Monday, September 30, 2019
Guest Blog from Professor Roger Olson: "What if humanity could be saved only by torturing children to death?"
from An Ethical Dilemma Posed in a Stephen King Novel
SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 BY ROGER E. OLSON
"What if…the world, humanity, could only be saved from total obliteration by torturing children to death?
"Spoiler alert! If you intend to read King’s latest novel The Institute you may not want to read this as it contains some details about the plot. I will not, however, give away the ending.
The Institute is not your typical King novel if there is such a thing. It’s not exactly a horror story although it is a horrifying story. It contains some sci-fi elements and some violence but it’s nothing like “It” or “The Shining” or “Pet Sematary.” I would compare it more with “Mister Mercedes” or even “The Stand” in terms of tone.
"Like most of King’s novels and short stories it carries within it an ethical dilemma. What’s the right thing to do in a grievous situation where there does not seem to be a right thing to do?
"Of course, there’s often the hero who intuitively knows the right thing and does it.
"But here is the intriguing question embedded in The Institute: If the world, humanity, the whole of nature on earth, could only be saved by kidnapping and torturing children with the inevitable result that they die, would doing that be ethically justified?"
READ THE REST OF PROFESSOR ROGER OLSON'S ETHICAL REFLECTION BASED UPON STEPHEN KING'S NOVEL, THE INSTITUTE at:
In the Light of Moral Realism,