From: The Guardian

The trolley problem: would you kill one person to save many others?

The Guardian:

In the 2015 British thriller Eye in the Sky, a military team locates a terrorist cell preparing an attack expected to kill hundreds. They command a drone that can drop a bomb on the terrorists, preventing their attack. As the team readies the bomb, their cameras spy a little girl selling bread within the blast radius. Should they go through with their mission – killing the girl in order to prevent the deaths of many others?

This modern-day moral dilemma has its roots in a classic philosophical thought experiment known as the trolley problem. Introduced in 1967 by Philippa Foot, the trolley problem illuminates the landscape of moral intuitions – the peculiar and sometimes surprising patterns of how we divide right from wrong.

Psychological research shows that in the first version of the problem, most people agree with utilitarians, deeming it morally acceptable to flip the switch, killing one to save five. But in the second version of the problem, people lean deontological and believe it’s not acceptable to push a stranger to his death – again killing one to save five. What can explain this discrepancy?

Read the whole story: The Guardian

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