Let’s NOT Play a Game of Lifeboat

Solomon and Larry Norman were right—there’s nothing new under the sun.

CBC News reports:

A southeastern New Brunswick mother is outraged after her 10-year-old daughter was given a government-approved school assignment she feels is better suited for “concentration camp employees.”

The article continues:

The students had three spaces in a rocket ship and they had to decide whom to save among an Acadian francophone, a Chinese person, a black African, an English person and an aboriginal person. The assignment also included images representing each of the different ethnic groups that they could choose to save.

Lifeboat Ethics is nothing new. Steve Taylor parodied the idea way back in 1985.

The ethic of limited or depleted resources, especially when combined with a rejection of the divine origin or nature or humanity, can only lead to the logical conclusion that some people must die. I’ve heard rabid environmentalists advocate with a straight face that “people are going to die anyway. We need to discover a humane way to thin the herd so that the best of humanity can continue on.” These methods include deliberately reducing the world’s capacity to produce food. Hey, if we can’t feed them, I guess they’ll… just go away, eventually.

The Judeo-Christian Counter to Lifeboat Ethics

Judeo-Christianity is strongly individualistic. Every individual human counts. Every sentient being is partially divine. Yes, Monty Python, every human sperm (once it fertilises an egg) is sacred. If a sentient being is wasted, God… grieves the loss.

When we get to the point where we are so detached from humanity that we can coldly analyse them as inhuman “resources” to be managed, we have lost our humanity.

Libertarian perspectives

Libertarians likewise despise this ethic of devaluing humans as “resources”. F. Paul Wilson explores the issue from the perspective of the rationing of medical services in The Select. Sometimes they would support the right of the individual to self-terminate, but rarely the right of anyone to decide to kill someone else—or force others to deny anyone necessary resources.

I’m appalled that the New Brunswick government still mandates teaching the selection of who lives and who dies. Especially with “race” as the determinant factor.

But I’m not surprised.