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A moral dilemma..

Hicup

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This is a story I sort of made up on another forum to show a young person how to articulate what a moral dilemma is. He could not spot the dilemma, and I'm wondering if anyone here can, and why.

The story goes....

You're the chief of an obscure Indonesian tribe. Your people are starving there is mass famine, all of the livestock, and game are dead or dying. The plants and produce are dead and cannot grow. Water is scarce.

A competing tribe not as bad off, offers apples, but some of the apples are poisoned and they tell you, but they don't know which apples are good or bad. Your tribe is too weak to fight other tribes for their food, so you as the chief have to make a decision.

As the chief what do you do and why?

1) Give out the apples anyway and not tell anyone?
2) Give out the apples but tell everyone?
3) Not give out the apples?


Discuss..


Tim-
 

MKULTRABOY

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Tell everyone of course then get strong off the apples with the survivors and cut their heads off.

Or move somewhere else, I doubt theyd stay in a plagued land for long they had scheduling and forward planning to some extent I think if I can recall what ive read.
 

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This is a story I sort of made up on another forum to show a young person how to articulate what a moral dilemma is. He could not spot the dilemma, and I'm wondering if anyone here can, and why.

The story goes....

You're the chief of an obscure Indonesian tribe. Your people are starving there is mass famine, all of the livestock, and game are dead or dying. The plants and produce are dead and cannot grow. Water is scarce.

A competing tribe not as bad off, offers apples, but some of the apples are poisoned and they tell you, but they don't know which apples are good or bad. Your tribe is too weak to fight other tribes for their food, so you as the chief have to make a decision.

As the chief what do you do and why?

1) Give out the apples anyway and not tell anyone?
2) Give out the apples but tell everyone?
3) Not give out the apples?


Discuss..


Tim-
I'm assuming nearly all of my tribe members will almost certainly die if I don't tell them about the apples, and many but not most of the tribe would die if they ate the apples, and those who ate the non poisoned apples will, on average, live as long as they would've if there had been no famine.

1 The members of the tribe shouldn't be tricked into eating something that might kill them.
2 is the best solution.
3 One shouldn't keep people from making choices that could save their life.
 

mikhail

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2 i would say but i think its a pretty weak example.
 

Aunt Spiker

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5) Wage war on the other tribe and take what they have

:shrug: Just kidding!

Actually #2) tell, let the people decide what they want to do.
 

MaggieD

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This is a story I sort of made up on another forum to show a young person how to articulate what a moral dilemma is. He could not spot the dilemma, and I'm wondering if anyone here can, and why.

The story goes....

You're the chief of an obscure Indonesian tribe. Your people are starving there is mass famine, all of the livestock, and game are dead or dying. The plants and produce are dead and cannot grow. Water is scarce.

A competing tribe not as bad off, offers apples, but some of the apples are poisoned and they tell you, but they don't know which apples are good or bad. Your tribe is too weak to fight other tribes for their food, so you as the chief have to make a decision.

As the chief what do you do and why?

1) Give out the apples anyway and not tell anyone?
2) Give out the apples but tell everyone?
3) Not give out the apples?


Discuss..


Tim-
#2 is the obvious choice. I fail to see any moral dilemma. #1 is out because: always go with truth when it's staring you in the face. #3 is out because I'm not God.

I like the lifeboat one much better.
 

Hicup

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Yes, ok I wasn't clear. What is the dilemma, and where does the morality lie?

Tim-
 

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This is a story I sort of made up on another forum to show a young person how to articulate what a moral dilemma is. He could not spot the dilemma, and I'm wondering if anyone here can, and why.

The story goes....

You're the chief of an obscure Indonesian tribe. Your people are starving there is mass famine, all of the livestock, and game are dead or dying. The plants and produce are dead and cannot grow. Water is scarce.

A competing tribe not as bad off, offers apples, but some of the apples are poisoned and they tell you, but they don't know which apples are good or bad. Your tribe is too weak to fight other tribes for their food, so you as the chief have to make a decision.

As the chief what do you do and why?

1) Give out the apples anyway and not tell anyone?
2) Give out the apples but tell everyone?
3) Not give out the apples?


Discuss..


Tim-
2. Give out the apples but tell everyone.

(I haven't read the thread but I'd be surprised if anyone chose a different answer).

I would advise adults to try each apple first and wait to see if illness ensues, before feeding the apples to their children.
I'd also ask for volunteers who wanted to taste-test apples for the rest of the populace. People without families or people too far gone to survive regardless might be willing to be test subjects.
 

