Subject: Ethical Theory
Text must be used as one of the 2 sources: Great Traditions in Ethics, Theodore Denise, Twelfth Edition, 2007.
The Life Boat Exercise
Imagine you are on a large ship off the coast of Nova Scotia. The ship experienced an engine explosion which has killed the captain, the crew, and all communication devices. As a result, the ship is rapidly sinking, and the possibility of swimming to shore is out of the question because the water is freezing.
A small lifeboat has been located, and you’ve spotted an island just over the horizon that appears to be forested. You are responsible for deciding the order that each passenger enters the lifeboat. Due to the nature of the lifeboat, you are capable of transporting to the island only one passenger at a time. There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to make the twelve trips needed to save everyone before the ship sinks. Assume that the weight and size of each passenger is irrelevant and not a deciding factor in the ordering. Also note that once you settle on the island, the likelihood of your rescue is uncertain.
You must make some practical decisions, some of which will be moral in nature, requiring that you draw upon your rational and/or emotional sensibilities. The goal of this assignment is to cultivate an awareness of your core principles and values in relation to moral decision making.
First, decide who gets to use the lifeboat by ranking the passengers from 1-12, with number 1 being the passenger(s) you would save first and number 12 being the passenger(s) you would most be willing to sacrifice.
For each passenger, you must provide the reasons behind your ranking. As you work your way down the list, strive to be as self-aware of your thought process as possible. For every ranking, provide a synopsis of the reasons behind your ordering by using some of the values, theories, and principles you have learned thus far in the course. Please cite your usage of the textual material using APA standards.
This assignment should be 2-3 pages long of double spaced, normal margins, 12 point font, Times New Roman font, not including title or reference pages.
The Passenger List:
A 75-year-old plastic surgeon
Ten chickens
A human being in a coma, who will almost certainly never regain consciousness
An American thoroughbred racehorse that is worth $16 million dollars named, The Green Monkey
An intelligent, healthy, and morally virtuous human being
A bonobo ape that understands some human sign language and has aggressive tendencies
Two breeding pairs of wild rabbits with no known predators on the island and an extensive food supply
An intelligent, healthy, and morally evil human being
A human possessing some survival skills and is a convicted felon /repeat offender
A goat with a permanently disabled leg
A loyal and friendly German shepherd
Two identical twin humans, aged 6-months-old

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