B1 Intermediate US 940 Folder Collection
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(railroad crossing bell ringing)
(railroad bell ringing) - Uh.
(railroad bell ringing)
(dramatic music)
- [Voiceover] The trolley problem
is a moral dilemma designed to make people
consider the ethical implications of their decisions.
We sat some people down and asked them
to talk their way through it.
Scenario one.
You are a rail yard worker and you're standing
by a lever that switches the track.
Suddenly, you see a runaway trolley
barreling down the track.
Further down the line are five people
completely unaware of their impending doom.
If the trolley continues along the track
it will surely kill them.
Luckily, you can heroically intervene
and choose to pull the lever, (lever clicks)
switching the track and sending the trolley
onto a clear path. (train horn blows)
So, what do you do?
- I either kill five people or I kill no one, duh.
- I'm gonna switch it to the clear track.
If there's some sort of,
"Oh surprise, there's terrible news attac--."
That's it, there's no catch?
- Of course you'd like, switch it
and save the other people.
- Yeah, of course.
I'm not a robot.
- I mean, okay.
Well, no, it doesn't matter if they're drinking or not.
- If it was that obvious that one choice would save lives
and the other choice wouldn't kill anyone,
then I would pick the save life choice.
- Simple.
- Piece of cake.
- Ugh, it's gonna get crazy.
- [Voiceover] Scenario two.
This time there's one unaware person on the alternate track.
Do you choose (lever clicks)
to pull the lever and sacrifice the life
of that one person (train horn blows)
to save the other five?
(dramatic music slows)
- I can't answer this.
- Can I just turn around and pretend like (laughs)
I have no idea what's going.
- I flip the switch.
Is that bad?
Yeah, I'm gonna kill one person to save five people.
- Then I'm a murderer.
As soon as I choose to kill someone, I'm a murderer.
- You know, the good of the many
outweigh the good of the few, so.
I learned that from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
- I think that any of these scenarios
probably end with me also killing myself (laughs)
because I couldn't live with what I'd done.
- [Voiceover] Scenario three.
Similar to the previous scenario,
you can choose to switch the track and sacrifice the life
of one person to save the other five,
but this time, I'm so sorry,
that one person is one (lever clicks)
of your immediate relatives. (train horn blows)
- Oh no, is my sister gonna be on the track?
- That makes it significantly harder.
- I either kill five people or I kill my little brother?
- Wondering what my brother's doing here.
And if he's here, he's probably here to give me crazy news.
'Cause he knows I work here.
So I'm not gonna kill him before he gives me this news.
- I'm sorry to those five people
and those five people's families.
I hope that you have no one that loves you
and you're terrible people, but I can't kill my brother.
- Here's the thing though, if she dies
I'll probably get to take care of my niece.
- I do nothing 'cause it's not my fault
that the car is running at those five people.
Because I care about my brother.
- Well it's just, I know my sister
and I know my two nieces, so like, yeah.
They need their mom.
- I'm gonna stick to my guns here.
I'm gonna save five people.
I'm being a railroad Jesus, just bearing that cross.
- If the families of those five people
come up to me afterward, I would hand them a gun
and I would say, "shoot me."
And then my sister and her family could go live happily.
Yeah, they'd miss me a little, but they'd get it.
(dramatic music)
- [Voiceover] So what would you do?
(dramatic music)
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People Face A Terrifying Moral Dilemma

940 Folder Collection
James published on June 16, 2015
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