Jump to content

Massive psychological experiment in the KSP forums.


gmpd2000
 Share

Would you rather:  

97 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you rather:

    • Pull the lever and kill 1 person.
      78
    • Do nothing and watch how 4 persons are killed.
      18


Recommended Posts

How people decide shows if they are fit to command, have authority or not.

People who pull the lever do a right thing. And it isn't even a thought experiment. Anyone with military background would agree. If you don't pull the lever you are unfit to any commanding position. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But personally, I consider the ability to take responsibility is a worthy trait.

You have to pull the lever and then live with it.

P.S. I would change the rules a bit. Imagine you are killing a person who is close to you or whom you are very fond of as compared to 4 people in the car, 2 of whom are your mortal enemies and another 2 are just ordinary people you do not know.

Edited by cicatrix
Link to comment
Share on other sites

so

1 for 4 workers

or 4 for 1 worker

I think something is kinda obv

edit:I think if you change the pull the lever to kick the guy, it would make a little diference

like this

There are 4 workers but a train is coming towards them, there is a person big enougth to stop the train

would you kick the person and let 1 die

or do nothing and let 4 persons die

Edited by elenir1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's nothing heroic about that act.

Heroism is sacrificing (with full consent and fearful emotions that come with it) yourself for the benefit of others despite having odds against you. For example firefighter rushing into a burning house to save a person collapsed on the floor even though chances are they'll get killed.

Whoever stands before the lever does what you describe, for he will be decades imprisoned whatever he does next. If he pulls the lever, then he will be charged with second-degree murder and plead guilty to third degree for a lesser sentence; whereas if he pulls it not, then he will be charged with three counts of negligent manslaughter, wherefore no plea bargain can be struck. And should he successfully plead his innocence, the victims' families would sue for wrongful death and make him settle for nearly his whole fortune. And whatever the plea or verdict, his wife would hastily divorce him and take the children, protecting them and her savings from the court and limelight.

Likely in prison for homicide reckless or negligent, he would in twenty-three-hour-a-day solitary confinement suffer the ravages of inmate violence and be wracked by nightmares and second guesses. His family would abandon and publicly denounce him to save face, and, upon his release, no-one savory would hire him. His body and mind would be devastated, fortune and family gone, and future hopeless. Thus the lever-man gives everything but his life--is that not sacrifice enough to be called heroic?

-Duxwing

Edited by Duxwing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whoever stands before the lever does what you describe, for he will be decades imprisoned whatever he does next. If he pulls the lever, then he will be charged with second-degree murder and plead guilty to third degree for a lesser sentence; whereas if he pulls it not, then he will be charged with three counts of negligent manslaughter, wherefore no plea bargain can be struck. And should he successfully plead his innocence, the victims' families would sue for wrongful death and make him settle for nearly his whole fortune. And whatever the plea or verdict, his wife would hastily divorce him and take the children, protecting them and her savings from the court and limelight.

Likely in prison for homicide reckless or negligent, he would in twenty-three-hour-a-day solitary confinement suffer the ravages of inmate violence and be wracked by nightmares and second guesses. His family would abandon and publicly denounce him to save face, and, upon his release, no-one savory would hire him. His body and mind would be devastated, fortune and family gone, and future hopeless. He would have given everything but his life--is that not sacrifice enough?

-Duxwing

Or it could be a work incident

well you live in military police state of MURICA so i know nothing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or it could be a work incident

well you live in military police state of MURICA so i know nothing

Almost any court in almost any country would rule likewise: reckless and negligent homicide are well-known felonies worldwide and carry fierce sentences, and guilty pleas are very common. The lever-man's family would see the obvious futility and danger of associating with what would soon become a convicted and potentially-famous felon, and denouncing him would help the divorcing spouse win custody of the children and the family avoid harassment. In fact, the spouse might even testify against the lever-man, gaining even further advantage in the divorce proceedings by claiming he confessed criminal intent to her. Should she cleverly testify before divorcing him, the court would certainly believe her because of her nearly-overwhelming interest in protecting him. Only the civil suit and its implications might be limited to the U.S.

