A classic thought experiment that explores such a dilemma is the trolley problem.
Now that was a waste of an opportunity to use the example of the Fat Man problem, wasn’t it?
Although, I’ve never really understood why it was a problem; save five people and get rid of a fat man into the bargain … saving the nation from the tax burden of his inevitable healthcare needs later in life — it’s a win:win scenario! ; D
“The trolley problem will tell you nothing useful about morality”
It’s a really good test of psycho/socio-pathic tendancies though — Antisocial Personality Disorder types don’t hesitate when responding “push him off” … whereas ‘normal’ people do.
So, it may be a better gauge than the authors give it credit for.
Kill three elderly men and two elderly women who are legitimately crossing road on a green signal, or a couple with two boys and a baby who are crossing on the red signal?
Is there any way to get them all? ; )
Excellent article … again.
It’s also nice to see you treading on philosophers’ toes rather than psychologists’ for once ; P