Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571
Of the original forty-five, more than a quarter died in the initial crash, and then several more passed away due to exposure to the harsh conditions of the Andes. Sixteen survivors remained. Food was scarce: candy bars, sardines, wine, nougats, etc. were all rationed, but it was clear that these provisions would not last long. They also tried stripping the chairs for hay and eating leather off of luggage, but hay wasn’t found, and the health risks of eating treated leather outweighed the benefits. The mountainside was stripped of all vegetation, so nourishment wouldn’t be found there. After ten days, search efforts ceased, and the survivors were running out of options. Remember, most of these people were close friends or at least acquainted with one another. They came to the conclusion that if they wanted any chance of surviving, it would mean eating the flesh of their fallen comrades. They took pieces of plastic from the windows, and having an ax on hand, sharpened the plastic pieces into rudimentary knives. Most of the flesh was eaten raw because they had very little in the means of combustible materials. Eventually, two of the passengers trekked roughly forty miles into the Chilean countryside and found help. Rescuers arrived thereafter and all sixteen remaining survived.
Is this an example of the Hobbes minded Viesturs’s philosophy in action? In this state of nature, is it an act of selfishness and loss of morality to feast on your loved ones in order to survive, or can one argue that since they agreed together to engage in cannibalistic acts, they were justified?