Tuesday, March 24, 2009


For me, the Trolley problem draws many parallels to the argument Gewirth made in our earlier reading. Both propositions can be said to rest on the proposition of fate, in that the person controlling the switch is not the ultimate cause of the entire scenario in either Gewirth's or Thomson's example. However, the person making the decision must take into account certain values. This is where Gewirth and Thomson differ, as Thomson does not have to content with ideas of loyalty-only with the value of life (which seems funny to say "only with," as life is of utmost importance). For Thomson, it seems there is an intent on providing an explanation of why one can morally and rationally choose to kill one person and save the five when, in other situations, killing one person for five seems wrong. Although the arguments that Thomson makes are interesting, it seems fishy that she is unable to base her argument on a more pertinent example. In other words, it seems odd that she admits her scenario contradicts the norm (in that her example could be an exception to killing one to save five is wrong) but she still uses that oddity to prove her larger points. Maybe this is just a matter of taste, but concepts seem better understood/applied if not only confined to limited examples of a rare nature--being able to apply the principles elsewhere is necessary (Thomson claims she is dealing with just a group, the amount of lives lost within that group, and how that affects the dynamic of flipping a switch-how else can that be applied?) However, Thomson's arguments were cohesive enough in their arrangement and delivery, although there was lacking clarity towards the end of Chapter 7....

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