Necessary Evil

Three people are stranded on an island. There is only enough food for two of them. What is the best course of action assuming everyone would prefer to live? What if the only ‘food’ is the third person? Is murder evil/wrong in this scenario?

p.s. i wonder if how much googling it would take to find canabal recipes?

Well, first you take some barbecue sa -

*slaps hands over mouth, makes a strangled squeak, turns bright red, and flees

You ration the food between all three while supplementing with fish from the surrounding waters. At the same time, you check resources for ways of attracting/seeking help.



I suppose you’d do what sailors did in the past. You’d draw straws and the person with the short straw ended up on the menu.


My absolutist moral standards recognize that something can be wrong, can even be evil, but can also be necessary. If it were me, I’d probably volunteer to be the one to die. I don’t think I would condemn those who survived if they acknowledged that it was wrong to do so. Even if they didn’t, I’d probably point it out once and then associate or not associate with them depending on who they were.

Even in less extreme circumstances, there are times when I think it’s perfectly acceptable to sit back, look at your situation, and say “Yes, my life really stinks right now.” Then you figure out what you need to do to go on with it, do it, and try to work out how and if you can avoid getting into a similar situation next time.


survival precludes morality
so it’s not murder, it’s hunting.

and it’s just like cooking ham. (although if you have a pineapple glaze, you probably want to eat that before killing off your buddy)

Is this really so difficult?

I’d start off agreeing with I, Brian. You would divy up the food available equally. You would equally share whatever sustenance is obtained from the island or the seas.

If that together is insufficient to sustain all three lives, eventually, one person dies. When that happens, they are placed on the menu.


You see, the OP introduces the fallacy that “There is only enough food for two of them.” How can that be? Whatever that supply is, wouldn’t the same amount be enough for one of them, for twice as long? That is, couldn’t you measure the amount of nourishment in “man-days”? If you had 60 man-days of food, that would be enough for two people for thirty days, three people for twenty days, or one person for 60 days. When that is exhausted, and one person dies, they simply add to the number of remaining man-days in the supply.

Is this really that difficult?

Well, I was going to point you to, but apparently the site is down. Ah well.

…and he goes on to address your question.