Talk:Trolley problem

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Harambe[edit]

Is the section 'The Harambe Problem' notable enough? I would say no. JoshMuirWikipedia (talk) 02:08, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

  • It might deserve a sentence or two on the Harambe page if an RS has mentioned the Harambe Trolley Problem meme, but here would be undue weight. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 23:01, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
  • It might be appropriate to mention it in a "Reception"/"In popular culture" section. Especially with the recent popularity[1][2][3][4][5], I would not object to such a section, but I'd like to see other opinions first. Without it, Harambe does not hold up against the variants discussed in the learned literature. Paradoctor (talk) 00:22, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Definition: Trolley problem vs. Trolley case[edit]

Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote in Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem (1976) p.:

Why is it that Edward may turn the trolley to save the five, but David may not cut up his healthy specimen [and use his organs] to save his five? I like to call this the trolley problem, in honor of Mrs. Foot's example.

And in the The Trolley Problem (1985) she wrote:

Here then is Mrs. Foot's problem: Why is it that the trolley driver may turn his trolley, though the surgeon may not remove the young man's lungs, kidneys, and heart?

So for her the trolley problem is about explaining the contradiction in the decisions in the trolley case and the transplant case. --Thomas Leske (talk) 19:44, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Thomson's definition of the term trolley problem is still relevant: Chad Vance writes in his Lecture Notes:
 Note that this is only a problem for the moderate deontologist. … Utilitarians do not have a “Trolley Problem.” For them, an action is morally wrong if it fails to maximize happiness. … Similarly, absolute deontologists do not have a “Trolley Problem.” For them, certain types of action are just ALWAYS wrong—and killing is one of these wrong actions.
--Thomas Leske (talk) 08:01, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

Vsauce experiment[edit]

Michael "Vsauce" Stevens published a video The Greater Good - Mind Field S2 (Ep 1) with (probably) real experiment on Trolley Problem. 2 of 7 shown participant pull the lever and 5 are not. Not sure if it should be mentioned in Survey data or References or else. About half of a video is about ethical problem of making the experiment and precautions made. OverQuantum (talk) 18:50, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

The actual testing bit of the video starts at begins at 14:35. – NixinovaT|C⟩ 05:10, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
There have been questions on whether this video is real or staged [6]. Without any explanation, the switch changes position twice from 27:22 to 27:30 at camera cuts without being acted upon by the test subject. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 10:24, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

The Greater Good - Mind Field S2 (Ep 1) If not, it should be included in popular culture.

Update: I just realized someone already mentioned this.

It's an actual experiment. I wonder if he submitted a paper of it anywhere but it isn't popular culture just because it was on a show. It's a real experiment, but some of his actual report would help way more than a video. Still, in absence of the paper, referencing the episode is definitely worthy of the article. 2001:1970:4F66:5900:2CB6:AE9B:4444:E05 (talk) 05:49, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure if the video is a reliable source. Even though the video is published by a reputable person (Michael Stevens) and is featured on YouTube Red, a paid streaming service, that doesn't necessarily mean that the content itself is verifiable and factual. I mean, just look at History Channel. YouTube videos are generally discouraged to be used as sources, since it's hard to verify the factuality of the content. See WP:YTREF.
Granted, there are exceptions made for sources that are known to be generally reliable, but this video is talking about an experiment, which needs external observers to verify the experiment as credible. Also, Stevens didn't publish an actual scientific paper or report about his experiment, and the video didn't feature any third party observers to ensure reliability, nor are there any third party reports to independently verify the experiment.
In short, despite the video being published by a reputable source, doesn't mean the video itself is reliable. Additionally, there aren't any credible, indepedent, neutral, third party observers that observed and reported on the experiment, nor did Stevens or any of the production team that worked on Mind Field publish any sort of scientific paper about the experiment.
So, in my opinion: No, without any credible sources, I don't think we can safely say that the experiment is reliable and verifiable. Therefore, it might be best to just leave it as in popular culture, since we can't know for sure that is really is an actual experiment, and not staged, as Fernando Trebien mentioned above. Weslam123 (talk • contrib) 11:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)