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Analysis Of Gazzanig ' Toward A Universal Ethics '

Decent Essays
In this reading by Gazzaniga: “Toward a Universal Ethics”, we are presented with The Trolley Dilemma. The dilemma in abstract moral reasoning studies most often presented by researchers is the trolley problem. This is an experiment in ethics and moral justice. A situation built on abstract moral reasoning. The question here is “Are morals something that is innate or are they something we learn?” The Trolley Dilemma is a scenario where a train heading straight toward five men working on the tracks, have no idea the train is heading toward them, and nowhere to go. It would appear that death is inevitable. On another track there is another worker all working alone. He too has no idea the train is coming. You are standing next to the lever that can switch the tracks. What would you do? Would you do nothing, resulting in killing five people, who might not know what hit them, or do you pull the lever, diverting the train, killing only one which allows the five to survive? Most people would pull the lever to divert the train onto the tracks where only one person is working. To throw the switch in order to maximize well-being, saving five workers, corresponds with the ethical example of utilitarianism. Utilitarians believe the most ethical course of action is the one that offers the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The same scenario is used next with the exception of your position. This time you are on a footbridge nowhere near the lever to divert the train.
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