The Problem of the Conjoined Twins
I will be the first to admit that ethics is not my main area in Philosophy. In fact, it is probably my weakest area. With that said, here is a very interesting problem all ethical theories need to deal with. Oddly enough, I thought up this example today walking across campus.
Imagine a pair of conjoined twins. Suppose that they cannot be seperated because they share many of the same organs. Ethically, how would one handle this case. One of the twins murders someone and is convicted. However, the other twin had nothing to do with the murder. Do you send both of them to prison, thus punishing the innocent twin? Or do you let the innocent one go free, thus letting the guilty one go unpunished?
It seems the problem here is with this: Something unfair will happen. However, is it more morally responsible to punish an innocent person, or to let a guilty person go unpunished? Hence, which normitive duty over-rides the other? The duty to punish guilty people, or the duty to not punish innocent people?
"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions