Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Peripatetic Discussion 2/10/15

During our walking discussion we visited two locations.  The discussion began with the justice of resource distribution.  Our first stop was the library.  Someone suggested that we talk about the scenarios from the book.  We began discussing how to split a cake between people at a birthday party.  The first solution was that the people should distribute the cake by having everyone communicate and come to a consensus; the second solution was that the people should just split it equally.
After that short discussion, we headed to the Student Union.  There we switched to the boat scenario.  We all agreed to get rid of the elderly woman since she had lived enough years and couldn't really aid in the current situation.  We then came to an agreement that the mentally handicapped man, who was possibly a molester, should row until complete exhaustion or death.  We thought his supposed molesting tendencies warranted punishment.  We all agreed that the mother and child should survive the experience.  It was also discussed that we should force the older overweight gentleman with heart problems to row until possible death.  We also dabbled in the possibility of cannibalism on the boat.  We then threw around the idea that the rowers should end up getting more resources due to their high energy demands.  The others would just have to conserve their energy by not moving.  We came to the conclusion that in order to survive the scenario, some people had to die. In the end, we discussed how we would feel guilty about our actions if we were to survive the boat scenario.


  1. The thing about survivors' guilt is that you have to survive, to get it. So remind me not to go rafting with you guys!

    But seriously, it seems like lifeboat scenarios support the cynical view expressed by Plato's character Thrasymachus: "Justice" is the interest of the stronger. It's fine to have reason on your side, but in matters of life and death that's not always enough to make you a winner. Power prevails. So, we need to do all we can as a society to prevent the provision of health care from degenerating into a lifeboat scenario.

  2. Honestly if this were to somehow happen in real life, I probably wouldn't do anything. It is hardly easy to make the decision of what to do theoretically, and it would be ten times worse in real life.

    FQ: How does gene therapy work?
    A: repairing or replacing defective cells
    DQ: Is there anything wrong with sexual selection of children?

  3. AP 1 Questions
    DQ- For genetically enhanced memory and muscles, is there another reason other than fairness that explains why we should not aspire to these technologies?
    DQ- Is it possible for people to maintain humanity if allowed to get really involved in gentic engineering?
    DQ-Are designer babies only for personal gain for the parents? Why or why not?

  4. AP Questions


    1. What was the first clone? (AP 6)
    Answer: Dolly

    2 Name one of the 4 areas of bioengineering (AP 10)
    Answer: muscle enhancement, memory enhancement, height enhancement and sex selection

    3. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is used for what? (AP 20)
    Answer: sex determination

    DQ: would you want your child specified by design?

  5. If this actually happened, I would just look for the first shark and try to fight it, either way its a win. If I lose, I don't have to deal with the whole surviving thing. If I win, I just beat a shark to death, so thats pretty awesome.

    DQ: Should we alter our genes for social enhancement?