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Korusan
5th August 2008, 9:53 AM
So, you're a naval captain on a big ship. You recieve report of being in enemy waters, and soon learn you are actually overtop of an underwater minefield which is eating away life support. No allied vessels are nearby for you to contact. Two options are avaliable:

A:Attempt to rescue the ship's crew and passengers, which involves crossing the enemy waters and potentially provoking the enemy into hostile action or an all-out war.

Or

B:Or B: Abandon the ship, potentially preventing war but leaving the crew and passengers to die.



When you post, please explain how you came to your decision and why you think it's the right thing?


Personally, I'd sacrifice myself and crew. While I shouldn't have the last call on my crew's lives, it certainly would be better to stop a potential war. After all, the enemies, while questioning why my ship was there in the first place, could assume it was a private trading ship or the like.


Approved by Babylon

Andywoo
5th August 2008, 11:13 AM
Probably action B. Always look after #1 is my motto.

Man I am a little mercenary.

Peter Quill
5th August 2008, 11:16 AM
Im a complete coward....... I get Scared to easily..... So Choice number 2 for me.

Asaspades
5th August 2008, 3:25 PM
I would go with option two, but only to avoid diplomatic tensions or war. Far more people stand a chance of being hurt or dying if because of my actions, I cause a war. So for that reason I would go with option two. IF it did not provoke war, I would go with option 1 though.

Ethan
5th August 2008, 3:55 PM
If anyone is wondering, I approved this post because it was unique, serious enough for the debate forum, and not the usual topic we have here every week. However if your just going to post one liners and add absolutley nothing to the discussion and not debate anything (Like the first two posters) you will be infracted. Simple stuff. So maybe this warning will encourage you all. :)

To add to the discussion, it seems that most people are going to go with option number 2. The main reasoning being that you would be saving more lives. However, does that make the lives of your crew any less precious? Let's say you do go with option 2. The death of your crew members may be justified, but does that make it the right choice? How does one decide who's life is more valuable than someone else's?

Korusan
5th August 2008, 6:10 PM
Quite true.


If I were to rethink it, I'd go with number 2 again, but I'd first get the advice of my senior staff on the matter. If they agree with my decision, I'd blow up my ship to take down as many of the enemy as possible, granted that they are surrounding me.

Ipwnyou
5th August 2008, 6:34 PM
option A doesn't seem like it would work.
I'm not an expert on this sort of thing but I'm pretty sure that once you're over a mine field you're pretty much screwed. (Feel free to correct me.
But then again if you take plan B and you're the only one who survives you're probably going to be considered a coward and will have to suffer ridicule and humiliation for the restof your life.

Maruno
5th August 2008, 6:53 PM
However if your just going to post one liners and add absolutley nothing to the discussion and not debate anything (Like the first two posters) you will be infracted. Simple stuff. So maybe this warning will encourage you all. :)
I don't think this really qualifies as a debate, since it's a hypothetical scenario and asks us what we'd do. How can you argue with "I'd want to prevent war, so option B"? Might as well argue about what your favourite colour is.

Back to the "debate"...

I'm the captain of a large battleship, which has somehow drifted into enemy waters (perhaps the sat-nav has broken). We're now floating in waters above a minefield, which we're occasionally triggering and receiving mild damage from the explosions. We can't last much longer.

My response would depend on a whole number of factors: my orders, the importance of the battleship, the severity of the damage being taken, the nature of the enemy (how likely they are to jump straight into war because of our action), and so forth.

I would most likely choose option A: "Escape enemy territory as quickly as possible". That's because my crew and ship is my highest priority, and I've sworn to protect them at all costs. Threats of war can be dealt with by the politicians - I will of course explain the mistake of entering enemy waters in the first place, and do my best to find out what catastrophic failures caused it to happen.

The only factors that may sway me to option B: "Abandon ship", are if my ship is taking such a large amount of damage that it most likely won't be able to survive the escape, or if the enemy is so twitchy that they'll use any excuse to declare war (although if they're that twitchy, they'd use this scenario as an excuse regardless of what I'd do). So if I choose to abandon ship, it's almost certainly because the ship is lost, which means my only priority now is my crew, who will have a better chance of survival in life-rafts.

I will of course consult with my senior staff before committing to one or the other action.



