The Trolley Problem

So, while I was google searching the name of some crazy philosopher who thought small children could be disposed of until age 4 because until that point they couldn’t be independent or something, I started reading a bunch of crazy philosophies and ethical questions and I came across something called THE TROLLEY PROBLEM.

Here’s what it is, according to wikipedia:  “The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. The general form of the problem is this: 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?”

So I read this problem, pondered it for a while, opened a new search window and went back to searching for my heartless philosopher, and then as I was closing down internet windows at 2am and attempting to get ready to sleep, I found myself back on the Trolley page. So I decided to read some of the theoretical solutions to it, because I was rather stumped, and after I’d read them all I realized the one solution that nobody seemed to think of.

Namely, if you flip the switch so that it heads toward the one man, then WHY CAN’T YOU JUST YELL AT THE MAN TO GET OFF THE TRACK?

He’s not tied to the track. He’s willfully choosing to stand on the track of his own accord. If the train comes toward him, he should have the wisdom to get off the stinkin’ track! I mean, seriously.

Why is the man even standing on the track in the first place?  There are a mess of people all lined up to get run over by the first track, and he’s like across the way just chilling, doesn’t he see the people on the first track? Why isn’t HE helping them? AND if he’s not gonna help then just get off the track dude!

So my point here, is that I would flip the switch while screaming “GET OFF THE TRACK” and expect the man to high-tail it out of there. If he gets crushed then that’s an unfortunate side effect of him STANDING ON TRAIN TRACKS, not hearing me yelling, not noticing the people tied up on the other track, and not hearing or seeing the train coming straight toward him.

Sure, there is the risk that he’s like, he’s tied to the track as well, but my goal is to save the 5 people by re-routing the track, and I’m hoping that he’s gonna move.

Does this conflict with my not killing anyone post?

Because I still think we should not kill people, but if the people is a person standing on a train track and ignoring the oncoming train, shouts, and tied up people, then I think they have a death wish.

And while I don’t want to help them fulfill that death wish, I don’t want their death wish standing in front of 5 people’s life wishes…Yeah

Okay, that’s all. PEACE!


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Filed under ODR: Old Drafts Revisited, Various writing

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