Moral Philosophy Questions - Take the Test!

Do you divert the trolley?
Most people interested in ethics philosophy are aware of the Trolley Problem that is pretty much the go-to question and analogy for thinking about morality in terms of objectivism and relativism - or more precisely, utilitarianism.

If you haven't heard of the trolley case before, you can click here to check it out. (Yes, yes, it's a Wikipedia article but it's just as good for a brief overview of the case than any other article!)

Or if you'd like a quick, simple summary of the trolley problem, here it is:

Basically, there is a runaway trolley heading towards 5 people on the railway who have no way of escaping. You are standing in front of a switch that, if pressed, will divert the train onto another track where 1 person is unable to escape. The trolley will either kill 5 people or 1 person depending on which direction it goes. Is diverting the trolley the more ethical thing to do?

If you say yes, you've likely answered from a utilitarian perspective in that the act of diverting the trolley in order to minimise negative consequences is the moral thing to do.

A few years ago, I asked the question in a poll and as expected, most people answered that they would divert the trolley to kill 1 person and save 5 people. Unfortunately, the polls have been closed (and the live results wiped) for a few years now, but you can check out the results by clicking here.
Now, there are many variants to this trolley problem including the fat man and the fat villain. I use these cases as get-to-know-you-more-in-depth questions when I make new friends and become more interested in the way they perceive the world and the many situations that arise in life. While I might seem like the most boring person ever, the trolley problem really is a great way to find out more about a person.

So, what do you think you'll do?

You can explore this case a little deeper by answering a series of questions here: Should You Kill the Fat Man?.

I'd love to know your results and opinions so please share in the comments below!