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The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers

Mr.Yamamoto
Posts: 5
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8/8/2015 3:26:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
(I know I'm basically asking for hw help here and if you don't want to respond to that you should still read about this case in the links. It really is a interesting legal philosophy puzzle.)

Hello! I will be doing my first debate for school next week. I am the 3rd (2nd to last) speaker in Team Proposition arguing for 'THW punish the defendants in The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers by death.' I'm not sure how to structure my speech and how to write rebuttals without knowing my opponent's arguments and I hope you can give me some suggestions.

The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers involves 4 defendants who were cave explorers and they have eaten another explorer for sustenance when they were trapped in a cave for 32 days. Although the law states that they should be punished by death penalty, there is some dispute about this.

http://www.nullapoena.de...
http://legaleseetc.blogspot.hk... (simplified version)
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,234
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8/8/2015 6:12:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 3:28:49 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
I want to argue that killing out of 'self-preservation' is wilful but I don't know if that will work.

Can you argue that morality is completely relativistic? I don't see any way to justify cannibalism otherwise.
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Mr.Yamamoto
Posts: 5
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8/8/2015 7:55:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 6:12:19 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/8/2015 3:28:49 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
I want to argue that killing out of 'self-preservation' is wilful but I don't know if that will work.

Can you argue that morality is completely relativistic?

I could possibly use that to respond to Opp's contention that 'the defendants shouldn't be hanged because it is immoral/unjust.' or maybe use it against Justice Handy's argument about common sense.

I don't see any way to justify cannibalism otherwise.

That's interesting. I feel like people tend to sympathise with the four defendants in this case. People are really used to the belief that a lesser punishment is justified when acting out of self-defense. (not that I think it's wrong)
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,234
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8/8/2015 9:50:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 7:55:24 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
At 8/8/2015 6:12:19 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/8/2015 3:28:49 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
I want to argue that killing out of 'self-preservation' is wilful but I don't know if that will work.

Can you argue that morality is completely relativistic?

I could possibly use that to respond to Opp's contention that 'the defendants shouldn't be hanged because it is immoral/unjust.' or maybe use it against Justice Handy's argument about common sense.
Oh, my bad, I thought you were on the opposition - I misread your post. In that case, I would take some kind of deontological route where you argue for the universal sanctity of life or something like that - that eliminates consequentialist justifications Con could use.
I don't see any way to justify cannibalism otherwise.

That's interesting. I feel like people tend to sympathise with the four defendants in this case. People are really used to the belief that a lesser punishment is justified when acting out of self-defense. (not that I think it's wrong)

If they were locked into the cave by some villain, I wouldn't have a problem with it - the blood would be on his hands. In this case, though, there's no one to pass moral blame to (natural phenomena cannot be held culpable). Self-defense from the elements is much different from self-defense from another moral agent.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,866
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8/8/2015 1:51:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 3:26:08 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
(I know I'm basically asking for hw help here and if you don't want to respond to that you should still read about this case in the links. It really is a interesting legal philosophy puzzle.)

Hello! I will be doing my first debate for school next week. I am the 3rd (2nd to last) speaker in Team Proposition arguing for 'THW punish the defendants in The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers by death.' I'm not sure how to structure my speech and how to write rebuttals without knowing my opponent's arguments and I hope you can give me some suggestions.

The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers involves 4 defendants who were cave explorers and they have eaten another explorer for sustenance when they were trapped in a cave for 32 days. Although the law states that they should be punished by death penalty, there is some dispute about this.

http://www.nullapoena.de...
http://legaleseetc.blogspot.hk... (simplified version)

I realize a thought experiment must have certain parameters, but if they held a lottery and agreed that the loser should die for the sustenance of the others, then why didn't the loser merely kill themselves? Second, in maritime law it is legal to kill in order to survive when an abandonment of the ship was necessary and people were trapped in life rafts. Of course nobody could predict when they would be rescued so they usually chose the one in the poorest health. I personally think the surviving three should have just claimed the fourth committed suicide, but then that would negate the morality the experiment. Was it immoral? Depends, do people really have the right over their own bodies? If so, by entering the lottery the person agreed to be killed, well to die for the benefit of others.
Mr.Yamamoto
Posts: 5
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8/8/2015 3:02:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 9:50:03 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/8/2015 7:55:24 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
At 8/8/2015 6:12:19 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/8/2015 3:28:49 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
I want to argue that killing out of 'self-preservation' is wilful but I don't know if that will work.

Can you argue that morality is completely relativistic?

I could possibly use that to respond to Opp's contention that 'the defendants shouldn't be hanged because it is immoral/unjust.' or maybe use it against Justice Handy's argument about common sense.
Oh, my bad, I thought you were on the opposition - I misread your post. In that case, I would take some kind of deontological route where you argue for the universal sanctity of life or something like that - that eliminates consequentialist justifications Con could use.

Thanks, I think I know what to say now. I'll try to avoid that though unless Con brings it up. It's still a tricky thing to argue about.

