Well I was having a wee look through the archives this arvo and came across David's thread on the classic train track 5 vs. 1 moral dilemma, and I went looking on the internet for others to satisfy my curiosity, and I came across a good one, at least I think so anyway:
You're on a ship in the North Atlantic, the ocean is freezing cold. The ship hits an iceburg and begins to sink. The crew ready the lifeboats and everyone finds themselves a place. As the lifeboat you are sitting in is lowered into the water, you and the other 9 passengers realize there is a hole in your lifeboat, and it is taking on water. Using your genius, you calculate that if 9 of you bail out in shifts, with one person taking a 10 minute break at a time to recover their strength, you will be able to keep the raft afloat for 5 hours. During this time you hope to be rescued by another ship but it's really down to chance whether you will be rescued, or drown/die of hypothermia when your lifeboat finally sinks.
As you thought up the idea, you elect to be the first to take a 10 minute break, and as you're taking said break you look across the water and notice your friend from aboard the ship in another of the lifeboats not far off, he yells to you that there's space for one more person in their life raft and that you should swim across and join him. They can't take any more than that or the boat will be swamped.
You do some quick deductions and realize that if you leave your current lifeboat, without being able to take a periodic rest, the 9 people left will lose their strength over time, and instead of the boat taking 5 hours to sink - If you decide to leave, it will only take 2 hours to sink, this greatly diminishes their already tenuous chance of being saved.
You realize that your friend's lifeboat is in a current and is quickly drifting away, which will soon make it impossible to swim to, time is of the essence and you must make a decision:
1. Stay with the 9 people in your current sinking lifeboat, and hope that a ship arrive to pick you up within the next 5 hours before it sinks.
2. Leave your lifeboat, swim to the safety of your friend's lifeboat where you will eventually be saved. Resulting in the people in your old lifeboat only having 2 hours left until they sink.
Do you stay with them and risk all of you perishing after 5 hours when nobody comes to the rescue? Do you secure your own life and live with the guilt of knowing that your actions may have led 9 human beings to a watery grave?
What would you do?
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven BodhesakoNanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma
| Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca