What would be the ethical response in this case– to use the dynamite or not? Justify your answer by consulting the moral reasoning tools we just learned in the first lecture.

The Cave case Discussion Topic Topic: Before you read this case, list 5 people that are very important to you. Then choose one of those five (perhaps the one you feel is the most adventurous) to lead the spelunking expedition. One bright sunny day, you and five of your friends decide to go spelunking. You are relatively inexperienced and unprepared spelunkers, but the leader of the group _____ insists that things will be fine, so boldly the group heads deep into the bowels of the caves. All of a sudden, you feel a tremor, and then, suddenly a cave-in crashes down just behind you, leaving you and your friends trapped and petrified. After a time, you and your friends regain your composure and endeavor to find a way out. You journey on for several more hours, and to the great joy and relief of all, you spy someday light in the distance. The group rushes ahead toward the narrow escape, when again there is a sudden tremor, which hurls ______ into the narrow escape. At the same time, the tremors cause another cave in behind you. You and your friends are hopelessly stuck in the small space (more like a damp cold dark prison) that remains, while ______ is lodged in the narrow escape, head outside breathing fresh air. You push and pull and try to dig around her to no avail. As luck would have it, one of your friends has a small stick of dynamite. It is not enough to blow a hole through the thick rock of the cave, but it WOULD be enough to blow your friend stuck in the escape, through the hole. Oxygen is in short supply. You are beginning to feel faint, and behind you, the cave slowly begins to fill with water, meaning you have about 20 minutes to make a decision whether or not to use the dynamite before everyone drowns. Keep in mind, there is no other way to rescue yourself and the four others without using the dynamite. The group leader stuck in the escape hole will not drown, and may survive a few days and longer if rescued. What would be the ethical response in this case– to use the dynamite or not? Justify your answer by consulting the moral reasoning tools we just learned in the first lecture. Could you think of any exceptions to your decision? For instance, what if some of the people stuck inside the cave were children? Or if the person blocking the escape was pregnant?

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