I assume this scenario is the one we're answering to. Korusan doesn't make it clear whether it's this scenario, or whether it's a Kobayashi Maru (distress call from another ship in enemy waters, I choose to go in and try to save them, or to stay out and sacrifice them).

Ethan
6th August 2008, 2:45 AM
I don't think this really qualifies as a debate, since it's a hypothetical scenario and asks us what we'd do. How can you argue with "I'd want to prevent war, so option B"? Might as well argue about what your favourite colour is.

Back to the "debate"...

The debate isn't really about what you would do as a captian of your ship, but the larger idea that it presents. This ultimatley boils down to moral perspective.

The debate topic is completely valid.

Does something justified mean that it is right? Simple stuff guys. Seems like someone ignored my post.

Maruno
6th August 2008, 3:23 AM
Oh, well, if that's the case, then fair enough. It was just really not obvious that that was the point of the thread (such that you had to "add to the discussion" the moral point).

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one? Would you be willing to be the one? Spock was, but he's Vulcan (and had a backup plan anyway).

Obviously I'd hope to survive, but I think if I'd managed to get promoted to ship's captain, I'd have developed a conscience (and thus would sacrifice myself). At the moment, it's rather more likely that I'd try to keep myself alive, although it still wouldn't be definite (but it'd need to be a really good reason for me to sacrifice myself).

If I had to choose between two people or groups of people which should live and die (myself not included in either), then I'd choose the better group to survive. It could be better in terms of numbers (kill India to save the rest of the world, for instance), or better in terms of the quality of the people (scientists over lawyers - everyone's above lawyers, of course :P ). My family over some other people? It depends who the other people are, of course, but if it was a big enough difference then I'd sacrifice my family - they'd understand and wish me the best. I'd just have to cope with losing them. I'd console myself with the thought that I was forced into the decision, and it was one I had to make, so it's not like I'm any kind of killer.

How's that for another tangent to the topic? If forced to make a choice between two (groups of) people (the losers are killed), how much would you regret making your decision?

Strants
6th August 2008, 3:29 AM
In B, why can't the passengers escape? I'd look for a way to prevent war and save the crew. ;)

Now, if I could only do A or B, I, like Maruno, might need information. For example, if I was in the territory of a large, hostile nation, I'd have to lean towards B; instantly saving a few lives =/= saving hundreds, or even thousands, of lives. If the nation who's borders i was in was amiable, and a war wasn't likely, I'd go for A.

GodlessPein
6th August 2008, 3:42 AM
I would take scenario 1, i understand the consequences of starting a conflict or war, but the number 1 rule of the military is "No man gets left behind" and thats what we must go by. Many people boast they protect the people they love, but would not except the option of saving them, well in the military, you love your comrads and so protecting them is the only sensible thing.

Also this thread is a classic option of the moral but dumb againt the immoral but intelligent, I stand on the moral side!

Strants
6th August 2008, 4:15 AM
I would take scenario 1, i understand the consequences of starting a conflict or war, but the number 1 rule of the military is "No man gets left behind" and thats what we must go by. Many people boast they protect the people they love, but would not except the option of saving them, well in the military, you love your comrads and so protecting them is the only sensible thing.

Also this thread is a classic option of the moral but dumb againt the immoral but intelligent, I stand on the moral side! People die in wars, too. Much more then I'd think would be in you battleship. Would you sacrifice them to save a few, who might die later in the war, anyways?

GodlessPein
6th August 2008, 4:17 AM
People die in wars, too. much more then I'd think would be in you battleship. would you sacrifice them to save a few, who might die later in the war, anyways?

hey, nobody would take scenario 1 so i had to make a case for it >_<,

Maspireil
6th August 2008, 4:12 PM
Action "B" first comes to mind, but when I really think about it, I'm really not the type of person to sacrifice myself and others. It really shouldn't be in my power to decide the fate of many passengers. No one should have such a burden hanging over them.

However, my instincts would probably lead me to choose Action "A", solely because I don't want people to die because of a decision I made. But I'd look for a way to save my passengers and prevent a potential war.

Am I strange because I chose Action "A"?

Othin
6th August 2008, 4:34 PM
In a situation like that, where such an action could actually start a war, there's a good chance the war would eventually started anyway regardless of which action you chose.

