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Subject: Would you kill one person to save three? rss

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Bimmy Jim
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I'm sure most of you have heard the trolly question... for those of you who haven't, here it is:

---

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are three people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:

(1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the three people on the main track.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which choice do you go with?

---

Poll
Do you activate the lever to save three (killing one), or allow the trolly to kill the three people.
Do nothing (the three people will die).
Activate the lever (one person will die as a result).
      58 answers
Poll created by BimmyJim
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Dave G
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BimmyJim wrote:
I'm sure most of you have heard the trolly question... for those of you who haven't, here it is:

---

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are three people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:

(1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the three people on the main track.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which choice do you go with?

---

Poll
Do you activate the lever to save three (killing one), or allow the trolly to kill the three people.
Do nothing (the three people will die).
Activate the lever (one person will die as a result).
      58 answers
Poll created by BimmyJim


I'm Batman. No one dies.
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Sam I am
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What happens when you pull the finger?
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Boaty McBoatface
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No idea what I would do, I suppose saving more is better, but I the choice would haunt me.

I do find it hard to imagine these are the only choices though, do the exercise seems rather artificial.
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Steve Vondra
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Pull the lever. You didn't say the lone person on the side track was tied up or otherwise incapacitated, therefore you should be able to shout out a warning to that person.

Now if it's one person tied to the tracks, and three with earbuds staring into their i phones...



edit: Yeah, I'd still go for the one over the three.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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I seem to remember the version I heard was that the single person was someone who you knew/ had some value to you and the three were strangers.

Either way, it is a trolly question.
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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No options to kill them all?
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Paul DeStefano
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Is my Mother-In-Law one of these people?
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Sam I am
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bjlillo wrote:
I'd let the trolley run over the three and then shoot the other one so I didn't feel bad.

It wouldn't be nice to exclude someone and all.
 
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Ken
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So much depends. For example, do I get to pick which people are in which situation?
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jeremy cobert
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I pull the lever becasue the single person is not tied up and has a chance to live while the 3 you said were tied up. I am merely playing the odds. if the 1 was tied up and the rest were not, then I don't pull the lever.
 
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Clay
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I would intend to pull the lever but quite possibly not have the reaction time to accomplish the task depending on how close the train is (presumably very, otherwise the idiots would just get off the track). It's clearly the best option unless you're only thinking about reducing your own guilt over killing someone or hold some fringe view like "everyone must die" or "levers are icky."
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Boaty McBoatface
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b a n j o wrote:
Pull the lever half way, causing the trolley to derail, and killing everyone onboard.
No mention of passengers, or even what kind of trolley.
 
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Jon Badolato
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Boaty McBoatface
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jonb wrote:
TROL...Eyyy!!!!!
 
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Jon Badolato
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You've been Ninja'd !!
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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If the one guy's named Lazarus, I'm pulling it on odds.
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Boaty McBoatface
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jonb wrote:
You've been Ninja'd !!
Who?
 
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J
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slatersteven wrote:

I do find it hard to imagine these are the only choices though, do the exercise seems rather artificial.

Wrong, contrarian.

cooler king wrote:
Pull the lever. You didn't say the lone person on the side track was tied up or otherwise incapacitated, therefore you should be able to shout out a warning to that person.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

jeremycobert wrote:
I pull the lever becasue the single person is not tied up and has a chance to live while the 3 you said were tied up.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

The Message wrote:
I would intend to pull the lever but quite possibly not have the reaction time to accomplish the task depending on how close the train is (presumably very, otherwise the idiots would just get off the track).

Wrong, navel-gazing special snowflake.
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Boaty McBoatface
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jarredscott78 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:

I do find it hard to imagine these are the only choices though, do the exercise seems rather artificial.

Wrong, contrarian.

cooler king wrote:
Pull the lever. You didn't say the lone person on the side track was tied up or otherwise incapacitated, therefore you should be able to shout out a warning to that person.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

jeremycobert wrote:
I pull the lever becasue the single person is not tied up and has a chance to live while the 3 you said were tied up.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

The Message wrote:
I would intend to pull the lever but quite possibly not have the reaction time to accomplish the task depending on how close the train is (presumably very, otherwise the idiots would just get off the track).

Wrong, navel-gazing special snowflake.
So how many passengers are on the trolley, can it be derailed?

To be wrong answers there has to be a right answer, so what is the right answer?
 
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Scott Russell
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I don't touch the lever and, if possible, leave the trainyard, because it looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
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Clay
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jarredscott78 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:

I do find it hard to imagine these are the only choices though, do the exercise seems rather artificial.

Wrong, contrarian.

cooler king wrote:
Pull the lever. You didn't say the lone person on the side track was tied up or otherwise incapacitated, therefore you should be able to shout out a warning to that person.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

jeremycobert wrote:
I pull the lever becasue the single person is not tied up and has a chance to live while the 3 you said were tied up.

Wrong.

(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

The Message wrote:
I would intend to pull the lever but quite possibly not have the reaction time to accomplish the task depending on how close the train is (presumably very, otherwise the idiots would just get off the track).

Wrong, navel-gazing special snowflake.


I was almost afraid the community would have changed too much since my last break so it's comforting to see you're still a douchebag.
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J
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Activate lever. Obviously.
 
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Walker
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Questions like this are flawed because real life never presents us with a choice this stark. Kirk was correct; there is never a situation where all options are morally wrong.

As to the general question of if it's okay to kill one person to save others, the answer is almost always no. That said, there is a difference between trying to save three people and trying to kill one.
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J
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The Message wrote:


I was almost afraid the community would have changed too much since my last break so it's comforting to see you're still a douchebag.

Are you saying you weren't around for most of the time I wasn't around? What bad luck for both of us.

Simple polls call for simple responses, not hearing about your slow reflexes, Snowflake.
 
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