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Thread: The Trolley Problem

  1. #41
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    I don't think it changes when you alter the numbers involved, either.

    Say the scenario is such that if you deliberately murder one innocent, a million other innocents are not killed.

    There is still only one moral answer: you cannot choose to kill the one and still be a moral or worthy human being.


    It doesn't change if it's 10 million. 100 million. 1 billion.

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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    You do know that this is not the normal formulation of the Trolley Problem, right?
    Yes I know. It probably has a ton of variations at this point.
    "It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong." -Voltaire

  3. #43
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    No, no, I accept the scenario. I just didn't see inaction as a rejection of the scenario.

    In the first scenario, if I must act, I would throw the switch to kill one instead of five.
    In the second I would not push the fat man and let the five die. (Isn't this inaction, and yet a permissible option within the scenario?)
    The decision not to push the fat man is still a choice. And yes, it's part of the scenario.

    So, here's the thing. In this case, you are willing to pull a switch, and thus kill one person to save five. However, you are not willing to physically touch one man to kill him, in order to save five.

    Seems a tad irrational, no?

  4. #44
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    The decision not to push the fat man is still a choice. And yes, it's part of the scenario.

    So, here's the thing. In this case, you are willing to pull a switch, and thus kill one person to save five. However, you are not willing to physically touch one man to kill him, in order to save five.

    Seems a tad irrational, no?
    Yes, but irrationality is forced upon me by the rules of the thought experiment. In the first scenario (with switch) I am not allowed to choose inaction. In the second scenario (fat man) I am allowed to choose inaction.
    I would choose inaction in both cases, but I'm not allowed to. So my inconsistency (irrationality) is forced upon me.
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  5. #45
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Yes, but irrationality is forced upon me by the rules of the thought experiment. In the first scenario (with switch) I am not allowed to choose inaction. In the second scenario (fat man) I am allowed to choose inaction.
    I would choose inaction in both cases, but I'm not allowed to. So my inconsistency (irrationality) is forced upon me.
    The scenario doesn't force you to be irrational or inconsistent. It forces you to become aware of the irrationality and inconsistency.

    So you should be asking yourself:

    The outcomes are identical. In both scenarios, either one person dies, or five people die. The only difference is that in the first scenario, you are pulling a switch; in the second, you're pushing someone. Why do you treat them differently?

  6. #46
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    "Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."
    -FDR

  7. #47
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    The outcomes are identical. In both scenarios, either one person dies, or five people die. The only difference is that in the first scenario, you are pulling a switch; in the second, you're pushing someone. Why do you treat them differently?
    In both scenarios five persons die unless I interfere.
    I would prefer not to interfere at all and avoid any and all responsibility for anyone's death.
    But in the first scenario I must interfere as per the strictures of the scenario. So one person dies instead of five, and I am responsible for that death,
    In the second scenario I'm allowed non-interference and I am not responsible for anyone's death.
    I am not more willing to throw a switch than push a body. I would do neither. But the rules of the thought experiment force the issue.
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  8. #48
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    In both scenarios five persons die unless I interfere.
    I would prefer not to interfere at all and avoid any and all responsibility for anyone's death.
    But in the first scenario I must interfere as per the strictures of the scenario. So one person dies instead of five, and I am responsible for that death,
    In the second scenario I'm allowed non-interference and I am not responsible for anyone's death.
    I am not more willing to throw a switch than push a body. I would do neither. But the rules of the thought experiment force the issue.
    You're allowed non-interference in the first one too.

    Free will is not eliminated in these scenarios ever, or they are worthless.

  9. #49
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    I would grab some copper wiring... a conduit... run some diagnostics... realize I also needed some nano tubes and a rubber band and short out the tracks stopping the hulking beast...
    You forgot the chewing gum, McGuyver.
    Bi, Poly, Switch. I'm not indecisive, I'm greedy!

  10. #50
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    Re: The Trolley Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    Relatives, it would save more lives that way. "True love" can fade, family more so is forever. Imagine having allowed your family to die then having that same person divorce you later.
    Given the abuse that some people take from their families, a risk for "true love" can be pretty good odds.
    Bi, Poly, Switch. I'm not indecisive, I'm greedy!

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