Return to CreateDebate.comJoin this debate community

Serious Business


Debate Info

6
10
Kill the five people Kill the one person
Debate Score:16
Arguments:14
Total Votes:20
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Kill the five people (2)
 
 Kill the one person (8)

Debate Creator

Paradox44(736) pic



The Trolley Problem - What will be your choice?

In this problem you are standing near a train track. A train is hurdling down the tracks. In the trains path is five people tied up. They cannot move. There is a lever near you. You can divert the train onto another track, but on that track is one person who is unaware of the situation. The one person is too far away to hear you. You cannot hold the lever in a way that will cause the train to derail (hold the lever in the middle). Which option do you choose? Allow the train to kill the five? Or divert the train to kill the one person and save the five? Also, in your response do tell me if you feel as if you are morally obligated to do anything in this situation.

Kill the five people

Side Score: 6
VS.

Kill the one person

Side Score: 10
1 point

What is the point of this?

Is insisting that your audience engage in a false dilemma the only way you can rationalize your point?

Side: Kill the five people
2 points

Is insisting that your audience engage in a false dilemma the only way you can rationalize your point?

What is my point? What point have you detected? I'm not arguing for or against anything. It's just the trolley problem. You don't have to participate at all.

Side: Kill the five people
Coldfire(1013) Clarified
1 point

What is my point?

That’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking what the point of deliberating this is; the reason for proposing the dilemma. What does this debate seek to accomplish, if anything?

What point have you detected?

None. Hence the inquiry.

You don't have to participate at all.

Indeed. Good bye.

Side: Kill the five people

...except probably not kill him.

The thing about trains is that even modern, quieter ones are LOUD, and if you're standing on the tracks you can feel them vibrate as the train approaches.

I would divert the train onto the other track, and hopefully the unaware individual will respond to either the noise or the vibration without needing my input. A certain level of situational awareness should be expected of somebody walking on train tracks, I would think.

On the other hand, there isn't much the 5 people could do at all.

I would personally feel morally obligated to take this action- I find the 'bystander effect' to be reprehensible.

Side: Kill the one person
1 point

Yeah, I tried to tighten the problem by saying that the one person was "unaware". It's so the person being asked this doesn't attempt to wiggle out of it. Thank you for your input though. I appreciate it.

Side: Kill the one person
thousandin1(1933) Clarified
1 point

It's one thing for the person to be unaware when the situation is first observed, but don't you think it's a bit of a stretch to assume that the person will remain completely unaware of the approaching train until it's within range to become the pestle to his mortar?

It'd work better, I think, if the situation could be contrived such that the one person was immobilized on the second section of track in some way.

Although, even if he were unrestrained and could feel/hear the approaching train, we could be talking about a section of track that never gets used that the person walks on regularly- in that scenario he may completely ignore the sound and vibration out of habit.

Side: Kill the five people
1 point

Paradox44 I really like stuff like this. However I see no reason to kill the five people. It makes so much more sense to derail it. If you derail it 5 people are saved and just 1 life is put in danger (which means theres a chance no lives will be lost) but if you don't 5 people will definitely die.

Side: Kill the one person
7thDebater(292) Clarified
1 point

Just to clarify by derail I meant divert the train to the other track.

Side: Kill the five people
1 point

Thank you for your input, 7thDebater. I like these scenarios. They make you question your indirect and direct moral obligations to others.

Side: Kill the one person
1 point

I do not understand the problem. It all boils down to this:

Would you rather save 5 lives or 1 life?

There are no circumstances in this 'problem' that would make me consider if it would be 'better' to save one person over five. An example of such a circumstance could be, that the five people were all mortally ill or that I knew they were planning on murdering someone if they had the opportunity.

Side: Kill the one person
1 point

Here is what the problem truly hints at. It is a test or moral obligations. Are you morally obligated to divert the train? Let's assume you do, then you have purposefully killed the one person on the other track. You killed this person directly through choice. Now if you felt as if you were not morally obligated to do anything and didn't want to kill anyone then you let the train be since you are not morally obligated to do anything.

The trolley problem tests those moral obligations.

Side: Kill the one person
1 point

Think about it: Five lives over one. I would save the 5 people because they are helpless against the moving train and I would save the majority of lives. The 1 person would probably notice the train- I mean, its only practical. A person is bound to move away once they experienced the stimulus. They obviously would be looking around and would see at least the light.

I would rather chance one life than know that 5 people will definitely die.

Side: Kill the one person
1 point

I shoupd have constrained this debate, but the one person will not move regardless of any external stimuli or any intrinsic motivation.

Side: Kill the one person