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MuffDiver

Help me with this question please....

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I'm helping my neice with a school application and one of the questions on her application was....

A plane has emergency landed on a deserted island with three survivors, the pilot, a mechanic, and a pregnant passenger. There is only available water to barely keep only 2 of the passengers alive, but there may be enough time to get the plane fixed and flying again. Which of the 2 passengers should get the water and why?

I'm looking for other peoples opinions, thanks.

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The pilot and the mechanic get the water. If either of them die they all die. If they both live and fix the plane the two out of three would live.



Which is why I predict this will end up in SC in a few posts.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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The pilot and the mechanic get the water. If either of them die they all die. If they both live and fix the plane the two out of three would live.



Start making a shelter, the planes EPIRB will be activated, use some of the available equipment to make a makeshift water condenser, boil up sea water, go get some fish, and start fixing the plane.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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Understand, this isn't a question to test your math skills. Some jackass is trying to test your "morality."


or more likely your problem solving skills, the object is to try to survive not pick a person to die.
But maybe that just the way i think..not always going for the negative option
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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What the hell kind of school asks that for a question?

I'm guessing they're not looking for an exact answer. Explaining why is most important. They more than likely give a limit to the answer in words or pages and want a concise, well-explained answer. Her answer could be practical or moral or even emotional, but it must be consitent in its logic.

Of course, I'm just guessing here. What's the school? Have you tried googling "entrance exam" and the name of the school? You might get an idea what they're looking for. For example, UC Berkeley gives examples of past prompts with good and bad answers for their Subject A essays.

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What the hell kind of school asks that for a question?

I'm guessing they're not looking for an exact answer. Explaining why is most important. They more than likely give a limit to the answer in words or pages and want a concise, well-explained answer. Her answer could be practical or moral or even emotional, but it must be consitent in its logic.

Of course, I'm just guessing here. What's the school? Have you tried googling "entrance exam" and the name of the school? You might get an idea what they're looking for. For example, UC Berkeley gives examples of past prompts with good and bad answers for their Subject A essays.



this one uses it
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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As said above, this is a morality questions ... but there is room to think outside the box.

As Squeak noted... there are alternate ways to obtain fresh water. Condensation/Distillation, rain water, plants... It doesn't say that you have to KILL one of the passengers. Just that there is only existing water for two passengers. Think of ways to expand the supply.

Other thoughts to consider that aren't included in that paragraph - are any of them sick/injured? We know the skills of the pilot and mechanic, are there any skills of the pregnant lady?

I wouldn't answer that question with a playing god type attitude, but acknowledging that someone might die... and addressing unstated variables that would affect that outcome would be my focus.

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As said above, this is a morality questions ... but there is room to think outside the box.

As Squeak noted... there are alternate ways to obtain fresh water. Condensation/Distillation, rain water, plants... It doesn't say that you have to KILL one of the passengers. Just that there is only existing water for two passengers. Think of ways to expand the supply.

Other thoughts to consider that aren't included in that paragraph - are any of them sick/injured? We know the skills of the pilot and mechanic, are there any skills of the pregnant lady?

I wouldn't answer that question with a playing god type attitude, but acknowledging that someone might die... and addressing unstated variables that would affect that outcome would be my focus.



Good post. Sometimes moral and practical applications intersect rather than conflict. They're not mutually exclusive.

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I dunno. The question is pretty pecific. I think they want an answer and an explanation, not a bunch of stuff about alternatives.

I agree with Spence. Pilot and mechanic.

If you give water to the pilot and the pregnant woman, mechanic dies and everyone dies

Mechanic and pregnant woman, pilot dies, everybody dies.
Please don't dent the planet.

Destinations by Roxanne

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You can also think of the "morality" and sexual prejudice in these terms;

Either the pilot OR the mechanic is also the pregnant woman with the "3rd" survivor the unborn.

Again, this ISN'T a test of math, but of "morality."
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I dunno. The question is pretty pecific. I think they want an answer and an explanation, not a bunch of stuff about alternatives.

I agree with Spence. Pilot and mechanic.

If you give water to the pilot and the pregnant woman, mechanic dies and everyone dies

Mechanic and pregnant woman, pilot dies, everybody dies.



