View Poll Results: What would you do?

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  • Switch the track

    17 56.67%
  • Let the train continue

    13 43.33%
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Thread: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

  1. #11
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Send the train to be derailed, then go kill the man tied to the tracks myself. Everybody dies.



    Then hunt down whoever came up with this "dilemma" originally and kill HIM. Slowly.
    You wouldn't kill the people who survived the train derailment? How disappointing.
    I fight against the ignorant, irresponsible, and/or closed-minded.
    This group is the worst enemy of America and its freedoms. It includes, but is not limited to, all Trump supporters.

  2. #12
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Murder is a legal term and it does not fit your scenario. The word you're looking for is "killing". Legally it would probably fall under "involuntary manslaughter".
    It might qualify as voluntary manslaughter (and even then I'm not so sure), but there's no way it could be involuntary if the decision to flip the switch is made of your own free will.
    I fight against the ignorant, irresponsible, and/or closed-minded.
    This group is the worst enemy of America and its freedoms. It includes, but is not limited to, all Trump supporters.

  3. #13
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    It might qualify as voluntary manslaughter (and even then I'm not so sure), but there's no way it could be involuntary if the decision to flip the switch is made of your own free will.
    Involuntary manslaughter means there was no intent to kill. If I decide to flip the switch my intent is not to kill the man on the tracks but to save the people on the train.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    It might qualify as voluntary manslaughter (and even then I'm not so sure), but there's no way it could be involuntary if the decision to flip the switch is made of your own free will.
    There would be no charges of any kind.... Lesser of two evils

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  5. #15
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    That's a lot of killing. And blood. I take you are in the kill em all and let god sort it out mood?

    I have a toothache. That always puts me in a kill-em-all sort of mood. No reason required.

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    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  6. #16
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Involuntary manslaughter means there was no intent to kill. If I decide to flip the switch my intent is not to kill the man on the tracks but to save the people on the train.
    But how can it be your "intent not to kill" the man (or woman) on the tracks when you can be all but certain that diverting the train will result in that person's death?
    I fight against the ignorant, irresponsible, and/or closed-minded.
    This group is the worst enemy of America and its freedoms. It includes, but is not limited to, all Trump supporters.

  7. #17
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    Consider the following scenario:

    You are in a tower at a rail yard where you can control one switch. A train full of passengers is approaching the fork in the tracks with that switch. You cannot leave the tower or call anyone until the train passes.

    On one track, a person is tied to the rails. The other track is damaged. If you do nothing, the train will continue onto the damaged track and derail. Many of the passengers and crew will be killed as a result.

    If you switch the train onto the other track, it will pass safely onto its destination, but it will kill the person tied to the tracks.

    It's your decision . . .

    [Additional details: (1) Once the train passes the fork in the tracks, it can’t be stopped until it hits the person who’s tied up or derails. (2) Switching the tracks isn't actually your job; you just happen to be in the tower because of a set of random circumstances. (3) The person on the tracks was already tied to them when you got there.]
    I would turn around and walk out, in turn doing nothing presuming its none of my business. At least that's what I like to think I would do. In actuality the only times I really wouldn't switch the tracks would be if it were my child or spouse or sibling. I am very family oriented that way. Family before everyone else. If its someone I don't know, or is not family then yes I would switch the tracks. I have made decisions with similar potential to this type before with people I knew well. A couple situations came to fruition. The decision itself is easy at least when you make them before an incident. Dealing with it afterword's sucks. Lots of second guessing and self doubt, on your part wondering if you could have done better or differently. Leadership has its benefits, it also has its costs. I think the costs outweigh the benefits by far in these type scenarios.
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  8. #18
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    Technically, if you flip that switch, you're murdering the person on the tracks, no matter how you look at it.
    Only if you do it with the intent to kill, and you had a choice in the matter. It isn't technically murder in the scenario you laid out.

  9. #19
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    But how can it be your "intent not to kill" the man (or woman) on the tracks when you can be all but certain that diverting the train will result in that person's death?
    It's my understanding of the legal terms. I'm not a lawyer so I could be wrong.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

  10. #20
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I have a toothache. That always puts me in a kill-em-all sort of mood. No reason required.
    Toothaches and migraines do it every time.

    Good luck with getting better. I normally take a couple of migraine formula aspirins and hit the sack. The other thing that works is oil of oregano. You put that on and about your tooth with a dropper for a few minutes. There's catch to the oil though, it is very pungent and foul tasting. But it works for a good while till you can get to the dentist, or at least get some sleep.
    Semper Fidelis, Semper Liber.
    I spit at lots of people through my computer screen. Not only does it "teach them a lesson" but it keeps the screen clean and shiny.
    Stolen fair and square from the Capt. Courtesey himself.

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