## Christmas Time Thoughts of Good Will to Men. What Would You Do to Save a Life?

• Posted by a hidden member.
Christmas time thoughts of good will to men. Most guys on here would do something to save someone from being killed, if they could. But what would you do if to save lives you have to make a choice by which another's life will be lost?

You're an inspector on an out of control streetcar, where the driver has slumped over, dead of a heart attack, after having tried to apply the brakes which are not working. Just ahead is a group of five children playing on the tracks. There is no way to stop or slow the car. Just ahead is a switch which could divert the car to sidetrack. If you act quickly, you can open the switch, and divert the car to the sidetrack. But a man is standing on the sidetrack, just ahead. If you switch the car to the sidetrack, he will be killed. If you do nothing, the five children will be killed. What would you do? Why?

Assume the same out of control streetcar, this time with do motorman, but instead of being in the car, you are standing next to a large stranger on a footbridge over the tracks. There is no railing. If the car is not stopped or slowed, the children will be killed. If you push the large man off the bridge onto the tracks, his body is a large enough mass to bring the streetcar to halt when it hit him.

Now what do you do? Kill the large stranger to save the five children? Do nothing? Close your eyes?

You cannot change the facts in this problem.

Problem originally proposed by philosopher Phillipa Foot.
• Posted by a hidden member.
This seems like an updated version of "Sophie's Choice".
Hard.
But I imagine it's better to save the children. First, there are 5 of them. Second, they have more life to look forward to than the man.
But it would be agonizing either way.
• Posted by a hidden member.
This is a strange dilemma to link to Christmas.
Nevertheless, I wouldn't kill one innocent man to save any amount of people.
In the second example, I'd be free to jump myself if I thought a sacrifice was in order.
• Posted by a hidden member.

"Assume the same out of control streetcar, this time with do motorman, but instead of being in the car, you are standing next to a large stranger on a footbridge over the tracks. There is no railing. If the car is not stopped or slowed, the children will be killed. If you push the large man off the bridge onto the tracks, his body is a large enough mass to bring the streetcar to halt when it hit him."

Simple. Everyone gets to live if I jump on the tracks and the streetcar kills me instead, slowing it down.

• Posted by a hidden member.
Hmm.
Then again, an adult should know better than to stand on the tracks.
• Posted by a hidden member.
This reminds of a true story I recently read about a teen whose car got stuck on the tracks. He got out of the car in just enough time to avoid being killed by the train which, of course, demolished the car.
When his parents got there, he thought he was going to catch hell. He was confused by his parents rejoicing.
• Posted by a hidden member.
Jaggal said
JohnSpotter saidThis is a strange dilemma to link to Christmas.
Nevertheless, I wouldn't kill one innocent man to save any amount of people.
In the second example, I'd be free to jump myself if I thoughth a sacrifice was in order.

You just became 1000x hotter ;)

lol, I should have read the whole topic before posting.

Merry Christmas, John!
• Posted by a hidden member.