Trolley Problem Versions & Use of Free Market in Coronavirus Vaccines Essay

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1.Explain the “switch” and “bridge” versions of the Trolley Problem as Thompson explains them. Explain and evaluate Thompson’s position and present your own argument for or against utilitarianism. Consider possible objections and respond to them.

2.Should there be a free market in coronavirus vaccines atop the current priority system? Present a utilitarian argument in favor it and a non-utilitarian argument against. Is there a non-utilitarian argument in favor of it? Defend your own position. Make your principled basis explicit. Be sure to consider and answer possible objections.

3. How can a government give its money currency in a population? Why from a moral point of view must a government accept its own money when it is presented in payment of fees, fines, or taxes legally owed to it? How might a utilitarian answer this question? How might a non-utilitarian answer it? Give reasons why you think one answer is better than the others.

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Explanation & Answer

View attached explanation and answer. Let me know if you have any questions.Paper 1

Topic: switch and bridge version of the trolley problem
Thesis statement: to demonstrate an understanding of the trolley problem and how it relates to
critical decision-making processes
1. Switch version
2. Bridge version
3. Evaluation of both versions
4. Reflection
5. Objections
6. References


Trolley Problem Versions
Student’s Name
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Trolley Problem Versions
The switch version of the trolley problem
The original version of the trolley problem was developed by Philippa Foot in the 19th
century. Later, Judith Jarvis Thompson developed it to the latest version of the switch and bridge
version. The switch version of the trolley problem calls us to think of the best possible action to
do when a hurtling trolley is about to kill five people who are on its straight track that it is
moving along (Thompson, 1985). A bystander at the switch is watching this danger about to
unfold but quickly notices that there is a single worker working on the side track and he has to
think real quick.
The dilemma that the bystander at the switch experience in this scenario is whether he
should switch the trolley to divert the trolley into the direction of the one workman or to let the
trolley kill the five workmen. The problem is that the five workmen do not anticipate this event
and they are helpless if no one notices this event (Thompson, 1985). Ideally, this is the climax of
the switch version of the trolley problem because the bystander at the switch will either choose to
divert the threat of death of five workmen to one workman at the side-track or decide to let the
event takes its course and watch all the five workmen die (Thompson, 1985). Remarkably,
Thompson intends the bystander to make the best rational and morally permissible action in this
dilemmatic situation.
The bridge version of the trolley problem
The bridge version of the trolley problem is similar to the switch version in narration. The
difference is that the bridge version takes the bystander as watching the hurtling trolley while he
is on the footbridge. Case in point, the hurtling trolley is approaching five workmen who cannot
make it to avoid being run off because they can neither see it nor hear it coming (Thompson,



1985). The bystander at the footbridge notices that the only way to stop the trolley from killing
the five workmen is by throwing something heavier to stop the speedy trolley. Unfortunately,
there is nothing like that on the footbridge. However, a huge fat man is standing nearby and by
estimation, the bystander realizes that if he throws this gigantic man, the trolley can stop, thereby
not killing or saving the five workmen.
Ideally, this presents the bystander at the footbridge with a moral and ethical dilemma as
to which action is morally permissible. In this case scenario, the bystander at the footbridge has
two options including throwing off the fat man over the footbridge towards the track where the
trolley is moving along or letting the trolley run off the five workmen and kill them (Thompson,
1985). The dilemma is that by throwing the fat man down the footbridge, he will definitely die.
However, this will save the five workmen working on the track. According to Thompson, the
footbridge scenario is more emotional since throwing the fat man is equivalent to the act of
directing killing.
Evaluation of both scenarios
Given the two scenarios, Thompson observes that the majority of people will choose the
switch scenario over the footbridge incident. However, in both situations, one person will
ultimately die while trying to save five workmen. In the first instance of the switch version,
diverting the direction of the trolley towards the workman diverts the threat from five people to
one person (Thompson, 1985). In the second scenario of the footbridge version, throwing the fat
man reduces the threat of five to one person. However, Thompson calls to the attention the action
that is morally permissible in these situations. The findings that Thompson collected during these
philosophical experiments, there appears to a significant difference between the switch and
bridge versions of the trolley problem (Thompson, 1985). Ideally, this is because the footbridge



scenario is likened to the act of direct killing while the switch scenario is equivalent to the
letting-die case. Apparently, letting die and killing are perceived differently in the views of
Thompson. Notably, the switch version does not involve a direct threat to the workman on the
side track and therefore not an intentional form of killing (Thompson, 1985). In the bridge
scenario, throwing the huge fat man off the bridge to the track’s direction is interpreted as direct
killing because although death looms in being run off by the trolley, landing down from the
bridge can result in the death of the man.
The concept of the double effect principle emerges in Thompson’s work, which argues
that an action is morally right when the intended harm brings out the best possible outcome. In
light of the theory of utilitarianism, an action is morally permissible if it produces the greatest
outcome regardless of the consequences (Thompson, 1985). According to utilitarianism theory, a
rational utilitarian would not care about the consequences of his or her action as long as it
produces the greatest good to the majority. In the case of the switch version, the bystander at the
switch should mind or care whether diverting threat to one workman will cause his death so long
as he is protecting the lives of the five workmen (Thompson, 1985). According to this reasoning,
it appears that killing one to save five people is the best action to take for a rational utilitarian
because it produces the greatest good. The double effect principle also postulates that an action is
morally impermissible when it directly intends to inflict harm directly to the victim (Thompson,
1985). In this case, the action of throwing the fat man off the bridge would seem to be
inappropriate or morally impermissible even when it will serve as the greatest good by saving the
lives of five people.
On the contrary, Thompson refutes this principle and uses utilitarianism as the basis for
her argument in the sense that sacrificing one person consciously knowing that the person will



die is morally permissible when a greater outcome is achieved by saving the lives of five
workmen. Besides, the principle of double effect is deficient in explaining why actions leading to
death are partly permissible and partly impermissible (Thompson, 1985). Thompson’s viewpoint
claims that any action producing the greatest good is morally permissible regardless of the
consequences. Ideally, Thompson finds that it would be morally wrong to sacrifice one person
who is attempting to save five.
Thompson reflects on the rights theory to prove this point arguing that switching the
trolley from the track with five men to the track with one man is an infringement of the one
man’s right. Similarly, it is morally wrong to throw the fat man off the bridge to save the lives of
five workmen because in doing so, it will infringe on his rights (Thompson, 1985). Remarkably,
the rights Thompson talks about in this scenario is the right to life. According to the rights
theory, every person has equal rights to life to each other and no one should interfere with that...

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