Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Decisions, Decisions (Problematize)

The most challenging part about The Road up until this point in the book is the ethical issues between the father and the son. We see this beautiful relationship develop between the two that can be viewed from a biblical standpoint; the father’s love for his son is undeniable and something completely and totally beautiful. Despite the unbreakable bond the two have, ethical issues still arise throughout the book. Every time they stumble across a person who is reaching out for help, the father demands the son to keep moving despite the desire to stop and help. The best example in the book is when the father and son find an old man traveling down the same road on page 161. When they approach him the son does his pleading routine in hopes that the father will stop and help just this one time and to the readers’ surprise, the father finally gives in. It always seems to boil down to “run and survive” or “stay to help and potentially get caught.” Are they supposed to give up their chance to live for someone else’s sake? In a world that is already broken and destroyed, is it ethical to walk away from a situation where another person is crying out for help? This text is a huge challenge to the way we live our lives today; what extremes would we go to in a post-apocalyptic society? Not only do we have to consider servant leadership, we also have to consider situations beyond the typical daily challenges. The text explores the idea of cannibalism, suicide, and selfishness evolving in this so called “new beginning.” The Road goes beyond the idea of questionable circumstances and reaches a whole new level of ethical issues that we must evaluate in our faith especially while we are at Southeastern.
Situation: We are stuck in a post-apocalyptic world, the food is already scarce and we are starving. Do you take on the role of the “good guy” or the “bad guy?” In this moment, everyone would most likely answer “I would never eat a person!” or “I have a tight grip on my ethical stance, I know I would fall under the category of “good guy” just like the father and son.” But suddenly the world changes and you cannot find food to save your life, you are becoming so sick you can barely make it through the day, and you can no longer trust anyone. Which morals are easily thrown out the window? How many people would actually stay strong through it all? We say that suicide is wrong, but we are going to die anyway. We say that cannibalism is appalling, but is impossible to survive without food. I would bet that less than 50% of people in our class would decide to persevere when this unimaginable world is brought to life and everything we’ve ever known is completely flipped upside down.  Where do you stand?

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