you will practice making an argument (actually, several arguments)...
you will practice making an argument (actually, several arguments) that does not rely on logical fallacies. This exercise is relatively informal. In the end, you'll answer the reflection questions for your assignment.
The Lifeboat Case
Who Rows? Who Swims?
Snapshot: Among the oldest case studies are the "lifeboat scenarios." you will have to determine who among the following people to take into a lifeboat. It will probably support 700 pounds, but it is sure to capsize if more than 900 pounds is put into it. You are alone in the boat, after the cruise ship Princess Catalina Maria sank at sea. You can easily row toward or away from any of the people I the water around you. All have life preservers and are sufficiently fed and hydrated (theoretically) about one day - if the sharks don't find them first.
The people in the water (in the order in which you notice them):
Steve Stock - Age 56, a recently retired college professor and husband, father and grandfather. Calls to you, "I know how to navigate by the stars. I can find land." Weight: 300 lbs.
Farrah Fyne - Age 7. You hear her bravely singing, "Jesus loves me" as she tries to paddle toward you, but is slowly drifting away. Weight: 50 lbs.
Adelle Ault - Age 34, Farrah's mother. She divorced Frank Fyne (Farrah's father) after Frank caught her cheating with Tom Ault. Frank disappeared below the water moments ago. Weight: 135 lbs.
Tom Ault - Age 45, Adelle's second husband. Owns several large farms. Yells, "Name your price...anything you want, just row that thing over here." Weight: 195 lbs.
Patty Melton - Age 26, shipboard bartender. Loves to write short stories. She cries, "Row over here...please don't leave me here." Weight: 175 lbs.
Guy De Guiffre - Age 42. Was being taken back to France to stand trial there for fraud and tax evasion. The officers assigned to guard and escort him are believed to be among the lost. Weight: 200 lbs.
A crew member - Age unknown. Badly burned in the blast that sank the ship. Weight: 155 lbs.
Milton - Age 3. The crew member's beautiful long haired collie dog, beloved by many on board. Weight: 65 lbs.
Betty Beldon - Age 88. Moving in the water, but just barely. Weight: 100 lbs.
Cary Croydon - Age 19, an actor. Recently nominated for Academy Award after successfully navigating the transition from childhood starring role in a long-running sitcom. Nearly exhausted, he screams, "Don't leave me!" Weight: 125 lbs.
And you - your age? Profession/talents? Is there enough room for you on the boat, based by weight? Should you stay in the boat and be rescued?
Who did you pick up and why did you select them?
Were there any people you thought less worthy of rescue? If so, why?
If you decided to give up your seat in the lifeboat (we're impressed!), estimate the likelihood of your doing such a thing in the real case.
explain who is on your boat. Make sure you answer all three reflection questions.
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