What would you do in the face of the unwinable?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, Mar 13, 2016.


Train Tracks scenario.

  1. Left track: Save my friend, at the cost of ten strangers.

  2. Right track: Save ten strangers, at the cost of my friend.

  3. No choice: I couldn't choose, or I wouldn't choose.

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  1. Where there is no truly right answer: Just different, painful consequences. Take for example, this classic scenario.

    A train is hurdling down the tracks. Your friend is tied down on the right track, and ten strangers are tied down on the left track. You can only change which track the train is going down: What do you choose to do, and why?

    Note: Choosing not to choose still results in someone dying. You just chose to abdicate the responsibility. Just to clarify that.
    #1 Brovo, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  2. I would choose to save my friend because I have very few of them. There's tons of strangers in the world but I only have a handful of friends. I know it may sound awful but that's what is probably choose. But who knows? If it was the heat of the moment, I might choose the people. But I doubt it.
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  3. Here guys, a 'representative' image for this question:
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  4. Hm. Normally the trolley problem is posed with a bit more information, namely which track the train is currently headed toward (usually the one with more people), so this formulation avoids the fun bit where not choosing is an implicit choice for the default track. Starting off with strangers vs friend is also odd.

    Anyway, as in most scenarios posed in various versions of the trolley problem, I choose the utilitarian option of switching the track to kill the sole person. There are some people in my life that I would weigh as more important than 10 random strangers, but those are all family members. Random friends are, being bluntly honest, not special, not very hard to replace, and almost certainly not worth as much as 10 other people.

    EDIT: Oh, and to be even more heartless about it, I'm sure I could replace that friend from among the 10 people I saved. We'd have something to bond over and a good reason to go out for drinks at least once. 8D
  5. Using my sick powers and skills I'd throw the cart off the rails before even meeting the crossroad.

    Just kidding, I'm assuming I'd go for the strangers. Whether I know them or not, humans have an inmeasurable, general value, and having ten survivors is preferred to one.

    But, if I don't choose, who dies? Me, from guilt, probably, but who else?

    Edit: A plant would have issues turning that lever in time. Stop patronizing us.
    #5 IntrusivePenDesperateSword, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  6. Trains are close enough to cars... It stands no chance against me and thus, will be violated and taught a valuable lesson about not running people over.

    I saved everyone. Happy endings for everyone (but the train), YAY! ^^

    In all seriousness though, how important is this friend to me? I do have some of high value that I'd save, though I also have some of very low value that I'm willing to sacrifice.
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  7. I am pretty sure in the face of such a huge moment I would cave under the stress and be unable to act. D:
  8. Sit and enjoy the show.
  9. You save your friend, it's revealed he fucked your girlfriend. Save the strangers, they're all child molesters. Trust no one. Kill all.
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  10. Stand in front of the train at a distance the driver can see and still have time to stop, forcing them to stop, but putting my own life at risk. Maybe shout towards the sidelines for some assistance. If I had a knife capable of cutting through ropes, get one person, and then get as many as I could before I flagged down the train.

    If it hit me, I probably wouldn't even feel it, and it might stop in time to save everybody.

    Risk of self sacrifice is best course of action. And everyone might live!
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  11. Nu uh. I'm not choosing. At least that way it was somebody else's shitty call who gets murdered via comical gag.
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  12. There is no driver. The train hits you, but doesn't kill you, simply maims you and leaves you strewn across the tracks. Aren't those your pants ten feet away? It continues barreling along and kills the strangers while your friend lays there watching you die.

    Soon as you start throwing in 'if i had' or 'if X then Y' it completely negates the question.

    Also save the friend. Always.

    Unless they pull some Until Dawn shit and the trolley/train kills your friend anyway no matter what you choose. But it turns out he's the one who set up the train and kidnapped those people..
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  13. If possible, I would try to adjust the track in such a way that the train heads directly into the fork and crashes. Maybe half pulling the lever or something. If it's a button I might be fucked.

    Barring that, I would say the ten strangers, I suppose.
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  14. Just throw a Nokia W3310 on the tracks, the train trails straight off.
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  15. Whew this one is a doozey.

    If I save the ten people I lose my friend. The ten people can return home to their families and their friends, and the lives of many others are spared the pain of their loss. But I have lost my friend, and the pain of my friend's death haunts me to the day I die. I am hated for my decision, both by others and myself. My friend's family and other friends would probably refuse to talk to me ever again, and chances of me being able to cope with such a loss is unlikely. But the many have been saved rather than the few.

    However, if I choose to save my friend I have held onto my loyalty and love for them. Ten people have died to save one, countless people now feel the sting of their losses and the burning hatred for the person responsible. I chose one life over ten, and my friends and family might not see me in the same light. My self respect and my morals are broken. But my friend is alive.

    *sigh* As much of a dick as this makes me, I'd save the friend. I don't think I'd be strong enough to save the ten and leave my friend to die.
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  16. Well, I'm on the bandwagon.

    My human nature compels me to discriminate based on groups which is why my friend gets preferential treatment.
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  17. I'd save the strangers. Because I would imagine at least one of them has a kid who's counting on them to come home. I have very few close friends, and none of them are parents. (Unless my husband counts, in which case he gets saved. Fuck everyone else.) That's just how I am, I guess. I base a lot of my decisions on whether or not children are involved.
  18. Welcome to the friend killer club. It's pretty exclusive so far.
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  19. I love this scenario!!

    Also, I'm woefully saddened no one has cited this yet. Tsk tsk.

  20. If I was forced to choose instead of being presented with the option of telling Jigsaw to go fuck himself, I'd probably have to merc my friend, as well.

    Sadly, one life, no matter how much I love them, is the same as ten. That's a lot of destroyed families.
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