Shall we play a game?

Values clarification is where your little minds decide
Which lives are worth living and which lives are worth, not living

Now, here's how we play: A big ship just sank, there are six people on a lifeboat, but the lifeboat is only made for two.
four of these people must be thrown overboard or the lifeboat will sink, now, allow me to list who's aboard:

1. A crippled old man
2. A mentally handicapped person in a wheelchair
3. A successful businessman
4. A young, healthy doctor
5. An overwieght woman on welfare with a sick baby


Most Helpful Girl

  • I'd get the old man and the handicapped person to sit in the boat. Then I'd get a flat board and tied it to the end of the boat, so the business man, the doctor and the woman can sit on it and be dragged by the boat. The doctor could carry the baby and since he's a doctor, the baby could recover soon.

    • Ah, but much like the trolley problem, this problem assumes there is no other way to solve the problem. Though I do commend you for trying to find an out, as there likely will be other options in such a situation.

    • Tough choice. I'd choose to save the doctor and the mother and her baby then.

Most Helpful Guy

  • TL;Dr; I choose 3 and 4.

    Ooh I love these kinds of games. I'm going to assume that the goal is to keep as many people alive as possible, and these people are my friends of equal worth. Also, I will assume that if we are saved, it will be a very close brush with death.

    1.) Crippled old man -- pros: probably won't take much to feed, he won't go crazy and overpower you. cons: can't do much in terms of helping out, is going to die if he falls outside of the raft

    2.) Mentally handicapped person in a wheelchair -- pros: If you could use the wheelchair as supplies, that would be a big advantage. However, I'm assuming you can't. cons: may go crazy on you (heat and direct sunline aid to craziness) and do some weird stuff like try to jump off the raft or hurt you. Can't provide entertainment as you sit there looking for moral support

    3.) Successful businessman -- pros: can help you get food. Is smart and probably clever -- that is helpful in survival. Successful people watch a lot of TV-- he may watch Survivorman :D cons: is a body to feed

    4.) A young healthy doctor -- pros: very helpful if anyone gets injuries or heatstroke. Also clever like the businessman. Offers probably some interesting patient stories. Is healthy so will be able to work for food longer and harder. Cons: Probably eats a decent amount of food like any young guy (but who knows, may be a woman?)

    5.) An overweight woman on welfare with a sick baby -- Pros: As twisted as it sounds, if the woman dies, you got a lot of potential food you could have. Cons: morals aside, the baby is going to die. Grown people can have a small chance of survival, so the baby won't make it. The sickness the baby has might infect the rest of the people. Overweight people tend to take longer to get full, so she will be wanting more food.

    Based on these claims, I'm choosing 3 and 4. I would choose 2 instead of 3 only if I could take the wheelchair the person has and use it as supplies. 4 is vital however, since he will keep everyone healthier longer and can help offer advice on any sicknesses that pop up. 3 would be a good leader too. 3 and 4 are the best choices based on what's given.

    There's no time to look at morals here. There is no point in keeping silly morals if no one will live in the end because of it.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 5

  • id save the young, healthy doctor since any health related emergencies he can help, and id also keep the overweight women with the sick baby, thats 3 lives that can be saved and since we have the doctor the baby can be looked after also :)

    • Ah, but don't forget the woman is overweight, unless she grows elephant ears, odds are the heat is going to kill her. People are concerned over the sick baby, yet the mother is at the highest risk.

    • the doctor would be there, he might be able to help both of them..

  • you dont have to throw anyone over board.. find anything that is flat and could be connected to the life boat and let the other 4 be dragged along

    • Ah, but like most philosophical problems, this assumes that the out shown is the only out available.

  • 3 and 4 because the others are seen as fairly undesirable by society

    • What makes them more desirable though? The business man and doctor will clearly be more productive now, but the babies future is not decided yet. Do you go for the businessman who you know will have success? Or gamble and save the baby?

    • The baby is sick, if they're in a boat, the baby probably won't make it

  • 4. And 5. Because the rest are already old or disabled no point.

    • Ah, I never said the age of the business man though

    • Show All
    • Also, the business man might help you get food. He's smart and probably knowledgeable, that is helpful in survival.

    • Nah he plays with money

  • Number 4 and 5 will be saved

    • And why is that? What makes their lives more important than the others?

    • 5 because the baby has a long life ahead of him
      4 because a doc might come in handy if your stranded somewhere

    • Ah, but don't forget the woman is overweight, unless she grows elephant ears odds are the heat is going to kill her. People are concerned over the sick baby, yet the mother is at the highest risk.

What Guys Said 7

  • I'm a strong believer in Kantian philosophy, which means that I believe that every life is worth the same. I'm rather disgusted by the fact that every single person so far who answered this question seems to have an extremely utilitarian world view. I have a handicap myself (I'm physically handicapped, not mentally) and it's rather heartbreaking to read that this is how many people think of me and others like me. I'm just good enough to be wasted :-(.
    Personally, I'd suggest some kind of lottery system. Pulling matches or something like that. Alternatively, I would say that the ethically fairest way to deal with this (especially if I was one of the people in the lifeboat) is that either everyone gets to live or everyone dies.

    • Oh there's no question if everyone stays the boat will sink. Choosing at random? An interesting view

    • Well so be it. I find believing that some people's lives are worth more than other's is a rather... interesting view. Didn't we have that before somewhere? Mmmh... something with Germany... uh, I can't come up with it.

  • Throw over grandpa 'cause he's getting pretty old
    Throw out the baby or we'll all be catching it's cold
    Throw over fatty and we'll see if she can float
    Throw out the retard and they won't be rockin' the boat

    • Pardon me? This manner of speaking and this logic is unlike you?

  • 4 and 5 assuming that there is room for the woman and the baby. That way the doc can take care of the baby, and 3 lives will be saved.

    • Ah, but what about the successful businessman? He has more life left, and will be more productive once he returns? Please explain why you would save the mother?

    • Show All
    • Because she has to take care of the baby, and the baby has more life to live than the business man.

    • Potentially, but don't forget the baby is sick and the mother is overweight. In the heat of the sun neither of them are likely to survive. Also, the business man is smart, and likely knowledgeable which would be useful in long-term survival

  • I would save 4 for sure, then 5.

    You should watch the film, 'After the Dark'

    • But the woman is overweight, and unless she grows elephant ears likely won't make it. The baby is also sick, and a doctor without supplies may not be as useful as you'd think.

  • 3 and 4 should be saved. The old man doesn't have much life left in him, a mentally handicapped person in wheelchair in a lifeboat isn't practical. The overweight woman could potentially sink the boat. Her baby is already sick, and even though there's a doctor, I doubt he could do anything for the baby without any medicine. The businessman and the doctor will both be productive to society.

    • Indeed they will be. But is that really what defines self worth?

  • Throw off the crippled old man because he's no use being old and frail.
    Throw off the mentally handicapped person4

    throw off the business man

    Keep the doctor incase some has a injury or drowns , he can revive them
    and the overweight woman with the baby

  • I would first throw off the person in a wheelchair because, well, wheelchairs are heavy. Then if the crippled old man if he was Woodhouse... especially if he was Woodhouse, ugh.

    Then the overweight woman and the baby, because she's probably heavier than the wheelchair... and you get a nice 2-for-1 combo with the sick baby.