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No surprises

Thanks for a very thought provoking subject Jackson.

I think there are more than two categories of people.

I have met many people from the Middle East who I think would have an “Insha’allah” reaction. They would do nothing on the understanding that whatever is happening is God’s will.

I think that, in the pressure of the moment, without time to think deeply, many practical people would instinctively favor the technical solution (switch the points) because they feel the need to do something, even if the outcome is likely to be bad. Others would drop to their knees and pray, achieving nothing.
I like to think that I would act to minimize the harm but I know myself well enough that I think that the dilemma might cause me to freeze and miss the opportunity. Or, I might decide that the people in the trolley have a better chance of survival than someone hit by the trolley.

I presume that all lives are equally valuable to their owners, but not to everyone else, and of course race would play a role in that assessment. The unbalanced numbers make the problem easier. Would it be easy to save a baby at the expense of an elderly person’s life? It is difficult to equate a potential remaining full life of the baby with the few years left for an old person. Relatives are more valuable than strangers, subjectively.

What does that make me? An ordinary human and no hero, I guess.

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