones for survival. But a wrong logic altogether. What if that young person is someone terrible who commits crimes? What if the older person who is left to die is an honorable person who had devoted his life to saving others? What if that younger person you saved went on to rape children? What if that old person you killed was an experienced heart surgeon who was going to save the life of a prime minister who would in turn save the world from the next world war? What if that older person was you?
Any logic applied in selecting who lives and who dies, at the end, promotes death. Not life. Death of the ones not selected. Death of a civilization that once upon a time called for saving the weak not because they could survive, but especially because they couldn’t!
And in the faces of the people you will not see men and women dying.
But a whole civilization crying…
PS 1. But what should we do? could someone still ask. Shouldn’t we decide something? The answer is simple and already given: we should do nothing! In the case of such life or death dilemmas men should not decide! We cannot play God. Treat people with a “first come first served” priority (and no, no two people arrive simultaneously, simultaneous events do not exist even in theoretical physics). So simple. So “irrational” with regards to our death-loving distorted logic. These dilemmas have been solved a long time ago in modern European law tradition. We are here not to play the role of fate. We are here to suffer it.
PS 2. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is no “trolley problem” as such. In such cases, one should not do anything, i.e. one should not try to play God. The solution to such infamous problems is that you try for the best, without playing the role of fate as we so much like to do these days…