The bear chase hypothetical

Gomer is running through the woods, being chased by a bear. He happens to be carrying food in his backpack, but there are other things in there that he wants to keep so he doesn’t want to just drop it.

The bear is gaining on him.

He realizes someone ahead of him is also being chased by the bear. Gomer is a faster runner and he catches up with that person, knocks them down, and takes a few seconds to grab the food from his backpack and dumps it on them before taking off running again.

A few seconds after that, Gomer hears horrible shrieking as the bear reaches the person he knocked over.

Gomer slows down to catch his breath. Thinking he’s safe, he stops in a clearing and takes off his backpack and moves a few feet away.

A bear appears. Possibly the same bear, possibly another bear. Gomer might be able to escape if he left the backpack behind, but instead he tries to grab it. The bear kills him.
Did Gomer have death by bear coming? Is his death a tragedy?

Gomer is running from a bear, which is gaining on him, yet he knocks down another runner, and stops to partially unload his backpack?
Then he stops AGAIN, and removes the backpack?

Gomer’s a criminal, a dumbass, and now dead. The second (or same) bear that eats him deserves a reward for adding a little chlorine to the gene pool.

Neither. Gomer is just a horrible person, and stupid too.

And in a few days, Gomer will just be a pile.

Guess it kinda depends what’s in the backpack that he’s willing to go to such lengths to protect. If it’s a vaccine for a disease struck ophanarium, then Gomer ends up looking a lot better then if its a mint condition Star Wars collectable.

Since what’s in the backpack seems to be Gomer’s entire motivation for his questionable actions, I don’t think you can really leave it out of the hypothetical.

I think the answer “it depends on what’s in the backpack” is answer enough, honestly.

Nah. It’s a thing, not a being, and it’s not bear-bait in itself. Leave the backpack and come back later, dumbass. The bear is very unlikely to eat the vaccine and in any case you are unable to deliver it when dead.

I didn’t see this the first time. I was lucky. :smiley:

No, and yes.

He ought to be arrested, charged, tried, and (if found guilty) sentenced harshly. But, yes, his death is a tragedy. “Mauled to Death by a Bear” exceeds the Eighth Amendment substantially.

“Poetic Justice” rarely has much of a resemblance to true justice.

Yes, he deserved his fate.

  1. He decided the contents of his backpack were more valuable than another person’s life.
  2. He didn’t just outrun the other person. He knocked that person down and threw food on them as bait.

This, too, shall pass, my child.

The Eighth Amendment has no application whatsoever to this scenario. Said Amendment operates as a limit on the power of the State. The bear is clearly not a state actor, and therefore cannot violate Gomer’s constitutional rights pursuant to the Eighth Amendment.

Oakminster: it is a moral statement, having to do with what our country considers just. It is applicable as a moral declaration of what we, as a people, will tolerate in the name of punishment.

The Eighth Amendment is a declaration of revulsion against torture and excessive inflicting of pain, in every aspect of our society.

It only operates against the government, but it is entirely valid to cite it in a moral sense.

(The board already has one Bricker.)

I beg to differ. It is nonsensical to cite the Eighth Amendment in this scenario. Nobody is being tortured or even punished. A hypothetical Darwin Award is being hypothetically earned.

Kiting a mob into a TPK? Ban his ass!

Well, it was in response to the phrase “had it coming,” which is a societal moral judgement. In the U.S. (and most civilized countries, of course) we have gone beyond “mauled by bears” as “having it coming.” Our system of laws doesn’t work that way.

Does “fate” or “karma” or “an act of God” work that way? Sometimes, but it isn’t dependable. The guy might have had a gun, and ended up with a bearskin rug. Evil, in a state of nature, is often rewarded.

We have laws in order to try to regularize the outcome, so that, at least a little more often than by random chance, evil is punished. But we also have set limits on the punishment. Under the prevailing more philosophy, no one “has it coming” to be torn apart alive.

If the laws of nature provided the “right outcome” as often as civilized court systems, I’d happily support this. If the bear turned the guy over its knee and spanked him, we’re good.

What if the backpack is filled with acid glue?

Is this question from a test on Situational Ethics?

Can we make the bear take the class too?

The key questions here are–
[li]Did the bear, in fact, shit in the woods?[/li][li]Is the Bear Catholic?[/li][li]How is the Pope involved?[/li][li]And, what about Naomi?[/li][/ol]