Preview of Class #5: The Trolley Problem

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As I mentioned in my previous post, Class #5 is devoted to the Trolley Problem–a classic moral dilemma in which we must make a split-second decision whether to save five innocent lives at the cost of one innocent life. Generally speaking, this dilemma is a no-brainer if you are a “crude consequentialist.” You will simply choose the lesser evil. But what if you are a hardcore “Kantian” or devotee of moral duties; that is, what if you believe that it is always impermissible to take a life unless your own life is being threatened? Or what if you are a moral “contractarian“; in other words, what if you believe that some sort of consent is necessary before you can take an action that would endanger another soul? Either way, whatever your moral intuitions or preferences are, how should the law deal with the Trolley Problem? Also, does the law have any moral foundations, and if so, what are they? These are just some of the questions I will pose in my next class …

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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