Ethics class is always fun. If you consider mind contortions fun. I think my professor enjoys confusing the crap out of us, and gets a high off of watching us labor in our uncomfortable desks.
Day 1 of class:
A trolley is driving down the middle of the city, and comes to a Y in the track. If you continue to the right, you will kill five track workers.
Oh boy, not a good idea.
But, if you go to the left, you will run over your own mother.
You have no option to stop the trolley, the brakes are out, and you are on a slight decline.
It’s either your mother, or five strangers.
Of course, most of us would choose the five track workers being sent into oblivion. Me and my classmates chose that hands down.
But there’s one other option.
You have the option to push a fat man in front of the trolley, kill him, and save the other six people. He has no family who would mourn for him. No friends. Forget the fat man cliche, we both know that we subconciously think less of him. What would you do?
Yep that was the entire discusion for day 1… And by the end we were looking like the dude at the top of the article.
Our professor never told us anything; he made us think for ourselves.
At the bottom of everything is an ethical choice. Why do we choose what we choose? Why do we have the job we have? Sounds dismal I know. But up until now we’ve bee making ethical decisions without even thinking, why should it be any different right now? How many times do we drive by a homeless person on a interstate ramp with an “out of work” sign, and write them off as unfortunate only because of their own life choices?
What about using unwanted children for organs?
What about using undeveloped children for testing new drugs on humans?
Is government support of those unwilling to get jobs ethical?
Anyway, these are a few examples of ethical issues we are faced with this day in age…
One of the characteristics that distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our capacity to reason, and to decide between what we think is right and wrong, so let’s use it!
Okay, ethics really doesn’t make the world go round… but it’s still prsent in every part of the world that is turning round… whatever that means…