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. #31
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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 it is viewed as illegal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

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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 have no idea how this ever became an ethics problem or how "murder" got involved. It is not murder in any court in the land unless there is pre-determinned intent.

    Secondly, this is actually a logic question used in psychological testing. There is no "correct" or answer free from some personal onus, and as a moral question where it is designed to test psychological reasoning. It is not designed to be a "yes" or "no" answer, but one in which the participant must explain his choice.
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  3. #33
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Dont shift the tracks. The people on the train have a fighting chance, there's no way to estimate the harm, and lots of "miraculous survival stories" always emerge. The 'power of life and death' here is in the hands of physics and God, not me. Each of those people has a chance.

    Shift the tracks and kill the single person and altho the authorities wont likely charge you, the family will bring a civil suit if they can IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

  4. #34
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    I'd do nothing...since my great, great, great, great............great grandson would appear from the future - having fulfilled my request in my will that when future generations develop time travel and a teleportation device, that they would come back and save this person - and untie and remove the lone person from the tracks.

    Problem solved.


    Then he would give me all the NCAA/NFL football scores for the weeks I requested so I could bet on them and become a billionaire.
    Last edited by DA60; 08-30-14 at 02:37 PM.

  5. #35
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Not enough information. Who is on the tracks? Who is on the train?...
    The only way the answers to those questions can matter is if you're placing different amounts of value on the lives of different people.
    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.

  6. #36
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    The only way the answers to those questions can matter is if you're placing different amounts of value on the lives of different people.
    People I care about. Sub-humans like Liberals and other socialist types, not so much.

    If the train was going from Dallas to Phoenix, I might save it. If it was going from LA to San Francisco, I would go get some drinks and party as it burned.
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fearandloathing View Post
    I have no idea how this ever became an ethics problem or how "murder" got involved. It is not murder in any court in the land unless there is pre-determinned intent.

    Secondly, this is actually a logic question used in psychological testing. There is no "correct" or answer free from some personal onus, and as a moral question where it is designed to test psychological reasoning. It is not designed to be a "yes" or "no" answer, but one in which the participant must explain his choice.
    The fact that this question tests psychological reasoning doesn't necessarily mean that it has no ethical component to it.
    I fight against the ignorant, irresponsible, and/or closed-minded.
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  8. #38
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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.]
    switch the track and sleep well at night, I caused the least harm.

  9. #39
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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.
    No, not even "technically". The person who tied the victim to the tracks is on the hook for murder. All the switcher is, is a person with a mildly tough choice.

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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.]
    Give Popeye his can of spinach.

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