Re: Cabin Depressurization

Date:         10 Feb 2000 05:03:30 
From:         Pete Mellor <pm@csr.city.ac.uk>
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On 8 Jan 2000, upallnite wrote:
> You know, that brings up an interesting question.  If it were possible
> to extinquish a cabin fire by de-pressurizing the cabin, how many
> passengers would be "expendable" (read: sucked out) in order to
> possibly save the aircraft with the remaining passengers?   The old
> utilitarian "most good for the most people" tenent?  Any training done
> (outside of philosophy class) based on that type of no-win situation?

Well, there was the case of the Australian warship whose captain was faced
with the choice of flooding the bowels of the ship with carbon dioxide
(with the consequence of certainly killing three of his crew who had gone
down to fight the fire, although it was highly likely they were already
dead) with the alternative of losing the ship, and a lot more of his crew.
(Not the kind of choice I would like to face!) This was reported in the
press last year.

Regarding utilitarianism, I (amateur philosopher!) have always thought
that it provided a faultless ground for public hanging: 20,000 people get
a good day out, and one chap gets inconvenienced for 1/10th of a second!

Pete Mellor