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  1. #11
    Ambience seeker burningranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    As a side note, you could just let them all die somehow so that you didn't feel like you were unfair to anyone.
    Haha! I was being kind of funny...but the question is a real silly one in the end. There's like a zillion different perspectives you can take. Like if it's to measure the value of a life vs that of five lives.....let's just say that if the one guy was Martin Luther King or Buddha and the other 5 were regular human losers....it would serve the greater whole to save the one guy. All things being equal, I could stil look at the glass half empty and say humanity are a cancer upon this Earth anyway and 4 less of them alive with be a gift to the world.

    It's one of those silly questions...if you are going to try and acess something about a person...just ask a fucking direct question...not a stupid scenario that doesn't account for all the different worldviews a person can have.


    There's a big factor in these scenarios though, in real life. Much of what we do when it comes to right or wrong...is out of fear of what others might think of us, even when alone. So I would figure the fight or flight response that would kick in when a person would be in such a situation, for most people would be mostly pressured by how THE REST OF THE WORLD would view their choice...not so much what their internal barometer feels is right or wrong.

    In actuality though...these are instances that, in my worldview, trigger...universal intellgence within the individual.....and would never come to be (these situations i mean, in real life) if not for a definete purposeful reason for all of those involved.
    You are the only possible steward of what your soul deems as right and wrong...so you should always be on your own side before anyone else...alive or dead.

  2. #12
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    No obviously there is a right answer and no one has ever thought of this:

    Pull the lever half way and hold it. The train will go outside of the tracks and the traction will slow it down and everybody who's riding it will be stuck.

    No one will die.

    Use your mind. Thank you! Have a nice day.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    As a side note, you could just let them all die somehow so that you didn't feel like you were unfair to anyone.

    ---

    hey, let's add a "bystander effect" element just for kicks.

    Now in addition to the lever and two groups of people in threat of imminent death, throw in three people standing there at the lever. Will any of the three pull it? Or do they expect each other to pull it, until it's too late?
    Oh I think that in that scenario its fair to say that you would attempt to save the one person but choose to put them in jeopardy rather than the five, like Arnie in Commando, he choose not to assist the coup, ie the five people, jeopardising his hostage daughter, ie the one person, but he went and kicked ass, ie the train, and saved the one person.

    Although I can think of bystander scenarios in which refusing to intervene IS warranted, if a vital lesson is not being learned, often lessons are repeated until they are learned and the intervening bystander to make themselves feel better are doing another a disservice by trapping them in a repetition cycle, a debilitating thing, there are mitigating factors to that, learning does not necessarily follow from incidents, at least not the same or often the best learning but anyway.

    I complicated that all a bit but the point was dont be a co-dependent enabler.

  4. #14
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StonedPhilosopher View Post
    Huh, so I guess my hunch was right, and I additionally already gave a good counter-argument. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Well, I thought you wanted to understand. Even if someone is wrong about something you can still understand why they came to the conclusion they did.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #15
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    On a side note: this problem was introduced by Sartre. Sartre'a motive was to get to thinking about how everyone is responsible for their own morality and there is a correct way for everyone but not a correct way objectively for everyone.

    I took several philosophy classes in college and read several books. So this is quite elementary among our pretentious fuckwit Circle.

    If it was easy to decide, I just don't think you're putting too much thought in the question. Overthinkers this is the time to overthink.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It might seem like a simple dilemma but peoples thinking runs contrary to that ALL THE TIME and especially when you introduce some politically correct or liberal criteria into it, like the five guys are rich bankers while the one guy is a ethnic minority pre-op transgendered homosexual.

    It might sound ridiculous and bigotted (waiting for all the posters on this forum to leap on that one as evidence that Lark has been a hater all this time) but change the dilemma a little.

    You got a social institution, its works for the majority of human beings, for the majority of human history, ie the five people on the track, but there is a group who feel its not working for them, ie the one person on the track, they're being socially excluded unless that is the social institution can be transformed, make it inclusive, HOWEVER, in the process you are dumping what it meant former, dumping it as it existed formerly, ie the train coming down the track.

    So what you got with marriage is running the train over the five people. Every. Time.

    And before anyone does the typical saying that the marriage question is done and why does Lark always mention it, it does not stop there, if you honestly believe that social institutions are just whimsy, fables agreed upon, as easily changed without consequences as they are recognised by sociologists then why wouldnt you think you could tear up any institution.

