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. #61
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Utilitarian choice is to flip the switch. As much as I like to think I would pull that switch, I am not a Vulcan and would probably let it go on. Inaction vs action.

    I would probably justify my regret by saying there was nothing that I could have done and it's the train companies fault.

    I also think that when it came down to the line, more people who said they would switch the tracks would be unable to do it either.
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilly View Post
    Utilitarian choice is to flip the switch. As much as I like to think I would pull that switch, I am not a Vulcan and would probably let it go on. Inaction vs action.

    I would probably justify my regret by saying there was nothing that I could have done and it's the train companies fault.

    I also think that when it came down to the line, more people who said they would switch the tracks would be unable to do it either.

    Esp. the religious but religious or not, many believe in miracles.

    There's no guarantee that anyone would be killed on the train...it's likely...but no one would ever know and we all see the 'miracles' in disasters regularly, whatever they are attributed to...physics or God.
    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.

  3. #63
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Booth View Post
    If you do nothing, it is because you are not willing to kill a single person who has been tied to the tracks in order to save an unknown number of people, possibly a handful, possibly a hundred or more. Doing nothing is definitely sacrificing these people, in this situation.
    I have a couple of issues with equating doing nothing to "sacrifice." In one sense, sacrifice refers to slaughter, but in its other sense, it refers to giving something up in exchange for something else. In the first case, if you're not responsible for putting the train on the tracks, and it's not your job to be switching the rails, it's hard for me to see how you can be directly "slaughtering" the passengers on the train. If you're claiming that you're giving up the lives of the passengers to save the life of the person on the tracks, there's the second issue. The lives of the passengers are not yours to trade, and they never were.
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  4. #64
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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. It is logic. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or one.
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  5. #65
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    No. It is logic. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or one.
    Murder isn't necessarily illogical.
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  6. #66
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    Murder isn't necessarily illogical.
    I agree and I don't think that I suggested that murder was illogical...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    When "Sophie" made her "choice"....did she murder the child they took away?
    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.

  8. #68
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    For the purposes of the hypothetical, I am assuming everything stated is a certainty. Most importantly, that means if the tracks are switched, it is certain many people will die.

    That in mind, I would let the train continue.

    I think this decision would be more likely to destroy my mind in the end, but even if it wound up taking me down with it, that's still less harm and suffering than switching the tracks.

  9. #69
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    When "Sophie" made her "choice"....did she murder the child they took away?
    Not quite the same: the SS officer could have spared the child without her knowledge. A train moving at full speed can't be stopped in time.
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  10. #70
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    Re: The Murder Dilemma (an ethics question)

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    Not quite the same: the SS officer could have spared the child without her knowledge. A train moving at full speed can't be stopped in time.
    In your scenario, a layperson has no knowledge of how many, or even if any, people will die.
    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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