Forum Settings
Forums
Pages (2) [1] 2 »
Post New Reply
#1
Aug 20, 2012 8:36 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
Consider the following moral dilemmas:

A)

Five people are tied down to tracks in front of an approaching trolley. You are standing next to a lever which, upon being pushed, directs the trolley to a separate set of tracks where only one person is tied down. If you push the lever, one person dies, but the five are spared. If you don't push the lever, five die and one lives.

B)

As before, five people are tied down to tracks in front of an approaching trolley. This time around however, you are standing on a bridge next to a rather bulky man over the tracks. Instead of pushing a lever, you have the option of pushing the individual down onto the tracks and in front of the trolley. Doing so would kill the man but spare the other five lives. If however you don't push him, five people die.

================

I am tempted to make the utilitarian case (maximizing of happiness) and pick five lives over one in case A. This would lead me to push the man in case B as it would, again, save 5 at the cost of 1. Naturally, there was more to the dilemma than I had initially imagined. The idea is to consider the following factors when making a judgement during a moral dilemma:

(1) the agent’s intention (i.e. whether the harmful event is intended as a means or merely foreseen as a side-effect) and
(2) whether the agent harms the victim in a manner that is relatively ‘‘direct” or ‘‘personal”.
[source: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~jgreene/GreeneWJH/Greene-MoralButtons-Cogn09.pdf]

There is then a moral distinction between killing one individual directly (by pushing them in front of a trolley, as in B) and killing them indirectly (by pushing a lever which averts the trolley - which then kills the individual - as in A). Another issue is that of intention. In A, you push the lever to save five lives (the death of the one individual upon redirecting the trolley is merely foreseen, as it is neither intended nor direct). In B, you push the man not just to save five lives, but also to kill him (as the act would directly result in his death - which would then not be foreseen, but intended).

(The distinctions are important as it would otherwise lead to absurdities such as answering the following with a 'Yes':

Five patients are in dire need of organ transplants (one organ each). The hospital has none left its repository. There is however another patient who has all of the required organs working in perfect accord. Should the doctor in charge of the five patients operate on, and kill, the one patient in order to save five?)


What would you do in each of the cases outlined above, and why? Do you agree that the distinctions are necessary? Would you sacrifice one life for the greater good?
 
#2
Aug 20, 2012 8:45 PM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2184
Great. Another moral dilemma thread.

I wouldn't pull the lever or push the fat dude without either the guy tied down or the fat dude actually telling me that I SHOULD sacrifice him (i.e. giving me permission to save the others at his expense). I want the person to make his own decision; otherwise, I would not have it in me to murder somebody.

But then again... I agree with the distinctions though. It's one thing to murder somebody with your own hands, and another to murder somebody indirectly. Now I'm rethinking the lever question. I'll get back to you on that.
 
#3
Aug 20, 2012 8:53 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 265
this entry level thought experiment is posted every month.

a) save the 5 people, it's the logical, utilitarian thing to do. sacrifice of the other person is abstract, so less guilty of killing that person.

for the b) situation, i'm going with the moralist view and argue that since i'm directly killing the person, there's more guilt on my part and i'd let the 5 people die.

but ultimately, using those results to argue and advocate for something like the hospital example you mentioned doesn't work because the thought experiment lacks context, and is overtly simplified. and because we're not robots acting on consistency or even logic in our decisions sometimes, you can't really translate how one answers the thought experiment and apply it to daily life decisions.
 
 
#4
Aug 20, 2012 9:01 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 380
Those pictures are so cute... The little people tied to the rails and the faces they are making. hahaha

A) I would save the 5 people.

B) I wouldn't do anything because I doubt I could push a rather bulky man over the side of a bridge. He could very well throw me over if I tried!

What about just throwing yourself in front of the trolley and saving them?
 
#5
Aug 20, 2012 9:02 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5651
Do nothing in both cases because of the legal implications that pop up once you get involved.

Thought and moral dilemma experiments are stupid because they force unrealistic options onto you in an unrealistic situation. If anything, they make you NOT think about anything because the more you think about it the stupider and less relevant it becomes. People don't live in a way that the results would actually mean anything anyway, as already stated by someone else.
 
