Nailed It: Little Kid Solves The 'Trolley Problem' Experiment

September 2, 2016

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This is a video of psychology professor E.J. Masicampo's 2-year old son Nicholas providing his solution to the famous trolley problem. What the hell is the trolley problem and how can it be so famous if you've never heard of it? Let me Wikipedia that for you while I heat up some meatloaf in the toaster over:

The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. The general form of the problem is this: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options: (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track. (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which is the most ethical choice?

Basically, is it more ethical to do nothing and let five people die, or intervene and contribute to the death of one person? Nicholas's solution? SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: Move the single person over to the tracks with five people and kill them all. Pretty genius right? That way there are no survivors to tell the story of what you did. That would certainly help me sleep at night.

Keep going for a video of the next great supervillain.

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