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Ethics – Week 1 – Jan 11, 2010
The “Trolley Problem”
-A trolley has lost its brakes and is heading down a line
-You can hit a switch a divert the trolley…kills one man instead of 5…would you f lip it?
-You are on a bridge over a line…you can push a large person onto a line which would stop
the trolley but be killed…would you push the man?
Is it wrong to eat people?
Scenario 1: starving explorers: should they:
-All die of hunger
-Draw lots for who will be eaten?
-Eat the oldest? Youngets?
-First one to die?
Scenario 2: mr meiwes, advertised on the web for someone to let themselves be eaten. Mr.
Brandes responded and was eaten. Does consent make it ok?
Two questions about these questions: what did you say? Why?
One definition of philosophy: it’s the questions behind the questions: the questions that don’t
come with definite methods to find the answers.
Philosophical questions are often phrased in terms of meaning:
-What does it mean to exist?
-What does it mean to be free?
In philosophy, Nothing is Sacred