Harming the Innocent
If I was given only two options: to either kill the one worker, or hit the school bus and kill five or more children, I would no doubt hit the one worker. I would be saving five innocent lives to take away one who put himself at risk. The children had nothing to do with the man falling, therefore, the children should not have to give up their lives because of the mistake the man may have made. Also, if I chose to hit the children, I do not believe that a jury would agree with my choices. I do not believe that a jury would take pity on me for choosing to hit the children over the one man. I believe the more utilitarianism option would be to hit the man as well. Utilitarianism works to maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness. Utilitarianism would see it as better to hit the man because the children have longer lives to live and more happiness to be had. There are more children then there are workers so saving five children would be the better option. Also, if someone chose to hit the children, there would be five grieving families rather than one grieving family. Overall, to minimize unhappiness and maximize happiness in this tragedy would be to hit the fallen man and let the children live out happy lives.
If I was put in a situation where I had to either bomb a plant and kill ten thousand innocent civilians, or let them survive and have the plant they live next to possibly kill fifty thousand innocent civilians later, I would ultimately chose to let the ten thousand civilians survive and try to think of a different tactic to stop the plant. There is no reason to kill ten thousand innocent civilians when there has to be another way to stop the plant later on from making bombs and killing fifty thousand. If you know already that later on the plant will be making bombs, then now you have a heads up to make a plan to stop the plant without mass killing. If I had no choice to stop the plant any other way but killing the innocent civilians, I would choose to do so to save the fifty thousand people later. I would only kill the ten thousand innocent civilians if I knew 100% that the plant would be killing fifty thousand later. Utilitarianism would say to bomb the plant and kill the innocent civilians because that is the option that would maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness. By bombing the plant, you are saving five times the amount of people that you killed. There are more people that are being saved which means there is more happiness. Although there are ten thousand grieving families, there could have been fifty thousand grieving families so there is also less unhappiness by bombing the plant.
Even though it is against human morals, if put in the situation, I would torture the man until he gave up information about the bomb. I would give the man a certain amount of hours to give up information without force, and then after that I would resort to torturing him to give up the information. If the man gives up information, thousands could be saved in the big city of New York. Even though the man is being tortured, he is not going to die and might even serve less time for giving up the information. If you do not torture the man, thousands are going to die while the man who may have planted the bomb is sitting in a room knowing that he was successful. The theory of utilitarianism would say to torture the man to give up information about the bomb because that is the choice that would have the greatest amount of happiness and least amount unhappiness. Thousands of people would continue to live their lives and be happy while one man and his family are unhappy because of the choices he made himself.
If the man would not give up information about the bomb unless an innocent member of his family is tortured, I would think of a different way to get information. I wouldn’t harm one of his innocent family members because of choices he made. Although I would…