Forums > Social Discussion > some philosophical questions

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 12
Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:These questions are open and of course there are no right answers. Bear in mind that these questions are philosophical exercises, not real world problems. You must choose from the options given, this is not a lateral thinking exercise (no worming your way out with secret option C).



Question 1

There is a train careering out of control. You stand in the switch room and can send it either down a track on which 5 people are trapped (killing them all) or down a track on which one person is trapped (killing him). What do you do?



Question 2

There is a train running out of control towards and will kill 5 people trapped on the rails, but you are near a switch and could divert it into a siding. Unfortunately there is someone trapped in the siding and you would kill him by pulling the switch. What do you do?



Question 3

There is a mine cart running out of control down the rails towards 5 people who will all die. In front of the rails a man looks on helplessly, and you realize that you could push him onto the rails and he would stop the mine cart though he himself would die. What do you do?



Question 4

You are a doctor in a hospital, and you have 5 dying patients in desperate need of transplants. Another patient walks into the hospital with a broken finger. After anesthetizing him you realize that this man is blood type O negative and you could harvest his organs and save your 5 dying transplant patients, all of whom would survive with no further complications. What do you do?



At one point you probably said yes and at another you probably said no. Where did that happen and what changed?



EDITED after Diogenes post

EDITED_BY: Mascot (1210755922)


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete Topic

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Question 3, because then you actively take a part in causing the death of a person. If I had enough time in the given situation to contemplate it before deciding, it would be an easy choice.
(By the way, I'd also fix a broken finger without general anaesthetic and test the blood type before or not at all tongue - that was the first thing that crossed my mind!)


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

Dai
member
Location: Aberystwyth/ Newcastle
Member Since: 12th Aug 2003
Total posts: 22
Posted:1. Assuming its as black and white as implied, send the cart down the track that kills one.



2. Again the 1 gets it.



3. Do nothing or if I had the courage at that moment in time throw myself in front of the cart - pushing the man would be murder and in my mind immoral to boot.



4. a) Wonder why the patient is under general anesthetic for a broken finger (I assume general anesthetic otherwise he's not gonna let you near his organs) b) give my head a shake for thinking such a thing c) deal with the broken finger and finally d) hope donor(s) are found for those on the transplant list.





Yes parallels can be drawn between 2, 3 and 4 but I dont think they should be as in 2, the death(s) will be by the same cause (an out of control train kills someone/people) so I view diverting the train as moraly justifiable- if a little unfair for the one victim



but in 3 the death could be caused an out of control cart or by a murderer,

and in 4 the death would be caused by a mad physician with god delusions or unfortunate illnesses and a lack of registered organ donors - but thats a whole different issue!





EDIT - really should learn to type faster, as birgit said pretty much everything I wanted to say (in a much more concise manner too) guess my age is starting to show ubblol

EDITED_BY: Dai (1210715618)


even a frisbee is a lethal weapon in the hands of the wrong person

Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Sorry... just had interrupted my movie for getting a drink and thought I'd check mails etc while I was at it... had to get back to Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in time, everything else would've been morally unjustifiable! biggrin (glad you agree about the anaesthetic though!)

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:I agree that the general anesthetic is silly but it's besides the point.

If you answer yes to question 2 you accept the principle that you can morally make a decision to kill one person to save 5. In question 3 all thats changed is how you kill that person. Does that matter? they're going to be dead in any case and actually in the same way (by being hit by a mine cart).

What is the difference between putting someone in the way of a mine cart by pulling a switch and putting someone in the way of a mine cart by pushing them?

As humans we (thankfully) find killing people repulsive. In a hypothetical situation in which killing someone may be justified it is easier for us to separate ourselves from the act if it's just a switch to pull and not a dagger to thrust.

Personally I think that when you accept the principle that it is morally acceptable to kill a small number of people to save a larger number of people the circumstances are not important. Yes I even think that the doctor is morally justified in killing the patient, though I myself could never do it.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:I disagree, there is most certainly something different among the questions. By pushing someone into the path of the cart you've committed murder, you've intentionally sent someone to their death. You haven't redirected a car, you've pushed someone to their death.

Morals cannot, and should not be entirely without thought. It's not (always) merely a numbers game. how about this question:

There is a runaway train running down the tracks, you can choose to send it down track A: with a small innocent child in its path, or B: with 3 sociopathic pedophiles in its path.

