Trolly Analysis

Decent Essays
My freshman English teacher once posed a thought exercise to my class, one known as the Trolley Problem. In his version, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You can stop the trolley by placing something heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a overweight man next to you. If you push him over onto the track, you would save the five but kill him in the process. What do you do?
I was initially appalled that some my classmates would choose not to potentially save 5 people. Throughout the class discussion, I kept asking how anyone could decide that one life is more worthy than five lives. I was incredulous. In my understanding of the dynamics of the question, it seemed obvious to me that an outcome of five lives saved was definitely better than an outcome of only one life spared. This question sickened me. If I can’t prove to myself that life, by virtue, has value, how can I make everyday decisions on what is right or wrong? I needed answers, so I approached my teacher.
He introduced me to the doctrine of utilitarianism, or the thought that “good” is whatever maximizes usefulness or benefits society the most. It helped me to express my values and justify saving five lives at the expense of one. This doctrine seemed like the objective compass to lead me through my moral quandaries. I thought I had the answer to
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More importantly, this exercise has pointed me on a path of interesting moral and philosophical discovery. It has led me to ponder challenging issues such as subjective vs. objective morality, legislating morality, and absolute truth. While my understanding of these concepts may still be elementary, I now know that no matter how firmly I believe in my realities and values, they are not universal. Maintaining an open and accepting mind to consider various perspectives of each problem is essential, especially in today’s tumultuous political
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