So help me out here.
What's wrong now?
You told me about the trolley car, out of control, ready to run over five people.
Yes, that happens every day.
And so the driver, if she could, switches the tracks and the train now runs over only one person.
Right. The driver made a wise choice. Sacrificing one life to save five.
The more difficult dilemma is for the bystander. Does he throw a person onto the tracks to stop the trolley, given if he doesn't, five people will die?
Or maybe he feels that not doing anything is ok?
That's really the issue for me. Is it ok to do nothing?
I don't know. I remember when the man was beat up on the subway tracks in NYC and people just stood around. Imagine if we had laws against inactivity.
Yea... you don't jump in the pool to save the kid... then you could go to jail.
Or you don't learn CPR.
Or... you buy an expensive house rather than a cheap house, thereby diverting money from starving children.
Or... you don't take out a big life insurance policy before throwing yourself infront of the trolley, thereby eliminating a giant good deed to those in need. Is that acceptable and compassionate behavior?
Stay tuned to the next episode of Moral Dilemmas 101