Spelunkers Reflection Essay

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The Case of the Spelunkers: Murder in a "Cave Cathedral" Murder is the most heinous of human acts, and unless it is committed in true self defense can never be justified. During a weekend spelunking trip, four close male friends become perilously trapped within a "Cave Cathedral" with little food and limited water. After just a week passes with no rescue one of the men suggests the macabre idea of drawing straws to determine who will be "sacrificed" for food so that the remaining three men can improve their chances for rescue. A critical wrinkle occurs when one of the men, Paul, chooses to remove himself from the process and tells the others to leave him out of it. Unfortunately, the other three keep a straw in the game for Paul which ends up being the fateful short straw and Paul is murdered and eaten in spite of his protest. This essay will argue that regardless of the difficult circumstances that befell the spelunkers, humans rights were violated, when acting against their morals, they committed murder and cannibalized a friend and the resulting punishment upon their rescue was warranted. The spelunkers' predicament put them in very challenging circumstances to be sure but not severe enough to warrant their criminal behavior. Although, certainly scared the men were not entirely without food and water as they had four Powerbars and access to a small source of "trickling" water. Ultimately rescue happens after 4 1/2 weeks of isolation, though strangely the decision by three of the men to draw straws to see who will be "sacrificed" occurs at just one week into the ordeal. We simply must consider this a premature act given that "it is the general belief that humans can go 35-40 days without food if properly hydrated before significant starvation symptoms set in". (Peel, 1998; c.f. Janiszewski, 2011). These men did not come to this decision as

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