I'm hoping that you would change your views to establish that numbers does not always win. If you truly want to save lives why would you not throw yourself in the path of the cart? I'm O-Neg should I kill myself so some other people could have my organs? I have a right to live, and given normal circumstances you should not have the right to decide when I die. No matter the cost.

If you really want to know a person, you shouldn't ask who they would kill, but what it would take for them to lay down their own life.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

Delete

Diogenes
Member

Member Since: 12th May 2008
Total posts: 2
Posted:Question 1
Kill the single person.

Question 2
Kill the single person.

Question 3
Kill the single person.

Question 4
Save the patient with the broken finger. There is a risk that the patients in need of transplanted organs are going to suffer from some form of complication not long after the operation. The patient with the broken finger is stronger, and without a doubt will survive his current injuries. I would choose to save him.

Questions 1 through 3 would change for me if I had a perception of the identities of these people. Before making my decision, I would first determine whether or not the single man is potentially more important than the five people combined. For example, if I had the choice to save Augustus Caesar or five common Roman soldiers, then the choice would be Caesar.

But for the most part, a small casualty for the greater good. Hopefully.


Delete

Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted: Written by :Lurch


If you really want to know a person, you shouldn't ask who they would kill, but what it would take for them to lay down their own life.



I'm using that as my answer wink

Then adding something less stolen and say I'd close my eyes and go for whichever rail the track was already bound for. Alternatively, try and screw it up so the train derailed first.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

Delete

jo_rhymes
jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:With Qs 1 and 2, do we assume the people on the train all survive no matter what the outcome?
How are the 5 people trapped? Will they be rescued anyway? Or are they near death? what's the individual person like?

Q3, I don't think i'd do anything, I'm not going to push some bloke in front of a mine cart, I may as well push myself in front of it if I'm there!

Q4, Personally if I had a broken finger, went to the hospital and ended up having my organs harvested, I wouldn't be that happy ubblol


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted: Written by :Lurch


I disagree, there is most certainly something different among the questions. By pushing someone into the path of the cart you've committed murder, you've intentionally sent someone to their death. You haven't redirected a car, you've pushed someone to their death.





But pulling a lever intentionally redirecting a cart to kill someone you haven't committed murder? By pulling the lever you are intentionally sending someone to their death. I find it hard to logically see the difference, though I feel the difference.

As humans we have empathy and certain innate moral precepts. These are part of what it means to be human and serial killers who lack these qualities are quite correctly termed inhuman. The thing is these moral precepts are, in my view, good but not perfect. When it's a matter of a switch it's easy to apply cold logic to the situation but when you have to physically interact with your victim peoples innate morality tells them it is wrong when logic pulls the other way. People obey their innate feelings more than any logic. The choice not to push the man onto the tracks seems so right but can you justify it logically?

In life you have to strive to do what is logically right not do what you feel like doing and then search for logical reasons you might have done that.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted: Written by biggriniogenes



Question 4

Save the patient with the broken finger. There is a risk that the patients in need of transplanted organs are going to suffer from some form of complication not long after the operation. The patient with the broken finger is stronger, and without a doubt will survive his current injuries. I would choose to save him.







 Written by :jo_rhymes



With Qs 1 and 2, do we assume the people on the train all survive no matter what the outcome?

How are the 5 people trapped? Will they be rescued anyway? Or are they near death? what's the individual person like?







These questions are abstractions with rules. They are not the real world, you are not encouraged to think outside the box.



You cannot sacrifice yourself, you cannot derail the cart any other way, all of the transplant patients will survive with no further complications. Of course in the real world when presented with such dire options you would search franticly for some other alternative, that goes without saying.



All the people are called John, they are the same age and you know nothing about any of them. A conversation about weather you can value some people more highly than others and if so by how much would be interesting but lets open one can of worms at a time.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

87wt2gxq7
87wt2gxq7

veteran
Location: Birmingham
Member Since: 12th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1502
Posted: Written by :Lurch


I disagree, there is most certainly something different among the questions. By pushing someone into the path of the cart you've committed murder, you've intentionally sent someone to their death. You haven't redirected a car, you've pushed someone to their death.



