I haven't written for a while (taking a small break for personal reasons) but good to be back writing this weekend. I picked this topic from this weekend engagement questions from @aglenkp entitled "The death dilemma". If I had to choose to execute someone to save my own skin, could I do it? Would I really kill someone else to save myself?
My immediate thought was I couldn't kill someone. However, then I thought about my wife, my kids, and my wider family. How would this be on everyone who depends on me so much in life?
I also wondered if I am just too chicken. If it really came down to it, would I just go against my beliefs and save myself at any cost?
However, I think I would then weigh up the other individuals to judge if I felt that they were worth more than me. It feels like such a dark and arrogant thought but I think we all do it all the time, we judge the worth of ourselves against those around us. Are we all equal?
It reminded me of the movie Worth which was about an attorney, on the back of the September 11th terrorist act, trying to work out how much different lives were worth as the US government calculated compensation for the victims. Lawyers do this the whole time, they calculate the worth of individuals.
The idea is that someone who is a CEO in a big organisation with an expensive lifestyle is "worth" more than an unemployed person living on welfare. One could argue that their loss has more of a financial impact and therefore their loss is worth more.
So when deciding if I take someone else out to save myself, does it depend on who the others are? If it is an old man who is in his latter years does it make his "worth" less than mine? What about a young man with his full life in front of him? His potential may be more than mine. What about a mother of a child? Does it sound sexist or just natural to have a different sensitivity to women in a way I may not have for other men?
So, I do think I would look around at the others. Judge their worth. If one of them is worth less than me. Perhaps I would save myself.