Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

cabbagepatchkid

Moral Dilemma

Recommended Posts

Apologies if this has been posted here before, but another thread just reminded me of this conundrum:

Imagine you are the only person in a points box for a section of train track.

Heading down the track at 120mph is a scheduled intercity train. If it continues on it's scheduled path, it will head towards and rapidly reach a group of seven children who are playing on the track.

They are too far away for you to contact them in any way.

You have no way of contacting the driver or stopping the train.

The only way you can divert the train is to pull a lever to change a set of points. This will send the train onto a disused piece of track which runs across some slightly overgrown wasteland.

However, playing on this piece of track is a lone boy.

Although no trains have used this track in recent years you know that the track has been inspected and can be confident that the train will not derail as a result of the diversion. You have no way of contacting the lone boy either.

What do you do and why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't change the points because when there are seven children it is more likely that one of them will notice the train coming than if there is only one child.

That is true and valid. I'm not changing the poll question here but out of interest, if all 8 children were deaf and blind would you still not pull the lever?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea and I doubt anyone would know what they would actually do unless they were put in the situation.

Fair point. I have edited the poll to add a "don't know" option.

I've only every asked this question in a pub before and people are usually very quick to answer with the ratio of answers being around 80/20 (not saying in what direction) with most answerers prepared to back up their choice with reasoning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you do and why?

Tut and blame the parents for letting their kids play on the tracks.

These 'maximum utility' moral dilemma's are always bullcrap and never realistic, but if you are sitting comfortably you might like this 12 lecture series:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should be able to feel the vibrations of the train approaching. Also, the seven children should have an expectation of a train coming along the tracks whereas the lone child on the abandoned tracks has no such expectation - should I choose the life of seven people who should realise they've put themselves in a dangerous situation over one person who is in a situation where they have every expectation of being safe? I think not.

Good post. I agree with mmm...beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tut and blame the parents for letting their kids play on the tracks.

These 'maximum utility' moral dilemma's are always bullcrap and never realistic, but if you are sitting comfortably you might like this 12 lecture series:

Am watching the vid now. I notice it's sponsored by the Goldman Sachs Foundation :lol:

The vid opens with a similar dilema but the question he sets is quite vague. I'm curious if he follows up with the question I'm going to ask after a few people have voted in the poll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops - I think I just killed the thread with my logic.

If the pope agrees with you I should be worried...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am watching the vid now. I notice it's sponsored by the Goldman Sachs Foundation :lol:

The vid opens with a similar dilema but the question he sets is quite vague. I'm curious if he follows up with the question I'm going to ask after a few people have voted in the poll.

Yeah,

At 11 minutes he does ask the next question.

Usual pub response is 80% change the points 20% let the train run on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd ring the British Transport Police. End of story. No points change.

That's what I'd do in real life. You can be sure of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does that mean you wouldn't change the points?

I don't know what I would do until I was in a situation where I had to make that decision....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't do anything. Logic would have nothing to do with it. Time would.

By the time I had the initial thoughts of what to do - the train would have gone past. I reckon, if this situation was real, this would happen for 99% of people.

You would not have a chance to think logically through both the options. You would do nothing. You may think you would change it. You would not. Unless you were given a few minutes to think about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't do anything. Logic would have nothing to do with it. Time would.

By the time I had the initial thoughts of what to do - the train would have gone past. I reckon, if this situation was real, this would happen for 99% of people.

You would not have a chance to think logically through both the options. You would do nothing. You may think you would change it. You would not. Unless you were given a few minutes to think about it.

If this were real life, interfering would mean you getting arrested and going to prison for murder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this were real life, interfering would mean you getting arrested and going to prison for murder.

And by the time the train went past at 120mph that would not have even crossed your mind.

No offence to the OP - but the question is stupid. Nobody would do anything in real life.

However if the question is a teaser to get people's opinions on things - it is a bit interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you asked me this down the pub, and my initial reaction was to pull the lever to change the points, but that was before I knew about the little guy playing by himself. Assuming that I had time to make the decision etc, I would still not pull the lever and kill an innocent even if it meant that 7 (blind or non blind makes no difference) kids got squished. Quite frankly, blind kids should have more sense than to play on train tracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask yourself why you are standing beside a railtrack naked watching groups of children play.

* I admit the 'naked' bit was added for impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.