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Lifeboat ethics and human survival The article, ‘Living on a lifeboat’ by Garrett Hardin gives insight into the survival paradigms of human race and how the ethical and moral imperatives should be used within the broader constraints of inequitable distribution of resources across the globe…
According to Hardin, lifeboat ethics become hugely critical elements of human survival. Lifeboats have lifeboats have limited space and people in it can survive only if they do not exceed the number of persons that it can take up. Thus, people in the lifeboat must desist saving people from overcrowded boat or drowning people if they want to survive. The self-interest must prevail in the lifeboat ethics. The tragedy of the commons is perceived as hugely crucial factor that adversely impacts the interests of the people at large. The metaphor broadly refers to resources that are used by all people and as such, being ‘common’ nobody takes up the responsibility for it. Hardin says that natural resources like air and water are prime example of the metaphor. People use it indiscriminately but are not concerned as to how it should be saved for posterity as legacy for our children. Christian-Marxist moral imperatives cannot be applied across the board because world is crowded with imperfect human-beings and selfish people would tend to look for their own interests and which would ultimately lead to mutual ruin of the commons. This he has defined as tragedy of the commons. The system of common that affect everyone must be incorporated within the framework of government agendas and world organizations like United Nations, World Bank etc. ...
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