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cockswain's avatar

Are Dead Pools unethical?

Asked by cockswain (15186 points ) May 24th, 2011

Dead Pools are when you put money in a pool and create a list of people you think are most likely to die in the next year. If you pick the most people that die, you win the pool.

Is this unethical? Assume the winnings are maybe a few hundred dollars, and no one is trying to influence someone’s untimely demise to win money. Is this form of betting unethical?

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13 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I will be soooooo rich, the 22nd of October. You’re all going to dieeeeeeee.
Unethical i don’t know, but i would not play such pools personally since i would have the feeling that i should be happy when persons on my list die and i would win some money.
That to me is a bit sick.

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t know if they’re unethical, but expect to be the prime suspect in a murder investigation if you win a lot of money…

cockswain's avatar

Which is why I said in the details to assume the prize is only a few hundred dollars. If the prize was millions, there would be a strong motive to conspire to commit murder. Which makes me wonder if the super wealthy and bored have ever done something like that to amuse themselves.

Blueroses's avatar

Like a tontine?

I wouldn’t have an ethical problem betting on a list of well-known, public personalities but I would draw the line at putting money on the mortality of people I know.

josie's avatar

Only if by doing so, you would cause their death.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Eh, it’s kind of silly and some would think it’s unethical ‘cause you shouldn’t joke around about people dying. I guess you should think about your mother and if she were sick, let’s say, and your buddies would make a dead pool on her, how’d you feel?

YARNLADY's avatar

Most forms of gambling are illegal in some places, so that would include any type of pool.

ucme's avatar

Anyone picks Mickey Rooney & you’re fucked, that bastard will live forever!
My money’s on the Duke of Edinburgh (The husband of Queen Elizabeth II)

XOIIO's avatar

@rebbel 21st, actually

rebbel's avatar

I always collect my winnings the day after @XOIIO .

augustlan's avatar

I wouldn’t call it unethical, since you’re not actually harming them. I do think it’s in bad taste though, and it would make me feel squicky.

manolla's avatar

I wouldn’t like to know that there are people putting thier money to see me die in a year, it is unethical to actually think about that and want to make money out of it instead of feeling sad.

It makes me hope that the people who put thier money into it actually die before the person they intended to see dead.

cockswain's avatar

Thanks for the answers. I personally feel it isn’t a big deal unless you are close to the people involved. I wouldn’t want my friends putting my mother on the list, and I get that the celebrities on Dead Pool lists are someones’s relative. But to me it isn’t unethical because of the degree by which one is typically removed by those on the list.

Sort of how things work in our society: I hear if there is a shooting in my city, but not about the “routine” crimes in New York, and certainly not Japan. People in the US flood assistance to those victims of natural disaster in the US until the problem is fixed far more than people are helping the Haitians. Hell, I was just reading a bit recently about how the Indonesian tsumani in 2005 still has a strong negative impact. Thinking on it a bit more, I suppose one could make a strong counter-argument using Katrina/New Orleans as an example, but I’ve wandered off topic.

I agree it does seem in bad taste, and I’ve never participated in one and doubt I will. But I was wondering how people felt it fell under the nebulous realm of ethics.

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