Having written a few of these... if it's an entrance essay, they are using this question to evaluate thinking, logic and reasoning. Just a simple "pilot and mechanic" isn't going to impress them.

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I dunno. The question is pretty pecific. I think they want an answer and an explanation, not a bunch of stuff about alternatives.

I agree with Spence. Pilot and mechanic.

If you give water to the pilot and the pregnant woman, mechanic dies and everyone dies

Mechanic and pregnant woman, pilot dies, everybody dies.



Having written a few of these... if it's an entrance essay, they are using this question to evaluate thinking, logic and reasoning. Just a simple "pilot and mechanic" isn't going to impress them.



I agree you're going to have to load it up with a bunch of BS that will impress them. My answer goes to all three...thinking, logic, and reasoning.

Of course, if I'm wrong I can always say it was Spence's idea.;)
Please don't dent the planet.

Destinations by Roxanne

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You can also think of the "morality" and sexual prejudice in these terms;

Either the pilot OR the mechanic is also the pregnant woman with the "3rd" survivor the unborn.

Again, this ISN'T a test of math, but of "morality."

dont know about sexual prejudice both the mechanic and pilot could well be female also.

I agree with KBordson, the pilot & mechanic is the soft option, and most likely taken by the people who choose to not think.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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You can also think of the "morality" and sexual prejudice in these terms;

Either the pilot OR the mechanic is also the pregnant woman with the "3rd" survivor the unborn.

Again, this ISN'T a test of math, but of "morality."

dont know about sexual prejudice both the mechanic and pilot could well be female also.

I agree with KBordson, the pilot & mechanic is the soft option, and most likely taken by the people who choose to not think.



You've missed the point. By assuming the pregnant woman is NOT either the pilot or mechanic, you're revealed a certain prejudice. Further, by assuming the unborn is NOT one of the survivors, that reveals another.

The whole thing is a trap.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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You've missed the point. By assuming the pregnant woman is NOT either the pilot or mechanic, you're revealed a certain prejudice. Further, by assuming the unborn is NOT one of the survivors, that reveals another.

The whole thing is a trap.


Brush up on your reading skills Quade
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the pilot, a mechanic, and a pregnant passenger.


You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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You've missed the point. By assuming the pregnant woman is NOT either the pilot or mechanic, you're revealed a certain prejudice. Further, by assuming the unborn is NOT one of the survivors, that reveals another.

The whole thing is a trap.


Brush up on your reading skills Quade
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the pilot, a mechanic, and a pregnant passenger.



OK, so the pregnant woman is the mechanic then. My mistake.

I mean, it clearly says "three survivors" right? Is the unborn alive or not?

Again, I maintain the question, as presented in the original post, is a morality trap.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I'm helping my neice with a school application and one of the questions on her application was....

A plane has emergency landed on a deserted island with three survivors, the pilot, a mechanic, and a pregnant passenger. There is only available water to barely keep only 2 of the passengers alive, but there may be enough time to get the plane fixed and flying again. Which of the 2 passengers should get the water and why?

I'm looking for other peoples opinions, thanks.



Can you check the wording on the question for us again. Just want to make sure you've quoted it exactly as written.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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Again, I maintain the question, as presented in the original post, is a morality trap.


It would be a waste of time and energy if that's all it is.
it's a critical thinking question.
the pregnant pax could well be a pregnant DOG.

using your logic (or lack of) is the softest option and would be a waste of time.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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using your logic (or lack of) is the softest option and would be a waste of time.



I disagree. It's not the "softest" answer, it's the answer that takes a significantly different path from standard yet can still be "correct" depending on the actual circumstances being described.

It takes into account set theory, a part of logic.

A pilot is not a passenger.
A pregnant woman can be a mechanic.
A mechanic can be a passenger.
Therefor the pregnant woman can be both the mechanic and be a passenger AND you can have a total of three survivors if you count the unborn. The unborn does not drink.

Further, it also shows that whoever is answering the question isn't boxed into sexual stereotypes and has a regard for human life.

My "guess" is that's what the pharma school was getting at in its application question.

I'd LOVE to know what the "real" answer is supposed to be.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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