June 20, 2013

Moral Dilemmas in the Zombie Apocalypse

Daniel J. Williams

What are the top five moral dilemmas in the zombie apocalypse?

In the zombie apocalypse, everything eventually comes down to pure survival. Avoiding being ripped apart by the living-dead is only part of the ugly equation.

The number one dilemma in the zombie apocalypse revolves around food. 

As horrifying as that seems, dealing with hunger on a daily basis is still the number one concern; being weak and light-headed leads to poor decision-making. Poor decision-making leads to death. This basic human need is directly responsible for some of the most serious moral dilemmas in the apocalypse. Without food, there is no survival.
So, food is scarce, there are already too many mouths to feed, and strangers desperate for help appear. Helping strangers is not as simple as it looks.

The number two moral dilemma deals with strangers.

People you come across may already possess the pure survivalist’s creed: Shoot first and ask questions later. You’re really not sure who you can trust. In fact, you’re downright paranoid.

You may also run into truly good people, who only want to help and share what you’ve got. You don’t have enough for them and your own to guarantee survival.

You must take care of your own first. To allow yourself to have compassion creates a larger burden for yourself and the rest of your party.

In order to survive, you must become hard.

 The number three dilemma deals with vulnerable members of the community.

With limited resources, vulnerable members of a community or group quickly become liabilities. Injuries, especially those brought on by infected individuals, place the whole group or community at risk. Liabilities must be dealt with as the environment dictates.

One must become heartless to survive.

The number four dilemma is dealing with dangerous members of a group.

Dangerous members of a group create a special type of dilemma. Power struggles and serious disagreements over survival techniques tear a community apart and pit one against another. People who became hard and ruthless due to necessity now stand off against each other.

One must shoot first in order to survive.

Ammunition is a highly-valued commodity. Run short, and you're most likely zombie bait or the unfortunate victim of marauders or militias. As things unravel, you need to take what others have in order to survive. Remember those truly good people who were desperate for help? What if your loves ones were starving? Those truly good people might save your community if used as a food source.

One must kill in order to survive. One may need to eat the dead in order to survive.

The number five dilemma is the moral code itself.

The rules of society are gone. Every man fights to protect whatever he acquires. If there is an area safe and large enough to sustain a small community, then that community must fight to protect its land and resources; with deadly force without hesitation. One wrong move, one bad decision, and the end is the same for everyone.

Those who cannot take care of themselves are doomed. Whatever you learned in Sunday school are lessons for a lost civilization. If God ever existed, he’s abandoned the planet now. The only thing that reigns on this doomed scorch of earth is anarchy and damnation.

There is no God in the zombie apocalypse.

Without God, morals are simply rules for the weak. Morals are for those who become zombie bait and victims of marauders or militias. In the zombie apocalypse, only the strong survive.

In the end, when everything crumbles, there are no real moral dilemmas. In order to survive in the zombie apocalypse, all may eventually feast on the dead.

Daniel J.  Williams 

is the author of the  
Mace of the Apocalypse series 

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