The following brain teaser is not nearly as gut-wrenching as what Sophie had to go through, but, nonetheless, it's time to put on your thinking cap, while simultaneously looking deep into your soul. This twisted ethical conundrum has been doing the rounds on the Internet, and I'd like to open it up for discussion here. Take a look at the picture above, and consider the following facts:
- There are two railroad tracks—one is known to be active and one is known to be not in use any longer.
- Three kids are playing on the active track.
- One kid is playing on the out-of-service track.
- The three kids know that the active track is active and frequently in use, and the other kid knows that it is safer on the out-of-service track.
- A train is suddenly speeding along on the active track.
- All four kids get their feet stuck in their respective tracks and cannot escape.
- There is a switch that is able to divert the train from the active track (with the three kids) to the out-of-service track (with the one kid).
- You can pull the switch, which moves the train from the active track to the out-of-service track, thereby saving the three kids on the active track and killing the one kid on the out-of-service track.
- Or you do nothing, and let the three kids on the active track die and the one kid on the out-of-service track live.
I'm still reading your interesting and varied comments all these years later. Thanks for participating and keeping the comments thread alive. If you're fascinated by tough hypothetical situations like the one above, you might check out Martin Cohen's 101 Ethical Dilemmas, which covers everything from overcrowded lifeboats on sinking ships (think Titanic) to movie sex to war.
[Source: Amazing Posts.]