Critically discuss the various philosophies which underpin the judgments presented in the case and the conflicting perspectives on the nature of law and relationship which exist with morality.
This discussion is inspired by the fictitious case of “The Speluncean Explorers” by Lon Fuller. In his allegorical work Fuller provided five Supreme Court judgments, through whom he could state his case. Using the judgments, Fuller aims to explore different legal and philosophical principles, and to use this as a foundation for exploring the relationship between each. The aim of this narrative is to critically discuss the various philosophies which underpin the judgments presented and the conflicting nature of those perspectives.
It is necessary to provide a brief summary of the facts of the case to assist the uninitiated reader to understand the further discussion found here. During a routine cave exploration, five explorers (known as Spelunkers in the fictitious native-tongue) become trapped due to a landslide. There were no sources of nutrition to be found inside the cave and food supplies were very scant. They make radio contact with a rescue team that has been sent to recover them. The rescuers estimate that the removal of the debris over the entrance of the cave will take at least another ten days. The trapped men also talk with physicians who convey their concern that the trapped men may not last another ten days without food. When rescued, only four men emerge. They concede that they held a ‘lottery’ (using dice one of the explorers had in his possession), killed the loser and ate him (The loser’s identity was given as Whetmore). On release they are charged with murder, which carries a mandatory death sentence according to established statute.