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The Lifeboat Game.

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    I did this exercise in a Sociology lesson and thought it would be interesting to see other people’s views.

    A passenger liner is wrecked at sea and these 15 people find themselves together in a lifeboat. The lifeboat however can only support 9 people. If six are not eliminated everyone will die. If you were in command of the lifeboat, which would you choose to survive? :eek:

    1. A doctor. GP. He is addicted to drugs and very nervous, aged 60.
    2. A black Minister. Protestant. Age 27.
    3. A Prostitute, no parents. She is an excellent nurse. Has already saved a drowning child. Age 37.
    4. A male criminal. Charged with murder. He is the only one capable of navigating the boat. Age 37.
    5. A man mentally disturbed, who carries important government secrets in his head, age 41.
    6. A salesman. He sales automatic washing machines. Member of the local Rotary Club. Age 51.
    7. A crippled boy, paralyzed since birth. He can not use his hands, or do anything for him-self, so must be fed by others. Age 8.
    8. A married couple. He is a construction worker, who drinks a lot. Age 27. She is a housewife with two children at home. Age 23.
    9. A Jewish restaurant owner married with three children at home. Age 40.
    10. A teacher considered one of the best in Essex. Age 32.
    11. A catholic Nun. Supervisor of a girl’s school. Age 46.
    12. An unemployed man, formally a professor of literature. He has a great sense of humour, showed courage in the last war and was in a concentration camp for three years, age 53.
    13. A married couple deeply in love, but yet no children. Both Irish. He is studying to be a pharmacist. Age 24. She is a housewife, helps with a playgroup. Age 21.


    Discuss who you would save and why.
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    2, 5, 6, 9 and 11. They're of little/no use.
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    id would eliminate:

    Crippled boy
    Salesman
    Minister
    Nun
    Mentally disturbed guy
    Prostitute
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    Some I'm a bit uncertain about, but I would choose to survive:
    1. The doctor
    3. The prostitute
    4. The criminal
    8. The housewife from the married couple
    9. The Jewish retaurant owner.
    10. The teacher
    13. The married, childless couple.
    And myself

    Chosen based off of who will be useful on the boat, who has what I consider the best future if they survive, and those with children.
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    (Original post by justfarhan)
    2, 5, 6, 9 and 11. They're of little/no use.
    So, number 11- Would you really not save a mother of 3 children?
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    (Original post by Nevatary)
    So, number 11- Would you really not save a mother of 3 children?
    11. A catholic Nun. Supervisor of a girl’s school. Age 46.

    Where does it say mother of 3 children?
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    (Original post by justfarhan)
    11. A catholic Nun. Supervisor of a girl’s school. Age 46.

    Where does it say mother of 3 children?
    I meant number 9.
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    (Original post by Nevatary)
    I meant number 9.
    That one doesn't say if it's a man or woman but I assume it's a man.

    Still, they're not as much use as the others are.
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    I think the key to this puzzle is to work out how many peoples live depend on each person and only keep the ones with the most dependants.

    1. A doctor. GP. He is addicted to drugs and very nervous, aged 60.
    Very nervous, but medical expert, drug abuse may be a problem, but he can save lives.
    2. A black Minister. Protestant. Age 27.
    Religion could help keep faith but no other skills, adding nothing to the lifeboat other than hope. No family. He can go
    3. A Prostitute, no parents. She is an excellent nurse. Has already saved a drowning child. Age 37.
    We have teh doctor, only the doctor or the prostitute needs to survive, the doctor has more medical knowledge, so she may not be as necessary
    4. A male criminal. Charged with murder. He is the only one capable of navigating the boat. Age 37.
    the most useful person on the boat, prior transgressions mean nothing. Most murders are not cold blooded, but done in a moment of passion. So crew would not be in too much danger. Must stay in order to get boat to safety
    5. A man mentally disturbed, who carries important government secrets in his head, age 41.
    Why are govt secrets needed? adds nothing to the boat. No dependants. he can go
    6. A salesman. He sales automatic washing machines. Member of the local Rotary Club. Age 51.
    What use is rotary? old, no dependants.
    7. A crippled boy, paralyzed since birth. He can not use his hands, or do anything for him-self, so must be fed by others. Age 8.
    Burden to the boat, no utility, no dependants GO
    8. A married couple. He is a construction worker, who drinks a lot. Age 27. She is a housewife with two children at home. Age 23.
    9. A Jewish restaurant owner married with three children at home. Age 40.
    Children need him, should stay as others depend on his survival
    10. A teacher considered one of the best in Essex. Age 32.
    Why do you need a teacher on a boat? adds nothing, young still a lot to live for.
    11. A catholic Nun. Supervisor of a girl’s school. Age 46
    Same as 10, but older and therefore less to live for. Go
    12. An unemployed man, formally a professor of literature. He has a great sense of humour, showed courage in the last war and was in a concentration camp for three years, age 53.
    Humour can help keep morale on the boat and survival in tough situations shows that the others can make it through. However age is a problem. And he adds nothing extra to the boat apart form time passing and morale.
    13. A married couple deeply in love, but yet no children. Both Irish. He is studying to be a pharmacist. Age 24. She is a housewife, helps with a playgroup. Age 21.