I was going to say something like this. However, I got to thinking that the situations in (2) and (3) are pretty much the same - if you do not act then five people will die but if you do act then one person will die. The fact that the act is different (flicking a switch vs. putting your hands on someone and pushing them) doesn't change the moral situation - either you make a conscious choice to act and save five people by condemning one, or you choose to save one and condemn five.


Delete

jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:I do believe I recognize the questions wink

They're getting at the underlying basis of human morality. If one were to sit down and think objectively, you would probably come to the same conclusion about all of them, to do the most good by sacrificing the individual. But of course people aren't objective, and about 90% of people would not kill the person if they took an active hand in the death. Lots of different interpratations of the result, generally focusing around an element of libertarianism in the standard human morality. Lurch for instance has strong libertarian leanings, and so pushing an uninvolved to their death would clash quite drastically with that philosophy (sorry for playing amature psychotherapist hug ), whilst other people will only draw the line at the dude with the broken finger.

What's really interesting is that the ratio of answers is roughly the same across most cultures (correct me if I'm wrong), although the questions need to be reworded in some cases (I think they used crocodiles in a river for a rainforest tribe).


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:<i>What is the difference between putting someone in the way of a mine cart by pulling a switch and putting someone in the way of a mine cart by pushing them?</i>

The difference is that in the 2nd case the train could be stopped by myself. If I'm not ready to give myself up for it, I'm not justified in giving someone else's life up for it either. (Though I wouldn't be upset at someone killing the one guy I think, it's just something I couldn't bring myself to do.)

As for the doctor, it would be extremely immoral to kill the guy with the broken finger, since the doctor's sworn an oath to try and heal people. That does NOT including harming someone to facilitate healing someone else.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:These questions are indeed famous. They were put to me by my economics teacher at high school and I have considered them periodically ever since. It took me a long time to reconcile myself to killing the man with the broken finger.



As an atheist I needed a non-religious foundation for morality. Utilitarian philosophy, for all it's flaws, does best.



I am a strict Benthamite Utilitarian. The logic runs thus;



I like to be happy, I do not need to justify or prove this I just know it. Assuming that other humans are similar to me in this respect as they profess (and the assumption that they are similar is more justifiable than the assumption that they are different and I am there fore unique) people want to be happy. If human happiness and wellbeing is the ultimate end then the best course of action in any situation is the one which leads to the greatest happiness for the greatest number.



This simple criteria provides the yardstick by which to judge any action.



I want to make people happy.....how could you have a problem with that? Well there are many aspects of utilitarianism that people find objectionable;



1:) No intrinsic concept of justice



2:) The problem of Socrates dissatisfied and the fool playing nine pins



3:) You cannot measure happiness nor is it a fungible commodity (so decisions must be made based on estimates of what will make people happy)



4:) The ends justify the means (A rational for Stalins monstrosities)



5:) Where do you draw the line at who is included in the greatest number? Animal rights and abortion remain gray areas.



But mostly people object to the cold inhuman application of logic.



Utilitarianism may have it's problems but I maintain that it is better than our intrinsic morality and better than any other logical framework that has been constructed for morality thus far.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

oli
not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...
Member Since: 24th Jul 2003
Total posts: 2052
Posted:seems to me question 2- 4 are equivalent scenarios, 5 people will die unless you decide to save them which in each case will cause one person to die.

question one is different as in the question the train is not defiantly set on one course so you get to choose how many people you want to kill, (if you bad you kill 5 and if your good you kill 1), its not a question in which 5 people will die unless you do something.
so anyone who gave different answers for questions 2-4 is being logically inconsistent.
so surely you've always got to take action and kill less people.


Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:Modern physicians are not required to take the Hippocratic oath.

The question of self-sacrifice is an interesting one. I always considered the possibility of self-sacrifice to be outside the scope of the question. The point is much more clear cut if we exclude self-sacrifice.

It is not obvious to me that if you lack the courage to sacrifice yourself you are morally compelled not to sacrifice others for the common good.

What if instead of removing self sacrifice from question 3 we introduced it to question 2? Now consider you are at the switch and you see the train coming. You could run into the tracks yourself and stop it but you are too cowardly. Does this cowardice prevent you from pulling the switch and diverting the train into the siding killing the man there?