If they were locked into the cave by some villain, I wouldn't have a problem with it - the blood would be on his hands. In this case, though, there's no one to pass moral blame to (natural phenomena cannot be held culpable). Self-defense from the elements is much different from self-defense from another moral agent.

Self-defense usually harms someone, and in many cases, this person is the assailant. However, in this case this person was one of the victims - in other words, a victim suffered because what nature did. This is probably why some people find the 4 defendants' actions less justifiable.
Mr.Yamamoto
Posts: 5
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8/8/2015 3:24:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 1:51:48 PM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
I realize a thought experiment must have certain parameters, but if they held a lottery and agreed that the loser should die for the sustenance of the others, then why didn't the loser merely kill themselves?

Nobody wanted to die or else someone would have volunteered to be eaten. Even when the loser lost he probably wasn't ready to accept his fate and he wanted to try and wriggle his way out of it.

Second, in maritime law it is legal to kill in order to survive when an abandonment of the ship was necessary and people were trapped in life rafts. Of course nobody could predict when they would be rescued so they usually chose the one in the poorest health.

Is it legal in maritime law? Interesting, I didn't know that. It does make sense from a consequentialist point of view.

I personally think the surviving three should have just claimed the fourth committed suicide, but then that would negate the morality the experiment.

With the amount of time given, they might have enough time to destroy/eat the evidence. However, the conversation over the wireless machine could make it less believable. Also,
to eat a human is a very disgusting thing to do and not everyone can lie after going through that. Don't forget that everyone had to agree doing it and trust each other that they will not confess.

Was it immoral? Depends, do people really have the right over their own bodies? If so, by entering the lottery the person agreed to be killed, well to die for the benefit of others.

Yeah... But look at the number of countries where euthanasia isn't illegal.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,866
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8/9/2015 3:38:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 3:24:27 PM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
At 8/8/2015 1:51:48 PM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
I realize a thought experiment must have certain parameters, but if they held a lottery and agreed that the loser should die for the sustenance of the others, then why didn't the loser merely kill themselves?

Nobody wanted to die or else someone would have volunteered to be eaten. Even when the loser lost he probably wasn't ready to accept his fate and he wanted to try and wriggle his way out of it.

Second, in maritime law it is legal to kill in order to survive when an abandonment of the ship was necessary and people were trapped in life rafts. Of course nobody could predict when they would be rescued so they usually chose the one in the poorest health.

Is it legal in maritime law? Interesting, I didn't know that. It does make sense from a consequentialist point of view.

I personally think the surviving three should have just claimed the fourth committed suicide, but then that would negate the morality the experiment.

With the amount of time given, they might have enough time to destroy/eat the evidence. However, the conversation over the wireless machine could make it less believable. Also,
to eat a human is a very disgusting thing to do and not everyone can lie after going through that. Don't forget that everyone had to agree doing it and trust each other that they will not confess.

Was it immoral? Depends, do people really have the right over their own bodies? If so, by entering the lottery the person agreed to be killed, well to die for the benefit of others.

Yeah... But look at the number of countries where euthanasia isn't illegal.

Well, if you're familiar with the soccer team whose plane crashed in the Andes and they decided to eat some of their dead friends and relatives you would realize the thought of eating human flesh becomes less gross when it keeps you alive. I believe the 2 or three men who walked out of the mountains to go for help talked about the experience in a book but would not go into details as to what they thought human flesh tastes like.
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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8/9/2015 4:31:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 3:26:08 AM, Mr.Yamamoto wrote:
(I know I'm basically asking for hw help here and if you don't want to respond to that you should still read about this case in the links. It really is a interesting legal philosophy puzzle.)

Hello! I will be doing my first debate for school next week. I am the 3rd (2nd to last) speaker in Team Proposition arguing for 'THW punish the defendants in The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers by death.' I'm not sure how to structure my speech and how to write rebuttals without knowing my opponent's arguments and I hope you can give me some suggestions.

The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers involves 4 defendants who were cave explorers and they have eaten another explorer for sustenance when they were trapped in a cave for 32 days. Although the law states that they should be punished by death penalty, there is some dispute about this.

http://www.nullapoena.de...
http://legaleseetc.blogspot.hk... (simplified version)

I think you can use the case of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in 1972 (also known as the Andes flight disaster) as a way to bolster your argument. The survivors of the flight also ate their comrades, however, they didn't kill them. You could argue that this is where the distinction between self preservation and the criminal are. Had the cave explorers waited for the first of them to expire naturally, the result of their ordeal would have been the same (as far as loss of life goes) however, no one would have been murdered against their will.

The other issue here is one of consent. The party being killed backed out of the original agreement and was thus a non-consenting party. You can make the case that since a girl is able to re-assess her consent to sexual intercourse throughout a sexual encounter and a forceful continuation of sexual intercourse after the revocation of consent constitutes rape, so too does this constitute murder.