#1
I know this is a long stretch, but the Pit is full of very smart people (despite the shield many may put up) so I think I'll find what I'm looking for.

A few months ago (up to year, maybe more) there was a thread about a college lecture on some type of philosophy. I don't believe the lecture was on Youtube, but rather a college website due to it being quite long.

The first topic was on the human reaction to killing someone to save another(or multiple) lives. It involved two scenarios, both with a train.

In one, you were the conductor and had to choose between a path with a lone man, or one with a large number of people. The expected response was to kill the lone man.

In the 2nd scenario, you were now on a bridge watching the train. You have the opportunity to push a large fat man over the rail to stop the train, or let the train kill the people on the tracks. Most people couldn't murder the fat man to save the lives.

This is a bit of a long stretch, but if anyone could find that link (that remembers seeing it as well) I would be extremely grateful.
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#2
I vaguely remember that as well. It was really fascinating. Wish I could help, I'd like to see it again too.
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#4
I remember that too, but I couldn't for the life of me find it. Look through your posts?
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#5
You can find those scenarios on any site that talks about Utilitarianism, really. It's the classic 'fat man' argument used to show the way Utilitarian morality works.
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#7
Quote by MAC2322
You can find those scenarios on any site that talks about Utilitarianism, really. It's the classic 'fat man' argument used to show the way Utilitarian morality works.


It was a full-length lecture though. I'm sorry for being so vague, I only had time to watch the discussion of that one topic when I saw it originally.

I'm hoping someone can remember the exact lecture.


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#8
You are probably thinking of this series of lectures from Harvard.
http://www.justiceharvard.org/

It's a really good series.
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#10
I remember seeing this on TV a couple of months ago, I think they were discussing about a group of lost sailers eating the cabin boy. It was pretty interesting but I couldn't remember what day it was on so i missed the rest of the series
#11
just thought i'd dig in, now it's a discussion. with the three different situation this smart man brings up in the lecture, there is no moral difference between any of them. just practical. i don't think many people understand that in the lecture.


also, a bit of a legal difference between them but they're just examples
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#12
Wouldn't, by inaction, you still be killing the people? I guess the cleanest decision, unless it has to be a big guy to stop the train, would be to jump in front of the train yourself, but I personally wouldn't do that, as I enjoy living, so push the fat man it is.
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#13
Something that hasn't been said is the feeling you get after killing something. Many soldiers and other killers have said that after killing someone they feel like thats all they can do. So pushing the fat dude may result in the deaths of more people or yourself.
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#14
The first scenario is the Trolley Problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

EDIT: The second one is called The Fat Man. Same link.
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#15
Quote by Saint78
Something that hasn't been said is the feeling you get after killing something. Many soldiers and other killers have said that after killing someone they feel like thats all they can do. So pushing the fat dude may result in the deaths of more people or yourself.


I don't agree with this, just because you kill one person doesn't mean you'll kill all the time, there's therapy for that, and soldiers don't go around killing civilians. But if you stop the train and it goes off rails, as suddenly stopped trains are apt to do, are there passengers on the train? You're potentially killing the engineer of the train and anyone who has to make it go, what if it's a passenger train?
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#16
Quote by tayroar
Wouldn't, by inaction, you still be killing the people? I guess the cleanest decision, unless it has to be a big guy to stop the train, would be to jump in front of the train yourself, but I personally wouldn't do that, as I enjoy living, so push the fat man it is.


i agree, it's only a practical difference, not a moral one. but if this were a real scenario, i most likely wouldn't do it because i don't have the upper body strength, and i would spend the rest of my life in prison because it's considered murder.

that's not hypocrisy in me, it's hypocrisy in the legal system. hypothetically.
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#17
Quote by tayroar
I don't agree with this, just because you kill one person doesn't mean you'll kill all the time, there's therapy for that, and soldiers don't go around killing civilians.



But the therapy doesnt always work. Timothy McVagh, the man who blew up the building in Oklahoma City, was a killer in the military and had extensive therapy but he was still crazy. One government mishap and he blew the shit out of dozens of people. You kill the man and therapy doesnt help, there goes dozens more.
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#18
This is interesting as fuck. That's all I have to offer on this.
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#20
Quote by Saint78
Something that hasn't been said is the feeling you get after killing something. Many soldiers and other killers have said that after killing someone they feel like thats all they can do. So pushing the fat dude may result in the deaths of more people or yourself.
Soldiers have to continue killing. It's their job during wartime; it's what they're trained to do. However, killing only one person to save many others, whole different thing.
I mean, if nothing else, there aren't machine guns spraying bullets all over. Yeah, it'd affect you, but not in the same way as a battlefield would.

Edit: Most soldiers aren't mentally unstable...using McVagh as an example just doesn't work. Don't pick an extreme case & hope we all go, "Oh, no! Your logic is sound." Cuz your logic isn't sound...
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Apr 26, 2011,