Daily Prompt: Morality Play
Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?
I always liked the example showing how we have certain basic morals in us already. I will show two situations and you can decide what is the right thing to do.
There is a train coming without its brakes and on the end of the rails is standing a group of 10 people who are going to get killed. You can derail the train, but when you do it will kill one passerby who just happens to be walking nearby. Would you still derail the train? Most people would say yes, because saving 10 lives is better than saving 1.
now the second situation…
Same unstoppable train, same 10 people about to get killed. But just before the end, the train will pass underneath a bridge. On the bridge is a fat man sitting on the edge looking down. Is it all right to push him down and derail the train this way? Most of us would feel that this is wrong, but why? it is also saving 10 and sacrificing one.
On a very basic level you know how to decide between right and wrong. Even animals have some basic morals. I especially liked the experiment with monkeys I have seen on Ted.com.