Ethics And Morality Of The Trolley Cases Essay

2296 Words Nov 29th, 2016 10 Pages
Ethics and morality are considered to be a set of rules that a person or society follows in order to maintain a positive behavior. Some very general examples of morals are stealing is wrong and murder is wrong. In philosophy, there are three major categories of ethics. These include subjectivism, relativism, and universalism. Ethical subjectivism claims there are no objective moral truths while relativism claims there are no culturally independent moral truths. Ethical universalism states that there are objective and culturally independent moral truths. I will be focusing solely on universalism for the trolley cases that will be discussed later on. The two theories we focused on within ethical universalism deal with Mill’s Principle of Utility along with Kant’s Formula of Humanity. Both of these theories can help determine a more concrete ethical path as well as conclusions for the three trolley cases, which include the switch, large man, and loop case. In all three cases, there are three individuals. All three of these people are neither Gandhi’s nor Hitler’s, rather equal and average people who will live average lives. This allows for the philosophical debate without scapegoats or easy answers. Before diving into the individual trolley cases, I will examine Mill and Kant’s theories for morality.
Mill’s Principle of Utility states that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness and they are wrong as they tend to promote unhappiness. He also claims…

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