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I asked a class this awhile back and got numerous responses. There's no right or wrong answer, it's just a matter of views / logic.

Anyways, you're on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean with your MOTHER, your SPOUSE, and your CHILD. You can only save ONE person (no loop holes). Which one do you save?

Try to avoid morality or what another person may want you to do. If you can't help it though, answer more than once and explain why you lean that way, but give an overall choice at the end. Also, try not to read other posts until you've written yours out. How do YOU feel about it?

In my 2nd post I'll give the most interesting answers I've heard in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
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Responses I've heard:
Most Common: Child: Youngest, innocent, responsibility as a parent, resembles a component of your mother and spouse (in essence they "live on").

SAVE Spouse: I actually learned this from a priest sermon (?) at a wedding. While I'm not religious at all and often disregard most preachers, it was kind of interesting.

Essentially what he said is that if you do NOT love your spouse more than your child then you will have slanted parenting and friction within the household. While children do need early guidance, they also learn through imitation and examples set by their parents. A strong relationship between parents and careful consideration / collaboration when delegating tasks / punishment / discussions is important for a child's development.

Children are ultimately destined to leave us & find a partner of their own as they grow older; a spouse will (theoretically) always be there for us. In other words, you should love your partner more than you love your child.

By far least common: Mother: "Your mother is the only one you can't replace."
- A little crude, but interesting. It also makes me think that maybe we need to learn to appreciate our parents a bit more.

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Picking the child, I would have known that I did the right choice. It would be much more tougher for me than the child.

Picking the spouse, would have ended up a scenario with two broken souls. I would probably have picked the spouse, being very selfish. But it is a terrible decision to make. I would definately not have felt as much regret as if I would have picked the child.

Ideally I could have sacrificed myself, but that had been very bad for the spouse.
 

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After reading that I still pick child. The reasons posted for choosing the spouse are selfish, IMO. If you love your spouse so much more than your child, that you'd let your kid drown seems more like slanted parenting to me..
 

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No doubt my mother would have to die. She's old and has lived a happy life and now it's her time to go.

The selection between my child and spouse was more difficult but I decided to save my child. Because if I'm a parent my responsibility is to provide my child with a life and a future.

But after reading why the spouse should be rescued I'd probably change my mind and rescue my spouse instead of my child. Of course I'd feel a lot more bad about being responsible of a death of a child than a grown-up man but I still think that the reason to save the spouse was a good one. I know my own mom loved me more than her own spouse and her clingyness on me has been a great trouble especially in my early adulthood. So I can relate well to why it's important to let go of your child.
 

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I think the dead kid would strain and ruin the relationship between my spouse and I... if that seemed like it would be the case, I'd save the kid as saving the spouse would be kind of futile. It just seems to me letting the kid die would destroy both our lives.
 

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My child. And I have to disagree with the priest. my wife and I both love our child more than each other, and we are both aware that our son is #1 to both of us individually. Our son's birth made a great relationship even better.
My wife and I love each other immensely, I don't see how a couple cannot set a good example when their child comes first. Being a role model for a child involves respect and admiration for your spouse.
I don't know if I could respect any parent who puts their spouse/ boy/girlfriend ahead of their child(ren).
 

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I only have one of the three, but the one I would choose would not be the one. I'd choose the child simply because s/he has not lived that long. I would imagine that mother and spouse would agree with that decision.
 

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Spouse. if i ever find someone who actually loved me as a person i'd value them more than anything. i'm gonig to have survior symdrone no matter what. my mom is old and in poor health adi know she would forgive me and she is faithful so she'd deal with death better.i sound liek an asshole but the child can be replaced:sad:and frankyly i wouldn't want to put them through a mother-less childhood or have them raised by some other lady. honestly i'd rather kill myself then have to make this decision:unsure:
 

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been thinking about this scenario for months.

I think, Lose the mother, we've had our time but she doesn't have as long to live most likely and would hopefully respect my decision.

The child and the spouse. This is the tough one for me, I see the whole argument of 'you can always grow more' for leaving the child, but I don't think I'd ever forgive myself for it.
As for Spouse, Sure you could find a new one, but if this was *the* big love of your life, irreplaceable, that complicates things.

I'm ashamed to say I'd be selfish and save the One person that doesn't have my blood (that's spouse to those of you that thought my child might have a different father :dry: )
 
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*strikes yourstruly off list of potential personality cafe hookups*

:p

It's a morbid subject though, you're a monster whoever you pick
 
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My first instinct was to save the child. That's probably what I would end up doing anyway, as the spouse and mother would heavily argue in favour of that, as it seems the right thing to do.

Thinking about it though, I actually come to a different answer. If I'd save the child, it would have to grow up without a father, without a mother, without a grandmother. If the child is old enough it could also have a very huge emotional trauma as a result of this. Is that the kind of life I'd want to give to my child? Maybe... It will leave massive emotional scars. Would it recover? Maybe..., maybe not.
Same thing if I'd save the spouse. She'd have lost her child, the love of her life, pfft... not easy to come back from that!
Actually the person that would cope the best with surviving is in my view the mother. She will know I did it out of love for her. And she cared for me for so many years, it's also a little bit of repaying. It would be painfull for her to lose her child, but I think it would be so much less painfull than being the sole survivor of a complete family. So, to spare the rest of the family massive grief, I would hypothetically choose the mother. Let the whole happy family die together.

But, again, in reality and in the moment, the first instinct will be to save the child. Let's hope it stays hypothetical for everyone though.
 

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If I ever decide to procreate, it would have to be the child... I've spent my whole life knowing that I didn't want children because I've raised so many of them... But if I ever did have one, it would be my way of influencing the future, I guess... I'm not entirely sure I would want to live if my spouse died, but I'd have to save the child. Partially a weak spot for children, partially the idea that this is someone who can't save themselves under most conditions... Somebody who needs to be watched out for.
 
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In that instant I'd more than likely go with my child, if I could though I'd stay myself and let my spouse go with the child and I'd just sit back and die with my mom
 

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I would save my child. I just think in that position my split second judgment would be to save youngest. Plus it would be my child and I think my maternal instinct would want me to.
 

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I would save my child. It would break my heart to lose the others but by giving my child lifeto begin with I feel I owe it to them above others to preserve theirs. I would save my child over myself as well.
 
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