Daily Archives: May 28, 2018


A popular theoretical moral dilemma is proposed by ethical relativists which in real life just would not happen. A hypothetical question is posed. If you were the conductor of a train that was out of control and about to kill 6 humans would you veer left in a track fork and kill only one human on the track or let the train continue and kill 6 humans?


The reason this is an unrealistic scenario is that if you were in charge of running a train then you would know that there is such a thing as a warning horn to signal humans who may be on the tracks. Yes, you could also theoretically claim that the horn was inoperable and that you could not warn the endangered humans in time. If that were the case then you could ask what 6 stupid or inebriated humans were on the tracks with a noisy oncoming train in the first place? Stupid carelessness is often punished by nature and in this case some of the six would probably realize a train was coming and warn the others. If all six were careless idiots then they all deserve to die.


Another variation on this theme is this. If you could save 3 human lives, one with a transplanted heart, one with a transplanted bladder, and one with a transplanted liver would you kill one healthy human and use his organs to save the lives of those other three? If numbers alone are used to justify killing one or a few to save the lives of many then you can see how immoral this decision would be for a society. Individuals would be forced to sacrifice their lives to save many lives.

If you are having trouble making moral decisions then keep this one idea in mind.


A just moral decision must be good for the individual and also good for others in that society in the short and long duration. And finally, don’t let hypothetical, theoretical, unproven scenarios mislead you into erroneous moral decision making.

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