You are a responsible crew-member of a sinking cruise ship. As was the case on the Titanic, there is not enough room in the lifeboats for all the passengers, let alone the crew.

I’m trying to study for my Philosophy course and I need some help to understand this question.

You are a responsible crew-member of a sinking cruise ship. As was the case on the Titanic, there is not enough room in the lifeboats for all the passengers, let alone the crew. In this emergency, you are in charge of safely loading and launching one of the lifeboats. The lifeboats are rated for 25 people each, but under the right conditions they can hold more—but it is very doubtful whether the boat can hold 30. Having loaded 25 and swung the boat over the side of the ship into the water, you find six people standing around your lifeboat station on deck. Since there are already 25 in the boat, and it will probably not hold 30, you might not be able to board all 6 people looking to you, and you will not be able to include yourself in the lifeboat.

Your task, then, is to put these people in order (since they must board one at a time, to not swamp the boat), and explain why you put them in the order you did. That is, given what you know about them, you must decide in what order they will get into the boat, and then defend or explain your reasoning as to why they should be in that order rather than in some other order.

N.B.: You do *not* need to say why person X deserves to live—presumably we think *all* passengers deserve to live. But you do need to explain why this person is ahead of that person, instead of the other way around. The following descriptions are what you know…

1) an African-American professional woman, fiftyish, who says her husband is on board but not with her or within sight; yes, she has children, but they are grown and did not come on the cruise; she is a lawyer, although you do not know this.

2) an Anglo businessman, apparently single, thirtyish maybe. You have overheard him introduce himself as a Christian and a Bible study leader at his church to other passengers.

3) a middle eastern woman, perhaps twenty-five, with a small child (small enough that the child would not affect the weight-carrying abilities of the lifeboat), well-dressed, with nose-pin, in a headscarf.

4) a teenage Asian boy; has a game player and an ipod.

5) a middle-aged white woman, always listening to Nashville country, tells anyone who will listen she is divorced and in the market; also says she is an emergency room nurse.

6) a small Latino man, sixtyish, wears an Orkin pesticide company shirt, clean and neatly pressed, is very quiet but offers to help several of the passengers, and exchanges a glance with eye-contact with you.