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Ethics Problems

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Ethics Problems

#1 Postby Altfish » September 8th, 2015, 1:20 pm

I know they are old hat but there may be a few on here who haven't seen them, they came up in a resource meeting regarding teaching Humanism in schools.

The trolley problem:

There is a runaway trolley racing down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five 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, also tied up.
You have two options:
(1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which is the correct choice?

The Fat Man:

As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by putting something very heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

Transplant:

A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveller, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor.
Do you support the morality of the doctor to kill that tourist and provide his healthy organs to those five dying persons and save their lives?

thundril
Posts: 3607
Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: Ethics Problems

#2 Postby thundril » September 8th, 2015, 4:45 pm

Altfish wrote:I know they are old hat but there may be a few on here who haven't seen them, they came up in a resource meeting regarding teaching Humanism in schools.

The trolley problem:

There is a runaway trolley racing down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five 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, also tied up.
You have two options:
(1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which is the correct choice?
There isn't a 'correct' choice.

The Fat Man:

As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by putting something very heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?
No
Transplant:

A brilliant transplant surgeon has five patients, each in need of a different organ, each of whom will die without that organ. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of these five transplant operations. A healthy young traveller, just passing through the city the doctor works in, comes in for a routine checkup. In the course of doing the checkup, the doctor discovers that his organs are compatible with all five of his dying patients. Suppose further that if the young man were to disappear, no one would suspect the doctor.
Do you support the morality of the doctor to kill that tourist and provide his healthy organs to those five dying persons and save their lives?
No

'Thou shalt not kill, yet need not strive
Officiously, to keep alive'. :smile:

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coffee
Posts: 637
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:53 pm

Re: Ethics Problems

#3 Postby coffee » July 30th, 2016, 10:49 pm

I found these following on the internet

https://thesituationist.wordpress.com/t ... y-problem/

The scenarios are designed to explore whether, and how, specific factors influence moral judgements. Data from 5,000 MST participants showed that people appear to follow a moral code prescribed by three principles:

I. The action principle: harm caused by action is morally worse than equivalent harm caused by omission.

II. The intention principle: harm intended as the means to a goal is morally worse than equivalent harm foreseen as the side-effect of a goal.

III. The contact principle: using physical contact to cause harm to a victim is morally worse than causing equivalent harm to a victim without using physical contact.


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