Assume that your immediate family was tied to a bomb and was about to die in an explosion. For some unknown reason, you are the only one that can save them, you can’t get help and you are on a timer. But for another unbeknownst reason, there is a potion that will give you one superpower of your choice. This potion requires the death of your family in order for it to take affect and it will expire once you turn off the bomb that is tied to your family. What would you do? For the sake of simplicity, assume that there are no loopholes. Furthermore, you cannot save them. I don’t have the mental creativity to explain why, but those are the parameters. Would you save them, or would you take the superpowers. And furthermore, what superpower would you choose, and how would you use it?
Let’s assume that you are looking at this from a point of view that concerns the lives you save. Either you save the one closest to you, or you get powers and you can focus that on helping the world as a whole. If you think about it, neither option is more morally correct. If you save your family, its not like you are choosing to preserve the one’s you love over the world population as a whole. In fact if you save your family, you are still saving people in general, and you are denying yourself power over others, which in itself is a selfless act. However, if you choose to get the powers, you do have the capacity to save a greater number of people, but at the same time you grant yourself power over others. By giving yourself powers, you in fact are committing a somewhat selfish act by making yourself an authority over all others. But then again it’s only a problem if you use that power in the wrong way.
So looking at this issue from a moral standpoint yields a fairly even debate. Maybe we should throw morals out the door and focus solely on what you want, regardless of if its selfish or unjust. What you do with your powers and what you want has a huge affect on this question. Maybe this question was never about morals, maybe you saw immediately that having some godly power grants you access to a completely different lifestyle. That is a good incentive, having powers means that you no longer have to abide by any rules and that you can completely shape the way you live, free from legalities and social standards. Its a huge change. Also, perhaps it was all about morals. In which case, you trust yourself completely to never abuse you power and you see yourself as a means of bring peace to earth. That task is much easier said than done. Even if you think you won’t, it is an inevitability that people will disagree with the things you do and they may even paint you as a villain even if you are doing good things. Furthermore, there is also the challenge of knowing whether or not you really can do the things you want. Maybe you have powers, but that doesn’t make you invincible and it doesn’t mean that you can handle all the problems you see. How you value your family actually has the biggest affect on this question. You could value your family more than anything in the world, or maybe you have distant relationships with them. That variable does have a huge affect on your answer to this question. In short, when you saw this question, your first thought was the max potential of choosing powers over family. Then you immediately compared this to the price of your family. So when you break it down, the real purpose of this question was to test just how much you value your family. Its not about how much you value the planet or about about how selfish you are. Its just about how much you value your family.