n 1967, British philosopher Philippa Foot posed what has become known as 'The Trolley problem.'This ethical brainteaser asks us to considerwhat we...
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n 1967, British philosopher Philippa Foot posed what has become known

as "The Trolley problem." This ethical brainteaser asks us to consider what we would do in the following scenario: A conductor has lost control of a trolley, which is speeding down the track. Up ahead the conductor sees five people who are on the track and for reasons unknown they cannot escape the trolleys path. The five people are poor, uneducated, homeless LBGTQ immigrants of various ages and health who have entered the country illegally. The conductor has an ethical decision to make: she can either stay on the main track, and thereby kill the five people in front of him or he can switch to a nearby sidetrack, where only one person is on the track instead of five. The one person is a well respected highly educated medical doctor who is doing cutting edge research in treating women with breast cancer and a national advocate for social justice. Should the conductor steer the trolley onto the sidetrack killing one person rather than five or should she stay the course and thus kill the five rather than the one?  
In another scenario, a magistrate is faced with a very real threat from a large and uncontrollable mob of rioters demanding a culprit for a crime. Unless the criminal is produced, promptly tried, and executed, they will take their own bloody revenge on a much smaller and quite vulnerable section of the community. The judge knows that the real culprit is unknown and that the authorities do not even have a good clue as to who he might be. But he also knows that there is within easy reach a disreputable, thoroughly disliked, and useless man, who, though innocent, could easily be framed so that the mob would be quite convinced that he was guilty and would be pacified if he were promptly executed. Recognizing that he can prevent the occurrence of extensive carnage only by framing some innocent person, the magistrate has him framed, goes through the mockery of a trial, and has him executed.

-What is the difference between an act utilitarian and a rule utilitarian? 
-When making moral decisions, should behave more like an act utilitarian or a rule utilitarian? Explain
-As a utilitarian, how should respond to "the Trolley Problem" and why should respond this way?
-As a utilitarian, do you agree with the Magistrate's decision? Why/why not?
-If you were the Magistrate, how would you handle the situation?     

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