#6
Aug 20, 2012 9:12 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1850
these aren't hard in the slightest
a) whatever you choose to do can't be right or wrong. Simple there-you're taking away peoples choices which you should avoid-you can make this more complicated by having them talk to you tho

b) same thing as a so you're taking away will to choose (assuming you're buff and can push him). That's all, there's no right or wrong here again

c) everyone's heard this one so the answer will fall on deaf ears but whatever
this one is good because there is a definite answer- the 5 people have to die- you can not have someone pay the cost of a life for anything. That's fairly simple.
tho the way the question was posed the guy was sleeping in the lobby so you can't ask him
if he's prepared to die. If he's actually dumb enough to say yes then whatever go ahead
most likely he won't tho so in which case you can't operate

e:op if you're having some trouble with this tho abandon utilitarianism in these sort of problems. It would cause you to pick 5 over 1 in each case which is blatantly wrong and pretty wrong (c+b)
rereading the problems again I still see a+b as the same thing
b you're more involved in killing the second party but its like saying you ate chicken from the factory v you killed with your bare hands a chicken you saw in the backyard and proceeded to consume it- consequentially its the same and the method to get there isn't so blatantly different (run over a train v. Run over a train+falling off a bridge)
Modified by Regicide, Aug 20, 2012 9:29 PM
~"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." (Pirsig)

 
#7
Aug 20, 2012 9:15 PM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1178
for me, I'd:

A) Push lever and run to save the last person.

B) Do nothing because anything I'll do will make me kill someone, if I don't do anything, I won't be involved.
 
#8
Aug 20, 2012 9:22 PM

Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1591
In B one can choose to jump himself.
 
 
#9
Aug 20, 2012 9:24 PM
Offline
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 70
a) leave the switch. act like nothing happened and just walk away.

b) same with a.
 
Aug 20, 2012 9:29 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 265
a lot of people missing the point of what a thought experiment is meant to be in this thread.
 
Aug 20, 2012 9:31 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 100
I agree with the statement that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." So in A. I would pull the lever, and in B. I would push the guy off the bridge.

Although this is not taking into account who they are as people, because depending on that I might let them all die.
Now, count up your sins!
 
Aug 20, 2012 9:32 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 380
Ewww, Maybe doing nothing would be the best idea. You could get sued by the family of the one guy.... wrongful death. :(
 
 
Aug 20, 2012 9:38 PM

Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 17670
I would drive my drill through the train and save everyone.

Edit: I basically have the same idea going for all of them, so sorry if I'm being redundant.

A) This situation is extremely de-humanized, so it's hard to say. If it was exactly as described, I guess divert the train and kill one person. Realistically though, allow the five people to be killed (since that's where the train was going), unless I can explain the situation to the one person and they give their consent to be killed instead. If that person was never going to die, I have no right to force it upon them.

B) Explain the situation to the overweight person, and let him/her decide for themselves if they are willing to sacrifice their life to save five others. The overweight person was never themselves in danger, and I have no right to murder that person in order to save those who have found themselves in danger.

C) Similarly, the doctor should not take action against an innocent person unless given that person's consent. This one is more complicated, because you could argue the procedures might not work, lives might not be "fully" extended, etc.
Modified by Josh, Aug 20, 2012 9:47 PM
LoneWolf said:
@Josh makes me sad to call myself Canadian.
 
Aug 20, 2012 10:04 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 246
Annoiato said:
a lot of people missing the point of what a thought experiment is meant to be in this thread.

 
Aug 20, 2012 10:27 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3644


Ok seriously. In A it would depend on who the people are. If the 1 person is someone important then I'd save that one person over the other 5.

Scenario B I'd push the fat man down because he's going to die of diabetes anyway.
As a child, I was told that society is a melting pot of talents; knowledge and experience combined to form important alloys that will contribute to mankind. When I got to highschool, however, I thought that it's more like a river in which the water represents our peers while we ourselves are the stones in the river. Constant erosion by mindless majority sheeping has made us lose our unique edge. After I hit the age of 18, I realized that I've been wrong all along. Society is no melting pot. Society is no river. Society is a person, a very skilled rapist, and he has fucked us all.
 
Aug 20, 2012 10:38 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4910
First one.

