I love these sorts of thought experiments! They are the best. And putting them in comic form makes them even better!
The onlooker shouldn’t interfere with the actions on-course. Who knows what future events he may have triggered by pushing that switch.
Also, it is not necesarily true that one death is better than several. To put an example, in a war, losing a high rank officer is worst than several privates dead, since presumibly they do not have the same strategic mind that could lead whatever army to victory. It all depends (a lot) on every situation given.
I’d like to give another case: your mother’s gonna be killed, but you can save her if you cut every tree in Brasil. What’s your choice?
I don’t know, I kinda of think that he did the right thing. But on the other hand… Darwin might be pissed.
Of course though, that guy did get mysteriousluy glued there where as the others were tied up. MAYBE the guy that got ran over tied them up! Yup, glad he died.
I like this comic (the whole comic, not just this one in particular), though the art isn’t very good (though I’m sure that you’re under no delusions in that regard.) I’ve been wanting to create a web comic, either by myself or with a few friends. How did you get started? Also, you/everyone should visit my blog.
Some entries aren’t my best, but I think some of them are pretty good.
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy the comic! It’s definitely not about the art, unfortunately, but hopefully it’s entertaining anyhow.
Luis – consequentialism is very tricky, if you take it seriously, because of the whole butterfly effect thing you allude to. The best a consequentialist can say is something like – we have to do those actions that we have GOOD REASON to believe will have better overall consequences. And of course, we do that with just about ever decision we ever make, it’s just problematic (at least intuitively) to rely on that kind of reasoning in these sorts of moral cases.
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