I meant to confer the straightforwardness I saw in what I consider an impossibly straightforward situation.
I don't think this situation is straightforward at all. There is no "right", "simple" or "good" path for Edward to choose here. The only thing he can moderate is his level of PERSONAL resposibility.
If he makes the choice to stay on course and five people die, is Edward going to be charged with anything? Is anyone going to say to him; "Gee Edward, why didn't you switch tracks and just kill that other person instead of these five?" Of course not! He would be treated as another victim of the tragedy.
If he makes the choice to switch tracks then he has chosen to kill somebodAdrian - my analogy pertained only to the point that choosing not to act in a situation where there is a choice as to whether or not to act IS an action in and of itself.
If it is seen as an action in the car situation, would you concede that it is an action in the trolley situation?y that otherwise would not die. True, it can be convincingly argued that his choice also saved five other people but it would be hard to argue against the idea that he is PERSONALLY responsible for the death of the one.
Case 1: A brake failure in the trolley results in the death of five people.
Case 2: A brake failure in the trolley AND the decision of the driver Edward to switch tracks results in the death of one person.
Which case is "better" for Edward?
Adrian - my analogy pertained only to the point that choosing not to act in a situation where there is a choice as to whether or not to act IS an action in and of itself.
If it is seen as an action in the car situation, would you concede that it is an action in the trolley situation?
OK, granted. Would you concede that freezing in terror when confronted with this situation, as you and Heevan have both alluded to, would constitute inaction? Or would you say that the person involved has "chosen" to freeze and do nothing?
And you're right about inaction, actually. It is everywhere. For instance, the brakes, whether they work or not, are inactive. So they cannot be held reponsible for killing anyone.
They most certainly can and, barring any human negligence, would be held responsible.
I bet you think that guns are responsible for killing people too.
There's no need to cast aspersions Rufio, this is only a discussion. Anyway you would lose that bet.