Besides, survival is a victory when nothing else is.

shinygroudon232
6th August 2008, 8:27 PM
I would definitely choose choice #1. Mainly because its the right thing to do. And, I wouldn't be very welcomed coming home after choosing choice #2. And, With choice
#1, there isn't an absolute chance that an all-out war would be started. And I would not be able to live with the fact that I had betrayed countless people's trust, and they wound up dead because of it. And if you can live with that, I can't picture you as a good person.

Cain Nightroad
7th August 2008, 1:01 AM
Well, if I chose to leave the ship to die, and escape somehow, I'd be declared a traitor. Thus, I'd have nowhere to go -- no one would be considered an ally. Preventing war, however, is also a key idea here that can't be forgotten.

Let's take a look at something, though, for a moment. If I am a simple trading ship captain, then the chances are that I won't have passengers, just a crew. If I can convince the enemy that the passengers are the crew by giving the passengers spare uniforms, then we could become prisoners, which prevents our deaths.

One of the main things, though, is immediately bringing down your country's flag and replacing it with a spare flag. Hide/throw out your country's flag, so you don't seem to be an enemy of the enemy that owns the territory you are on. Thus, you may be able to get past the enemy and back to safety without provoking a war.

Profesco
7th August 2008, 3:45 AM
In response to the main question, I would love to say "I'll have my Wailord Surf us outta there!" but this is not the place. I then would probably say "I'll make contact with this enemy and explain the situation to them, hoping to find a diplomatic solution that costs no lives whatsoever."

However, this multiple choice, not open-ended, so I choose the second option. With the information (or lack thereof) given, the enemy sounds as though provocation will lead to a confrontation. Given how volatile people can be during wartime, I wouldn't risk that. Causing a war involves a scale of fighting with greater casualties than the contents of one ship. Of course, I would first offer the crew and passengers the chance to try and make their escape via liferaft, but only after explaining the severity of the situation to them along with the possible dire outcomes and dangers.


"Just because something is justified, does that mean it's right?"

Mhm, mhm. That is a brain tickler. I happen to believe that any kind of killing goes against a natural morality, but I also know that enough semantics and special pleading can justify truly anything. Many morally difficult endeavors are simply justified because that needs to happen for the world to continue running. In that way, I don't think it's morality that differs, but how far one is willing to stretch things to justify an amoral act. And that is up to each individual; what we call the effects of one's conscience.

Just for clarity, I think that justifying something does not make it right, or for that matter, have any affect at all on the moral value of that something.

Good question, Babylon. ^_^

Cain Nightroad
7th August 2008, 3:53 AM
However, this multiple choice, not open-ended, so I choose the second option. With the information (or lack thereof) given, the enemy sounds as though provocation will lead to a confrontation. Given how volatile people can be during wartime, I wouldn't risk that. Causing a war involves a scale of fighting with greater casualties than the contents of one ship. Of course, I would first offer the crew and passengers the chance to try and make their escape via liferaft, but only after explaining the severity of the situation to them along with the possible dire outcomes and dangers.

Explaining the situation to the enemy was going to be my answer as well, but I doubt that it would work. Considering today's enemies, the chances are that you'll need a translator (which you might not have in such a tight spot). Unfortunately, even if you do get a chance to translate, today's enemies might attack before listening to you. Taking the chances with the enemies could be dangerous, but I doubt the chances of creating war with them is a factor, seeing as there already is a war on today's enemies: the War on Terror.

Taking aside the factor of war, your choices change a bit: die, or have a slim chance of survival. Obviously, you'll want the slim chance of survival of you, the crew, and the passengers. As long as you have the slim chance that you can get out of the territory in disguise somehow, then you have much more "choosable" choices. This way we don't have what some call an "Ogre's Choice."

Profesco
7th August 2008, 4:01 AM
Explaining the situation to the enemy was going to be my answer as well, but I doubt that it would work. Considering today's enemies, the chances are that you'll need a translator (which you might not have in such a tight spot). Unfortunately, even if you do get a chance to translate, today's enemies might attack before listening to you. Taking the chances with the enemies could be dangerous, but I doubt the chances of creating war with them is a factor, seeing as there already is a war on today's enemies: the War on Terror.

Taking aside the factor of war, your choices change a bit: die, or have a slim chance of survival. Obviously, you'll want the slim chance of survival of you, the crew, and the passengers. As long as you have the slim chance that you can get out of the territory in disguise somehow, then you have much more "choosable" choices. This way we don't have what some call an "Ogre's Choice."

