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  1. #1
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Default An Ethical Dilemma

    Bear with me here.

    I know there are a lot of people who hate "unrealistic" hypotheticals, but here goes:


    Imagine that a great catastrophe has happened in the area you live in. It doesn't really matter what the catastrophe is, but
    all of a sudden, food and water become a very scarce resource. Despite trying to ration your supplies sensibly, the food and
    water is running thin. There are only enough supplies to last five people for a week. If you can last for one more week, you
    may be rescued from the catastrophe, but it isn't guaranteed. If you can last for two weeks though, it is 100% guaranteed
    that you will be rescued.

    For the sake of argument, we will say that there is no significant reason to have either a positive or negative bias towards
    anyone in your group. (If you're straight, imagine they are the same sex, if you are a homosexual, imagine they're the
    opposite sex. If you're bisexual, imagine them being equally unattractive.)

    You are in a situation where you must decide how to split the rations amongst yourself and 9 other people. No matter what
    you choose, someone will die. (Cannibalism isn't a valid resource in this hypothetical because the corpses will be all skin and
    bone.)


    Sharing your rations equally amongst all ten people condemns all of you to die.

    Sharing the rations amongst five will guarantee that the five people will live for one week, but their chances of being rescued
    aren't guaranteed.

    You could steal enough food and water to live for two weeks, but you would steal enough resources to cause another person
    to die.



    What would you choose to do in this situation and why? What rationale do you have for your hypothetical decision? In this
    situation, is stealing the same as murder?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  2. #2
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Only one way to solve this problem....Thumb war.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  3. #3
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Default

    And if you lose?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  4. #4
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    contingency plan: arm wresting.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  5. #5
    Giggity Vie's Avatar
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    Default

    Ah.

    If my loved ones died in the catastrophic event, then I would probably just become a jaded bitch and kill everyone, eat all the food, then die a miserable death.

    But if they were alive and well? Then we hoof it out of the catastrophic area. If getting out isn't an option, you make it one. Simple. Get out or dye trying.

  6. #6
    facettes de la petite mor Words of Ivory's Avatar
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    Default

    Sit everyone down and tell them the severity of the situation. Tell them that we all need to fairly compromise, and pull straws.

    If someone wasn't willing to make the same sequel sacrifice as the rest of us? We'd probably be forced to kill them, especially they would likely become violent and try to kill us.

    There should be no "choice". I think that's the only noble way to handle the situation.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    "Life calls out the meaning of pure jubilance,
    if you'll only take the time to hear it."
    ~ Words of Ivory ~

  7. #7
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I feel like I can't give this a proper answer because I don't exactly know what the different odds are between waiting 1 week and 2 weeks. For me, that would make a pivotal difference in deciding.

    But basically, which course of action results in the most people continuing to live? That's the one I go with, at least on the face of it.

    There is a second matter, though. How many of these people want to be saved? That might seem like an odd question but we're talking about miserable circumstance and serious trauma. I say any person that doesn't want to go on can obviously be sacrificed for someone who does. If nobody wants to go on, then it is possibly more ethical to let everyone die.

    That would lead to the question of whether or not we can assume the misery felt now really honestly reflect the person's future will to live. There's no good way to figure this out, and I tend to lean toward the notion that people exaggerate their current miseries.

    So, I think if anyone says they don't want to go own, I could sacrifice them to save the others. But everyone said they didn't go on, my skepticism would now be combined with a sense that nothing good would come out of everyone dying, so my decision in that case would become essentially the same as my decision in the scenario where nobody wants to die.

    So, my conclusion has been drawn here partially through my concept of what is moral, and some admittedly unreliable assumptions on what is factually the case.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


    _________________________________
    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  8. #8
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I know this is an unrealistic hypothetical situation, but this is what I would do anyway. I'd ration out all of the food and water equally. I'd have everyone spend one day looking for new sources of food and water. If that didn't work then I'd donate my food back to the group and start drinking my urine. Hopefully this would encourage the others to do the same. A person can survive quite a while without food anyway. Water is the real issue, so if we drank our own urine we'd have the best chance of all surviving.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Probably draw straws or something. But there are too many variables. Meh hypotheticals.

    Assuming everyone has an equal chance of survival, a lottery is probably the best way to go. Of course who knows, I may crack under pressure and kill them all, or just curl up in the fetal position and starve, I dunno.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Nietzsche

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'd share them equally and the first despicable bastards to make a power play or try to usurp anyones share would be eliminated, then the next and the next, I'd say eventually there'd be enough food to go around.

    People can be depended on to behave like bastards but I think its also good criteria for thinning the herd when they do and simultaneously providing an example to the remaining people. Fundamentally you keep your nerve, you provide example to others, even in the face of uncertain rescue or certain death.

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