Looking for a word...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mark Kalzer, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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    This is for LAW class. I'm looking for a specific word but I can't recall what it is.

    In a hypothetical situation, say I've been stranded at sea with a group of people, no food, and the only way to survive is to sacrifice someone so that the rest can survive. The person we sacrifice is weak and near death already.

    I'm told there's a word for this. Anyone know?
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Since you're a law student can I assume you've heard of CANNIBALISM?

    Don't know how to say it in one word but, "We don't know how to fish" would also describe that situation.
     
  3. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    LordOfTheFliesRationale ?
     
  4. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    There's a word that for me sums it up best, and I borrow a line from a song in Popeye:

    "Food, food, food, everything is food!" [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    The person we sacrifice is weak and near death already = homicide.
     
  6. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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    ...ahem...I do know what cannibalism is! I know homicide doesn't apply either since that word's been used to apply to all sorts of murders. I'm looking for something more specific to this situation. I don't think LordOfTheFliesRationale would belong on a formal report! Any other ideas?
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  8. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Mark, this sounds like a philosophy problem to me. I wouldn't be surprised if some philosopher wrote about this at some time and there's some term used to describe these kinds of situations. It falls under that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" area as well as "damned if you do, damned if you don't". I'd hunt down a philosophy major or some general philosophy texts to see if this is described.

    You might also look in a thesarus under dilemna, conflict, and other such words.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    "Unlucky"

    "Weakocide"

    "Bait"

    "Short Straw Picker"
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    One possibility is MIGNONETTE. That was the name of a yacht that sank in the 1880s, and left a lifeboat full of people in exactly that situation you describe. They ended up killing and eating the cabin boy, was was already near death from drinking sea water. (And who, to be fair, was the idiot who had thrown the freshwater cask overboard in the mistaken belief that it could float and be retrieved later, and who also placed a quanity of raw turnips, instead of salted meat, aboard the lifeboat. [​IMG])

    The survivors were recused a mere four days after the killing, and were eventually tried. The case established precedents in common law and it has apparently been much discussed and inspired at least one full length book.

    A phrase, rather than a single word, that refers to this sort of thing is "the custom of the sea". It was tacitly recognized that crews might well have to resort to cannibalism when shipwrecked and awaiting rescue, but there was a general policy of "don't ask, don't tell." One of the reasons the MIGNONETTE case made law is that the survivors spoke openly about what they had done. Most people spoke euphemistically of "the custom of the sea", which everybody understood to mean eating others, those who had died of natural causes and those "hurried along" in the process, but nobody spelled out.

    A Google search on "cannibalism" and "law" and another on "THE MIGNONETTE" returned all of this information in a few minutes.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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    lol...This hypothetical situation DID involve drawing straws!
     
  12. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Are you talking about like triage? A process for determining if an injured person will get medical treatment, based their likelihood of survival if they recieve treatment. I.e. if you have a heart attack patient and someone who has been impaled by the 6" diameter pole and you only have one surgeon, you treat the heart attack person, because the other guy is GOING to die any way.
     
  13. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  14. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  15. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    rationalization - and it is from psychology, not law.
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    "Driven by hunger to become cannibals this was a case which became a key precedent on the issue of necessity. Can an individual or individuals kill to ensure survival? Dudley and Stephens, two survivors of a wrecked yacht, killed a dying companion in order to preserve their own lives. In law, they were guilty of murder - but was there any justification for such a ghastly act? The Mignonette was a yawl-rigged yacht which sailed from Tollesbury in Essex. Despite being found guilty and receiving the mandatory sentence of death, the Queen commuted the penalty to six months' imprisonment without hard labour.

    Law students have to study the Mignonette case when covering issues and defences of criminal responsibility."

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  17. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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  18. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    utilitarianism? greatest good for greatest number?
     
  19. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  20. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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