If I really had no other choice pull the lever and save the 5 lives. It would be a painful experience but the burden would be heavier with 5 deaths on my back instead of 1. Wouldn't excuse myself from the accident either still since I had the choice.

Second one.

I'd either do nothing or tell the overweight guy the situation and let him make the decision. I have no right to take a life like that even if it means having more die.

Last one.

Similar answer as the second. I have no right to take a person's life like that if they are not willing even if it would benefit many more. If I explained it to the patient and he said yes I would do it. Otherwise I'd have to let the other patients die.
Touch me, you filthy casual~
 
Aug 20, 2012 11:32 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 633
I'd do nothing in both cases; in my opinion, they're the exact same thing. Your actions result in a death that would not normally have occurred if you chose to save 5 people. If you do nothing, then you have done nothing wrong. I personally wouldn't feel any better knowing I saved 5 people over 1 person if I had to kill that 1 person to save the 5. I'd argue that I don't have the right to choose, as I don't believe anyone has the right to murder someone. Yes, pulling a lever may seem more innocent than throwing a man in front of a train, but either way, you knowingly chose to kill someone in both scenarios.

And, if I can be selfish for a moment, getting involved could mean being charged with murder, and then not only would I feel awful, I'd be in prison for the rest of my life. So when I think about this realistically, there's not a chance that I would do anything other than watch in horror.

"In both love and octopus-hunting, you have to take the initiative!" - Gintoki Sakata
 
Aug 20, 2012 11:39 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 556
i'd call 911
NEETs (No Employment Education Training) are the least desirable people anybody would want to hire and yet they are the first choice to become moderators/admins around the internet. They have yet to have established a sense of responsibility or role in society and many are plain leeches (with minor exceptions). They are given "authority" to police sections of the internet with the powers of The Judge, Jury, and Executioner. Isn't that weird?
-Migrating to another site-
Update 11/9/2016 - Inactive Over a Year. Logged in to laugh at elections.
 
 
Aug 20, 2012 11:57 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 265
njd09 said:
If you do nothing, then you have done nothing wrong.
Might want to reconsider that.
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:42 AM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 593
a) Save only the one guy's life; I can't have 5 best friends.

b)Take the fat guy's wallet.
 
Aug 21, 2012 7:11 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
itsvero said:
Great. Another moral dilemma thread.

Annoiato said:
this entry level thought experiment is posted every month.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I've looked for similar threads on the forum search and google to no avail.

TallonKarrde23 said:
Thought and moral dilemma experiments are stupid because they force unrealistic options onto you in an unrealistic situation. If anything, they make you NOT think about anything because the more you think about it the stupider and less relevant it becomes. People don't live in a way that the results would actually mean anything anyway, as already stated by someone else.

Whether these situations ever arise is an irrelevant factor in a thought experiment. Rather the point of such dilemmas is to take ethical theories to their breaking point and observe to what end they produce reasonable outcomes.

Annoiato said:

but ultimately, using those results to argue and advocate for something like the hospital example you mentioned doesn't work because the thought experiment lacks context, and is overtly simplified. and because we're not robots acting on consistency or even logic in our decisions sometimes, you can't really translate how one answers the thought experiment and apply it to daily life decisions.

These aren't my examples so I tried not to add any new information. But in both A and B, you have only two options: save 5 and kill 1, or let 1 die and save 5. How the agents got themselves in the situations is irrelevant. The experiments aren't to tell people to factor in such notions as 'intention' during such a debacle - since people are likely to panic and not think carefully in the heat of the moment - but instead to theoretically acknowledge the morally right decision from the morally wrong.

And the doctor's case appears similar to case B since in both, the agent can directly and intentionally cause the death of 1 to save 5. Of course, this dilemma is also not meant to tell people how to act in everyday situations, but rather to determine what the morally right answer is for unrealistic cases.

@Post-Josh, I like your addendum but the trolley won't wait for your conversations to reach a consoling end. And in the medical case, the assumption is that the procedures work out just fine.
 
