I get my morals from Tesco


In a hospital emergency room, five critically ill patients desperately need organ transplants. A healthy man walks in. Should the doctors remove his organs to save the sick five? Most people will respond in milliseconds with a resounding “No way”. Now imagine an out-of-control train about to run down five workers standing on the track. There’s a fork ahead, and throwing a switch could divert the train to another line on which there is only one worker. It’s the same question – should we sacrifice the one to spare the other five? – yet most of us would say “yes” just as quickly.


2 thoughts on “I get my morals from Tesco

  1. Ah, but the single worker’s wearing a blue hat.
    6x multiplier

    Also, one possible explanation for the moral difference between the two situations is that any of us could be the healthy chap in the hospital, but few of us choose to work on railway lines. One has the assumption of life-threatening peril, the other doesn’t. [Despite more people dying in hospitals than on train lines.]

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