What’s the right thing to do?

Whilst I was never smart enough to go to Harvard, I’m lucky enough to live in a time when Harvard can come to me thought the wonder that is the interwebular.

I originally picked up on these lectures from TED and thought they were great.  The idea isn’t to be right or wrong but to be able to think for yourself and argue your point of view – exactly what education should be.

The other thing I liked about it was that I found myself fleeting between choices depending on the scenarios because the ethics and morals are not always the same despite the outcome being consistent.

So here are my answers to the questions Michael poses:

  • Given the choice of crashing into one person vs five I would choose the one because I would be minimising loss of live.  But when you have the opportunity to save five by killing one innocent bystander to save five I wouldn’t because I’m not directly involved in the situation, merely observing it and therefore interfering by killing someone seems wrong.
  • If I was a doctor, I could not kill a healthy person for the sake of 5
  • I would be for the prosecution on the sailors’ dilemma on the basis that it was deceitful murder.  However, were consent obtained prior to the act (or a lottery) then I would’ve been for the defense. Again, the outcome hasn’t changed but the circumstances change my views on it.

Really interesting subject and I’ll post the rest of the lectures in weeks to come.


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