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Killing is worse than letting die.




Killing is worse than letting die.;Consider the following two scenarios.;1. Pat hates Alex. Pat intentionally poisons Alex by putting cleaning fluid in Alex?s coffee.;2. Pat hates Alex. Pat accidentally puts cleaning fluid in Alex?s coffee, and now Alex is about to die. However, Pat has the antidote to the cleaning fluid, but chooses not to offer it to Alex. Pat lets Alex die. What?s your reaction to these cases??;(a) Aha! Letting someone die can be as bad killing them!;(b) Poisoning Alex was worse than withholding the antidote.;If you chose (b), consider this next case;? Alex is riding a trolley. However, the trolley is out of control (its brakes have failed, and it?s moving very quickly). Up ahead there is a fork in the tracks. To the left, there are five people tied to the tracks?they?ll all die if the trolley heads that way. And to the right, there is one person tied to the tracks?that person will die if the trolley heads in that direction. Currently, the trolley is set to head to the left.Oh no! The trolley conductor has just died of shock. Alex heroically gets up out of her seat, and takes over. She steers the trolley to the right, killing the one person, but saving the five that the trolley would have otherwise killed.;Did Alex do the wrong thing in this situation? If yes, why? (And what does does this tell us about how we should live our lives?) If no, then how do you square your intuition about this case with your intuition about the poisoning example?


Paper#15689 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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