Law’s first problem with evil is that if there’s an omnibenevolent God, then why is there any evil put into the world at all (Law, 1:45)? This is the logical problem while the evidential problem is that although there might be a world where evil and an omniscient God can coexist, why is there such a large quantity of evil in the world? Opposers say that some degree of evil has to be produced for the greater good of the world in the end (Law, 2:46). The logical explanation isn’t as strong as the evidential one. Although there might be reason for some evil in the world due to mankind, there is no explanation for natural disasters that cause human suffering because humans cannot create such atrocities themselves (Law, 9:50).
According to Card, if I were a Nazi prisoner guard whose job was to send camp captives to the gas chamber, I would be evil. This is because as a guard, I could foresee that the intolerable harm that would come from the chamber is death. Death is intolerable and in this case, foreseeable. A significant part of an atrocity is due to the perception that human agents failed to intervene to prevent it when they could and should have (Card, pg. 5). Atrocities are perpetrated by many players in various roles who have different degrees of knowledge of the enterprise and atrocities are uncontroversially evil (Card pg.15). By allowing the captives to get sent to the chamber when I should have intervened and stopped the practice, makes me a culpable wrongdoer.
Opposers claim that since I am not the one performing the torture on the captives, I am not an evildoer, but a bystander. They believe that I, the guard, don’t have enough knowledge or physical presence during the activity to be considered evil. However, although I may not know the extremities of which the gas chamber holds, evil intentions can hold many forms such as the the failure to attend to risks (Card, pg. 20).
In a story, there are three types of conflict. There is moral conflict, physical conflict, and personal conflict. Moral is the debate of a moral concept throughout a story. Physical conflict is what impacts a character physically. In the Connell story, protagonist, Rainsford, tries to escape the hunting of General Zaroff. A personal conflict is similar to a moral conflict, but happens to a character intrinsically. For example, in “The Most Dangerous Game”, Rainsford struggles with the moral conflict of whether or not hunting humans is morally right (Connell, pg. 19). A conflict starts with the point of attack, then a complication, unraveling towards the turning point, and finally leading to a resolution.
Foreshadowing is when an author drops subtle hints throughout the story that leads to a big point of the story, usually towards the end. An example is when Rainsford swims to shore to escape General Zaroff’s hunting game (Connell, pg. 37). At the beginning of the story, Rainsford was stranded in the sea and swam to shore to remain alive (Connell, pg. 5). By swimming to the shore at the start of the story, Connell lets the reader know that he is a good swimmer, so when it is revealed that swimming is the way that Rainsford escapes the hunting of Zaroff, the reader is not surprised.
According to normative egoism, humans should act to promote their individual self-interest. It is not necessarily how humans are, but how humans ought to be. For example, most firefighters are regarded as heroic. Do those who involve themselves in fighting fires do it because they want to help others from dangerous activity or do they do it because of the reputation around their job? According to normative ethics, they should be doing the job because of self-interest and because it makes themselves have a much greater reputation to the public.
Moral relativism means that our judgements about ethics are relative to something else (MacKinnon, pg. 1). A relativist would not believe in one specific right way of doing something. A relativist would look at a culture would say they do not have enough knowledge of the practice, or they didn’t grow up within that culture and therefore, cannot make a valid judgement on it. Friedrich Nietzsche describes that words like good and evil are defined by different people depending on their perspectives of the world and how they were brought up (MacKinnon, pg.48). A relativist insists that there are too many situations and cultural differences between certain areas of the world to make a clear judgement about what is morally right and wrong (MacKinnon, pg. 50). Unlike moral relativism, egoism focuses on the benefits of actions for the person themselves while moral relativism simply states that there is no universal right or wrong.
In “The Most Dangerous Game”, the conflicts presented in the story do pose some problems for the plausibility of the normative form of moral relativism, not so much egoism. Rainsford deems the hunting of humans wrong all throughout the story despite him not understanding the culture of the island fully. For example, despite ‘winning’ the game the General created, Rainsford insisted that he would not participate in any sort of hunting of humans with him. Rainsford said, No, general,” he said. “I will not hunt” (Connell, pg. 22). This poses problems for the normative form of moral relativism because in a world where that theory is concrete, Rainsford, although he could refuse to participate in the game, would not recall the General’s actions as morally incorrect like he did. If Rainsford and the General lived in a relativist society, they would both accept that neither of their opinions on the hunting of humans are faulty, they simply are what each one thinks. As for egoism, I believe that there are much fewer problems posed from the Connell story. The major conflict of the story is that Rainsford is trying to ‘out survive’ the General’s hunting. Although murder is (mostly) universally wrong, the General still practices the hunting because it brings him pleasure. At the beginning of the story, Rainsford also makes a statement about how there are the hunters and the huntees in the world (Connell, pg.2). That is what an egoist would say due to the fact that egoism has a ‘every man for themselves’ outlook on life.
Opposers might say that although throughout the story Rainsford is persistent on his despising of the hunting of humans, the end of the story might leave an open end on to how he will carry on his beliefs. The ending states that Rainsford lied in the General’s bed and had never slept so good. One could take that figuratively and say that, because he had now lived through the culture of the island for a longer duration than when he first arrived, he could possibly understand why the game was so pleasurable and might continue it (Connell, pg. 34). That would defend the moral relativism stance on this story. However, according to relativism, Rainsford had not been on the island long enough to make a valid judgement of the practice, therefore he would still be making a judgement on predisposed opinions.