Who Gets What And Why?

Tamara, Carim and Miriam decide to bake a cake together. Tamara does all the necessary shopping; in fact she spends most of this month’s pocket money on ingredients. Far more than his friends, Carim puts enormous effort into making the cake. He has baked before, so is very good at it as well as very enthusiastic. Miriam mostly watches and enjoys the company of her friends. Finally, the cake is done, it looks perfectly scrumptious and Miriam starts cutting it up.

Task Question:

  • How much of the cake should each child get?

Questions to take you further:

* Who should decide how to share the cake?

* How much should Tamara get? Since she bought all the ingredients, she might say that all the raw materials belong to her. Does this mean that she owns the cake? If so, should she decide how it is shared? Can she even claim the whole cake for herself?

* How much should Carim get? Since he was the one who knew how to bake and did the lion share of the work, he might say that there could not have been a cake without him. Does this mean he has a special claim on the cake? Should he get more than everybody else, perhaps everything?

* How much should Miriam get? She might say that since they are all friends it would be fairest to split the cake into equal parts.

* What if it were Miriam’s birthday? How should the cake be divided then?

* What is fair?

* What is just? (as in ‘justice’)

* Are ‘fair’ and ‘just’ the same?

Just as Miriam starts to cut it up Billy Bash, who is something of a bully, bursts in and demands some of the cake. He threatens that if they won’t give him any then he’ll beat them all up and take it all anyway. Miriam says, ‘Why should we give you any? You haven’t done anything to help make the cake.’ Billy replies that he’s the strongest and then adds, ‘the strongest always get what they want - that’s just how things are! Anyway, its my birthday.’

Task Question 2:

  • Do the strongest always get what they want and if so, should they?

Questions to take you further:

* If Billy shouldn’t get any cake, what should be done to stop him?

* What does Billy mean by ‘that’s just how things are!’ and Is he right?

* If it is just how things are that the strongest always get what they want does that mean that it’s right that the strongest always get what they want?

* Has Miriam done anything to help with making the cake? Is Miriam entitled to any of the cake?

* If it is his birthday, does the fact that it is his birthday mean that he should get some cake?

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