-Duxwing

PS Or I may be blowing this way out of proportion. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

Edited by Duxwing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost any court in almost any country would rule likewise: reckless and negligent homicide are well-known felonies worldwide and carry fierce sentences, and guilty pleas are very common. The lever-man's family would see the obvious futility and danger of associating with what would soon become a convicted and potentially-famous felon, and denouncing him would help the divorcing spouse win custody of the children and the family avoid harassment. Only the civil suit and its implications might be limited to the U.S.

-Duxwing

PS Or I may be blowing this way out of proportion. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

or

jury nullification

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whoever stands before the lever does what you describe, for he will be decades imprisoned whatever he does next. If he pulls the lever, then he will be charged with second-degree murder and plead guilty to third degree for a lesser sentence; whereas if he pulls it not, then he will be charged with three counts of negligent manslaughter, wherefore no plea bargain can be struck. And should he successfully plead his innocence, the victims' families would sue for wrongful death and make him settle for nearly his whole fortune. And whatever the plea or verdict, his wife would hastily divorce him and take the children, protecting them and her savings from the court and limelight.

Likely in prison for homicide reckless or negligent, he would in twenty-three-hour-a-day solitary confinement suffer the ravages of inmate violence and be wracked by nightmares and second guesses. His family would abandon and publicly denounce him to save face, and, upon his release, no-one savory would hire him. His body and mind would be devastated, fortune and family gone, and future hopeless. Thus the lever-man gives everything but his life--is that not sacrifice enough to be called heroic?

You are contaminating the experiment by introducing the subsequent charges. This experiment is about ethics and adding legal consequences do not help. To stay strictly ethical we must assume that no decision would lead to legal responsibility (say, nobody would know about your role in this).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

or

jury nullification

Worried that I might be going crazy, I read the relevant Wikipedia article and found that jury nullification is rare and heavily frowned-upon if not effectively banned.

@Cicatrix. Without the legal consequences, the lever-man remains heroic because he overcomes his fear of the situation in order to do a moral duty thrust upon him. His sacrifice is his risking debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder.

-Duxwing

Edited by Duxwing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Cicatrix. Without the legal consequences, the lever-man remains heroic because he overcomes his fear of the situation in order to do a moral duty thrust upon him. His sacrifice is his risking debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder.

-Duxwing

I disagree, I understand this experiment as an attempt to determine the motivation behind either choice, not about willingness to sacrifice anything. There are other experiments for that, like would you offer your kidney for transplantation if the situation is such that only you can be in time to save someone's life (by someone, the experimenter could mean a stranger or a member of a family or whatever). Different goals, different conditions. As a general rule, I assume that everything that has not been specifically and explicitly mentioned in the experiment conditions description is irrelevant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree, I understand this experiment as an attempt to determine the motivation behind either choice, not about willingness to sacrifice anything. There are other experiments for that, like would you offer your kidney for transplantation if the situation is such that only you can be in time to save someone's life (by someone, the experimenter could mean a stranger or a member of a family or whatever). Different goals, different conditions. As a general rule, I assume that everything that has not been specifically and explicitly mentioned in the experiment conditions description is irrelevant.

I was replying to a previous comment that whoever is not debilitated by fear is a psychopath.

-Duxwing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case where there was no other option, it's the one who created this situation (sent the train without checking if the line is clear or nitifying the workers) to blame for the damage of any outcome. Pulling the lever seems the right choice, saving 3 more lives

But if I got in this situation, whatewer the outcome, my brain would probably not record 99% of it in the long-term memory. I'd only remember that something terrible happened, but not the details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question is... act and cause 1 death or not act and cause 4?

Yes, but that's boring. There's no ethical dilemma when there's a clear right answer. "Uh, yeah. One death is better than four." Or, as Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.â€Â

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if you can be sued for not doing anything?

It wouldn't stop a lawyer from trying in civil court, but would it get thrown out.

It is possible to be sued for doing nothing in some cases. For example if you see someone with serious, life threatening injuries and you don't call the emergency. The person bleeds to death and you're like "not my problem".

Or if there was someone in imminent danger and, despite not being in any danger yourself, you don't warn them, but walk away, or worse, stay and watch. For example if you knew someone was about to walk across a minefield and you just watch to see what happens next. That will most certainly be a crime.

However, as it was said before, this is a contamination of the previous question which deals with pure ethics.

I was replying to a previous comment that whoever is not debilitated by fear is a psychopath.

