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27.1.10

Cheesecake Truck Version of the Trolley Problem

In my Environmental Justice class today, I used the standard "Trolley Problem" to illustrate the fact that utilitarianism would require you to sacrifice one life to save five. The students then asked what utilitarianism had to say about the distribution of benefits. So I asked them to imagine that the runaway trolley was a cheesecake truck, and instead of killing people, it was dropping cheesecakes everywhere. In this case, a utilitarian would have an obligation to make sure the switch stays switched to the track with the five people, because it's better for five people to get cheesecakes than only one person.

2 Comments:

Blogger Scott Wells said...

What if the cheesecake trolley runs through a vegan neighborhood?

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Travelingthesilkroad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:27 PM  

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