So my good online friend burger_eater posted this question on his LJ today. (Summary: your only child, a 5 year old girl, has been turned to a vampire without warning, and without knowledge of how. Knowing she'll live forever as a child will you turn yourselves into vampires to care for her?
My response was:
Too too too many variables in that to answer. I need the specs on the type ov vampire, variations base on age (do you get stronger as you age, etc), position of vampires in society, existence or not of organization surrounding either or both vampires and hunters, etc., etc., and so on. Without that, reasonable answers range from "Hell yeah, we're changing!" to staking my own daughter out of mercy and necessity. And I do have a 6 year old daughter who was five only a week ago.
burger_eater responded with "you can't find out that information", and the discussion went a couple on in that vein.
I sensed some frustration there in that I think he felt it was a chilling but fairly clear choice one way or the other. To me, though, any such hypothetical can't be presented that way, because the decision is predicated on the precise details of the situation. This may come from the fact that I've been a roleplaying gamer (RPGer) for... um... 34 years now. Present me with a character-type choice, I'll analyze it the way I would playing the game. I want to know the rules. I want the stats of my opposition. I want to know the limits and advantages of the choices. It's like asking "would you throw the switch on a condemned prisoner"? Some people may answer "yes" automatically, and others may answer "no" automatically, but I'll answer "What was he condemned for? Do I think he got a raw deal on the trial? Why am I in the position of throwing the switch -- what's my authority?" and so on.
In that specific case, of course, he presented it in a context that is a VERY strong emotional one for any parent. As I pointed out, I *have* a little girl about that age, and so making a snap decision about how to address it just wouldn't EVER happen. I'd exhaust all possible resources to address and define the problem before making any decisions.
How many others out there are like me? Or are most of you more able to block out the questions and just answer the hypotheticals as framed?