Read all of this before you answer.
I was gong to ask Sam: If I have five people in a hospital, one needs a heart; the other a liver; the other a pancreas; the other two kidneys in order to survive, and then I had a healthy person, would it be moral to kill the healthy person and harvest his organs in order to save the 4 that are bout to die, since this contributes to the well being of more sentient beings?
THEN I THOUGHT OF THE ANSWER MYSELF: It doesn’t contribute to the well being of more conscious creatures since a world where any healthy person could be randomly killed for the sake of others would create a society of fear, where people are afraid to leave their house, people would seek revenge upon doctors who killed their siblings, mothers, brothers e.t.c the pessimism would be detrimental to the economy and so on.
BUT WHAT IF: This wasn’t a daily occurence. What if it happened so rarely as to be negligible to the well being of the general population, but when it did happen 4 conscious beings would be benefited for the sacrifice of one.
Would that then be moral?
Not moral, if it is against the will of the one healthy person.
It is not enough to say “conscious creatures” without a deeper understanding of consciousness itself. “Conscious creatures”, in the context outlined in your scenario, suggests a particular conscious activity. The activity of being merely conscious about the idea of death. To be consumed with this idea (and death, afterall, is only an idea, because no-one has reported the experience of it for us to know what it actually is, as an experience) is to not necessarily be, say, universally conscious, or supremely awake, or aware of consciousness itself, but only to be narrowly attentive to one’s own apparent existence. To be so narrowly attentive is nothing more that being actually unconscious. And such unconsciousness (a narrow view of oneself as an isolated being seperate from others, including the healthy one of your scenario) is not “moral” in the context which Sam Harris attempts to elucidate.