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    (Original post by viddy9)
    You're changing the scenario, now. In the scenario, we're meant to know nothing about the identity of the individuals, meaning that there's no reason to suppose that the five people or the one person are violent criminals. All things being equal, therefore, we ought to save the five people.
    That was not part of the scenario. You assumed that yourself. Furthermore, you made a general claim, not one specific to the aforementioned scenario.
    (Original post by viddy9)
    The point is that even though the lives of five have less total value than the lives of a million, they still have more value than the lives of one. And, where do you draw the line? Do you kill one person to save 1000 people? If so, why not 999? And if 999, why not 998?
    This is an invalid assumption also. One person may be worth more than a million others. For instance, a great thinker like Aristotle would have been worth more than a million of the ancient world's paedophiles, rapists, etc. Obviously, such an instance would be extremely unlikely, and therefore there would be little reason to assume such a case when deciding the outcome. However, a situation where one person's life is worth more than the five is not far-fetched at all. A line doesn't need to be drawn. The total number of life is not a component of the value of the life. A phoetus for instance has little known value, even though it is a life nonetheless. The value of life is both subjective and objective, therefore a line is drawn be each individual and, if it is drawn at all, will be arbitrary.

    (Original post by viddy9)
    You also say that one is more likely to be affected by the deaths of a million, but isn't that an incredibly selfish thing to say? The only reason you'd save the million isn't because you're saving one million lives, but because you're more likely to be affected by it?
    Yes, it is selfish, but my response wasn't a moral argument. It was an argument for reasoning that an individual's actions are effected by the predicted consequences of said actions. Perhaps you should have said 'there is no morally valid reason', instead of 'no reason' generally. Furthermore, I didn't give an exhaustive list of reasons, and I specifically implied otherwise ('many reasons'), so your very last point is a misrepresentation of my argument.
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    a) 2 - effectively saving 4 lives by pulling that lever.
    b) 2 - again, you're saving lives.

    Well, whether I'd be able to is a different question, but I think it's morally the right thing to do.

    By choosing not to intervene, you're just as involved as if you're choosing to do something.
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    Most philosophers would pick 2 and 2

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    (Original post by george-90)
    That was not part of the scenario. You assumed that yourself. Furthermore, you made a general claim, not one specific to the aforementioned scenario.
    The scenario does not describe the people in any more detail, so what we know is what the scenario tells us, and the scenario tells us that these are simply generic people.

    I made a general claim that one should be prepared to kill one person to save five people. In a case in which one knows nothing about the identities of the individuals, that is certainly what one ought to do, and it's also what one ought to do in most other circumstances too.

    I'm not claiming that there aren't scenarios in which it wouldn't be moral to save the life of one person instead of five. If the one person is likely to save more lives in the future as a result of being saved, then I would save the one person, though.

    I don't accept your example, though: I don't view the life of a philosopher such as Aristotle as being instrumentally useful in terms of saving others or reducing a massive amount of suffering - so if I had to choose between saving Aristotle and saving one million rapists, I'd save the million rapists. Retribution and anger should play no part in any intellectually serious moral philosophy.
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    (Original post by ihatePE)
    how can a trolley have enough force to kill people LLOOOL
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tram#E...rolley_cars.29 smh...
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    Are these the questions philosophy tries to answer?
    Excellent stuff !!
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    Most philosophers would pick 2 and 2

    Would most philosophers push the Fat Man? Although I think they'd be wrong not to do so, I don't think most of them would, and the survey you cite only demonstrates that most philosophers would pull the lever.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Would most philosophers push the Fat Man? Although I think they'd be wrong not to do so, I don't think most of them would, and the survey you cite only demonstrates that most philosophers would pull the lever.
    Admittedly there are far more variables here than the first, I'm only going by anecdotal evidence, and from what you've said above it seems some responses by philosophers on reddit and whatnot have given similar arguments

    On the assumption that there'd be no problem to push the fat man (in terms of strength)

    I do find it hard to envisage that most people (namely philosophers) wouldn't. There might be studies on this however; haven't found any!

