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New Poll - Trolley Problem
This classic problem was proposed as a poll by jacob66. I had to shorten the text a bit because the database text field is too short...

You can submit poll ideas here
http://www.mangaupdates.com/showtopic.php?tid=3903

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Which is the most annoying question?
Choices:
How? - votes: 288 (10.2%)
When? - votes: 127 (4.5%)
Where? - votes: 90 (3.2%)
Why? - votes: 1470 (52.1%)
What? - votes: 571 (20.2%)
Who/Whom? - votes: 275 (9.7%)
There were 2821 total votes.
The poll ended: November 7th 2020

Why can't it just end? (referring to the US elections)
Posted by lambchopsil on 
November 7th 3:51pm
Comments ( 29 )  
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Comments

» Transdude1996 on November 7th, 2020, 9:45am

The only correct answer.
User Posted Image

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» residentgrigo on November 7th, 2020, 10:02am

Go left, killing 1. It's what Zack Snyder would want me to do:
https://i.imgur.com/gflTuwL.gif
This gif never gets old.

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» zarlan on November 7th, 2020, 10:27am

Ah, the old trolley problem.
Either you chose to let one person die, and have that person's life on your conscience
…or you don't change the track and, through that choice, have chosen to let X people die, instead, thereby having those X people on your conscience.
The former is typically an active act, whilst the latter is the choice of doing nothing, but that is nevertheless what it boils down to.
(with a core part of the "dilemma", naturally being that these are strangers you know nothing about)

I don't see how can be seen as a problem or dilemma.
Naturally you have to kill the one person.
To do otherwise, would be unconscionably immoral.

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» Transdude1996 on November 7th, 2020, 10:40am

Quote from zarlan
I don't see how can be seen as a problem or dilemma.
Naturally you have to kill the one person.
To do otherwise, would be unconscionably immoral.

What if the one person tied up was MLK? Would it still be "moral" to do it to save the five others? What if, of the five tied down, one was MLK and another was Hitler? Wouldn't it the be "moral" to justify killing MLK (And the three others) in order to kill Hitler? How fast is the trolley going? If it's going slow enough, couldn't you divert it towards the one, untie him, and save everyone? Are there any people on the trolley? Why don't they attempt to stop it? Why don't you through an obstacle on the tracks in an attempt to derail the trolley? Why are the people tied down anyway in the first place? Why are you near the tracks anyway? Is there anyone else around not tied up?

It's such a silly hypothetical that no one honestly takes it seriously.

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» hahhah42 on November 8th, 2020, 3:32am

If the old trolley problem is too easy for you, try a new one on for size.

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» vigorousjammer on November 9th, 2020, 9:24am

@hahhah42: How could the predictor always predict correctly? That's unrealistic.

There's enough doubt about the opaque box that even knowing there could be five people in it, I would still continue on to it. At least in that scenario, there would be a slight chance that the predictor would have predicted wrong, and there would be no people in the box. If there's even a 1% chance of having nobody die, I'd take it.

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» hahhah42 on November 9th, 2020, 11:25am

Quote from vigorousjammer
How could the predictor always predict correctly?
Maybe it read the post you just made. But if you insist on realistic quandaries in your trolley problems, then I guess this one will have to do.

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» calstine on November 7th, 2020, 11:05am

Go left, killing 1, but only provided the majority (say 3 or more out of 5) of the people on the right aren't heinous criminals like murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc.

Of course, the catch is probably that you don't know anything about the people who you're choosing to kill/save. In which case I'd still go left, since what are the odds of 3-4 out of 5 people being serious criminals?

The only other instance where I'd choose to go right is if the single person on the left is someone I love (so basically only 3 people in the world: my parents and sister, lol). Yep, I'm selfish as shit 😛

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» orochijes on November 7th, 2020, 1:24pm

I think that selfish instinct to prioritize those important to you is a healthy one to have, and it's good to be honest about it.

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» zarlan on November 8th, 2020, 10:59am

Quote from calstine
The only other instance where I'd choose to go right is if the single person on the left is someone I love (so basically only 3 people in the world: my parents and sister, lol). Yep, I'm selfish as shit

I think most people would do the same. (I sure would)
It's human nature.

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» Wefa on November 7th, 2020, 11:25am

So I chose the stay right on track and kill 5 people. I would rather not make a choice because I will be killing people either way. Automatically thinking that sacrificing 1 person for saving 5 people is okay isn't right. Because humans can't know the worth of a soul. That 1 person killed could have more worth than the other 5 people combined. The reverse could also be true. And I don't have that knowledge so I would rather not change the track and end up making the decision not to do anything at all. It's difficult to say who is right or wrong but this just my opinion 🙄

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» zarlan on November 8th, 2020, 10:52am

Quote from Wefa
I would rather not make a choice because I will be killing people either way.

