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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    You have just escaped a sinking ship, and are in a lifeboat with a maximum persons cargo of two. There are two unconscious people with you, thus exceeding the maximum the lifeboat will carry by one. The lifeboat will sink if you do not act quickly. The unconscious people are your gender, body type, and disposition.

    You cannot wake the unconscious people, nor hang off the side of the boat, or do anything whatsoever to save everyone on board the lifeboat. If someone is to leave the craft, they will die.

    You now have three options:
    1. Throw one of the unconscious people overboard.
    2. Throw yourself overboard.
    3. All three of you die.


    What would you do?

    Is that the right thing to do?

    What is the right thing to do?


    ((I must stress that you not overanalyze this-do not look at the logic of the events leading up to the situation, nor anything pertaining to saving all three people even if it is in vain, etc. etc. This is supposed to be a moral/ethical discussion-emphasis being on the choice and rationale therein. Please use it as such. Thank you.))
    Last edited by Ranis; 2007-05-08 at 11:06 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    If there was even a chance that the unconscious people would survive, I would throw myself overboard.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Throw one of the unconscious people overboard. I have a lot less to gain by saving them both and risking my safety than I do by (almost) ensuring my own
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    I would throw off both the unconcious people and save someone who have a chance at surviving. You said yourself that the unconcious ones can't be woken. That's as good as dead.

    Assuming I can't have that option, I'll throw off one unconcious person. preferably the one more likely to die before the rescue crew arrives.

    EDIT: These conclusions are under the assumption that it would be days until a rescue crew arrives.
    Last edited by Jack Squat; 2007-05-08 at 10:25 AM.

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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    This largely depends on who the unconcious people are, but I would most likely throw one overboard and save myself and one other. The third choice is just rediculous. Throwing myself overboard would accomplish nothing; indeed, the lifeboat would be less likely to survive without a concious person onboard. This is just incidental, however. The real reason is because I am more important to me than most people are. Heck, if I were one of the unconcious people, I really couldn't fault someone else for doing the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Squat View Post
    I would throw off both the unconcious people and save someone who have a chance at surviving. You said yourself that the unconcious ones can't be woken. That's as good as dead.
    See, I just took that to mean that they couldn't be woken in time to be able to do anything. I could be wrong, though.
    Last edited by averagejoe; 2007-05-08 at 10:29 AM.


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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    I'd take turns swimming next to the boat, I suppose. if that won't work, I'm going for number two: jumping out. Unless one of the people in the boat is a really bad person, off course...
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by MrEdwardNigma View Post
    I'd take turns swimming next to the boat, I suppose. if that won't work, I'm going for number two: jumping out. Unless one of the people in the boat is a really bad person, off course...
    You cannot swim next to the boat. Please read the OP again.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Depends.
    First choice: Jump out. Save others before myself.
    Second: If the lack of any conscious person on the lifeboat would greatly increase, to the point of near certainty, the probability of death of those on board, I would throw one overboard in order to save the other. This is NOT an answer I would willingly choose could it be reasonably avoided. It constitutes, to me at least, murder and fatal selfishness, and the choice of one life over another.
    Oh, and third: If one of them was unconscious due to overdose of sugar, and the other due to a lung puncture, I would kill the one with a no chance to live in order that I could get away. Still might make me fell guilty, though.
    Last edited by Aramil Liadon; 2007-05-11 at 04:18 PM.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    If I knew I died, the rest would live, I would jump. If I thought they might not make it, I would throw one off.

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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    But why jump off just to save them? I mean, altruism is well and good, but this seems rather self defeating. It does, at least for me, depend on who we're talking about, as there are people for whom I would die, but for the sake of argument let's assume they are complete strangers. Self preservation is both natural and necessary, and it is not more noble to objectify yourself than to objectify another person. You're still making a judgement, still choosing one life over another; you're saying that the lives of either one of these people is more valuable than your own life. Color me arrogant, but I like to think of myself as important, at least to me.

    If saving yourself is "murder and fatal selfishness," then letting yourself drown is masochism and suicidal selfishness. Yes selfishness. You're killing yourself just to feel good about yourself, without any regaurd for how it might affect your family and loved ones. It isn't just about you; other people would benifit from seeing you back safe.


