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#1 Posted by deactivated-5ad6141e8751d (1716 posts) - - Show Bio

The Overcrowded Lifeboat

In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg and more than 30 survivors were crowded into a lifeboat intended to hold 7. As a storm threatened, it became obvious that the lifeboat would have to be lightened if anyone were to survive. The captain reasoned that the right thing to do in this situation was to force some individuals to go over the side and drown. Such an action, he reasoned, was not unjust to those thrown overboard, for they would have drowned anyway. If he did nothing, however, he would be responsible for the deaths of those whom he could have saved. Some people opposed the captain's decision. They claimed that if nothing were done and everyone died as a result, no one would be responsible for these deaths. On the other hand, if the captain attempted to save some, he could do so only by killing others and their deaths would be his responsibility; this would be worse than doing nothing and letting all die. The captain rejected this reasoning. Since the only possibility for rescue required great efforts of rowing, the captain decided that the weakest would have to be sacrificed. In this situation it would be absurd, he thought, to decide by drawing lots who should be thrown overboard. As it turned out, after days of hard rowing, the survivors were rescued and the captain was tried for his action. If you had been on the jury, how would you have decided?

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#2 Posted by Crimson_Lord (2962 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally think it’s better to try to save at least a few people vs doing nothing and letting everyone die.

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#3 Posted by xNahtebx (949 posts) - - Show Bio

Ask me when I'm overboard...

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#4 Posted by jonjizz (937 posts) - - Show Bio

tough decision, but i can't blame him

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#5 Posted by deactivated-5b84aca03eae8 (6261 posts) - - Show Bio

I can understand the moral arguments for both sides. Wow this is a seriously tough dilemma that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Personally, saving some people is unquestionably better than letting everyone drown. At the end of the day, it's all about survival of the fittest. The weak inevitably succumb to the bigger challenges, while the fittest have what it takes to survive. As painful as it sounds, the captain had no choice but to make that crucial decision for the sake of saving some versus killing all.

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#6 Edited by dshipp17 (5484 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, one flaw: the captain proposed the dilemma yet remained on board as one of the survivors; that was a very cowardly act; one of the most honorable things for him to have done was to be one of the first to go overboard and ask who would they force with him.

But, the most faithful course for a Christian was for everyone to remain on board and go to God in the name of Jesus for help, in prayer; if God comes through, everyone survives; if not, everyone has made their peace with God, where they will be saved on the other side of eternity; or, a third option, pray, and start trying to think of a way off or out of the situation; what sort of objects were on board, etc.

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#7 Posted by obitoad (200 posts) - - Show Bio

simple question for u: is there any family of the captains on the boat?

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#8 Edited by mimisalome (5342 posts) - - Show Bio

Morality can be gauge in 3 ways

1. Outcome - Saving some several vs saving nothing at all seems like a result that leads to most happiness. So one can argue that the Captain choice is the most moral choice.

2. Duty - Is it the Captain's duty to be responsible for everyone and treat the passengers equally all the time? Then one can say that his choice is not the moral choice since he failed in upholding his duty.

3. Intent - Vague, but you can qualify that him being one of the survivor implies that he most likely prioritized his safety over the others which could mean by intention his moral choice is questionable. Though one can also consider that the presence of an expert seaman is necessary for the survival of the remaining passengers.

If I am part of the jury i would play safe and judge his actions based on his attempt to observed and remain faithful to his duty as a Captain (Observance of Protocols).