[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

lemmett at talk21.com lemmett at talk21.com
Thu Jun 10 10:04:19 MDT 2010

>Why is this situation different from the tracks? And it is.

Yes of course. Firstly you have to beg the question about which of the train alternatives is worse in order to say that not choosing could be equivalent in each experiment. So it's a different kind of question.
Also, as you pointed out, there is reason to believe that with the train crash neither alternative is more ethical, perhaps not acting is not the wrong choice at all, in which case acquiescence has a different value in both questions. 
The difference between the two is that in that drowning example there are three alternatives with one being inferior [if you assume that any human life has some value]. Is that all? Hopefully Dan's question was not a rhetorical one.
But that's not to say that in no such examples would it be ethical to act to save more people; if it was taking one life to save many many more lives. I think.


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