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# A trolley problem

 Posts: 5,450 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PMPosted: 1 year agoScenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!
 Posts: 339 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/29/2016 10:06:40 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!Q3: Did Person A get laid by the person they saved?That's what truly matters.
 Posts: 287 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/29/2016 11:31:02 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!This is an interesting question.The outcome is the same in both scenarios, 5 people die and 1 person survives. A Strict Consequentialist (SC) judges the morality of an action by its result, and hence would claim that persons A and B are morally equivalent, since the consequences of their action/inaction lead to the same outcome.In contrast a Deontologist (D) judges the morality of an action by its adherence to rules and upon what motivation the action is based upon. From this point of view one can argue that person B intentionally kill 5 people, while person A does not intentionally kill anyone. Hence person A is morally superior to person B.Personally I believe in a mixture of these two theories. That may sound like I am throwing consistency out of the window, but I think this mixture adds up and I will try to explain why I think so. Ultimately this mixture is consequentialist. For lack of better name and since I have seen others on this forum use the term, I will call it Rule-Consequentialism (RC).RC is similar to SC in that both theories rely on the outcome of an action to judge its morality. They are different in that SC is far more shortsighted. In RC one must not simply consider the consequences of one's own action, but also include the consequences of others viewing that action and basing their actions upon what others have done before. Lets think of a current example: Two candidates are running for president of a country X. The people are about to hold an election and it seems the winning candidate is not the best option for the country. SC states that it is morally justified to remove that candidate in order to secure a better future for the country and hence maximize wellbeing. RC states that it not morally justified to remove the worse candidate since that may have long-term effects such as destabilization of the political system in that country.The similarities of D and RC is that they both contain rules as guidelines of action. In D the rules may never be broken if one wishes to remain moral. In RC the rules can be broken if the outcome of an action compensates the damage of breaking the rule. For example, one could assume that the worse candidate will start a war leading to the imminent destruction of humanity. In that case the rule protecting the political system of the country simply looses its weight and can be dismissed.I currently consider RC to be the most accurate moral theory, however I am aware there are still multiple points of critique that can be made of it.How then should RC be applied to rate our two scenarios?Again, the direct outcome is the same in both cases. The question then is whether letting 5 people die and leaving the other 1 alive is worse than actively killing 5 people and saving the other 1.This question brakes down into two issues:1) Can human life be compared numerically, is it better for 5 people to live than for 1 person?2) Is actively killing somebody worse than passively killing somebody?These are tough issues I don't necessarily have a good answer for at the moment. Maybe someone else can take the ball from here and explain their opinion.
 Posts: 4,116 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/30/2016 12:32:21 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?If the 5 people are inmates from death row as opposed to the one, innocent the person.It depends on the reason person B intentionally killed the 5 instead of the 1. His motive is seemingly malicious. Motivations are fundamental when considering whether someone is acting immorally.Q2: justify your answer!
 Posts: 5,450 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/30/2016 3:14:51 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/30/2016 12:32:21 AM, Benshapiro wrote:At 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?If the 5 people are inmates from death row as opposed to the one, innocent the person.It depends on the reason person B intentionally killed the 5 instead of the 1. His motive is seemingly malicious. Motivations are fundamental when considering whether someone is acting immorally.Q2: justify your answer!I think it would better to assume that neither A nor B knows anything about the sort of people on the tracks, ie they only know the number of them.Don't overlook it is possible A did not change the points because he maliciously wanted 5 people to die rather than 1 so we can't say they were morally equivalent or inquivalent by only considering B's motivation.However I generally agree that it what matters is the intention to do good or to do evil.
 Posts: 3,894 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/30/2016 7:26:47 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!I myself would of foreseen accidents happening on and around the trolley lines, By making the public and all around aware of the dangers with big signs and pressure warning tracks. With loud alarms if track moment happens. Thus being more moral even though you could never know if you saved a single person.
 Posts: 1,219 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/30/2016 1:16:29 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/30/2016 3:14:51 AM, keithprosser wrote:However I generally agree that it what matters is the intention to do good or to do evil.How do you qualify the terms good and evil respectively? Moreover, how do you distinguish or evaluate a person's intent?I am fascinated by the idea that our civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. --Werner Herzog
 Posts: 3,932 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/31/2016 3:04:47 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/30/2016 7:26:47 AM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!I myself would of foreseen accidents happening on and around the trolley lines, By making the public and all around aware of the dangers with big signs and pressure warning tracks. With loud alarms if track moment happens. Thus being more moral even though you could never know if you saved a single person.Perhaps tongue and cheek, but this is true "thinking outside the box." Most philosophy students focus on the problem so intently that they forget that all reality is stripped from the scenario; one is not magically dropped on a train and forced to kill people in real life. In real life there are events leading up to you being on the train, and those are the events that decide culpability. Therefore the TP is not a moral dilemma at all, because the real moral elements - those leading up to you being in that situation - have been eliminated from the exercise. What a person decides in the TP has zero moral relevance (of course it is assumed the subject wishes to do the right thing and that is all that matters), it is perhaps more of a stress test than anything else.AKA Rob1billion Rob1_Billion Caramel Lasagna
 Posts: 287 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/31/2016 7:54:06 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/31/2016 3:04:47 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:At 10/30/2016 7:26:47 AM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 10/29/2016 2:56:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:Scenario A is as usual. Person A comes along chooses to do nothing so five people die and one person is saved.Scenario B is as before but with the points intially the other way around. Person B comes along and changes the points so 5 people die and one person is saved.Q1: under what circumstances are persons A and B morally equivalent/inequivalent?Q2: justify your answer!I myself would of foreseen accidents happening on and around the trolley lines, By making the public and all around aware of the dangers with big signs and pressure warning tracks. With loud alarms if track moment happens. Thus being more moral even though you could never know if you saved a single person.Perhaps tongue and cheek, but this is true "thinking outside the box." Most philosophy students focus on the problem so intently that they forget that all reality is stripped from the scenario; one is not magically dropped on a train and forced to kill people in real life. In real life there are events leading up to you being on the train, and those are the events that decide culpability. Therefore the TP is not a moral dilemma at all, because the real moral elements - those leading up to you being in that situation - have been eliminated from the exercise. What a person decides in the TP has zero moral relevance (of course it is assumed the subject wishes to do the right thing and that is all that matters), it is perhaps more of a stress test than anything else.This has nothing to do with "thinking outside the box" and everything with "completely missing the point". The point in this thought experiment is not to actually figure out how to act when a trolly is about to kill some people tied to the tracks. The point is to find a justification for your actions if you were in that scenario. The specific scenario itself will probably never occure in your life, however there are many similar scenarios that will occure. Scenarios, in which there are moral dilemmas. To deal with them it helps knowing in what way one should act to be ethical, and for that you need to be able to justify your actions.