The Trolley Problem: What Does Bystander Meaning

862 Words4 Pages
In this assignment I would like to explore the Trolley Problem, more specifically the variant which is called Bystander at the Switch. First I would propose my opinion on what should be done and why. Then I would propose a counter-argument which may be invoked in response to my reasoning, of which I would attempt to resolve. Bystander at the Switch is as follows: “A bystander happens to be standing by the track, next to a switch that can be used to turn the tram off the straight track, on which five [...people] are working, onto a spur of track to the right on which only one [...person] is working. The bystander therefore has only two options: [...] (i) do nothing, letting five die, or (ii) throw the switch to the right, killing one” (Thomson 2008, p. 361). I, along with a majority of people would agree, without hesitation, that in this case it is okay to pull the lever and take one life instead of five, some would even say that we should pull the lever, implying that we are morally obligated to do so. Justification for this decision is as follows: “When you have the means to save life, it’s better to save more”, which is a common consequentialist reasoning in this situation. I believe that given the chance to do so, we are morally obligated to save as much life as possible, after all, isn’t all life sacred? But it is important to note that on pulling…show more content…
But we must also note that Thomson is justifying to not save someone given the means to do so, which is also a horrifying idea to a lot of
Open Document