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Jack Weinstein

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War favors the young. Children and teens are regularly sent to kill and be killed. But recently, in Japan, a group of retirees offered to sacrifice themselves by working to repair the dangerously irradiated Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. They are explicit that they want to go in the place of younger people with more of a future.

Click here for an article from NPR, including an audio and text version of it.

The question before us, is whether it is moral to take age into account like this. Clearly, the people are volunteers, but suppose they weren’t. Would it be wrong then? Isn’t there a case to be made that relying on the elderly in cases like this limits the collective damage? On the other had, don’t all people, regardless of age have equal moral worth? I’m wondering what your thoughts are.

Thanks long time reader, Elizabeth, for sending me the article and the idea for the blog entry! If you have ideas for the blog, send them to

One comment on “Should age be a factor in sending people to die?

  1. rxantos says:

    Well, that will depend if you believe that society OWNS the life of individuals or not.

    If a person have a chance to die doing an activity and you do not tell them or foce them to do the activity you will have their blood in your hands. You are not any better than a murderer. And a hypocrat if you yourself do not place your life in danger when doing so.

    At the end it should be up to each individual to choose if they sacrifice or not.

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