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The Moral Dilemma #2 [The Push]

 
 
Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 01:21 pm
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/mars90000000/traintrackbridge.jpg

There is a train track, and five workers are working on the track. You are on an overpass and see a train approaching. There IS a train coming. With you, on the overpass, is another man.

Is it morally acceptable to push the man on the overpass onto the track, killing the man and stoping the train, thus preventing five deaths?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 1,951 • Replies: 5
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 01:30 pm
@mars90000000,
If it is the man might push you first.
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contrex
 
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Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 02:10 pm
If you thought that pushing the man onto the track would stop the train, you clearly don't know very much about railways. If you thought that it would be normal for track workers to be on the line when normal traffic was running, with no lookouts, agreement with the running department, or other means of protection, then you clearly know even less. Stupid clip-art notwithstanding.

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contrex
 
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Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 02:57 pm
If the train hits the man so close to the workers in that picture, then it won't stop before it reaches the workers. Are you sure they are track workers? They look more like suicidal idiots. Why are they lying on the rails waving hammers?



spendius
 
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Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 03:27 pm
@contrex,
Do you not understand thought experiments contrex?
contrex
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 05:32 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Do you not understand thought experiments contrex?


Of course I do. I just felt like having a go at a dumb thread. Also I know something about railways. If it was presented as "You are faced with a situation where, to save five people from certain death, you have to kill one, would you do it?" then perhaps I could take it seriously and answer "Probably, but maybe not." However such situations rarely arise in real life. If instead of trains, road vehicles were involved, e.g. "Would you crash your car into a tree and die to save a school bus full of cute toddlers?" or something like that, it would be equally silly. We could all choose the noble answer, safe in the knowledge that it is just a mental exercise.

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