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Not the Hippocratic one, no, but many swear the Declaration of Geneva:
"At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:
(...)The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
(...)
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
(...)."
Killing someone for organs -> against health of patient and respect for life.

Question 2... if you change it in that way you make it more or less identical to question 3. Before it wasn't clear to me that running over the poor sod on the tracks would stop it. If it did, aye, I'd answer the same as in 3.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

burningoftheclavey
burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder
Member Since: 22nd Jul 2005
Total posts: 926
Posted:could you not just break the switch off, or use some other non-human implement and throw it onto the rail tracks? thus harming no one? biggrin

*<---idealist*

Is it changing the course of fate to pull a switch, or is it fate that you are there to save the majority? Surely if you are at a switch at the correct moment to pull it and save lives as opposed to saving one theres a reason for it? But then if I wasnt at a switch and could put myself in front of the train, I most likely wouldnt. I would have never met this person but have known me all my life.. Sounds like im a bit self centred, but only a suicidal person, or an extremely heroic person would throw themselves in front of a train to save someone they have never met. human psyche of self importance, no?


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:These questions are about the morality of sacrificing one person to save many. They are theoretical and contrived situations. The questions are not about the rights and wrongs of obeying oaths.

Let us posit that the physician in question had at no point solemnly sworn anything.

If I understand you correctly you are saying that if there was no possibility of self sacrifice in questions 2&3 then you would be morally justified in killing the person but if self-sacrifice were possible then in both questions you should sacrifice yourself or do nothing. You cannot morally condone a course of action where you cause the death of another human when you could have taken their place even if this course of action leads to fewer people dying overall.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

jo_rhymes
jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:To be fair though, the world is already over populated as it is, so maybe it would be fairer to kill the 5! Who can say what's best for mankind?

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Hmmm. I disagree on question 4 - the "you are a physician" is kind of central to the point. If I was a mother with a child needing a kidney and not a person whose job it is to heal people I might answer differently. If I was an uninvolved bystander I'd answer it like I did before.

About 2&3, yes that's about my point, for myself.

Before you ask this one, I'd not apply this ethics to some other situations, though, for example if I knew that the guy I was pushing on the tracks tied down 5 people on the track in the first place (i.e. killing an "evil dictator" or someone who has 100 people hostage and kills them one by one) that would be different.

There's a similar question on a personality test I once took, going:
"If you had to kill yourself or a random person on the planet, who would you choose?"
"If you had to kill yourself or 10 random people on the planet, who would you choolse?"
"And how about 10,000?"

I'd very likely choose myself over 5 randoms on a train track to be honest, with the 10,000 I HOPE I would choose them but then I like myself quite a lot.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:Jo has a very good point.

I've often heard a question like the ones above about if you had a woman come to you who had syphillus, 10 kids and lived in desperate poverty and she was pregnant again; would you advise her to have an abortion?
and somewhere along the line it turns out that a woman who fits that description is the mother of some famous composer.

so that one person you might be killing might turn out to cure cancer if they live.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

Delete

Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:I had a vehemently anti-abortion girlfriend who would say things like that.
You would have aborted Beethoven or some such.

You have to make decisions based on the information you have. The person who cures cancer is five times more likely to be one of the five in danger than the one in the siding.

I find Birgit's position interesting. It is consistent. It's odd to see a situation in which given options A and B, A is considered best but given options A and B (as before) with a new option C (self sacrifice) added B is now best. This defies conventional logic but there is no reason the laws of a persons morality should follow any conventional logic.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:I went for minimising the carnage on # 1 and 2

I wouldn't push the guy in front of the cart, or kill broken finger guy to save my dieing patients, sure pushing people in front of fast moving objects and harvest organs is fun, but the scenarios in 3 and 4 both involve outright murder.

You'd do jail time for minimising the body count in the last two scenarios.

I'm pretty, jail would be hard for me wink


Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by :Stout

I'm pretty, jail would be hard for me wink


I take it your avatar is not a self-portrait then (or else you're a bad artist or badly delusional about your pretty face) hug


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:The trick in this is that 1 and 2 are the same question worded quickly. In one you are at the switch and in the other you have to get to the switch. Now, either way, you will choose whether to throw the switch or not. So the choice is the same.

3 and 4 involve separate scenarios.

