The Moral Dilemma of Saving Lives and the Importance of a Strong Filter in Reading

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

May 30, 2024

4 min read


The Moral Dilemma of Saving Lives and the Importance of a Strong Filter in Reading


In the philosophical dilemma of saving lives, one must grapple with the ethical question of whether it is morally commendable to sacrifice the lives of many to save a few. This thought experiment raises important ethical considerations and challenges us to confront the Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics. Furthermore, in the realm of reading, we must navigate through a sea of information and choose wisely what we consume. This article explores the connection between these two seemingly disparate topics and offers actionable advice on how to approach both dilemmas.

The Moral Burden of Saving Lives:

When faced with the dilemma of saving lives, the question arises whether it is justifiable to cause harm to a larger group in order to save a smaller group. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics suggests that any interaction with a problem makes one partially responsible for it. Therefore, even if one's actions only slightly improve the situation or prevent further harm, they still bear the ethical burden of the problem. Consequently, if it is within our power to save lives, we have a moral obligation to do so. The saying, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can," encapsulates the idea that not saving a life when one has the ability to do so is morally abominable.

The Power of Filtering in Reading:

In the realm of reading, the ability to filter through vast amounts of information is crucial. Mark Twain's quote, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them," emphasizes the importance of consuming diverse inputs. However, without a strong filter, we can easily become overwhelmed and paralyzed by the sheer amount of choices. To make the most of reading, we need both an abundance of inputs and an effective filter.

Finding the Right Filter:

Developing a good reading filter is an art rather than a science. Each individual must discover a filtering method that works best for them. The key is to inundate oneself with information while swiftly discerning what is valuable and what is not. It requires a ruthless approach, offering no mercy and taking no prisoners. Similar to dating, if a book fails to capture our interest within the first few pages, it is unlikely to provide a fulfilling reading experience. It is essential to be unafraid of quitting a book or rejecting information that does not resonate with us. By doing so, we can optimize our reading experience and focus on the materials that truly enrich our lives.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the moral responsibility to save lives: When faced with the opportunity to save lives, prioritize the preservation of life over the fear of incurring harm. Remember that not saving a life when one has the means to do so is morally abominable.
  • 2. Seek a balance between input and filtering: In reading, expose yourself to a wide range of inputs to expand your knowledge and perspectives. However, develop a strong filter to quickly discern what is valuable and what is not. Be ruthless in your filtering process to optimize your reading experience.
  • 3. Don't be afraid to quit: If a book or a piece of information fails to capture your interest or provide value, do not hesitate to move on. By quitting unfulfilling reads and rejecting irrelevant information, you can focus on consuming materials that truly resonate with you.


The moral dilemma of saving lives and the importance of effective filtering in reading may seem unrelated at first. However, upon closer examination, we can find common ground in the need for a balanced approach. By embracing our moral responsibility to save lives while also developing a strong filter in reading, we can navigate through life's complexities with a clearer sense of purpose. Remember, it is not only about the quantity of inputs but also the quality of our filtering that determines the richness of our experiences.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)