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 firstname.lastname@example.org