The Driving Of A Trolley

Decent Essays
Original Case: "Suppose you are the driver of a trolley. The trolley rounds a bend, and there come into view ahead five track workmen, who have been repairing the track. The track goes through a bit of a valley at that point, and the sides are steep, so you must stop the trolley if you are to avoid running the five men down. You step on the brakes, but alas they don 't work. Now you suddenly see a spur of track leading off to the right. You can turn the trolley onto it, and thus save the five men on the straight track ahead. Unfortunately, there is one track workman on that spur of track. He can no more get off the track in time than the five can, so you will kill him if you turn the trolley onto him" Life is a compilation of situations…show more content…
The Trolley case study has many small factors that will later be discussed; however, our conscience makes the split-second decision that overarches the smaller factors of the scenario. The case of the trolley is a question of ethics. Ethics is defined in The Moral Disciple by Kent Van Til as “a systematic evaluation of the goodness or evil, the rightness or wrongness of human behavior” (Til). So, we must ask ourselves, to what extent does each decision get impacted by ethics. Let us first examine the choice to leave the trolley be and kill the 5 individuals. It is reasonable to make the argument that by doing nothing to the trolley, you are not involved in the situation and are void of any implications of the outcome. This, however, is not true. By choosing to do nothing and allow the trolley to maintain its course still leaves you involved. You were put in a situation where men will die either way. Because the decision was to do nothing, therefore, you are responsible for the trolley killing the five men. The opposite decision to change the trolleys direction and kill the one man has more of a moral implication in my opinion. By doing this you are taking matters into your own hand and killing the one man to save the five. This seems like the right thing to do if you look at the numerical value of the deaths. However, ethically, you are still choosing the life of the
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