Donate SIGN UP

Would You Kill The Big Guy?

Avatar Image
AB Editor | 16:06 Thu 20th May 2010 | Society & Culture
40 Answers

A train is hurtling down a railway line. It's out of control and the brakes have failed. Ahead, five people are tied to the track and apparently face certain death. You, however, are standing by the rails and have a chance to save them.

This Poll is inspired by the following BBC World Service Documentary:


This poll is closed.

Situation 1: There is a junction on the line in front of you leading down a branch line. If you pull a lever you can divert the train from the main line and instead onto this branch line where there is only one man. If you take this branch line this man will die. Do you pull the lever?

  • Pull The Lever - 33 votes
  • 75%
  • Don't Pull The Lever - 11 votes
  • 25%

Situation 2: Same train and workers. This time you are on a bridge over the line. The train could be stopped by a heavy object thrown in front of it. Beside you there is a Fat Man - if you pushed him over the bridge and into the line his body would stop the train. Would you push the Fat Man to his death to save the five works?

  • Don't Push The Fat Man - 31 votes
  • 66%
  • Push The Fat Man - 16 votes
  • 34%

See final stats

Stats until: 09:33 Sun 19th May 2024 (Refreshed every 5 minutes)


1 to 20 of 40rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by AB Editor. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
As a fat man I strongly object to the tone of the second question.
Okay so you should sacrifice the lesser to save the greater, but if it was someone right in front of me I don't think i could!
This isn't showing my votes Ed
Question Author
Updates every five minutes guys! Sorry about that. It is because we count your votes by hand and have to deliver them to the tech team by pigeon!

Spare Ed
I vote but no show BOOOO!!!
these are not just hypothetical questions, they assume an ability to foretell the future. ('If you take this branch line the man will die.') If I could do that I'd be rich and famous and I wouldn't be hanging around railway lines.
-- answer removed --
I don't accept the kobayashi Maru Scenario.
You could do nothing and let the situation take its course - in that respect you're deliberate actions are not responsible for any one death?

Is that a cop-out?
I can't vote because I don't know if I could put one life over another? The obvious answer would be to save the majority but what if that one person you killed could have changed events saving thousands in the future?
Throw some leaves on the line instead and save everyone, including the fat man.
leave the fat man alone, I happen to like men of a certain carriage..
I'd run away, i wouldn't want anything to do with it!!!
^ Save your energy... take the train...
OMG ... so many people have answered on the basis of the statistics !!

Have you no morals?

At the outset, nothing thay you have done has caused the death of an innocent person.

But in order to do "a good deed" you would sacrifice someone else's life?

OMG ... I must avoid railway lines when you lot are about !!!!!!!
i agree totally with seadragon on this one , i dont think it is a cop out because if you did change the position then you have decided to kill that one person........hence you are a murderer don't touch it and you have done nothing wrong........
.....also i wouldn't throw the fat man as i would probably not have the strenth to push him and by the time i did the other people would be dead anyway ooooops
You might find yourself suddenly possessed with mammoth strength (like the woman who managed to lift a car off her son)... in which case, forget about pushing the fat man and get down on the track and stop the damn train...
On the other hand, for neglecting his own body, and allowing himself to get into that shape ...

... the fat guy deserves to die.

What ???

Oh, sorry ... was that a bit harsh ?

He has what ? ... a "glandular disorder"?

He's not just a lazy pig ?

Okay, okay ... back to my original answer then.

Is he the Fat Controller?
'big boned'...

1 to 20 of 40rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Do you know the answer?

Would You Kill The Big Guy?

Answer Question >>