Tag Archives: world destruction

John Harris

Imagine that there is a button that, if pushed, will cause all sentient life to painlessly cease to suffer forever. […] Would there be no obligation to press the button?

John Harris, ‘Organ Procurement: Dead Interests, Living Needs’, Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 29, no. 3 (2003), p. 134

Bertrand Russell

I once devised a test question which I put to many people to discover whether they were pessimists. The question was: ‘If you had the power to destroy the world, would you do so?’ I put the question to [Bob Trevelyan] in the presence of his wife and child, and he replied: ‘What? Destroy my library?—Never!’

Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: 1872-1914, London, 1967, p. 65