Moral Dilemmas and Thought Experiments (page3)

List of Ethical Dilemmas and Thought Experiments, page 3:

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31. You are stranded on an island and stumble upon a village. They won't let you join them or help you in any way. You can find the things necessary to survive such as food, water and shelter. However, you notice they have a large amount of puppies that could entertain you. Can you entertain the puppies at night despite their refusal to let you see them during the day?

32. A nearby couple is violating public decency laws. You are opposed to the laws and can leave them alone without being legally punished. However, if you tell them a police officer comes at 8:00 (in a few minutes), you can be implicated in a crime. Knowing you'd be violating law you find only slightly unjust (it's not like a law preventing women from going to school), are you justified in informing them? Should you aid them if there is a small risk involved?

33. There is perfect visibility as you approach an intersection. You know the area is not busy and can clearly observe no other vehicles in any direction. The light is red. Should you ignore it and drive through it anyway?

34. You are falsely accused of a crime by an officer of the law. Knowing this, you calmly explain the situation. Nonetheless, they become extremely violent with you. Given your background, you know you can easily subdue them. Should you allow yourself to be assaulted? What factors are relevant here?

35. A beloved family pet is in danger, and time is a factor. Equally at risk is a family with two small children. Presuming you can only save the pet or the family, what would you do? Is that action ethical, morally excusable but unethical, or is there something else going on entirely?

36. As a famous children's author, you are contemplating on how to end the last book in a series. Since the beginning, you have intended to kill off the main character. Knowing this will make millions of people upset, including small children, is this acceptable?

37. Adopted by different parents, you discover your current girlfriend is actually your sister. Given that you are both infertile, is the relationship acceptable? What if you were not?

38. Even if abortion is a fundamental right, consider the case of an early-term pregnancy. The couple had been trying to conceive a child for years, but doctors said it was impossible. Statistically, they were the rare case of a successful pregnancy. A murderer kills the women, and the fetus is also destroyed. Should they be charged with an additional crime knowing that had it not been for their actions, the couple would have had the child?

39. Scientists discover that people are like machines more than some thought. Essentially, people can be unplugged. Mentally speaking, they are killed and brought back to life. A homeless man agrees to be frozen for a day, and no one knows he is gone. The scientists all have heart attacks and no one knows about the man. If his life was going to be miserable, presumably, has something bad occurred? Has he been wronged in some way?

40. A devoutly religious women is terminally ill. Euthanasia has now been legalized, and she is experiencing intense pain. This will continue for weeks until her death. Her religion believes euthanasia is a sin, but it can be done without her knowledge, sparing her suffering. If her beliefs are known to be wrong, is it justifiable to do this?

41. The local Scientologist group has started praying to a pile of dirt as a deity. Accidentally, you kick your soccer ball into said pile. It has now been tainted by an infidel. Should you tell them, put the pile back together, do nothing, or do something else?

42. A mighty squirrel is ravaging the lands with its magical tail. It turns out that the squirrel is a scientifically amazing creature, and scientists want it caught alive for research purposes. The benefits the squirrel could provide are unclear, but it has a magical tails so they figure it must be useful. Knowing a live capture will potentially result in more deaths, both civilian and military, should the project be attempted?

43.There is a fifty dollar bill in your pocket, and you see a child starving nearby. If you refuse to help them, are they justified in stealing from you? And are you justified in trying to get the money back? Why or why not?

44. You can save one and only one group from death. The first group contains two people, both age twenty. The second group contains three people, both age eighty. Which group should you save, if any? What if the two young people were going to die if you didn't kill the other group - would you do that?

45. A friend's child was brutally attacked, and you find out she has killed the attacker. The police were likely to convict the attacker, but she took justice into her own hands. He would likely have served jail time for assault. If you know you won't be legally implicated, should you lie and say your friend was with you the entire time the murder occurred?

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