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