Not acting IS a choice!
It is to actively/intentionally choose to let the five people die.
Thus having those five deaths, on ones conscience. Being responsible for those five deaths.
Quote
Automatically thinking that sacrificing 1 person for saving 5 people is okay isn't right.

No it isn't, but letting five people die, so you don't let that one person die, is even worse.
Either way, your choice ends in death, which is very very bad, but it doesn't stop the events from happening.
You don't know any of the people, so you can only judge them as equal.
Switching the track may not be right, (there are no right options, in that situation) but it's the least wrong.

Also, if you know the people, that might actually make the choice even harder, and certainly more gut-wrenching.
(and no one should fail to feel deeply troubled by, and guilty about, the death(s) that their choice lead to, either way)

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» Estruturalista on November 10th, 2020, 8:44pm

Quote from Wefa
So I chose the stay right on track and kill 5 people. I would rather not make a choice because I will be killing people either way. Automatically thinking that sacrificing 1 person for saving 5 people is okay isn't right. Because humans can't know the worth of a soul. That 1 person killed co ...

This.

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» orochijes on November 7th, 2020, 1:21pm

In my libertarian days I would have chosen to do nothing and let 5 people die rather than actively kill 1 person. Non-aggression principle and all that. In fact, I still believe that a person in this situation would not be "responsible" for the deaths of the 5 people if they did nothing and would only be a murderer if they changed the trolley's course.

And yet, today I would kill that person to save the other 5 from certain death.

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» VawX on November 7th, 2020, 8:21pm

So where's the multi track drift mmm...~?

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» Unknown on November 8th, 2020, 5:25am

Post Deleted

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» KaoriNite on November 8th, 2020, 8:03am

If all things are equal, I would choose to kill 1 person. By "doing nothing" you are still actively making a choice.

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» psirit on November 8th, 2020, 4:39pm

even if it's technically your fault the 5 people died, you'll get more hate from the media for switching than you would for just pretending you couldn't do anything. plus, i don't really feel like 5 people are more valuable than one person. is a school shooting ok just because at least it's not a war?
or how about this - take a manga where the protag will keep everybody alive because they are young and bright eyed and murder is bad, or a protag who will kill the villain to prevent future deaths. there are different opinions on that too, but it's a similar question imo. being active saves more, while being passive saves your conscience but lets strangers die. hey, make that the next poll.

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» zarlan on November 9th, 2020, 1:41am

Quote from psirit
even if it's technically your fault the 5 people died, you'll get more hate from the media for switching than you would for just pretending you couldn't do anything.

One could say that one was too shocked/afraid to act, or stuck in a quandary as to what to do (until it was too late) or something like that, which could easily happen, so naturally you wouldn't get any hate (and due to those possibilities, you shouldn't be punished for your inaction) …unless you admit that you chose not to act.
Quote
plus, i don't really feel like 5 people are more valuable than one person.

WTF?
Quote
is a school shooting ok just because at least it's not a war?

No, but how is that relevant?
A school shooting isn't as bad, certainly …but you'd never be in a situation where you could allow one to happen, because it would prevent a war from happening.
Quote
take a manga where the protag will keep everybody alive because they are young and bright eyed and murder is bad, or a protag who will kill the villain to prevent future deaths.

The former is idealistic and naive. Great if you can pull it off (and one should certainly try to do so, if and when possible) …but you can't always do so. Not unless you're an omnipotent god.
(I quite like how Break Blade illustrated this, quite clearly. In chapters 8-11, to be precise)

As for killing a villain for future deaths…
Are we talking immediate future? Like, say, if he is about to kill someone? (having a gun to their head, or in the process of moving the gun there …or swinging their sword towards them. Something like that) Or they have a set and decided plan to kill a bunch of people, that they are going to implement/finish, unless you stop them?
If so, it's kinda like the trolley "dilemma", only much simpler: Of course you should kill him/her! (unless you have a safe and guaranteed way to stop him/her, without killing. You don't want to gamble with the life of the potential victim)

If it's to stop the deaths that (s)he will no doubt cause, because they are the kind of villain they are…
Yeah, that'd be more of a debatable thing.
Quote
being active saves more, while being passive saves your conscience but lets strangers die. hey, make that the next poll.

That is pretty much what this poll is. (though, actually, you still have lives on your conscience, if you chose to let strangers die, because of your inaction… Not weighing as hard on your conscience, as it is harder [both in the moment, and later], psychologically, to kill someone by your action, than your inaction)

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» Rouzmary on November 8th, 2020, 5:33pm

Ah, hate questions like these where you do not have the full information and the choices are no choices at all.

