The Trolley Problem

1548 Words7 Pages
“Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that it’s enough” Robert Haller. This quotation suggests that an instinctive judgment is not enough to draw conclusions. Ways of knowing need to verify our gut feelings. Before we can actually jump to conclusions, we require ways which we can use to understand the world around us, these are ways of knowing. Sometimes we need to make sure that what our innate feelings tell us; is true. Therefore, we require something to justify and verify our feelings; that is why we examine these feelings or sentiments as to establish our own satisfaction. Instinctive judgments are natural and impulsive responses to current situations. Hence this title implies that ways of knowing seek to authenticate our instincts…show more content…
The scenario is; a man decides to take a walk along the trolley tracks that crisscross his town. As he walks, he hears a trolley behind him so he steps away from the tracks, but as the trolley gets closer, he hears sounds of panic- five people are shouting for help. The brakes of the trolley are not functioning and it is gathering speed. Between this man and the track, there is a fat man not far from the man. This man is fat enough to stop the runaway trolley. By pushing the fat man onto the tracks and stopping the runaway trolley; the fat man will die. However, five lives will be saved. What should he do? (Clark…show more content…
If the man does not take any action, then it is an accident, it was meant to happen because instinct for fight or flight response would be to run. Furthermore, choosing to kill a man intentionally as to save others may be seen as unethical, for fear of being judged, the man might feel terrified to even act and perhaps resort to running away from the track, but then he would have never known whether he could have saved the people or not. Fear is an emotion which makes us avoid the actions we dread from happening to us. This implies that reason is a more logical and a better way of knowing than emotion. Emotion as a way of knowing hinders our ability to make good judgments because it is sometimes impulsive; it qualifies as an impediment in obtaining knowledge so it does not exactly serve as a check on our instinctive judgments. This suggests that not all ways of knowing are a check on instinctive judgments. One may also argue that an instinctive action could have at least saved at least one and at best five lives; whereas a reasoned decision may save none. Besides that, if ways of knowing verify our instinctive judgments, then these are no longer instinctual, they are now made based on ways of knowing, not instinct. Impulse allows us to react instantly, but are there times when it is not vital? If the man intends to save lives, then an instinctive judgment is compulsory as ways of knowing
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