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My take on THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS - Part 1

the trolley problem

A few years back I had read somewhere that if we can use 100% of our brain's capacity, we could control the communication system of the entire planet. Though many Neuroscientist suggests that we already use all sections of our brain (i.e. 100%, they say) and that above statement is a myth. Now I am no Neuroscientist but I beg to differ with them. They are probably right when they say we do use all sections of our brain. But using all section of our brain is not using 100% of it. Using all section of our brain to its full capacity is using it 100%.

The human brain is the most beautiful thing in the known Universe. From Neanderthal's time to present age, we have shown what human brain is capable of. But the Human brain has limitations too. These limitations are clearly highlighted when a human brain tries to take on a thought experiment. Thought experiments usually are philosophical but they can also be related to physics, law, mathematics etc. Thought experiments questions science and even refutes the rules of nature at times. There is one thought experiment which refutes the second law of thermodynamics. There is another which shows there can be an object with infinite surface area but finite volume. I would post my views on these experiments in my future posts. For now, let's take a look at the infamous TROLLEY PROBLEM.

The Trolley Problem

There are various versions of this problem but I would stick to the most basic one. There is a trolley running down a track. Ahead on this track, five people are tied and would most certainly die when the trolley runs over them. There is a side track on which too, there is a man tied. You are standing few feet away from a lever that can switch the track of the trolley. What would you do? Would you switch the track of the trolley and save the five people and let one man die? 

General Idea - I

We should change the track of the trolley because five people's life is more important than the life of one man.
PROBLEM: If you had not changed the track, the death of five people would not be on you. Now that you have consciously changed the track, the man's death is on you.

General Idea - II

We should not change the track of the trolley otherwise the death of the man would be on us.
PROBLEM: You could have saved five people from dying but you decided not too. You could have but you did not save their life is as good as killing them.

My take on THE TROLLEY PROBLEM

After putting a lot of thought on this, I have come to a conclusion that there can be no single solution to the problem. No matter we act or not, their death would be partially on us. The general look at the problem is, therefore, Five life vs One life.

We have been taught that we should always go for the lesser of the two evils. In this case, let one man die looks like the lesser of two evil. But is it true? Is it not possible that that one man is responsible for ten kids. Without the man, those ten kids would not be able to survive and eventually die. So, it's not Five life vs One life after all. It's about whose life is more important. As I said earlier, there can be no single solution to this problem. If the lives of five people are more important, they must be saved and vice versa.

P.S. I did not really solve the problem, did I? Save the one whose life is most important, I said. Most important to them? Most Important to us? Most important to society? Argh! This though experiments are tough! Very tough indeed! What do you think?

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