After Dinner Conversation - Philosophy | Ethics Short Story
Philosophy | Ethics Short Story Discussions
E4. "This I Do For You" - Can you be a hero, if you didn’t know you volunteered?

E4. "This I Do For You" - Can you be a hero, if you didn’t know you volunteered?

STORY SUMMARY: In a distant land, their is a child to an alien race who is set aside as special. He is fed whatever he wants, and gets all that his heart desires, but he can never leave his bedroom. People come to visit him, and thank him. He gets fatter as he gets older, eventually unable to leave his room, or even move around. When a famine comes to the community it is revealed to him why he has been allowed to get so fat, he (and a few others) are meant to be food for the rest of the community during times of famine.

DISCUSSION: Interesting story about culture and utilitarianism and what it means to be a hero. Is the kid a hero for helping the community when he had no idea that he was going to be sacrificed to save them? Is his mother evil for not telling him and giving him a choice? What about all the friends and relatives who never said a word? Do we have the right to judge another culture and the ways they deal with famine? Are the ethics of this made worse if the community isn’t actively researching ways to make this type of killing no longer necessary?

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