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The ethics of choice (or) As you will

Here is a scenario for all you (l)iberals out there…

As you are walking across a bridge, you see a bus below about to hit an oncoming truck, which will kill everyone on board the bus. On the bridge in front of you is a man leaning precariously close to the edge, teetering on falling. He is morbidly obese, with enough bulk and weight to stop the bus and save all on board… if he were to fall in front of the bus.

The man has dark stains in the creases of his face. Marks and lines obviously gathered from a hard life underground mining coal. Poor knowledge of diet and choices in lifestyle have resulted in his overweight and sagging body; further exacerbated by inactivity resulting from an uninsured workplace injury. He wears a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap, and as you approach you can hear him mutter something about the “homo’s and negre’s ruinin’ this country”.

The luxury bus is so wide that it spills into adjacent lanes, forcing other drivers into the gutter to avoid a collision. Emblazoned on the side of the bus are decals that clearly identify the passengers as the children of corporate and congressional elites. The same politicians and  ‘Captains of Industry’ who have poisoned rivers and oceans with fracking, oil and chemicals, ‘downsized’ thousands in pursuit of their own greed, and flooded in to the Trump administration like flies onto the rotting carcass of democracy.

If you push the man from the bridge, you can save all the children.

If you do not, you will save the man; but all the children will die.

What do you choose to do?


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  1. Robert Dodgson

    be an Aussie and do nothing?

  2. passum2013

    shoot the lot of them starting with the driver
    rescue the guy and put the gun into his hand for safe keeping

  3. John Driggers

    While this actually has the potential to generate an interesting ethical discussion around sacrifice one to save many, it’s never your right to kill someone, don’t tar children with the sins of their parents, the only way to stop the egregious rich is to exterminate them, etc; it also has the power to bring out mindless, cruel and hateful comments. The kind of comments that reflect a mindset that made the construction of this particular reflection of the classical ethical dilemma at this point in time an interesting philosophical exercise-assuming of course that it isn’t offered to milk the current quantum of hate in society.

  4. keerti

    The man is working on improving his balance and doesn’t need saving. There will be one child survive on the bus who will have an Epiphany and go on to save the world from unbridled capitalism, ushering in a new level of cooperative civilization. Who am I to interfere?

  5. Matters Not

    John Driggers re your assertion:

    it’s never your right to kill someone

    Beg to differ. Indeed I can envisage various situations where you would have not only the ‘right, but perhaps also the ‘duty’ to do exactly that. (Yes it’s the killing of another, I am talking about.)

    And that applies, regardless of which one of the various ethical systems you choose to embrace.

  6. ianmac

    ok Weasel, I’m intrigued, what would You do?? 😀

  7. ianmac

    Oh .. yeah, i’m asking as a Non-(l)iberal. ;D

  8. Pappinbarra Fox

    Is the bus crash happening in slomo?

  9. crypt0

    Nothing …
    Video the entire event and sell the award winning footage to NewsCorpse.
    Spend the money on whatever you please.
    Live happily ever after.

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