Another Perplexing Problem

Another interesting dilema for you… and another philosophical staple.

Imagine you are 1 of 50 people on a lifeboat, following the sinking of a cruise liner. If you like, picture the titanic. In the sea near you are hundreds of drowning passengers in the freezing water.

The lifeboat will take 60, so you have room for 10 more, but if you return, you do run the risk of the boat being toppled, and everyone dying. What will you do? Return or stay where you are? Do you guarantee your safety or risk all to save a few more lives? Whos life would you save? The old man nearest, or the young mariner deeper in the crowd?

In case you’re wondering, the lifeboat argument (and the metaphor from the movie ‘Titaniic’) is an old one, that relates to Foreign Policy.

To help so many countries in trouble, may mean toppling our boat, but how do we pick one countries troubles over another, especially as there seem to be so many? And they do not seem to help themselves, surely their problems are their own?

And what about protectionist government? Is it right to subsidise our farming communities say, to the detriment of other third world countries struggling to battle drought, civil war, AIDS and countless other real problems killing people today.

Perhaps you believe that we have our own problems in our own country. With the homeless, drug addiction, prostitution, poverty, we should be looking at our own first and foremost? Maybe we should be content that we got lucky in the birthplace lottery and our sympathy for others should go no further than charity.

Perhaps your feelings is that we should stop immigration too. That there are already too many people in the lifeboat?

Anyhow, that this weeks talking point. What do you think?

For my part, I am uncomfortable with the idea of risking a trip into the melee of desperate survivors, but I am equally uncomfortable doing nothing. My thoughts turn to Rwanda and more recently The Congo.

I suspect the truth is that I would accept regrettably that I cannot help them all, but I would get the lifeboat closer, and should someone make the swim towards us, I would do whatever I could to help them onboard.

~ by eggplantinspace on November 15, 2008.

3 Responses to “Another Perplexing Problem”

  1. Do You Want To Get High?

  2. We got are own problems. Other countrys should stick to there own.

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