Hicup

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2. Give out the apples but tell everyone.

(I haven't read the thread but I'd be surprised if anyone chose a different answer).

I would advise adults to try each apple first and wait to see if illness ensues, before feeding the apples to their children.
I'd also ask for volunteers who wanted to taste-test apples for the rest of the populace. People without families or people too far gone to survive regardless might be willing to be test subjects.
Hint: The moral dilemma does not reside entirely with the King's decision.. It goes much further.


Tim-
 

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Give out the apples, but tell everyone. If they want to take the chance, it's their perrogative. When you're starving, half a chance is better than no chance. Equal opportunity to live or die.;)
 
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Civil1z@tion

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Here's the only way that the dilemma can work from my point of view. If you tell the people, some will inevitably choose not to eat the apples because not everyone is rational and would hope to wait for some miracle rather than risk dying of poison. This on top of the people who will die from the poison will probably mean more people will die than if you don't tell the people. However, when making moral dilemmas it is best to make these points explicit.

For me though I'd still go with 2 simply because I believe people have a right to be willfully stupid with their one lives.
 

reefedjib

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The thing is that 1 apple will only make for 1 meal. People to survive will need to eat more than 1 apple. If 20% of the apples are poisoned, then the odds for getting poisoned go up with each meal. I used to know the math here - is it as simple as 0.2 * number of apples eaten?

You have to have a population that eats part of each apple and look for symptoms (or death) to separate the apples so the rest of the population can survive. The obvious choice for the test population is the elderly since they are past child rearing age.

Call this a modified form of #2.

After the next harvest, go to war with the neighboring tribe and slaughter them.
 

Hicup

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Ok, maybe I was cheating a bit, I'll grant you this, however, the king's decision isn't simply if people will die. It is exactly how that will manifest, that presents the dilemma. In this example, the king cannot avoid death being the outcome of his people if he does nothing, so he MUST choose either option one, or he must choose option two.

1) Give out the apples anyway and not tell anyone?
This is the first roadblock for the king. He could give out the apples, but it would mean that some people will live, and some will die. If he chooses this option, he loses control of how that will go down. The option has some appeal because, by giving the apples out "some" people will live, as opposed to going with option three. However, in option two the decision to live or die is held with the tribe themselves. For the individuals in the tribe, the decision is presumed by the king, to be one whereby they take the fruit - but the king still loses control of the outcome. With option two, there will be families in the tribe, and the decision will now reside with the leaders of the family.

The King still loses full control, but he retains some of it, because he must conclude that the leader of the family will choose one member to eat the fruit first - wait, and then observe the outcome of consuming the apple. Now, which member eats the fruit first if you're the leader of the family? And why? The dilemma is now in the possession of the leader of the family. The dilemma has shifted from the leader of the collective tribe, to the leader of the family. What is the moral thing to do if you're the leader of the family?

The reason for the exercise is that, in the other forum, my young friend could not see a connection between the collective morality, and that of the personal variety. In a society, the morality of something begins with the morality of the single individual. In the instant example above, we see exactly that. A Father (Presumably) faced with the decision to kill either himself, or one of his family members in the hope that doing so will save the lives of the others. After the first apple is taken a bite out of, we wait, and wait.. After a good amount of time that person will either be dead or alive. if alive then everyone shares the fruit, if dead, then we move on to the next person.

Who is that person, and why?


Tim-
 

other

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Who is that person, and why?


Tim-
the person who is closest already to starvation. Or actually, a person actually about to die from starvation.

ie. He will die very soon if he doesn't eat, and if he does eat he will either die very soon (no change), or live (positive result) -- if given only a small peice, then that would be an indicator that that single apple is good to share. He cannot lose (except maybe by dying only slightly sooner) and so only stands to gain if the apple is, in fact, good (along with some others). Not an efficient solution, but a morally neat one.

This case is basically a modified version of the 1st option. Maybe the second, but if you told the dying person he still might irrationally refuse the fruit. To be safe, since he's on his way out anyway, just don't tell him and give him a peice. By giving him the peice you've actually improved his chances of survival from a 100% certainty of death to...whatever the percentage of poisoned apples there are in the batch--overall, a morally positive act, whatever the outcome. then simply rinse and repeat! And move to a new island.
 
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Orion

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#2. It's the most honest and gives the community the most choice.
 
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