Fat Man

Trolley Problem. You’re standing by the side of a track when you see a run-away train hurtling toward you: clearly the brakes have failed. Ahead are five people, tied to the track.  If you do nothing, the five will be run over and killed. Luckily you are next to a signal switch: pushing the switch level will send the out-of-control train down a side track, a spur, just ahead of you. Alas, there’s a snag: on the spur you spot one person tied to the track: changing direction will inevitably result in this person being killed.  Will you pull the switch lever? Yes or No.


Fat Man. You’re on a footbride overlooking the railway track. You see the trolley hurtling along the track and, ahead of it, five people tied to the rails. There’s a fat man leaning over the railing watching the trolley. If you were to push him over the footbridge, he would tumble down and smash on the track below. He’s so obese that his bulk would bring the trolley to a shuddering halt. Sadly, the process would kill the fat man.  But it would save the other five. Will you push the fat man? Yes or No.


In the comment section below, please comment on why you answered as you did.  Especially if you gave a different answer to each problem.

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