A trolley is running out of control down a track, Ethics Question help

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(1) A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are 5 people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you can flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track. Unfortunately, there is 1 person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch?

(2) As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards 5 people. This time you are on a bridge under which it will pass, and the only way to stop it would be if there was a heavy weight you could somehow drop in front of it. As it happens, there is an offensive lineman for the Ohio State Buckeyes standing next to you, so you can stop the trolley by knocking him off the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save the passengers. Assuming you have an adrenaline rush which gives you enough strength, should you do it?

(3) Now you find out that the OSU lineman (a philosophy major) is the one who tied the people to the track. Does this change your answer? Note that going by utilitarianism, all three answers would be the same, since the result is always 1 dead and 5 saved. What does this say about utilitarianism in your view- do you agree with it?


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