Would you kill one person to save five?

By bobcat · 36 replies
Apr 24, 2012
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  1. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Since I lack experience in track lane changing I'd probably scream a lot, then close my eyes! LOL.

    That is all. :D
    Dawn1113 and Doctor John like this.
  2. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Well, guys,
    There is no problem which is so complicated that further study cannot make it even more complicated. :p

    So, here’s an aspect that nobody has considered so far, probably rightly so, as it’s not really the object of the exercise. But nevertheless, real life comes into play too. The operator’s actions are probably monitored and in any case, in the ensuing death inquiry it would come out that he changed the car to another track, killing the worker on it. Now, suppose the hikers just disappear after seeing what happened so as not to have to answer how they got there etc. Will the operator be able to prove their presence justifying his action or will he be charged with manslaughter and lose his job? Now, this consideration might suggest to an apprehensive operator not to take any action.

    But before you attack me for bringing in additional material, this is not additional, and in any case I repeat that it’s not intended to be part of the considerations for answering the conundrum.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    Thats an after thought and should not be implemented in the discussion, what would you do during the heat of the moment.
  4. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    I enjoy an afterthought.....
  5. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Here’s an off topic after thought for the doc.

    Some years back, a man in the US saw from his window a woman being raped on the other side of the street. Instead of calling the police, he called his lawyer, who advised him not to get involved. So he didn’t.

    And this is how real life often works, as compared to theoretical conundrums.
  6. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    Food for thought indeed.
  7. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    If your president were in danger, would you save him or his five security guys ?
  8. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Well, I don't have a president in my country, but let's say the Queen or the Prime Minister shall we?

    Even when removing my bias toward the monarchy and bias toward our government, I still wouldn't save one life over five. A leader can always be replaced by someone equally incompetent, so there's no special treatment from me based on title.
    Marnomancer likes this.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    It is my opinion that ones position in life is irrelevant. No one is valued more than the other in my mind.

    Lets look at another scenario. Lets ask a question, why is the worker working on the track? Is the track suitable for a rail car? Is switching tracks even an option or would it risk a derailment?
  10. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    If switching tracks is not an option, I would be inclined to rule it out? :)
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    If I did not know any of them in any way and there is for none argument sake no way around it, 1 or 5. I would surely grease 1 guy to save 5, but then again who wouldn't.
  12. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    Aim for the five,

    With the epic quake " MULTIKILLLLL!!" sound effect playing in my brain :p

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