“An Ethical Dilemma: How can Moral theories help?”
Week 9 Discussion
Carefully read the material on Ethics and especially on Moral Theories in the Webtext. Then consider the following scenario:
A runaway train is speeding down a track. There are five people tied to the track in the train’s path. If the train isn’t stopped, the five people will for sure die. You are there near the train, and you happen to see a switch: if you flip the switch, the train will go down a different track and you will save the five people. Unfortunately, if you do so – one person will still die as there is one person also tied to that alternate track.
What is the morally right thing to do (according to the moral theories discussed in class?). Construct an argument.
That is, when you answer the question, support your view with the help from one of the moral theories of your choice.
The Trolley Problem thought experiment was created by philosopher Philippa Foot in her article "The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect" (1967)