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The Trolley Problem

Discussion in 'Formal Science' started by TopSecret, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. TopSecret

    TopSecret I told on you! Staff Founders

    I came across this today. It's a question of ethics, a moral dilemma.

    The basic problem goes as follows:

    There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track.

    You have two options:
    (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
    (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

    Which is the correct choice?

    The idea is that people will make different decisions in different situations based on their morals and values.

    In the basic problem most people would choose to kill one to save the five (I would have too). However that changes if certain details are added, such as the one person is your spouse/ mother/ father, the five people are screaming, the five are criminals, etc..

    Found it quite interesting.
     
  2. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    I'd put the lever in the half way position and hope that it derails the trolly.
     
  3. StoneHorse

    StoneHorse Archer Founders

    In Bold. Five would die. Family comes first. No contest.
     
  4. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    "What if…?"

    -the basis for pretty much all fiction. Or as Stephen King put it: "create sympathy for the characters, then turn the monsters loose."

    I'm with Stonehorse.
     
  5. Grip

    Grip Archer Founders

    Depends I guess... If they were terrorists, I would go for as many as possible.
     
  6. Dagmaar

    Dagmaar Crossbow Man Founders

    They still tie people to railway tracks ?
    :p
     
  7. StoneHorse

    StoneHorse Archer Founders

    Snidely Whiplash is alive & well. ;)
     
  8. Dagmaar

    Dagmaar Crossbow Man Founders

    Lol . When I have nothing of value to add , humour is my only escape .
     
  9. StoneHorse

    StoneHorse Archer Founders

    I try to learn something new everyday and laugh at least once a day. There are some days where finding humor is difficult.
     
  10. canadianpsyko

    canadianpsyko Chief Grand Breakage-er Staff Cam Founders

    Squish 'em all.
     
  11. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    There is a valid point; are you on or off shift at the trainyard? Is it someone else's responsibility?

    Or thinking further, if the trolly is diverted from its orginal destination will it have a collision and derail a chemical carrier?
     
  12. Dagmaar

    Dagmaar Crossbow Man Founders

    I think we need Rocky and Bullwinkle for this particular dilemma .
     
  13. TopSecret

    TopSecret I told on you! Staff Founders

    Or you could divert the trolley away from the tied up people towards the one person and then try to warn that person that a trolley is coming.
     
  14. stevebc

    stevebc Lead Moderator Staff Founders

    For some reason, this thread reminds me of this one-

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Shawn

    Shawn Moderator Staff Founders

    Depends on which family member it is I guess

    Shawn
     
  16. Ken

    Ken Crossbow Man

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