Trolley Problem

A runaway trolley is speeding toward a group of five men working on the trolley track. They do not see the trolley coming and will all be killed if no action is taken. You, however, can throw a switch that will divert the trolley to a sidetrack. Throwing the switch will save the workmen but there is a lone worker on the side track who will be killed by the diverted trolley. Will you throw the switch? Why or why not? Does your answer change if you are able to know when the workers on the tracks are “morally good” or “morally bad” people? Why or Why not? Which ethical theory discussed so far this semester justifies your answer? Briefly explain how that ethical theory justifies your answer.

Sample Solution