The Trolley Problem : A Moral Dilemma Essay example

1114 Words Oct 14th, 2016 5 Pages
The Trolley Problem
The trolley problem as first constructed by Phillipa Foot presents a moral dilemma in which one has to place value on what is more important and what is morally right. In this situation, there is a runaway trolley barreling down the train 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 leaver. 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. There are two options given; 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. Both of these options are consequential, meaning that they will be an outcome of an action which will result in the death of either five people or one person. In order to pick the correct choice, it is crucial to let the idealism out of the circumstance and remind ourselves that we are only restricted to the two options given to us. From these two options, we must now decide which would be the least consequential and in essence more valuable.
Option one gives us the choice in not participating in the event whatsoever and therefore not doing something that will end up being consequential. However, those five people on the track have the value of their lives and therefore by not doing anything, you are…

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