I don't know how to articulate the difference, but I'll try. In situations 1 and 2 the cause of death is accidental. To manipulate a situation in which someone will die in a way that, in order to kill less people, some people may have to die who would have otherwise lived, is managing an accident. There is no intent for anyone to die in 1 and 2. So it can accidentally happen to 1 or 5.

In situations 3 and 4 there are two causes of death; accident/illness (unavoidable) and homocide (avoidable). The cause of death is important in ethics. I would rather 5 people die of unavoidable causes than one person die of an avoidable cause.

Did that make sense?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:1. 5 people
2. seems like the same question, the 5
3. If the cart is too far away from the 5 that they dont see me then i'd push the guy in front and tell reporters that he selflessly jumped infront of the mine cart to save the 5.
4. I wouldnt take the one guys blood because if im a doctor i would not want to loose my licence and such.



*This was written before reading everyone elses answers, i was suprised to see everyone chose the single deaths. Seems to me that killing the single person would be harder post-event because i would develop a more intimate relationship with this single dead guy.

/shrug


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted: Written by :Birgit


 Written by :Stout

I'm pretty, jail would be hard for me wink


I take it your avatar is not a self-portrait then (or else you're a bad artist or badly delusional about your pretty face) hug



Harrumph...

I'll have you know that all over body hair, missing teeth, a stooped posture, calloused knuckles and big hairy feet with mycotic toenails are the hallmarks of the Canadian metrosexual. wink hug


Delete

Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Yikes, and there was me considering to include BC on my world tour next year eek If you could shave your feet maybe I might still visit...

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

Delete

natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted: Written by :Mascot


Question 1
There is a train careering out of control. You stand in the switch room and can send it either down a track on which 5 people are trapped (killing them all) or down a track on which one person is trapped (killing him). What do you do?



Knowing nothing more, I would put the train on the one person track.

 Written by :Mascot


Question 2
There is a train running out of control towards and will kill 5 people trapped on the rails, but you are near a switch and could divert it into a siding. Unfortunately there is someone trapped in the siding and you would kill him by pulling the switch. What do you do?



I don't know what a siding is, but again, 1 person.


 Written by :Mascot


Question 3
There is a mine cart running out of control down the rails towards 5 people who will all die. In front of the rails a man looks on helplessly, and you realize that you could push him onto the rails and he would stop the mine cart though he himself would die. What do you do?



In real life, I probably wouldn't push him, I doubt my brain would work that fast...
But hypothetically, one person dying is still better.. and he is MALE. :P

As in, if someone said, "OH NO, that cart is heading towards the people, what are you going to do Nat!!" and I had time to think, I may push the person...


 Written by :Mascot


Question 4
You are a doctor in a hospital, and you have 5 dying patients in desperate need of transplants. Another patient walks into the hospital with a broken finger. After anesthetizing him you realize that this man is blood type O negative and you could harvest his organs and save your 5 dying transplant patients, all of whom would survive with no further complications. What do you do?



HAHAHA.. well as a doctor, so you don't all lose faith, I'd say not kill him. :P
a) it's not just blood type that predicts organ donation...
b) I'd get majorly sued
c) If I was fixing his finger, I'd be an orthopaedic surgeon and I'd have to get other surgeons to agree with my decision, and at least one of the would be a self-righteous dick :P
d) Doctors are meant to heal, and it's just against the rules...
AND (extremely contrversial point) the five transplanty people might have cause their liver damage by being alcoholic, lung disease by smoking, kidney damage by not taking care of their diabetes....
So if the other dude's only in hospital for a broken finger... He'd be much healthier and probably contributing more to society than the five people who will be a drain on our resources.

 Written by :Mascot


At one point you probably said yes and at another you probably said no. Where did that happen and what changed?




I dunno, i think I changed my mind at the end.. the world IS over populated.. hmmmm....
Yeah, actually I've changed my mind...

I would changed both trains, but I wouldn't push the man.


Delete

Page: 12

Similar Topics

Using the keywords [philosophical] we found the following similar topics.
1. Forums > A philosophical question [17 replies]
2. Forums > philosophical ramblings for the twisted and bored alike [15 replies]
3. Forums > Movie for philosophical kiddies [8 replies]
4. Forums > philosophical questioning... [41 replies]
5. Forums > some philosophical questions [41 replies]

     Show more..