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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Let just say that ethical interpretation of a scenario is a very difficult thing. From the individual perspective, it is common to act in the best interests of the self, so sacrificing one's life so that others may have a chance to leave is, (unfortunatly, in my mind) an abnormal solution. However, most people have a moral code that would prevent them from sacrificing another to save themselves, as it would essentially be murder. So, it comes down to a Graded Absolutism solution. what this means is that there higher principles that supersede the choices one makes in life. In this situation, the higher principle would be survival, and so the logical solution would be to unfortunatly cast one of the unconsious people over board.


    Now, if I may change the scenario slightly:

    What if the other two passengers are female (assuming you are male)? How does this influence the scenario? It is quite simple, actually.

    Logically speaking, if it comes down to a choice between a male and a female to live or die, the male is expendable. I say this from a male perspective, but it is logical, in that the male cannot bear children, but the female can, so in the interests of preserving future generations, the female must live.

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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Well...the first responce that flashed across my mind was kill both people before the ocean can then escape myself.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch Knight View Post
    Now, if I may change the scenario slightly:

    What if the other two passengers are female (assuming you are male)? How does this influence the scenario? It is quite simple, actually.

    Logically speaking, if it comes down to a choice between a male and a female to live or die, the male is expendable. I say this from a male perspective, but it is logical, in that the male cannot bear children, but the female can, so in the interests of preserving future generations, the female must live.
    Yes, but that's only true if your population is somehow in danger of dying out. If humanity was in danger of dying out then the problems would be too bad for one more woman to solve. If being a woman made survival more likely at all it would be because the man who has to make the choice feels more duty to preserve the woman because of how we think of/treat women in society. I would wager a guess that we developed these ways of thinking out of the things you were talking about, but no one thinks, "Hmmm... well, if I let her live then she'll be able to produce more babies, so if I save her I'm really saving future generations."


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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    whyyy? life shouldn't have those choices. but I love this kind of thing, thanks! all right.
    ....
    I would put the two unconcious people in the boat, and swim along side untill they wake up. then we take turns swimming.

    ha!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Throw them both out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zephra View Post
    ....
    I would put the two unconcious people in the boat, and swim along side untill they wake up. then we take turns swimming.

    ha!
    Ha yourself:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    If someone is to leave the craft, they will die.
    You're dead. Game over.
    Last edited by Lucky; 2007-05-08 at 08:39 PM.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Both my gut reation and after thorough thinking through (assuming both people are complete stranger of whom I know nothing) is to throw one of them off the boat.

    EDIT: Of course since I wouln't now that they are unwakeable I would tread water/swim as long as I could to try and wait until one of them woke up so we could take turns swimming.
    Last edited by Rowanomicon; 2007-05-08 at 08:40 PM.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
    Throw them both out.
    well if your going to be like that, keep one in the boat, only kill him. now you have food for a time, right?
    Last edited by Zephra; 2007-05-08 at 08:39 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephra View Post
    well if your going to be like that, keep one in the boat, only kill him. now you have food for a time, right?
    Ewwwwwww...

    I think the assumption is you have enough food to live, otherwise it doesn't matter who you throw off, you're all dead.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Hm, either throw one of the unconscious overboard, or all three of us die. In my opinion, we'd all die anyways, but that's a moot point seeing as how this is ethics and about the choice at hand and not the backstory.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Which one looks more tasty? You know, lean, muscular, but not stringy?

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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Truth be told, I do beleive the only logical conclusion to this problem would be to toss one of the "passengers" overboard, and work on saving just the two of us-to preserve two lives instead of one, with the chance, the CHANCE that the two would survive. If I jump off of the lifeboat, then I will die, and thereby I will never know if the two other people will survive. This way, I can at least attempt to save the two people instead of never knowing for sure, save in the next life.

    To be honest, I don't think that you could convince me that anyone wouldn't do the same. When faced with such basic, animalistic choices, the basic human instinct is to survive. By any means necessary. I simply can't accept the notion of another person actually choosing their death over living, at the price of two people that they do not know, unconscious, there helpless. It simply doesn't make sense to me.