 
Aug 21, 2012 7:45 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1047
Let them all die, because less happiness is ultimately what I am for. But really, I wouldn't intervene in any of the situations, I think it's simplifying morality too much to just go with what brings most happiness. Utilitarianism can be applied to pretty much every situation where the outcome would ultimately bring more happiness, but still clearly be unjust. Another problem is that your own happiness is far more important than the happiness of anyone else.

Lets say you have the same situation, but this time the tram is heading towards one person. There are 4 others who will be killed if you decide to change the track, in return of killing four you save one. Obviously, going by this view of morality you should allow it to continue; only this time it's actually your dearly loved mother.

Why not let it kill her to save the four? I know this is kind of irrelevant, but there's a lot of people who claim to believe this, and they know deep down that they don't truly believe it.
 
Aug 21, 2012 7:59 AM

Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 4474
If you kill the 5 instead of 1 the feeling of guilt is spread out.
 
Aug 21, 2012 8:40 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1850
Annoiato said:
njd09 said:
If you do nothing, then you have done nothing wrong.
Might want to reconsider that.

in all situations if you choose to do nothing (ie, don't press the lever, don't push the dude, and don't operate on the one guy for his organs) you've done nothing wrong
this isn't hard dude-
you're flawed in using utilitarianism for this problem tho
cause then you'd always save 5 people which isn't right in all cases (eg. the doctor case to operate on the one dude and also the pushing the dude in front of the train)
~"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." (Pirsig)

 
Aug 21, 2012 9:07 AM

Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 17670
Hitchens said:
@Post-Josh, I like your addendum but the trolley won't wait for your conversations to reach a consoling end. And in the medical case, the assumption is that the procedures work out just fine.

I don't see how I wouldn't have time to say something to the overweight person, considering I have time to push them over the edge. In that case however, I would do do nothing in all three situations.
LoneWolf said:
@Josh makes me sad to call myself Canadian.
 
Aug 21, 2012 9:18 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 6448
Well first i would wonder who tied these people down and then most likely i wouldnt do anything in either case because if i do save the 5 people i am directly killing another individual, if i sit back and do nothing i have no blood on my hands since i didnt tie those people down.
 
Aug 21, 2012 9:37 AM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 158
The old me: Would save the majority at the cost of the minority.

The new me (after watching fate zero): Wouldn't do anything in either cases unless someone I hold dear is involved.

The real me: Most likely I would only stare in shock.
 
Aug 21, 2012 9:42 AM
Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1811
If I weren't shocked by the current state of affairs, like jama91 said, I would in case choose for the 5 guys, and after that run away.

In B, I'd push the fat guy hoping his fat ass will absorb the shock of getting hit by a trolley if he doesn't survive, oh well, the pigs will be happy. Although I say this, if I don't personally know any of those people down there, I would probably let them die, killing people for the "greater good" doesn't suit me.

Oh and C, for the guy with organs, assuming I am the doctor or the person making the decision, I probably would let those 5 people die, unless the one person agrees to let himself be "killed". I would let him live, he is still perfectly healthy, he also has done nothing to deserve this, letting him die because he accidentally tripped down the stairs or something like that is a bit too harsh.

Also:
jama91 said:

The new me (after watching fate zero): Wouldn't do anything in either cases unless someone I hold dear is involved..

Kerry doesn't approve of your decision.

Also seriously, why are people complaining about these kind of threads, I personally think these are the best kind in GD, unless you want to talk about politics all day long, this can create for a pretty good discussion.
Modified by Karpman, Aug 21, 2012 9:51 AM
 
 
Aug 21, 2012 9:52 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
Post-Josh said:
Hitchens said:
@Post-Josh, I like your addendum but the trolley won't wait for your conversations to reach a consoling end. And in the medical case, the assumption is that the procedures work out just fine.

I don't see how I wouldn't have time to say something to the overweight person, considering I have time to push them over the edge. In that case however, I would do do nothing in all three situations.

The trolley will run over the people tied down in mere seconds. You can ask the gentleman to decided for himself, but how much time will be required to reach a satisfactory answer in the heat of the moment? It'll likely be a "No" from him. And the example assumes that anyway.
 
Aug 21, 2012 9:59 AM

Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 810
I'd feel more guild pushing the fat man down than letting the five die. I mean even after you save the five, how would they see you as a hero if you killed another man to save them? It'll be an uncomfortable as shit atmosphere.
 
