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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

What would you do in these moral dilemmas?

With the unpredictability of life, you never know when you would find yourself in a moral dilemma. Would you know what to do? Would you understand yourself enough to make a choice that you wouldn't regret? In episode 4 of the young and foolish podcast, the guys discuss what they would do in various moral dilemmas and what they think are morally permissible in each scenario. They go over the classic trolley problem and variations of it, several other difficult scenarios from 28 Top Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios & Examples] (, as well as the cloning for organ transplant situation from the film, The Island. Check out the full episode 4 on YouTube or on your favourite podcast platforms.

To highlight, the young and foolish guys talked about what they would do the famous trolley problem scenario:

A trolley is travelling straight where five people are trapped. You witness this and could pull a lever to change the course of the trolley; however, on this alternate route, there is one person trapped. Do you pull the lever or not?

With moral dilemmas and morality as a whole, one's actions and beliefs are very subjective. Many arguments could be made for either choice. In Lorenzo's case, he understands this and believes that it is morally permissible to take either action. He would like to pull the lever, ideally; however, he doesn't know if he would have the guts to do it if he was actually put in this situation. Similarly, Raymond agrees with Lorenzo's choice and would do the same. He admits that he is aware of that it is not really justifiable to sacrifice the life of that one person to save the other five and that both decisions have the potential to haunt you for years to come. Nevertheless, he would still choose to pull the lever and switch the course. Perhaps to many, this is the obvious choice, or even considered to be the right choice. Understanding arguments for this decision, George proposes his own reasoning on why he would not pull the lever. He explains that he wouldn't make decisions that he would hate himself for nor those that he would regret. Putting himself in the position of those trapped in front of the trolley, he would accept the situation and not expect anyone to save him; he would be ready to die. When he thinks about being that one person trapped on the other track, he knows that he would be quite upset if someone decided to interfere and to purposely change the course of the train; he would not be ready to die. George doesn't believe that his reasoning justifies his choice but he also understands that it is based on who he is and how he thinks. He does also mention that he agrees with Raymond on that it would not be justifiable to sacrifice that one person's life. When Lorenzo introduces a variation of the situation, George's answer changes. If he were responsible as the trolley's conductor, as opposed to a bystander, he would decide to change the course and sacrifice the single person, showing the importance of one's role in the scenario.

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