    (FWIW, it seems somebody's looks impact the issue too! http://dailynous.com/2015/03/20/new-...ws-were-awful/)
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    I said honestly don't know. I started with 2 and then 1 but then that's probably because it's pretty hard to just kill someone with a couple of seconds of thinking. Morally I wouldn't really care about who's gonna die as long as long as they were all equal not like my friends. Really good question hope to see more any suggestions?
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    would probably run away as i wouldn't want to risk a murder charge in either case
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    Name:  1456358172668.jpg
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    Scenario 1: 2

    Scenario 2: 1
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    Pull the lever, but leave fatty be.

    In the first situation, all six people are at threat simply by being tied to the tracks. The tram will kill some people, but the subject is given a chance at damage control.That's how I can justify pulling the lever.

    However, in the second situation, those five people are going to die. I have no responsibility for them, as the fat man is not at threat. Using him as a sacrifice to prevent their deaths would be murder, plain and simple. I do not wish to commit murder, so I take no action.
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    Normally I dismiss these hypotheticals as nonsense. This one captures some truth of the human psyche though. Many have already referenced dissonance. My answers are yes I would pull the lever, and no I wouldn't push the fat man. I have to ask the right question to understand why...

    What is the most ethical intent?
    1. To save the most people possible. (pull the lever, push the fat man)
    2. To kill the least people possible. (pull the lever, push the fat man)

    What is the most ethical action?
    1. That which does the most good (pull the lever, push the fat man)
    2. That which does the least harm (don't pull the lever, leave the fat man)

    The crucial distinction is in the justification. One action sends harm towards the few to protect the many. The other action uses the few as a sacrifice to save the many. The result is the same. It is the accountability and deniability that changes significantly.

    The most logical and therefore courageous answer is pull the lever, and push the fat man.
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    2 Aand 2.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    The scenario does not describe the people in any more detail, so what we know is what the scenario tells us, and the scenario tells us that these are simply generic people.
    I wasn't commenting on the scenario however in my original response.

    (Original post by viddy9)
    I made a general claim that one should be prepared to kill one person to save five people. In a case in which one knows nothing about the identities of the individuals, that is certainly what one ought to do, and it's also what one ought to do in most other circumstances too.
    I was commenting solely on your claim that "if one is prepared to kill one person to save one million, there's no reason why one shouldn't be prepared to kill one person to save five."

    QUOTE=viddy9;62992327]I don't accept your example, though: I don't view the life of a philosopher such as Aristotle as being instrumentally useful in terms of saving others or reducing a massive amount of suffering - so if I had to choose between saving Aristotle and saving one million rapists, I'd save the million rapists. Retribution and anger should play no part in any intellectually serious moral philosophy.[/QUOTE]

    This has nothing to do with retribution and anger. Aristotle has surely had a greater positive impact on human lives than than those million rapists, murderers, etc. Aristotle has improved the lives of many of the billions who have come after him. Aristotle laid the first comprehensive foundation of western philosophy, which lead to the development of the scientific method. I'm sure that has significantly helped billions of lives. Either way, we can disagree on this.
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    Is it necessary to choose? Because if this happened in reality, I think I would just watch.
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    Community Assistant
    1: 2
    2: 2

    (Original post by Sesshomaru24U)
    Is it necessary to choose? Because if this happened in reality, I think I would just watch.
    That's basically option one for each.
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    Do nothing.
    Do nothing.

    I have encountered this dilemma many times before and I will always choose do nothing for both.
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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Spoiler:
    Show


    Open the situations one at a time and type your answers below before opening the other situation. Don't change your answer.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    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.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by putting something very heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

    (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
    (2) Push the fat man.
    Ok spoiler 1 is that picture...
    Opening spoiler 2...
    Ok I choose number 2 to save 4...
    Opening spoiler 3 now...
    Yes I would push the fat man to save the five people...


    What do I win? :ahee:
 
 
 
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