Best Of The Web
“One of the more popular questions that professors of ethics like to pose to their students is “the trolley problem.” The basic question goes like this:
There is a runaway trolley moving toward five people lying tied-up on the tracks. You are standing next to the switch that controls the trolley. If you flip the switch, the trolley will be redirected onto a side track, and the five people on the main track will be saved. There is, however, a single person lying on the side track, and if the trolley is diverted to there, that single person will be killed. You have two options:
1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track.
2. Flip the switch, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which do you choose?
Ethics professors often frame this conundrum as a battle between “utilitarianism” (which would dictate that the most appropriate action is the one that achieves the greatest good for the greatest number, e.g., kill one to save the many) and “deontology” (according to the rules, the action is wrong, regardless of the consequences).”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."