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The Trolley Problem is a hypothetical situation that is used to test the strength of moral philosophies. But make no mistake, you can find yourself in this moral-mind fuck in real life. To prepare yourself, you can either read dense philosophical arguments by elitist intellectuals, or you can read an uncyclopedia article. I think you know what to do..
edit The Situation
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and because your city government is unable to afford modern transportation, trolleys populate the streets as you walk to work. Your oscillating thoughts between the hot new intern and the lunchtime presentation come to a sudden halt, when you see five people tied down to a track and a trolley is about to hit them. You realize that can you save the five people by flipping a switch, sending the train on to another track, but Alas! On the other track, there is a single man tied on it.
You have a moral mind-fuck on your hands. On one hand, you can do nothing and let the trolley kill five people. On the other hand, you can switch and be directly responsible for killing one person. On the other, other hand, you can throw dynamite onto both tracks, killing everybody. We can waste our time debating which one’s the right thing to do, but you don’t come out lookin like a good guy in any outcome. So let’s focus on something more productive: coming up with lies that justify your decision.
edit For The Lazy
If you decide not to do anything,an acceptable excuse is you were busy answering a very important phone call from the President of Ubeki Beki Beki Beki Stan Stan. If people start pressing you, say that you're not gonna answer "gotcha questions" and that we should focus instead on creating jobs.
edit For Those Who Think They’re God
But what if you decide to switch? The best option is to say that you are a homosexual and you were using the switch to arouse yourself by inserting it into your bum, incidentally switching the direction of the trolley. What? You have a problem with that? Are you a bigot? I was born that way, you homophobic prick!!
You should quickly become exempt from all moral criticism. Of course, most gays aren’t constantly horny and needy of stimulation, but unless you have the mental capacity of Terry Schiavo, you should know that it’s not the truth that matters; it’s what SEEMS to be the truth. And right now, it seems your detractors are intolerant douche bags. You’re Welcome.
Note: You may be picketed by Westborough Baptist Church.
edit Enter Fat Man
But what if you've been suddenly transported to an alternate universe where everything is exactly the same, except now the only way to save the five innocent folks is to push an obese man in front of the trolley, killing him? In this case, it is easy to get away with a lie since no really cares about fat people. Not even Karl Marx, as evident by his political system in which no one could become fat. (Everyone starved). Therefore, all you have to say is that you were having a tug of war with the fat dude over an Eggo waffle. He pulled too hard, ripping the waffle in half and causing him to fall in front of the trolley. Upon hearing this, people would become so despondent over the loss of the waffle, people would forget about the fat dude.
Note: You will be officially banned from the Fat Admirer Society. You will be a better man for it.
If you are a dumbass and think that being moral means more than just covering your ass, then why don't you wade in the puddles of crap that are the solutions from alternatives of moral philosophy.
Divine Command: Once religious folks realize the moral mind-fuckiocity of the trolley problem, they will go to Plan A, which also happens to be Plan B, Plan C and…well it’s pretty much their only plan: pray. That’s right. Pray. The same God who went M.I.A. during the Holocaust will miraculously make his will known so that some dumbass will be saved by a trolley. Seriously dude, if you go with this crowd, you are no better than the guy who phones a friend for the first question of “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. Grow a pair of balls.
Kantianism: Kantians worship a guy named Immanuel Kant. He claimed and therefore Kantians will believe, you can’t switch the trolley’s direction because that would entail that you use the one man merely as a mean to save the five people, rather than also as end in and of himself. The problem with this aspect of the Kantian Categorical Imperative is that if you take its logical implications to the fullest extent, then it would be wrong to treat women merely as sexualized objects. This conclusion is viewed by many british philosophers as a decisive reductio ad absurdum of the Categorical Imperative.
Utilitarianism: Utilitarians gain their happiness from telling everybody, that they will all be getting more, but that you have to settle for less, so if you asked a utilitarian to explain the dilemma, he would actually be happy to tell you, but it will have to be the short version. He would tell you to switch because it would promote a greater amount of happiness, except if that one fat guy is also a utility monster. The grander problem with utilitarianism, however, is that some people don't deserve happiness. As John Stuart Mill admitted, "It is better to have an unsatisfied Socrates than a satisfied pig". "Better", because nobody liked that guy. And most people are pigs anyway. Especially people who watch divorce court. Although admittedly, there is some dialectical progress to the evolution of these ideas, it is best to abandon this and all the other aforementioned, broken moral ontologies: Sure, plank by plank, moral philosophy is rebuilding itself while at sea, but the damn boat is on fire. Please enter, but know this: You are that fat man.