posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:27 PM
I think the answer is pretty evident, probably not. It is our instinct to stay alive after all. But then, what if that stranger was a child? It gets
harder to answer but then again, I would not kill my self to save this unknown child.
This reminds of a statement from the Talmud
The Talmud (Bava Metzia 62a) discusses the case of two people who are travelling the desert and only one of them has sufficient water to survive.
Ben Petura is of the opinion that it is better that they divide the water and both die, rather than have one watch the death of the other. Rabbi Akiva
is of the opinion that "your life comes first", that the owner of the water must save his life first, even if the other person will die. Rabbi Akiva's
opinion has become the Halachic consensus
I pretty much agree with that view, and surprisingly Judaism does as well.
In the desert scenario in the Talmud, I would act similarly. If only one person can live, and the water rightfully belongs to me, than I am the one
that is going to live. The person who doesn't have the water, I'm sorry to say, is condemned; but it's either him or I, or neither of us. And since
neither of us would be idiotic, it's either he or I; the basic ethical question comes down to: should I sacrifice myself for him? Why? Is the
principle of love more intrinsic to my love for myself, and so my appreciation in existing and being, or my love for whatever exists outside myself
i.e other people or beings; I think there's a valid case for putting your own self - and your own appreciation for life - over someone else's. And if
that unfortunate scenario the Talmud describes ever were to arise, I imagine the one who didn't have the canteen would understand and finally accede
that he cannot accept any other scenario other than the one fate has destined for him; to take the canteen from the one it belongs to, is to profit
where you should have lost; and as sad as that is, the guilt from living on while the one who gave you the canteen died is too shameful, and probably
guilt-ridden in itself, to allow the other to ever live in perfect equanimity.
1 million strangers saved by my sacrifice? In all honesty, I would not.
There always comes a point where the person SHOULD recognize his need to protect the lives of others.
If you can save 100 people by sacrificing yourself, wouldn't you feel impelled by reason to understand that 100 individuals you's are facing the same
fate that you are?
edit on 6-10-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)