Aug 21, 2012 10:15 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 388
Even if you're saving a greater number of people now, it doesn't mean you made the right thing. It reminds me of Fate/Zero, where some were praising Kiritsugu because that is reality bla bla bla, but to me it sounds like teenagers who just discovered this and are considering themselves ohsomature and deep disregarding certain implications.

For cases 2 and 3 in particular, ok, you did the "greater good" and saved more lives. However would you, would people want to live in a world where anyone have the right to kill you in order to save more lives? You work hard everyday and suddenly, you lose your house because they thought of building a hospital there and thus saving more lives. Today they just threw your son to die in agonising suffocation because the helicopter taking three children out of a collapsing sand hole couldn't take any more weight. Tomorrow your wife went travelling for whatever reason in some very dangerous country in Africa, and the villagers offered her to be a sex slave to someone who was going to kill 5 people there if they didn't.

In a world where the "greater good" can always be done without any consequence will bring distrust, fear, and so on, especially if it happened to someone close to you. It's already hard enough to live on if bad things happened because of accidents or criminals who are paying for their crimes, adding one more will incite many of the indirect victims to do something. I don't think humanity as a whole can one day truly develop if those situations kept occurring. If you can't trust that the guy next to you won't push you to die to save more lives, nothing can be ever accomplish.



In A, the morally correct one I think is to save the 5 guys, and free or die trying to untie the lone guy. The truth for me is that I would panic and wouldn't approach that guy, I might even be too scared to push the lever. Personally I wouldn't really consider whoever just push or didn't push the lever to be guilty.
For cases B and C, it's clear that I wouldn't try to kill the guy and I would say no. My belief is that in the end you aren't saving more lives on the long run. There's a distinction between direct and indirect harm because people are more probable to forgive indirect harm than direct and that excess direct harm for the sake of greater good hinders the developments of bonds and relationships which people need.
Modified by RoCSC-006C1BST, Aug 21, 2012 10:19 AM
 
Aug 21, 2012 11:35 AM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7547
Nothing. The lever would be too rusted to use and the fat guy is way too fat to push over considering his size in the image.
 
 
Aug 21, 2012 11:58 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
I suppose that for A which make the difference is that you are influencing an external event. You can't say you are killing someone, as you just moved an ongoing event.

For case B and C, the other guy was out of the event, and you push him in. (killing from your own hand also don't help). It's why it is a less "moral" choice, I suppose .

In both case I would be to scared to do anything IRL. But in theory, I push the lever in A.

I made a case D for fun

Basically how much unknown people is needed for a specific close person of yours.
Examples:
Mom=0 (baaad kid)
My GF/BF=100000
etc... (The point is not to rate close person however, it's just to match anyone)

And E

Almost the same but reverted. You have to make a decision to save the close person.

I sometime have funky grammar, sorry about that. If you can correct some of my post, you would be an angel.
 
Aug 21, 2012 12:22 PM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 155
The lives of others aren't my responsibility for the trolley situations. I would just save the five because I'd want them to treat me like a freaking hero. Morally there is no right or wrong answer.

In the doctor situation the lives of your patients are your responsibility because you're a doctor. Still, you can't weigh people's lives like pennies. Morally the best thing to do is make your five terminally ill patients comfortable for their last days.
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:07 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
LuckyStrike-Rx said:

I made a case D for fun

Basically how much unknown people is needed for a specific close person of yours.
Examples:
Mom=0 (baaad kid)
My GF/BF=100000
etc... (The point is not to rate close person however, it's just to match anyone)

And E

Almost the same but reverted. You have to make a decision to save the close person.

Quite interesting. Will give it some thought.
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:20 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
Hitchens said:

Quite interesting. Will give it some thought.

Thanks, I also gave the guy a smile so it looks less drama.

I sometime have funky grammar, sorry about that. If you can correct some of my post, you would be an angel.
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:23 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
The smile might imply that he is enjoying himself.
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:29 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2266
I suppose there's no option to try and save all of them now is there. At any rate, I'll go ahead with sacrificing one life to save five others. It's the old needs of a many outweighing the needs of a few trope and that would be the logical thing to do. Of course, I'm assuming none of the relevant participants in this event are people I personally know. Then it becomes a little more complicated...
 
