The Pros And Cons Of Lifeboat

797 Words 4 Pages
A small cruise ship of the coast of south America has sunk leaving the remaining survivors in a small lifeboat. The lifeboat was manufactured to carry a capacity of ten people but there are a total of twenty people on board. The captain of the ship, whom is among the survivors on the lifeboat, notices that a storm is approaching fast and that it threatens to kill everyone on board if adjustments were not made. In order to maximize their chance of survival at least ten people have to be thrown overboard and the remaining people must have the ability to to row the boat to safety during and after the storm. In order for their chances of survival to maximize the captain faces an ethical dilemma of whether or not he should throw the weakest
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It also goes on to further explain that whenever we fail to improve our well-being then we are behaving immorally. As humans we view our well being to be the most important thing in our lives. However, there are many negative aspects to only caring about our own well being. Ethical egoism has no concern for others, it can hurt others and it mostly focuses on short term results rather then long term. Unlike other ethical systems, egoism also has no set definition of what morality is. Morality in egoism is anything that improves your own well being. If the captain of the ship were to make his decision from an ethical egoists’ point of view he would realize that not only would throwing the weak passenger overboard maximize their chances of survival, but it would also improve his own well being as well. Therefore, the only decision through an egoists’ point of view would be to throw the passengers overboard since it maximizes his well-being.
From examining both consequentialism and ethical egoism it can be concluded that consequentialism would address the dilemma in the most favorable way. Consequentialism would take in account the lives of all the other nineteen passengers rather then just the captains life, which is the only thing that matters through an egoist point of view. Consequentialism would also allow the captain to decide what he considers to be morally right or wrong and whether or not his decision would bring him and others the best overall

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