A straw-man proposal is a brainstormed simple draft proposal intended to generate discussion to provoke the generation of new and better ideas. One can understand the limitations of the straw-man model, but let’s take a look at a thought exercise of the morality of mob rule control.
You are on a vacation of a lifetime with your significant other, traveling in first-class across the Pacific ocean. Yes, the first-class meals are better than in coach – even the red wine is not bad for an airline. All of a sudden, in horror, the plane begins to shake with a loud noise, and the plane goes into a steep dive. A tragedy ensues, and the plane crash lands on a beautiful deserted island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific.
A bit cold to say, but I will be brief to get to the point. Everyone on the plane dies in the tragedy except you and your significant other. The plane skids up near the beach mostly intact before it sinks into the ocean. Before the plane sinks, and despite the panic, you have enough time to unload all the food that was stored in the plane’s pantry. Fearing for your safety you also notice that the air marshal who had also died in the crash, had a gun with a box of bullets – 200 bullets to be precise. Not knowing who or what dangers could be on the island – you take the gun, the box of bullets, the food, and a few other items to make life a little easier, pending a rescue.
As the plane sinks into the ocean, you understand from the cockpit radio reports that the plane had veered so far off course that it may take six months before any rescue will occur. Not a good situation, but the deserted island is in a warm climate, plenty of local freshwaters, some tarps you rescued from the plan to make a suitable living area, and food to last the six months. After the initial shock of the tragedy, you settle in for your first good meal (from first-class) on the beach. The fire you built allows you to cook the filet mignon to a succulent level with a nice “creme forestier” sauce – the delicious aroma fills the entire beach area.
Life is reasonably good, and you begin to settle in for the six month’s stay on the beautiful deserted island. You thought you were alone on the island, but you soon discover that this is not so. On the other side of the island, there were 200 native savages. The island could barely sustain the savages as there were not many resources on the island to sustain life. The savages being a chaotic mob living on grub worms, often fought among themselves for mere survival.
It is not difficult to see where this is going. The 200 savages smell the aroma of the filet mignon, and they are very hungry. They want the food and are more than prepared to kill you in a horrible torturous death to get the food. You now have a very serious problem. This is our straw-man model, so let’s not twist or add too much to our story. You basically have four options:
- You do have the gun with 200 bullets. You could kill them all to save yourself and your significant other. Is this genocide with a cause?
- You could share your food without the threat of force and live with any consequences – hoping the goodwill will save you. But then you would not have enough food for yourself to last the six months before rescue. You may have to eat grubs in terror, too, before you are rescued. Even if you shared the food, most likely, they would kill you in a horrible death anyway.
- Since you have superior force via the gun, you could try to coerce compliance with the savage mob toward a peaceful coexistence – hoping the fear of force will save you. However, this option could end in your horrible death anyway.
- You can’t win, end it all and use two bullets on yourselves.
No doubt, a moral dilemma. Again, you may try to stretch our straw-man model to make the decision easier, but do try to focus on bottom-line moral questions. So what would you do? Take a bit of time and give us your response in the following poll.
One may say that this straw-man is too hypothetical, and most of us would never have to face a decision. But is this true? Right now, across America, we are being tested on what society will do as the Republic is disintegrating before our eyes. Protests that turn into riots with property destruction, violence, even deaths via savage mobs that may eventually come for you. The rule of law and due process are being challenged. So yes, these same questions could be asked. What will society do?
- Open fire on the protesters? Not all protesters will die, but many may under a nuclear force option.
- Give into the protesters (or give them a pass) hoping they won’t go too far if we placate to them.
- Apply heavy policing and prosecutions, hoping the fear will get them to stop rioting.
- Let the Republic die if people won’t support it.
In our straw-man, we made the assumption that the savage mobs were evil and may even be deserving to die. Some may say, “not my problem, f–k em.” But won’t we always be on an island with potential mobs? Genesis 4:8-10 rhetorically asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Perhaps in real life, getting ahead of the mobs before they become mobs is paramount to avoid these decisions in the future. Not caring for your brother and what goes on beyond your back yard fence is an option that is short-sighted. How one cares for your brother is another issue. Please give any further comments below.