Aug 21, 2012 4:45 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 5277
I'm not too familiar with myself tbh, so I don't know what I would do.
 
 
Aug 21, 2012 11:57 PM

Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 37820
a. pull it half way and crash the trolley OR pull it and pull the other one guy off the track

no one dies

b. jump on the roof of the trolley with the fat man falling inside and stopping it.

no one dies

Annoiato said:
a lot of people missing the point of what a thought experiment is meant to be in this thread.
If youre limited to hypotheticals that never can play out in real life then youre not expressing your full use of free will. You will never be reduced to just two choices. People who think these are their only choices are actually expressing flaws in the human psychy.
 
 
Aug 22, 2012 12:07 AM

Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1545
traed said:

Annoiato said:
a lot of people missing the point of what a thought experiment is meant to be in this thread.
If youre limited to hypotheticals that never can play out in real life then youre not expressing your full use of free will. You will never be reduced to just two choices. People who think these are their only choices are actually expressing flaws in the human psychy.


This. Myself I carry a sharp knife with me all the time (for practical purposes, I ain't no shanker) so in A I'd pull and try to save the person while I could.

And I could always do this

 
Aug 22, 2012 12:21 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1850
why do people still believe in free will tho
theres no proof that backs that up
that said moral problems like this i think are fine
you also have more than two choices although two are the only ones that matter in each case
~"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." (Pirsig)

 
Aug 22, 2012 12:36 AM

Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 37820
You used your free will to make this post when it was easier not to say anything at all


but not like i dont question free will either. I do that time to time when im depressed.
 
Aug 22, 2012 2:26 PM
Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 358
I'm ego so it depends.
what if it were a kid and 5 old people?
 
Aug 22, 2012 6:10 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2032
This is the same stuff and frankly it is useless outside of a college.

I need to know the people. If it is a friend, and I don't know the other 5, the other 5 die.

I am not interested in math when it comes to these decisions.

The 5 could all be convicts, or they could be babies or they could be decorated heroes or 90 year old people. That one person could be your parent, your spouse, your child.

If the 5 think I am picking them over someone important to me, they need to get used to the truth.

This question only gets interesting when you know all 6 people and they are all important to you.

As just a math exercise, the question is dumb, and if asked in a college course, I'd say as much. I'd leave the question as unanswered and not worthy of my thoughts.
While not technically anime, currently I am a big fan of Hatsune Miku.
At least I can go see her in concert.
 
Aug 22, 2012 6:21 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 2997
Lesley_Roberta said:
This is the same stuff and frankly it is useless outside of a college.


The lack of any practical application is the main reason why they call it a thought experiment'.
Losing an Argument online?

Simply post a webpage full of links, and refuse to continue until your opponents have read every last one of them!

WORKS EVERY TIME!

"I was debating with someone who believed in climate change, when he linked me to a graph showing evidence to that effect. So I sent him a 10k word essay on the origins of Conservatism, and escaped with my dignity intact."
"THANK YOU VERBOSE WEBPAGES OF QUESTIONABLE RELEVANCE!"


 
 
Aug 22, 2012 6:39 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1850
Lesley_Roberta said:
This is the same stuff and frankly it is useless outside of a college.

not really these scenarios do pop up
eg. if 5 of you are stranded on an island and you need to cannibalize someone how do you choose?->
it kind of helps if you think it through beforehand
~"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." (Pirsig)

 
Aug 22, 2012 7:23 PM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1488
@Lesley_Roberta, you seem to have simplified the case and made it interesting in the process. But what would you do if you knew none of those people? How would you weigh your decision then? That, I think, is the entire point of the thought experiment (which, as Anno pointed out, doesn't care about practical utility).

The cases are not rich in detail, but there is no need for any added information. Just assume that these are six people with whom you have equal acquaintance, and go from there.
 
Aug 22, 2012 7:31 PM

Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 628
Some people don't know how to take a simple joke.

And as I just learned today, some people don't know how to take a very simple thought experiment.
 
Aug 22, 2012 9:57 PM
Laughing Man

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 5745
Don't do anything. Train accidents happen all the time.
 
Pages (2) [1] 2 »