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Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Dilemmas poll
mini me + poo
lovingboth
You are sitting by a railway junction, and you see a train approaching rapidly. You also see - oh no! - some children on the tracks!

You cannot stop the train, nor clear the tracks in time. The only thing you can do is decide which track the train goes down - if you do nothing, six children will certainly be killed on one track. If you chose to throw a switch, two children will be killed on the other.

Poll #34479 Dilemmas

What do you do?

Throw the switch, killing two children who would otherwise be safe
10(83.3%)
Don't throw the switch, leaving six children to die
2(16.7%)

You realise one of the children you're about to see die is yours. What now?

Change my mind
7(58.3%)
Stick with the same decision
5(41.7%)

Oops, you realise none of the children are yours, but one of the ones you're about to see die is the only child of multi-billionaire Gill Bates. If you save hir, you're certainly going to be very very rich. What now?

Change my mind
1(8.3%)
Stick with the same decision
11(91.7%)

Oops, you realise none of the children are Gill's, but all of the ones you're about to see die have been tied to the rails - ie someone wants them dead - while the ones who will be saved have chosen to play on the tracks. What now?

Change my mind
6(50.0%)
Stick with the same decision
6(50.0%)

Oops, you realise none of the children are tied down, but all of the ones you're about to see die are completely healthy, while the ones who will be saved have severe physical and mental disabilities. What now?

Change my mind
5(41.7%)
Stick with the same decision
7(58.3%)

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I lost track, uh as it were, of how many times I've switched it back and forth by the end.

Are the mentally handicapped non-tied down children of Gill Bates (who is me) the six or the two?

Yeah, this is what comes of trying to combine about five chapters of a book into five questions.

It doesn't really matter - which ever you've chosen, would you change your mind for a reward, for example?

That is far too much headfuckery for this time of morning :-)

They're not meant to be easy :) or, as I've just said to another comment, to have a 'right' answer.

The first one is the one I find the hardest - it'd be easy to say 'save four of the six', but it's rather harder to chose to kill two people who would not otherwise be killed. Is it harder than letting six people die when you could save them? Argh!

In practice, most drivers swerve to avoid hitting cats or dogs, even if that means crashing into something else.

(Deleted comment)
Apologies - time of day or being a week away from a fatal train crash?

I'm really puzzled by the one where they're tied down. What difference could that make? Do any of the people who changed their mind have an answer?

Someone put them there to kill them - and you can save them - while the others chose to be somewhere dangerous. If you like, the first lot are 'innocent', the others are at best foolish.

This is one where it makes a difference for me. (Which is odd, because there are similar situations where it wouldn't.) So, in a health context, do you spend money on treating smokers with lung or heart disease - they knew the consequences of their choice - or on others?

I don't think any of the questions has a 'right' answer.

Insofar as I had a reason, it was along the lines of: if someone wants these children dead, that probably means that their lives are not that happy and if even if they are rescued, it will take them years of therapy to get over the fact that someone tried to kill them, and it might traumatise them for life, so on the whole, they should die.




To me, that'd be coming too close to being an accessory to their murder.

But again, there are no right answers - these are questions to make people squirm about moral dilemmas.

I'd like to think there was a alternetive, like.. well, shouting at the kids to get the hell out of the way... some kids do listen=)

Headfuck like someone said.

You can tell I am a mercenary / materialist / "my kids first" kinda person from my answers :-)

More!

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