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The Strange Case of the Explorers

PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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8/13/2010 3:33:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
http://courses.dce.harvard.edu...

A friend took a summer philosophy course at Harvard. He sent me the link. I've been thinking about several of the topics on that website, and I was curious what you guys thought.

CliffNotes version:
Three men and two women go mountain climbing. They get stuck, and have little food and water. The rescue mission, which ended up costing ten rescuers' lives, took a long time. But they eventually found a way to communicate. The five trapped climbers talked to a team of medical experts that determined the trapped climbers would not live. After much persuasion, one of the trapped climbers, Roger Whetmore, got the leading medical person to tell them that if they ate one of their fellow trapped climbers, they would survive. After eight hours of silence, Whetmore asked if it was ethically permissible to draw straws to see who to eat, but everyone refused to answer. Then the radio communication went dead.

I shall now quote the page: "Ironically, Roger Whetmore had been the first to propose such a sacrifice. Not only would this ensure that at least some of them survived, he said, but even the victim had reason to be grateful for being spared the agony of a slow death by starvation. He for one, should the lot fall on him, would prefer it that way. Although at first repelled by the idea, his colleagues acquiesced in Whetmore's proposal when they heard the dire predictions of the medical experts. Whetmore happened to have a pair of dice with him, hence that was the method adopted for choosing the victim. But just before the first roll of the dice, Whetmore changed his mind. He said he did not want to take part and he persuaded one of the other members, one of the women, to back out, too. Both said they no longer wished to participate, but wished to wait, for another week at least. The others accused them of "a breach of faith" and ignored Whetmore and this other member's wish. Each of the remaining three completed throws of the dice. When it came to Whetmore's and this other member's turn, someone, one of the three, cast the dice for them. The roll went against Whetmore."

...so what do yall think of this morally?
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badger
Posts: 11,793
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8/13/2010 3:45:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
we do what we can to survive i think. what's usually right and wrong goes out the window in a situation like that. i think the only reason we classify things as right and wrong in the first place is just to protect ourselves from each other.. so it's all only really about survival anyway.
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Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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8/13/2010 7:05:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
It's perfectly acceptable.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
belle
Posts: 4,113
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8/13/2010 9:53:49 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
hmmm.... did the girl who backed out get to eat some of her friend?
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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8/13/2010 1:39:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/13/2010 9:53:49 AM, belle wrote:
hmmm.... did the girl who backed out get to eat some of her friend?

Presumably so.

I forgot to mention that everyone else survived.
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belle
Posts: 4,113
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8/13/2010 2:25:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, Nags wrote:
At 8/13/2010 7:05:34 AM, Reasoning wrote:
It's perfectly acceptable.

To eat someone against their will?

if you literally have no choice but to do so or die, i don't see the issue.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Xer
Posts: 7,776
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8/13/2010 2:27:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/13/2010 2:25:52 PM, belle wrote:
At 8/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, Nags wrote:
At 8/13/2010 7:05:34 AM, Reasoning wrote:
It's perfectly acceptable.

To eat someone against their will?

if you literally have no choice but to do so or die, i don't see the issue.

I would probably do so, but that doesn't make it morally acceptable.
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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8/13/2010 2:41:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I wouldn't eat. I'd rather die. But that is just me. Survival isn't that important, at a personal level.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
badger
Posts: 11,793
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8/15/2010 6:46:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/13/2010 2:27:33 PM, Nags wrote:
At 8/13/2010 2:25:52 PM, belle wrote:
At 8/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, Nags wrote:
At 8/13/2010 7:05:34 AM, Reasoning wrote:
It's perfectly acceptable.

To eat someone against their will?

if you literally have no choice but to do so or die, i don't see the issue.

I would probably do so, but that doesn't make it morally acceptable.

what are morals?
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