We came across this video and we couldn’t help but laugh…
The trolley problem is a famous philosophical dilemma that toys with one’s morality. Now, a video of a 2-year-old “solving” the famous thought experiment has gone viral on YouTube.
“So this has been teachable moment both for my class and for our son!” – E.J. Masicampo
This is how the thought experiment goes: A trolley is speeding down a railway. 5 people are roped to the tracks ahead, unable to move. You watch all this happen from above and there is a lever you can use to divert the trolley to a different track. Except, that track has one person tied to it. What do you do? Do you divert the trolley to avoid killing the 5 individuals, killing the 1 person in the process? Or do you let the 5 people die instead?
The dilemma pits killing against letting be killed, and 1 human life for 5 lives.
E.J. Masicampo posted a video of his two-year-old son’s solution to this classic moral dilemma and we couldn’t help but laugh. Because, well, parenting is hard.
I’m teaching a moral psychology class this semester, and we spent part of the first day discussing the trolley problem, which is a frequently used ethical dilemma in discussions of morality. When I returned home that night and was playing trains with my son, I thought it would be interesting to see his response to the trolley problem. I recorded his response so that I could share and discuss it with my class, given especially that we also will be discussing moral development from birth onward. My wife and I are constantly talking with our son about how properly to treat others — so this has been teachable moment both for my class and for our son!