Social Responsibility

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Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility

Most significant perspective change I had so far during the course

The most significant perspective changes that I had so far during the course are:


Greatest goods for the greatest number that is what I hold more beneficial in the trolley problem. Saving five human lives or saving one human life. The decision depends on ones ethics and personal relations with the people in danger (tied to the train tracks). For example, if a person has any relationship with the person tied on the other track he would never flip the switch. Just to save the person he knows/loves. On the other hand, if the ethical standards of that person based on the principle of utilitarianism, then he prefers saving five human lives over one human life (Mill, 2001, Pp. 14-66).


Whether the person considers himself involved in the situation and assumes the weight of responsibility on his shoulders to intervene in the situation and flip the switch. As flipping the switch, would on one hand, make that person a brave man for intervening in the situation by flipping the switch. On the other hand, make him responsible for the murder of the other person who would get killed due to his flipping of the switch.

Moral Obligation

By the nature of being there (at the place where the trolley act took place), one must do something. This “doing something” could be the act that one performs in accordance with his or her moral beliefs. This reflects the moral beliefs of that person that whether he considers himself to be obliged for doing something or leaving it as it is, and assuming that it is the fate and bad luck of those five people tied on the track on which the train is running.


If the person measures the lives of humans tied on each track and takes his decision based on the values measured according to his ethics and reasons. But incommensurability and utilitarianism linked to each other and on cannot exist without the other. As to take the decision there has to be some value or goods associated with each decision, and the value of one option must be greater or lesser than the value of the other option in order to choose one of the options (Heidlebaugh, 2001, Pp. 77-97).

The trolley problem as explained in the Lecture 2 of our course i.e. Ethical Foundations presents a very difficult situation, in which one has to make tough decisions to save greatest number of human beings. Saving five human lives would be a virtuous act. But also, on the other hand, it would hold that person (flipping the switch to save five human lives) responsible for the death of that one human who tied on the other track. So, one has to sacrifice something, in order to save the other. Firstly, one has to consider him involved in the situation, and responsible to do something or not in order to take the decision. The choice of what to sacrifice and what ...
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