The Ethical Dilemma Challenge

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10 Questions - Developed by: Owiwi P.C - Developed on: - 24.411 taken - User Rating: 3.17 of 5.0 - 6 Votes

This activity is a treatment of some of the issues thrown up by a thought experiment called 'The Trolley Problem', which was first outlined by the philosopher Philippa Foot, and then developed by Judith Jarvis Thomson and others. But before we start properly, we need to ask you four preliminary questions so we get a sense of the way that you think about morality. There are no right or wrong answers. Just select the option that most corresponds to your view.

  • 1
    Torture, as a matter of principle, is always morally wrong.
    Torture, as a matter of principle, is always morally wrong.
  • 2
    The morality of an action is determined by whether, compared to the other available options, it maximises the sum total of happiness of all the people affected by it.
    The morality of an action is determined by whether, compared to the other available options, it maximises the sum total of happiness of all the people
  • 3
    It is always, and everywhere, wrong to cause another person's death - assuming they wish to stay alive - if this outcome is avoidable.
    It is always, and everywhere, wrong to cause another person's death - assuming they wish to stay alive - if this outcome is avoidable.
  • 4
    If you can save the lives of innocent people without reducing the sum total of human happiness, and without putting your own life at risk, you are morally obliged to do so.
    If you can save the lives of innocent people without reducing the sum total of human happiness, and without putting your own life at risk, you are mor
  • 5
    The Runaway Train (Scenario 1 of 4)

    The brakes of the train that Casey Jones is driving have just failed. There are five people on the track ahead of the train. There is no way that they can get off the track before the train hits them. The track has a siding leading off to the right, and Casey can hit a button to direct the train onto it. Unfortunately, there is one person stuck on the siding. Casey can turn the train, killing one person; or he can allow the train to continue onwards, killing five people.

    Should he turn the train (1 dead)?
    The Runaway Train (Scenario 1 of 4)The brakes of the train that Casey Jones is driving have just failed. There are five people on the track ahead of t
  • 6
    The Fat Man on the Bridge (Scenario 2 of 4)

    Marty Bakerman is on a footbridge above the train tracks. He can see that the train approaching the bridge is out of control, and that it is going to hit five people who are stuck on the track just past the bridge. The only way to stop the train is to drop a heavy weight into its path. The only available heavy enough weight is a (very) fat man, who is also watching the train from the footbridge. Marty can push the fat man onto the track into the path of the train, which will kill him but save the five people already on the track; or he can allow the train to continue on its way, which will mean that the five will die.

    Should he push the fat man onto the track (1 dead);
    The Fat Man on the Bridge (Scenario 2 of 4)Marty Bakerman is on a footbridge above the train tracks. He can see that the train approaching the bridge
  • 7
    The Saboteur (Scenario 3 of 4)

    Okay so this scenario is identical to the preceding scenario but with one crucial difference. This time Marty Bakerman knows with absolute certainty that the fat man on the bridge is responsible for the failure the train's brakes: upset by train fare increases, he sabotaged the brakes with the intention of causing an accident. As before, the only way to stop the train and save the lives of the five people already on the track is to push the fat saboteur off the bridge into the path of the train.

    Should Marty push the fat saboteur onto the track?
    The Saboteur (Scenario 3 of 4)Okay so this scenario is identical to the preceding scenario but with one crucial difference. This time Marty Bakerman k
  • 8
    The Fat Man and the Ticking Bomb (Scenario 4 of 4)

    The fat man, having avoided being thrown in front of the runaway train, has been arrested, and is now in police custody. He states that he has hidden a nuclear device in a major urban centre, which has been primed to explode in 24 hours time. The following things are true:

    The bomb will explode in 24 hours time.
    It will kill a million people if it explodes.
    If bomb disposal experts get to the bomb before it explodes, there's a chance it could be defused.
    The fat man cannot be tricked into revealing the location of the bomb, nor is it possible to appeal to his better nature, nor is it possible to persuade him that he was wrong to plant the bomb in the first place.
    If the fat man is tortured, then it is estimated there is a 75% chance that he will give up the bomb's location.
    If the fat man does not reveal the location, the bomb will explode, and a million people will die: there is no other way of finding out where the bomb is located.
    Should the fat man be tortured in the hope that he will reveal the location of the nuclear device?
    The Fat Man and the Ticking Bomb (Scenario 4 of 4)The fat man, having avoided being thrown in front of the runaway train, has been arrested, and is no
  • 9
    Do you feel that your decisions were the best possible based on the situation?
  • 10
    Do you believe most people would took the same decisions with you under the same situations?

Comments (3)

autorenew

uhdoi (92051)
200 days ago
Hello, I would politely like to ask you to stop acting like a smart***. It is disrupting my morality. You do not know everything. You are not God. Oh, and half of your grammar is incorrect. You are a 💗 💗 trying to make yourself look intelligent and like the nicest person ever. Thank you.
Jesuscries (32417)
699 days ago
*run over by the train
*while I believe innocent people
Jesuscries (32417)
699 days ago
You're accounting the inconsistency in my answers to the fact that I mostly went against the utilitarian approach yet conceded torture as not necessarily evil by principle and allowed for the fat man to be run of the train or tortured if he was responsible for the (imminent) train accident. See, while I don't believe innocent people don't deserve to be sacrificed for the greater good, I'm not bereft of the feeling of vengeance/ taking severe measures when a just cause calls for it, not compromising on the notion of egalitarianism and justice. Of course, a small quiz is probably incapable of accounting for a more researched and reflected upon view of morality.