Healthy people would feel fear. Some would freeze, some would panic, some would run away in fear. Some would pull the lever despite being scared for life.

Psychopaths would not feel fear at all. That's the difference. To them, this is a pure pragmatic issue. That's why they're so dangerous when they're put in charge of serious jobs. Although they can act humanely (because they've learned it just like they learned to say thank you, you're welcome, etc.), they do not feel anxiety over such actions and as such behave like basic AI. That is one of the seeds of disruptive phenomena on this planet, and the fact that they aren't screened allows them to slip through society's cracks and accumulate in certain professions where they become destructive.

The question is not if you would freeze up or act. It was what would you rather do, act and cause 1 death or not act and cause 4?

If I was in this situation and froze up and 4 people died, it would not be my fault but I would blame myself for life.

Exactly. We don't know what would we do. We can only speculate, but we can say what do we think would be the ethical thing. There is no winning in this scenario and people think there is. You lose every time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but that's boring. There's no ethical dilemma when there's a clear right answer. "Uh, yeah. One death is better than four." Or, as Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.â€Â

Well I'm not the one who asked the question... :D

I personally would rip my shirt off and run across the room, leaping into the car and using my burly man-muscles (of which I have few if not several) wrench the whosamawhatsit from the thingamajig, stopping the train mere moments from where it would hit the 4 people. Of course, one of those is a very fair maiden who will no doubt be quite appreciative.

And I don't even need to "what if" that. It happened last Thursday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends who is standing on the track. I mean, what if all the people standing on the track are serial murderers what have no chance of being rehabilitated, and if you save the one, he goes on to murder 15 other people? Now, rather than being responsible for saving one person, you are actually responsible for the death of 15 others.

Anyone standing on a train track with no awareness of their surroundings has made their bed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Psychopaths would not feel fear at all. That's the difference. To them, this is a pure pragmatic issue. That's why they're so dangerous when they're put in charge of serious jobs. Although they can act humanely (because they've learned it just like they learned to say thank you, you're welcome, etc.), they do not feel anxiety over such actions and as such behave like basic AI. That is one of the seeds of disruptive phenomena on this planet, and the fact that they aren't screened allows them to slip through society's cracks and accumulate in certain professions where they become destructive.

It's not the pragmatism when it comes to hard choices that is destructive, it's when they don't try to avoid such situations at all. Because the first question any normal man would ask in that situation is if there really is no other options to stop that from happening, while a psycho would be fully satisfied with these options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not the pragmatism when it comes to hard choices that is destructive, it's when they don't try to avoid such situations at all. Because the first question any normal man would ask in that situation is if there really is no other options to stop that from happening, while a psycho would be fully satisfied with these options.

Or they would scream a lot

i mean a lot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd probably walk away. Lessening the damage also lessens (with a good lawyer lol) the punishment on whoever is the real culprit. Same goes for that terrorist stuff. If I help them, I killed someone, If I don't, terrorist killed 4 people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd rather play the game of what did OP watch or read before coming to this experiment.

More seriously, there are many unknowns in the dilemma here: who are the 5 persons? What happens next? Can the subject get away juridically by being manipulated? How will the 4 others die if the subject doesn't do anything? True, the last one can be left unknown, but still, it is unknown to the subject, and us here too.

I'd suggest to answer to this instead: Pull the lever and one of your relatives dies. Do nothing and 4 strangers dies. It will be later recognized that you were manipulated and thus not the one responsible for your actions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another version of that dilema that is also quite intriguing.

As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by putting something very heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

What would you do in this one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another version of that dilema that is also quite intriguing.

What would you do in this one?

Does nothing.

Logically, there are too many unknown variables here: I might not be able to push the man and he might just throw me down instead when I attempt to, killing me and not stopping the trolley at the same time. I might miss my aim and he might not land on the track. I might time it wrong and the trolley already passed. The man may not be fat enough - I can't accurately judge the mass of the man from a glance. There are too many variables that may make the situation worse than it is currently from my action.

Ethically, if the trolley roll down the track on its own, it is an "act of God" and responsibility does not fall on anyone, if it kills people, that is just an accident. If I push the man, the responsibility falls on me, both for attacking the man and for saving those people. It doesn't ends well either way. So better do nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...