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#5809 - 04/25/02 02:40 AM Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing

I remember reading some survivalist material that spoke of the necessity to be prepared to defend your stash of goodies against the onslaught of the unprepared. I didn't pay much attention because I would simply not desire to survive in a circumstance that required me to shoot my neighbor to protect my rice. However, I ran into a microcosm of that situation last week. I was on a five hour flight that, because of some problem I did not understand and was not well-explained, was not able to serve the food that they had planned to. I, having taken to heart the lessons of this site, had energy bars and other goodies that were certainly more nourlishing and probably much better tasting than the Airline supper that I was going to miss. The problem was that a very nice couple with three small children were sitting next to (and if front of) me. The kids got really hungry and therefore very grouchy and cranky. Obviously there was no way that I was going to be able to take out my goodies and enjoy my "emergency" supper. Naturally the kids got the energy bars and trail mix, and I got the gratitude of the parents. It reminded me that, at least with regard to consumable "emergency" items, we are probably preparing for someone else in greater need at the time of the emergency. But hey---nothing wrong with that....right?<br><br>Robb

#5810 - 04/25/02 03:08 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
<< we are probably preparing for someone else in greater need at the time of the emergency >><br><br>Yep - ever since our kids came along. Never thought about it that way until they came on the scene, to be honest. Pat on the back to you for doing the "right thing" on the plane - good one!<br><br><< a circumstance that required me to shoot my neighbor to protect my rice >><br><br>Er, well, me, neither - both for moral reasons and because I have seen people in that predicament. I would not let my family starve - I have seen people starved to death. Not hungry - dead. I do not wish that on anyone nor do I wish to witness that again. But I would not let my family starve, I am pretty sure. I'm not pickin' a disagreement with you - merely stating that I can envision the gruesome specter of that horrible situation from having seen others in that predicament.<br><br>Probably won't happen to us (I hope and believe). Meanwhile, I think you did a very good thing - and thanks for sharing the thoughts that kind act sparked.<br><br>Tom

#5811 - 04/25/02 03:09 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Robb, People who advocate selfishness in an emergency are the same people who make those very emergencies possible thrue a selfish society. I imagine those parents will be thinking about carrying food in the future. I imagine the children willl remember the example of kindness. Survivalists are a pretty grumpy lot looking forward to societie's collapse as Christians do the second coming and my winning the lottery. I prefer to cast my lot with society. You get a mainstay foodbar with a birthday trick candle and the forum blowing our emergency whistles in unison worldwide ;O)

#5812 - 04/25/02 04:23 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
Chris, Robb, and others: I would like to agree with you, I really would. I would have done the same thing that Robb did, and felt good about it. And of all the people on the forum, I consider myself the furthest from a TEOTWAWKI fanatic - I'm a Canadian, I don't own a gun, I haven't fired a gun since I left the military, and I have little desire to rush out and buy one.<br><br>But facts is facts, as they say. Check out the history of the Donner party. If I'm not mistaken, the only family that made it through without losing a single member was the family that refused to share their food supplies with the group.<br><br>The sad truth is, there's a huge difference between going hungry for five hours, and sacrificing your life for a stranger's kids. <br><br>Granted, we will never know what would have happened if the Donner Party had stuck together and shared all their scarce resources like one big happy family. And I think history/archaeology/ethnography shows that mankind can only survive long-term by forming a co-operative group; the "lone survivalist" mentality is, I think, doomed. (In the Donner party, the first to die were the bachelor males; the elderly and the children went next, followed by the married men. Of the middle-aged married women, only Tamsen Donner died, and it is still speculated that she was deliberately murdered.) Not that I'm an expert on the Donner tragedy; I've read one magazine article on it, and that was several years ago, so I could have many of my facts wrong. (But that's never stopped me offering an opinion before. :-)<br><br>It's nice to believe in a fairy-tale world, but it's important to recognize that the real world is seldom "politically correct", if only to know how to deal with it when it sticks its head in. (If I'm making any sense, let me know. :-)
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#5813 - 04/25/02 05:24 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
They should have been called the DUMBER party; misplaced trust in incompetent leadership, ignoring known and proven routes and advice, a overwhelming consuming interest in crossing in to California by a quicker route. Old Bald guy may tell you nothing has changed.

#5814 - 04/25/02 05:43 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing
johnbaker Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 384
Loc: USA
Robb,<br><br>Kudos to you! You did the right thing: especially morally; a seconday effect is you also got a lot more peace that way. :-)<br><br>John

#5815 - 04/25/02 10:43 AM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing

Variations of this discussion have gone on since we invented language. There are no pat answers.<br><br>I have some stuff stored in the basement with the intention of sharing with the neighbors should it be needed. That’s what I bought it for. On the other hand, I fully understand that, shared with a few, it may make a difference, it might even save someone. Shared with crowds, or hundreds, it will make no difference at all.<br><br>Whatever your feelings or intentions, it would be an enormous mistake to assume that others are going to leave the decision to you. There will always be those who, having made no preparation themselves, will nonetheless consider themselves entitled to whatever you have, and consider themselves fully justified in killing you and your family if you try to withhold anything from them- or perhaps just preemptively. Many of these people will firmly believe that they are acting on the highest moral principles, that they are completely justified in taking whatever you have "for the common good" (themselves, usually), and that you are horrible, evil, for trying to keep anything from them. Sometimes they are governments.<br><br>Remember that pre-Y2k, there was already negative publicity about “hoarders”, when there was plenty of everything available on the shelves for anyone to prepare who cared to. Think what that implied for the future if things had not gone well.<br><br>At the dawn of agriculture, I’m sure that there were those that felt obligated, as caring humans, to share their new bounty with those still living the nomadic lifestyle, and who felt that it was unethical and immoral to shut those fellow humans out, perhaps dooming others to starvation while they had food. <br><br>It’s worth noting that all of the early cities that survived were walled.<br>

#5816 - 04/25/02 12:29 PM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing

For an adult, there is a big difference between being being triggered by your stomach or watch that it is supper time, being uncomfortably hungry, and starving. Children tend to lump these three together.<br><br>I think you did the right thing. I say that because I would have likely done the same thing. And your stash helped you be equipped to help someone else. Not a bad thing in itself. <br><br>Regarding the survivalist scenario - not the purpose of this board, of course, but as a purely comparative discussion...... Long ago I decided for my family and myself, I will share with neighbors, but will absolutely resist barbarians at the gates. My choice, YMMV.<br><br>Alan

#5817 - 04/25/02 01:52 PM people magnet
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1776
if you got some gear to share for you neighbors, wouldn't you draw other people who knows about your supplied and knowlish? what than ?

#5818 - 04/25/02 02:15 PM Re: Prepared for who? Ethics of sharing

Skills vs Tools vs Consumables<br><br>Sharing vs Me&Mine<br><br>Community vs Barbarians<br><br>What type of society are we working toward / Preparing for / building along the way / surviving to return to?<br><br>Things can be stolen and must be guarded. Things can be shared / bartered to encourage community formation and groups survive better.<br><br>Thieves, barbarians, murderers and thugs exist.<br><br>Tools can't be eaten. Tools require skill to use to best effect and are less likely to be stolen.<br><br>Skills can't be stolen. Skills can be bartered for things and tools.<br><br>Perhaps the well armed sage who can protect himself from murderers and thugs but carries no things and few tools is best prepared.<br><br>This thread if widely divergent from the theme of short term survival until SAR arrives and returns us to the loving embrace of big brother.

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