How far can you go to save your life?

August 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
clipped from www.psychologytoday.com

What may we do to save ourselves?
August 19, 2009

How far can you go to save your life?

Here are two explorers. Let them be Penelope Pessimist and Ophelia Optimist. They are exploring some mountainous regions, when they become suddenly aware of a bear in the distance, a bear big and hungry and intent upon feeding – feeding upon them.

The bear heads in their direction, picking up speed, anticipating a tasty explorer breakfast. 

‘We’d better run for it,’ urges Ophelia Optimist.

‘What’s the point?’ sighs Penelope Pessimist in despair at the bear. ‘There’s no way we can outrun a bear.’

‘No need to do that,’ smirks Ophelia Optimist. ‘No need for us to outrun the bear – just for me to outrun you.’

And with that, she was off.

* * *

What are we morally allowed to do to save our lives?  Presumably Ophelia would not be permitted morally to trip up Penelope…

I raise this question because in many parts of the world we do need to protect our lives, yet in doing so, we may endanger others. 

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