It would make the answer change depending on so many things - do you know the tied up people, how did they get tied up there, is there truly no way to stop the trolley, how did you even end up there and so forth.

And making it even worse is the fact that both choices are equally bad - doing nothing and killing 5 people or doing something and saving 5, but actively choosing to kill 1.
That is not a choice, merely picking the lesser evil, so to say.

Oh, well, since it's presented as seemingly must pick one or the other with both choices having equally unknown people - of course I'd pick killing 1 instead of 5.
Still cruel and not right, but 1 instead of 5 is better in this case.
That poor 1 dude/dudette 😕

But let's imagine that the adrenaline gives me super strength and while the trolley goes for the 1 person I jump off the trolley, run to the person, untie him/her and voila - nobody dies 😛 😁
'cuz untying 1 person is a way better chance than untying 5, ya know? 😉

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» zarlan on November 9th, 2020, 1:44am

Quote from Rouzmary
Ah, hate questions like these where you do not have the full information and the choices are no choices at all.

Yes, well: That's life.

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» sagesmith on November 9th, 2020, 10:11pm

A bunch of strangers: kill one to save the few.

Someone I know: sorry peoples, y'all gonna die for my bestie/family/someone I'm in love with even if they don't know I exist.

Group of people I know: it depends, do I like this group of people?

Group of people I know + that one asshole I can't stand: hmm....

Group of people I don't know + that one asshole I hate: well...

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» dreamaway on November 11th, 2020, 5:34am

Fair answer, but if you're able to recognize the people you're about to hit, then you're not going at a speed that's gonna kill them lol.

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» widdins on November 10th, 2020, 8:48am

i would choose to stay right killing multiple people but i could also go left killing one person, i could either kill 1 person or multiple people either way i would be killing someone, whether its 1 or 1 million if i’m killing random people i could not care less about circumstances it could go either way

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» hkanz on November 10th, 2020, 12:17pm

Reminds me of this from awhile back: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/106 😂

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» dreamaway on November 11th, 2020, 5:35am

Not my choice, really. I don't know how to steer a trolley.

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» Erazen on November 11th, 2020, 5:50am

The question isn't "What do we do?", but rather "How did we get here?". Sometimes you have to step back and realise that the system itself is broken. It's so broken in fact that it has shrunk your problem-solving space from a huge "I have all the tools, resources and time necessary to fix the problem" to "I have only two decisions to make right now, and both are horrible".

The best solution is to prevent the situation from ever occurring in the first place.

For example, why is there a runaway trolley?
It shouldn't be underway. Who forgot to lock it down, or forgot to secure the keys to the train?
Was there any maintenance on the brakes or the controls or the fail-safe mechanisms? Wait, you're telling me that they don't exist?
Why are there people tied down onto the tracks--did law and order break down? Did common decency break down? Are the tracks monitored for criminal activity?
Who designed such a faulty railway system anyway, and approved and built it to this specification? Who taught and qualified them, and why did they hire them?
Why are you on the trolley anyway, and what have you been doing up until this moment to get here? Did you see it coming? And if you did, could you have done anything to prevent this situation from happening in the first place?

This problem gets illustrated in stories from time to time in different forms, like saving one special child at the cost of a hundred other innocent lives, but such stories never really address how it got to that moment and how to actually prevent it. Otherwise there'd be no story.

God help you if you ever find yourself in that situation though, because it's never pretty.

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» kuchra on November 11th, 2020, 11:45am

Considering I don't know any of them, I'd do nothing. Life and death aren't just a matter of numbers, you know. Also, letting someone die - or even a group of people - is not the same as actively causing someone's death, even if the problem kinda muddles these concepts.

I believe this problem is only an adequate measure of someone's morality if there's some kind of information about the people on the track.
For example, considering you'd choose to move the trolley: What if one of the 5 people on the right track were a horrible criminal, say, a rapist or a serial killer?
Or if you wouldn't move it: What if the 5 people were children?

These kinds of twists make it much more interesting IMO.
(I'd choose not to move it in either case btw).

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» zarlan on November 12th, 2020, 3:57pm

Quote from kuchra
Also, letting someone die - or even a group of people - is not the same as actively causing someone's death

How so?

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» tribal2199 on November 11th, 2020, 10:32pm

I feel like I read this story before. You choose to sacrifice the 1 for the many, then it turns out, the 1 person you chose to sacrifice was your (insert family member/best friend/partner here).

DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!

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