    No children, adds nothing to the boat. However they are young and still have much to live for.


    My choices are 2,5,6,7,11. Then it's between the prostitute or teh doctor as to which one is the most needed.
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    The answer is, logically, quite easy.

    Look around for the other lifeboats. Every passenger ship must by international law carry enough for all the passengers, and there'll also be floats and flotation rafts and so on around in the sea, too, as well as likely a huge amount of wreckage. So the 6 surplus passengers could use those, tied onto the lifeboat and rotating in and out with the other passengers. Hence all 15 survive.

    Sorry, but I like applying logic and knowledge to these hypothetical situations and spoiling the game.
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    Haha... Yes, we did something similarly the other day, but it was a Balloon debate: you are all in a hot air balloon over the Atlantic which is sinking and someone need to fall out othereiwse we all die yadda yadda.

    My question is this - how the hell did you get the balloon UP in the air if it's so heavy it's falling DOWN. Surely you can use fuel to heat the balloon up again? And if all the fuel has run out then it doesn't matter if there's 1 or 100 people, the balloon's still going to sink eventually...


    My choices for the OP's puzzle: 2, 5, 7, 10 and 11...... hmm I'm torn between the Irish couple (why their nationality matters I don't know) and the salesman...

    I made my decision purely on the here and now - who is needed and will be the best on the boat at the time - NOT how they will help the world in general. It's more pressing.

    In my Balloon debate, for example, I was Nelson Mandela. Now I could have spent ages explaining my achievements and presidency and how I campaigned against AIDS, but instead I said "I'm used to confined spaces since I've been in jail, and I'm good at getting opposing people to co-operate to stop feuds breaking out which could kill us all" Ok that was a stupid example, but you can apply the same rule much more seriously
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    I think it's obviously necessary to consider those who would aid the sucess of the boat journey to safety first, and those who would be of a more general benefit later. It's no use saving the 'good people' first if you don't have a competent team of people to man the boat.

    I'd leave behind:
    1. It might be controversial leaving the doctor, but a nervous drug addict is likely to have a very negative effect on the boat. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms and using only the first aid kit that would be on board, I don't see the doctor being any better than the prostitute/nurse.
    2. No problem with him, but he doesn't appear to be at all useful. He's young and has a position of moderate responsibility, but I see nothing special about clergymen. There are other better choices.
    5. It might depend on the nature of the secrets - if they could prevent the outbreak of war, I'd keep him - but mental instability is dangerous in someone spending a long time on a small craft.
    6. As with number 2, he doesn't seem to have any use. I don't think a 51 year old washing machine salesman will be too chuffed with his life anyway.
    7. There's no room for sentimentality here, and in this situation he's effectively a dead weight. Taking him would mean rejecting someone physically able who could help on the boat, and you'd need to care for him constantly. Not a practical choice.
    11. Clearly the nun does good work at the school, but since she doesn't contribute to the boat and has no direct dependents, she unfortunately would have to be dropped.
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    Draw straws - the only fair way. After all, what right does the commander of the lifeboat have to decide whose lives are the least important?
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    (Original post by Laura Lou)
    Draw straws - the only fair way. After all, what right does the commander of the lifeboat have to decide whose lives are the least important?
    It may be 'fair' in one sense, but in another sense it's entirely unfair; in drawing straws you open up the possibility of jeopardising the safety and health of those on the boat by rejecting those who are necessary for the sucess of your journey. I would consider it irresponsible on the part of the commander of the lifeboat to have the people draws straws when there are some present who would be vastly more beneficial to the boat journey's sucess.
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    It may be 'fair' in one sense, but in another sense it's entirely unfair; in drawing straws you open up the possibility of jeopardising the safety and health of those on the boat by rejecting those who are necessary for the sucess of your journey. I would consider it irresponsible on the part of the commander of the lifeboat to have the people draws straws when there are some present who would be vastly more beneficial to the boat journey's sucess.
    So who is necessary for the success of the journey? The doctor - who may be doped up and unable to perform the simplest of tasks? Or the criminal - who may be the only person who could navigate the boat but as a person charged with murder, who knows how his mind works... he could be on a suicide mission!
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    I'd shoot the lot and let God deal with 'em...

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