Thought: The classic save a child scenario with modern examples of Newton and Costa tragedies
Shortly after the Costa cruise ship disaster last January, I was sitting with some guys at work and the following question became a discussion: If you were in that sinking ship and saw, in the last seconds you had to escape, a child that needed help, it's you or him; would you save him?
A similar scenario can be created from imagining oneself as a guest in a school were a shooting is underway. Knowing that it's either you or a child you don't know, who do you save?
In real life, outcomes are rarely absolute, so hopefully we'd make the attempt to do what we could, especially if we were a teacher who has accepted responsibility for the children's' well-being, but in a fictitious scenario when we know the outcome, I think the only honest and logical answer is no.
We put things like candy, iphones, and entertainment above the lives of dying children, every day. Someone that saves the child is only admitting that they're too cowardly to be consistent; that the immediacy of the situation is too much to deal with emotionally.
Unless you're taking a break to read this before raiding a mercenary camp in Darfur to
prevent the mutilation and rape on the next village, your value of life, besides your own, is lower than you're probably comfortable admitting. Likewise, instead of writing this post, I could send a couple dollars to save a life in India, I could call up a few friends and save a few more lives, but I won't. I'm going to spend that money on movie tickets.
This post isn't even about right and wrong, it's just about being honest. I think in order to progress intellectually and morally, we need to understand ourselves realistically. Either admit that you'd let the kid die and move on, or backup your claim and sell your possessions to the last penny to save people that need your help now.