Shipwrecked, three sailors killed a fourth dying crew member so that they would survive to take care of their families
At the moment my brain cannot manage to argue for or against Dudley. Even his name sidetracked me because it is comical. Black humour lets me disengage from the horrifying images this story evokes. I admire Dudley’s survival instincts and his pragmatism but I simply could not, would not ever kill another human so that I might survive. Nor could I imagine that I could stomach drinking blood and eating human flesh. I think that there is something in our genetic make-up that makes cannibalism abhorrent.
Yet who am I to judge? I have never been that desperately hungry. You do hear of people simply wasting away, no longer feeling hunger and simply slipping into a coma and dying. That choice seems easier for me to imagine. However I do not want to condemn a fellow human being when my stomach is full and my body is hydrated and comfortable.
After reading this shipwreck tale, the first story that comes to mind is the Woman Caught in Adultery. The religious leaders actually caught her in the act! That must have taken some planning and conniving. Not to mention that the fellow was just as culpable as this poor woman but no one seems concerned with his transgressions. That is even more telling. However these pious male leaders who entrapped this woman were simply intent on entrapping Jesus. Surprising all of them, Jesus simply knelt and started writing in the dirt. It was probably a list of sins,
Who ever is without sin may cast the first stone.
Jesus just stoned walled these guys. The truth pierced right to their hearts. Stones thumped the ground and one by one they turned around and walked away. No one was left to condemn the sinner and Jesus refused to condemn her as well.
Mercy and understanding are all we can offer in good conscience to another person. Yes we can articulate moral standards and ideal conduct. Yes society needs protection from come crazed murders but ultimately we cannot judge another person/s inner soul. We cannot judge his heart.
Judge not and you shall not be judged.
Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?