Boat of ethics

How is that an ethical issue?

Boat of ethics

In this scene we are asked to imagine fifty people on a lifeboat surrounded by a hundred who will likely drown and to weigh morally the available courses of action for those on the lifeboat.

This scenario, while usually presented as abstract, disinterested, and ahistorical, actually has several histories, three of which will be explored here. Hardin concludes that attempting to help those outside of the boat will capsize the ship and result in a greater net loss of life.

As he sees it, wealthy nations are the lifeboats in a sea of poor developing nations hungry for aid; helping them is wrong.

Boat of ethics

The lifeboat metaphor, on the other hand, is intended to emphasize competition and lack of coordination. These political positions argue from a variety of images and suppositions: My interest here is not arguing that one metaphor or another is the best, or even to decide between their policy recommendations.

Rather, my observation is that these jockeying images share a stance toward pain and its inevitability that creates a shared literary topos. The difference between ethicists and Sade, however, is in the normativity of the sadistic space. For the ethicists, it is an exceptional case, excluded even from terrestriality placed in the water or in space.

For Sade, it is the rule: But even as exception, the lifeboat is taken to illustrate general principles of social functioning. Hardin, for example, wants to literally extrapolate economic foreign policy from the lifeboat scenario.

The communitarian Spaceship Earth position likewise argues for the commensurability of normal ethical action on our planet and on the space ship. Nell has a more nuanced relation between lifeboat and normativity.

I shall make no assumptions about the other rights persons may have. Even as ethicists construct the lifeboat as an exceptional sphere where our preconceptions can be renegotiated, they do so, like Sade, in order to show that the same law operates in the exception as in society at large.

Ethics, then, inscribes a special place for horror narratives in its constitution. At this point I want to move away from the ethical lifeboat discourse to sketch out the topology of horror as it reflects that of applied ethics.

The crisis on the lifeboat must be gruesome enough to mitigate decisively between ethical positions, making them matters of commitment rather than opinion. Horror violates the rational capacity of the viewer in order to remind her, on recoiling, of the comfort of universal reason.

Horror is a kind of direct sublimity: A few disparate examples suggest that the cramped and isolated topos of the lifeboat is also that of the horror movie.

In Alien, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, and Hostel, the victims are confined in some way, powerless to resist, and from this arises the ambiance of impending violence characteristic of horror. This perceptual shift also changes the nature of power relations.

The viewer no longer stands in a vertical relation to those who suffer but on the same plane. In the vertical paradigm, the viewer is categorically separated from the suffering.

Lifeboat (film) - Wikipedia

In the horizontal paradigm, a persecutor elevates him or her self above the victims by degrees of violence. Power becomes strategic rather than absolute.

Thus in some horror movies, like the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, Death Proof, and 30 Days of Night, there comes a turning point when the hunted become the hunters.

Because this turn creates an indeterminacy of who is the monster, many horror movies end on a note of suspended resolution—the terror has abated, for now, but has not been expunged. The logic of violence is absorbed into the fabric of society.


In 30 Days of Night, for example, a group of vampires descends on an isolated town in Alaska. One of the survivors infects himself with vampirism to gain super-strength and defeat the vampires and save the remainder of the town. In the end he must kill himself to erase the last trace of disturbance in the social order.

The categorical separation between ethicist and lifeboat--a separation which is a given for the lifeboat to function as example--is the fantasy of the person trapped within the horizontal paradigm of the horror narrative.

Sometimes the way out is literally a lifeboat, as in the remake of Dawn of the Dead or Children of Men, or a helicopter in the original Dawn of the Deadan escape pod Alienetc. In any case, the problematic of horror implies a technology that allows exit from the land of pain, and asylum in the multiplicity of the social.

As a result of this comparison of ethical discourse and horror narrative, I would argue for the primacy of horror narratives in constructing modern ethical thinking. If we track the genesis and journey of the lifeboat, we see that it originates in the land of horror, leaves from the port of the ethical event, and is arrested on its way by a coast guard of professional ethicists and policymakers.Code of Ethics.

As a Building Official, my fundamental duties are the protection of life, health and property; recognizing the public’s trust bestowed upon individuals engaged in the administration and enforcement of building regulatory codes;.

Lifeboat ethics - Wikipedia

Code of Ethics. As a Building Official, my fundamental duties are the protection of life, health and property; recognizing the public’s trust bestowed upon individuals engaged in the administration and enforcement of building regulatory codes;. [email protected] About the Foundation The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating.

CODE OF ETHICS DO NOT OPERATE YOUR BOAT IN AREAS TOO SHALLOW FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT: Hundreds of marine species are dependent upon the health of the sea grasses and marine plants found in these shallow waters for nurseries and nutrition. don’t rock the boat: ethics and the pressures of social work in the schools eleanor pepi downey, phd, lmsw sue martin, licsw, c-ssws, acsw.

A code of ethics can help a business determine its priorities and values. It can also help you down the line if one of your employees or vendors drags you into legal trouble. How to Write a Code.

How to Write a Code of Ethics for Business |