The Trolley Problem

The trolley problem is a classic philosophical experiment that was introduced by Philippa Foot in 1967. The trolley problem is evident to raise tension in moral thoughts. For instance, from the utilitarian lens, it is argued that an appropriate action is that which “achieves the greatest good for the greatest number.” On the other hand, the deontological perspective asserts that “certain actions-like killing an innocent person-are just wrong even if the consequences are good.”  In most cases, the trolley problem is agreed on by the utilitarians who deem it morally acceptable to kill one and save the five others. Just like the utilitarians, my stance is that it is more ethical to pull the lever to the side track where one person is lying in order to save the other five persons on the main track. My moral intuitions accord with the utilitarian principle on the need to deflect a threat from many people onto an individual or a small group. In most cases, people are faced with the dilemma to do good in the conflict of negative and positive duties. In order to demonstrate the morality of this problem, negative duties are perceived as refraining from hurting others while positive duties entailed doing good to save lives. In this case, my argument is based on the principle that negative duties are always vital and quick to bring positive consequences as opposed to positive duties. For instance, pushing the lever to the side will lead to a loss of one individual but at the same time saving five. However, it should be known that a person cannot be justified when violating a negative duty to accomplish a positive duty which is favorable in helping others.

Through this line of reasoning, we get the idea that moral dilemma challenges our value system in the sense that we are faced

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