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Moral Dilemma


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Part I.

Some people are working on 2 railways. These railways run parallel and side by side. A couple of hundred feet towards were you are standing on a bridge overlooking the railway there is a switch that can direct a train down either track. A train is coming down the rails and if undisturbed it will run down the track that has 5 people working on it. The other track has only one person working on it. There are some unusual conditions and therefore the workers can't hear the train coming down and there would be no way for you to alert them. You may only reach the rail-switch in time if you wish. [This being a moral dilemma puzzle please don't focus on technical or mechanical issues]

What would you do and why?

What's the right thing to do?

Part II.

As you are standing on the bridge watching the train get closer, there is this really heavy man and he is so magically heavy that if he were to fall on the tracks he would stop the train from reaching the workers. [The rail-switch does not exist in part II of the puzzle. There is just one rail-way with 5 workers on it and one option: To push or not to push the fat man onto the rails.]

Would you push him to his death in order to save the five workers that are about to pay the piper?

How is part II any different from part I?

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I won't touch the switch. I will assume that the track with more people on it is longer. Hopefully when the train passes the one worker on the other track who sees the train, he will flag the engineer to stop by demonstrating that the track is not finished like the one he is working on. If the 5 workers worked extra hard today they may have laid enough track for the train to stop. If they didn't they can be considered unskilled labor and disposable.

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Hey, that's pretty good.

There is a second part to the dilemma:

As you are standing on the bridge watching the train get closer, there is this really heavy man and he is so magically heavy that if he were to fall on the tracks he would stop the train from reaching the workers.

Would you push him to his death in order to save the five workers that are about to pay the piper?

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