We couldn't help but laugh at this video...

We couldn’t help but laugh at this video…

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!


Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.


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