    Tradition, that's institutions which have emerged spontaneously, an existence matching a human essence, has served mankind, easily, as well as innovation has and innovation should be handled carefully, like applying the trolly problem to the issue, for those that any innovation is aimed at assisting as much as anyone else or any abstract principle of goodness, rightness etc. The idea isnt to be in favour of change for change's sake, that's a lot of bullshit and what's lead to the discreditable and sobering history of some of the greater reform, revolution, ie change, orientated movements in human history.

    There's other examples, the train running over the one versus the five is an analogy after all, john rawl's theory of justice, comparing the society in which inequality results in the least well off being better off than those in the egalitarian alternative, for instance, the treatment of disability is a very good one too, if some people need aids to walk I would believe its just to provide them with aids, it wouldnt be right to give the rest of the population injuries in the name of social inclusiveness rendering everyone similarly impaired, ie the same.

    (you may all commence the routine stupidity of accusing me of being a bigot and hater now if you like)
    First off, as I wrote in my notebook, I clarified that my reasoning only applies to cases where the people are ambiguous; if I knew any details about the people, I wouldn't simply go with "1 death vs. 5" reasoning. Giving any info about the people would completely change the question; it's not what I'm asking.

    And while I understand the rest of what you're saying regarding metaphors and societal sacrifices (though some of it has flawed reasoning IMO), I want to ask you another question: how is any of that relevant to the question at hand? It's an ethics class, not a philosophy class.

  7. #17
    Ambience seeker burningranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    On a side note: this problem was introduced by Sartre. Sartre'a motive was to get to thinking about how everyone is responsible for their own morality and there is a correct way for everyone but not a correct way objectively for everyone.

    I took several philosophy classes in college and read several books. So this is quite elementary among our pretentious fuckwit Circle.

    If it was easy to decide, I just don't think you're putting too much thought in the question. Overthinkers this is the time to overthink.
    I see. Makes more sense, if that was the intent. Stilll....philosophy *shivers*
    You are the only possible steward of what your soul deems as right and wrong...so you should always be on your own side before anyone else...alive or dead.

  8. #18
    Mastermind Fieldmarshal Sacrophagus's Avatar
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    The classic Sacrificing the few for the majority.

    Not doing anything: 5 people die accidentally.
    Pulling the lever : 1 person is murdered.

    Morally, being a passive observer never lead to optimal outcomes from an utilitarian point of view. I pondered this question in the past when a person was being robbed, and everyone around didn't raise a finger. Most of them want to help, but they don't for they are submerged by data and feelings they can't deal with immediately. This is particularly known as the bystander effect, Totenkindly is refering to.

    These are extreme situations where most people can't handle the situation emotionally (screaming, overwhelmed, afraid to help and meet certain death...etc), or intellectually ( gathering data, calculating risks, the probability to turn the situation upside down... etc).

    IRL repercussions aside, with adherence to my moral principles, in a survival environment, I'd certainly pull the lever. The group has better odds of survival than a single individual.


    A friend of mine had another answer:
    Earth is overcrowded. Kill the maximum you can while you can.


    We should be thankful the problem doesn't mention going to jail.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    OP: I think your answer glosses over the difference between active and passive, and some people will get hung up on that.

    After all, that's what you asked, right? Why some people would get hung up?




    Since you're going to dredge this into your pet issue:
    Everyone can get married. No one has to die.
    Marriage for everyone is a win-win.
    Happy ending for the train scenario.

    What's your status as a bigot/hater have anything to do with this thread anyway?
    Heteronormative society for the win. That is all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Rich people and homosexuals just had to be injected into the conversation.
    Also Jaguar is a buttmunch.

    Infraction was worth it

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by StonedPhilosopher View Post
    First off, as I wrote in my notebook, I clarified that my reasoning only applies to cases where the people are ambiguous; if I knew any details about the people, I wouldn't simply go with "1 death vs. 5" reasoning. Giving any info about the people would completely change the question; it's not what I'm asking.

    And while I understand the rest of what you're saying regarding metaphors and societal sacrifices (though some of it has flawed reasoning IMO), I want to ask you another question: how is any of that relevant to the question at hand? It's an ethics class, not a philosophy class.
    Ethics or philosophy the trolly problem is a sharp piece of reasoning which I think deserves to be applied to the ill conceived normative struggles of the day.

    Its not.

    It would be better if it were understood and it were applied.

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