What is Law? feat. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

Topics: Law, Natural law, Jurisprudence Pages: 4 (1008 words) Published: February 10, 2015
Christopher Atwell
BLS 342- Legal Environment of Business
Paper for Thursday January 29

What is law; The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers

To define law is no simple task for any one person. To fully understand law and be able to define it, one must understand the foundational theories of law first before being able to accurately do so. Theories such as natural law, positive law, classical formalism, and legal realism all apply to the definition of law and “The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers” serves as a great study when analyzing each theory and its origin.

To give a brief summary of the case, The fictional case Speluncean Explorers v. Court of General is about five cave explorers. The five men were trapped in a cave after being barricaded in by a landslide that blocked the men’s exit. After nearly twenty days of being trapped in the cave, the men were able to send out a distress message to a rescue team. The spelunkers brought minimal rations with them, with not enough to support them over the period of time it would take to be rescued. One of these spelunkers, Roger Whetmore, sent a message to doctors and asked them if they would be able to survive if they were to eat one of their own. Reluctantly, the doctors said it was possible. To decide who would be the one to be eaten, Whetmore suggested they should roll a dice; Upon approval of the idea, Whetmore proceeded to lose the dice throw and was consumed by the remaining explorers. Finally, on the thirty-second day, the survivors were rescued. However, the surviving cave explorers were then indicted for the murder of Whetmore upon being recused. After trials had concluded, the Supreme Court deemed the cave explorers guilty in the murder of Roger Whetmore.

We learn of natural law when J. Foster expresses his opinion on the case about the charges brought against the speluncean explorers. Foster starts by saying that there is more importance than just the final decision of four men on trial, but...
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