Don’t miss the boat

Our final Bioethics report took us back to the lifeboat.

Group 3’s creative take on this scenario was to hitch it to an even more fanciful and perilous lifeboat and ask if survival might require us to jettison not only some of our fellow castaways but also the more refined and reflective aspects of our selves. 
A compelling discussion of life, Pi, instinct and reason, the power of storytelling, the value of religion, and much more ensued. Some of us had a lot to say. I suppose my biggest takeaway, aside from a desire to read the novel and really watch the film, is a sense that utilitarian-style lifeboat ethics is at best an interesting academic exercise. But if I ever find myself in a boat with a tiger, real or invented, I’ll need more than that to survive. In Campbell’s lifeboat, I hope I’d not be tempted to ditch Granny, the young woman, or the baby in the name of utility alone. This story’s moral, for me, is that there’s a lot more to life than merely living.
In A&P we heard about Maiya’s conversion to Spinozism, William’s logical deconstruction of theism, Colton’s response to the problem of evil, Devin’s research and historically-rooted  reflections on Atheist Church (Sunday Assembly, School of Life etc.), and Rachel’s favorite Good Book scripture, Wisdom 10.5-8. Back in the boat:

Consider when, on a voyage, your ship is anchored; if you go on shore to get 
water you may amuse yourself along the way with picking up a shellsh. 6. 
However, your attention must also be towards the ship, waiting for the captain to 
call you on board; 7. For when he does so, you must immediately leave all these things, otherwise you will miss the ship as it sails. 8. So it is with life…

Indeed. Gather ye rosebuds and shellfish, but remember: the nectar is in the journey.

And so I’m off to Memphis. Happy Spring Break!

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