Ethics Course : The Trolley Problem

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On the first day of my Introduction to Ethics course, our class was given a fun thought experiment to get us to actively think about a tough decision. My classmate’s answers to the thought experiment were split and later on many students seeming contradicted themselves as the experiment revealed a second part. Going through this process was interesting and the best part about it was that we were not given a correct answer to the thought experiment. Now that the class is coming to an end, I will use the knowledge that I have gained from this class to come to an answer to this thought experiment and to explain how I arrived to it. The thought experiment that we were given is known as the “Trolley Problem” and it is split into two parts. In the first part of the problem we have an empty out of control trolley going down the rail track. If the trolley continues to go down the track it will run over and kill 5 unfortunate people who are tied down to the tracks. You are too far away to get to the track but you do have the power to flip a lever that will change the route of the trolley to a second track. This second track has a single person tied to it. So now you have a decision to make. Do you to pull the lever or do you not to pull the lever? The second part of the experiment puts you in a similar scenario. This time there is only the single track with 5 people tied to it, but this time you and an onlooker are on a bridge above the rail track. The 5 people are going to be run

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