    Is it the right thing to do? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't think that's entirely up for me to decide; I beleive that our moral codes of what is right and what is wrong are what are put within us at birth; say, we think it's wrong to kill others because we were raised that way and it was reinforced by our secondary shapers (teachers and peers not our parents) that killing is also wrong. But does that make it wrong? I don't think I'm the one to judge that.

    I think the right thing to do is to preserve as much life as possible. This means throwing one person overboard to stop the Lifeboat from sinking, so that we and this other nameless person to escape.

    Those of you who said that you would allow all three of you to die-I'm curious to hear your reasoning behind such a choice. Would you care to share?
    Last edited by Ranis; 2007-05-08 at 11:06 PM.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    Those of you who said that you would allow all three of you to die-I'm curious to hear your reasoning behind such a choice. Would you care to share?
    Mostly because I feel killing is wrong in any manner, and it is not my right to decide upon a person's life like that. I would find it impossible to chose which of the two people to throw over, and if they were going to die, why should I jump off? A moral paradox if you will.
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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    To be honest, I don't think that you could convince me that anyone wouldn't do the same.
    Well, again, that rather depends. I've been arguing on the basis that these are strangers. There are, however, people who I know, as surely as I know anything, I would die to save. Maybe it's stupid of me, but there you go.


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    Default Re: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    Well, again, that rather depends. I've been arguing on the basis that these are strangers. There are, however, people who I know, as surely as I know anything, I would die to save. Maybe it's stupid of me, but there you go.
    It should be taken in the context that you do not know either of the people on board with you. Anything otherwise would...confuse the moral quandry and make the whole thing more confusing than it apparently is for a few people that probably didn't read the OP in it's entirety before posting their response.
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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    I'd chuck the one who looked least likely to live overboard (by taking in to account wounds, responsiveness in general, etc). I have morals, but when it comes down to me or a stranger, I'm sorry...Me. :P

    But then, I'd also eat a traveling companion. If trapped on a mountain or something, and I was starving and my companion was dead...Yah, I'd eat them. Now, I wouldn't kill someone for food, but if they are already dead then they probably don't care. ;)
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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    A classic moral dilemma.

    Most likely, I would be among those who would not sacrifice myself in the name of saving the others. It could all turn out to be in vain; with no one conscious in the raft, their survival chances are less than yours are if they are left to their own devices. They could dehydrate. They could, themselves, die of injury. The raft could overturn.

    Self-preservation is one of our strongest instincts. It's what keeps most of us from taking needless risks, though it seems to be a rarer commodity in this day and age. While it may be morally reprehensible to kill another, I cannot conceive risking all three lives to appease my conscience.
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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    ((I must stress that you not overanalyze this-do not look at the logic of the events leading up to the situation, nor anything pertaining to saving all three people even if it is in vain, etc. etc. This is supposed to be a moral/ethical discussion-emphasis being on the choice and rationale therein. Please use it as such. Thank you.))
    I hate these ultimatums. Real life doesn't work that way with choice A, B, or C being your only options. In such a hypothetical scenario I would probably cause the lifeboat to sink attempting to save all three of us. I refuse to accept the set of rules.

    First, I don't know the future. I wouldn't just throw someone off to ensure I would survive, given a chance that anything could happen up until the boat actually sinks. Second, ethically either jumping overboard or throwing someone overboard is proactive and condemning someone to die. I'd do what I could to find another way, I don't play the game.
    Last edited by SDF; 2007-05-09 at 12:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    Agreed, I would go with option C, do something else, but given that actual choice, it seems that if I jump overboard, then two unconsious people in the middle of the sea won't stand a chance, so that'd be the same as all three of us dying.

    saying that, If I were to overanalyse it, we would probably need food, so if I could keep an arm, then all the better.... what?

    oh, and of course check his pockets for loose change first.

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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    Mate you should at least consider chucking the amp overboard...




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    Default Re: Philosophical Discussion 1: The Lifeboat

    Charity... you evil uncaring bastard.

    "throw my amp overboard" indeed....

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