If you're assuming that these enemies are the same in the "war on terror," then I would still try a diplomatic approach. Given there's already an ongoing 'war' with them, I wouldn't want to try any sneaking through, or any sort of subterfuge, for fear of them using it to "feed the fire," so to speak.

Cain Nightroad
7th August 2008, 4:11 AM
If you're assuming that these enemies are the same in the "war on terror," then I would still try a diplomatic approach. Given there's already an ongoing 'war' with them, I wouldn't want to try any sneaking through, or any sort of subterfuge, for fear of them using it to "feed the fire," so to speak.

Even though "feeding the fire" would only worsen the conditions between us and them, a diplomatic approach doesn't seem like it would be such a good idea, either. I highly doubt that terrorists are going to sit down at a table and discuss our conditions rationally. Besides, there are probably "bases" the terrorists use to hide in, but I doubt they'll be out in the open. Sneaking past them might be easier than expected.

Maspireil
8th August 2008, 3:32 AM
I have a question for the people who chose Action "A".

Truly, did you choose Action "A" to save the crew or just yourself?

Maruno
8th August 2008, 11:05 PM
I would most likely choose option A: "Escape enemy territory as quickly as possible". That's because my crew and ship is my highest priority, and I've sworn to protect them at all costs. Threats of war can be dealt with by the politicians - I will of course explain the mistake of entering enemy waters in the first place, and do my best to find out what catastrophic failures caused it to happen.
That's how I answered, and why. I'd do my best to prevent things going badly afterwards (by investigating the causes, both to find out what happened and to show some good faith to the enemy nation), but my top priority would be to protect my ship and crew by all means possible. That's probably a Navy regulation, in fact (although I wouldn't know, because I detest the idea of being involved with war and hostilities) - someone else can clarify this.

Yellow Torterra
9th August 2008, 4:52 AM
Hmm....
Hard and moral question
I would take A because preety much of my morals and also since you sworn to protect the ship and its crew,I would try to do the most peaceful aproaching to enemy waters and id retire all the wepons from deck in singn of peace
But in the case I knew that the previous cant be done,I'd side with Profesco's post

AleXDialga
13th August 2008, 2:10 PM
I would choose Option B

Mr. Fresh
13th August 2008, 2:23 PM
I would choose to abandon ship, because I expect something between hostile action and all-out war to send the passengers to their deaths anyway.

If I leave there is no war, if I stay eveyone dies and chances are significant for a war.

As an amoral man, this decision is easy for me to make.

Hunter_RuLe
13th August 2008, 5:24 PM
Okay, I'm gonna try to make this more clear for myself.

Option A; Both you and your crew/passengers have a fair chance to die or survive. Let's say 50-50.

Option B; You rescue yourself but your crew/passengers are going to die for sure.

It seems to be a moral question in which you should choose for yourself as a egocentric individual or choose to fight for the chance of all your crew/passengers which looks more social. In the end however you'll almost always choose for yourself;

B Because you want to life no matter what and you want to prevent war.

A Because you can't life with the thought you are responsible for the death of all your passengers and/or you don't want to be known as someone of leaves eveyone to die just for himself.

Most people would probably take B as first option out of instinct, it's only nature; the strongest/smartest survive in the struggle of life. Though if you are given enough time to make a reasonable calculation of the outcomes of your choices you might choose option A because you like either living as a hero with everyone alive or atleast die trying to achieve that better than the idea of having to life with yourself knowing that you could've saved all those people. Therefore I would probably choose for option A myself.

nomistu
17th August 2008, 9:16 PM
Shouldn´t the question be, What is it hat make something "the right choice".
Is it preventing War? Is it making as few people as possible die?
Seriously. What is Justice?
Is it making "the bad guy" lose.
Is it always being honest?

I would choose (if possible) to contact the War-responsible person in the enemy land and trying to explain you have no intention to make war/lethal conflict but is needing help or at least not being attacked trying to get away from the underwater minefield. if that aint a choise i would(if possible) try to get the crew away in a lifeboat(or how it is called) away from the enemy territory and the minefield and trying to get away myself but at a distance so they wont explode with the ship if it does. if the enemy think they "killed the intruders" the crew at least may get away.

im 13 but i aint stupid.