Author Topic: Trolley Problem  (Read 1019 times)

Offline StGemmaGalgani

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Trolley Problem
« on: April 20, 2022, 11:49:39 AM »
What is a Catholic response to the trolley problem, where you are on a trolley and you have to option to sacrifice one for the other. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem
What option was not be sinful?
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Offline TerrorDæmonum

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2022, 12:39:27 PM »
What option was not be sinful?

The problem was constructed deliberately to be extreme, unrealistic, and to focus on externals. It is not very useful for moral formation.

What is morally good is a matter of deliberate reason, not mere externals. A human act, being good or evil, is about conforming to the will of God, in doing good and declining from evil.

In the scenario, assuming one did not set up the situation in the first place, there is actually little that a matter of the human will: it is a situation that is imposed on oneself with a severe time limit and limited options. There is a lot going on, and it is confusing the results with the deliberate human acts. In this, it is not very useful for moral judgement because it is contrived and intended to direct focus on results. Consequentialism excludes the interior will and God and thus is wrong. There are many errors in understanding moralit and this question more or less tends to expose them by forcing the focus on the external consequences and reducing the interior deliberation to a minimum.

In practice, I'm not sure that any random person, including myself, would be able to recognize the situation and know how to direct the tracks. That is actually complicated and fiddling with rail lines is probably a crime in most circumstances, so the question I see, in analyzing this, is how does one know the situation so well in the first place?

In practice, one could do one or the other or nothing and have done good or evil, because it is not a matter of the consequences alone, but of what one's deliberate will was. This relies on knowledge and understanding.
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 
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Offline Justin Martyr

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2022, 01:05:14 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
The Canticle of Canticles, 6:8-9
 
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Offline TerrorDæmonum

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2022, 01:14:51 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.

And this is the key: the morality of the human act depends on interior intention.

Given the context, it should be noted that the Principle of Double Effect relies on a sound understanding of morality, and by itself it is easy to misconstrue this principle. The issue of self-defense demonstrates this well. The morality of an act depends on the interior heavily, and doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is wrong.

The scenario is heavily altered by changing any of the details: The identities of the people involved matter. One could judge the situation very differently depending on the identities known. The morality of the act is coming from the interior.
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 
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Offline clau clau

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2022, 01:18:43 PM »
Save the 5.  Kill the 1.

The fact that there is even discussion about it is a sign of how fucked up and over emotional the world is today.

It's no different to a clinical judgement made by a doctor in a hospital on a daily basis.

Finite amount of resources. More clinical need than resources.

You have to decide who gets treatment (who lives and who dies).

If there are only 2 kidney machines and 10 people with renal failure who do you put on dialysis then you prioritise the middle aged women with 9 children over the 90 year old man with not many years to live.

I am sure there are nurses who get all bent out of shape over it.

TOUGH !

« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 01:47:07 PM by clau clau »
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Offline TerrorDæmonum

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2022, 01:29:59 PM »
Save the 5.  Kill the 1.

The fact that there is even discussion about it is a sign of how ***** up and over emotional the world is today.

You seem to be advocating a form of Consequentialism. This is as much of an error as Emotivism.

Also, the fact you abandon reason and make this response to a question on a matter of morality without regard to circumstances indicates your response is very emotional in all probability.
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 

Offline AlNg

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2022, 04:23:06 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.
I don't think so. For example, suppose that the one person you kill is your 6 year old daughter and the 5 you save are all criminals convicted of murder in the first degree.
Even if that was not the case, by injecting yourself into the scene you open yourself up to a lawsuit by the person you killed. This could bankrupt you and your  family and cause mental and emotional hardship to your wife and children. It is immoral to put your family through unnecessary hardship and bankruptcy which could easily be avoided. It is better to stand aside and think about what to do in this case. While you are considering as what would the best course, the train passes by and does not give you enough time to do anything. In this case you will not be judged guilty or complicit in the killing of the 5 on the track because you were stymied as you reflected as to what would be the best course of action but did not have enough time to take into account all of the relevant issues involved. Therefore you stood aside as you made an honest attempt to resolve a hopelessly complicated issue.  It is not your fault that you did not have enough time to come to a decision.
 

Offline Justin Martyr

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2022, 04:28:53 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.
I don't think so. For example, suppose that the one person you kill is your 6 year old daughter and the 5 you save are all criminals convicted of murder in the first degree.
Even if that was not the case, by injecting yourself into the scene you open yourself up to a lawsuit by the person you killed. This could bankrupt you and your  family and cause mental and emotional hardship to your wife and children. It is immoral to put your family through unnecessary hardship and bankruptcy which could easily be avoided. It is better to stand aside and think about what to do in this case. While you are considering as what would the best course, the train passes by and does not give you enough time to do anything. In this case you will not be judged guilty or complicit in the killing of the 5 on the track because you were stymied as you reflected as to what would be the best course of action but did not have enough time to take into account all of the relevant issues involved. Therefore you stood aside as you made an honest attempt to resolve a hopelessly complicated issue.  It is not your fault that you did not have enough time to come to a decision.

1) the trolley problem doesn't usually specify the identity of te persons. If it did that would have to be taken into account.

2) This is a true practical objection (and probably what I'd actually do irl), but the trolley problem is meant to be an abstract moral paradox where the only variables are you, the trolley, and unspecified people.
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
The Canticle of Canticles, 6:8-9
 

Offline AlNg

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2022, 04:33:07 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.
I don't think so. For example, suppose that the one person you kill is your 6 year old daughter and the 5 you save are all criminals convicted of murder in the first degree.
Even if that was not the case, by injecting yourself into the scene you open yourself up to a lawsuit by the person you killed. This could bankrupt you and your  family and cause mental and emotional hardship to your wife and children. It is immoral to put your family through unnecessary hardship and bankruptcy which could easily be avoided. It is better to stand aside and think about what to do in this case. While you are considering as what would the best course, the train passes by and does not give you enough time to do anything. In this case you will not be judged guilty or complicit in the killing of the 5 on the track because you were stymied as you reflected as to what would be the best course of action but did not have enough time to take into account all of the relevant issues involved. Therefore you stood aside as you made an honest attempt to resolve a hopelessly complicated issue.  It is not your fault that you did not have enough time to come to a decision.

1) the trolley problem doesn't usually specify the identity of te persons. If it did that would have to be taken into account.

It does not specify, but it is a possibility. Would you be happy if you found out that the scenario given was the actual case. Or would you regret your decision and admit it was wrong because it was something possible that you should have thought about before you pulled the lever.
 

Offline AlNg

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2022, 04:36:43 PM »


2) This is a true practical objection (and probably what I'd actually do irl), but the trolley problem is meant to be an abstract moral paradox where the only variables are you, the trolley, and unspecified people.
The abstract moral paradox is solved by standing aside. That way you do no (or a minimum of) emotional, mental and financial harm to your wife and children.
 

Offline Justin Martyr

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2022, 04:36:56 PM »
Adjust the train's course. Per the principle of double effect, this is morally licit (AFAIK). The intention is not to kill the one but to save the others, the act itself (adjusting a train's course) is morally neutral.
I don't think so. For example, suppose that the one person you kill is your 6 year old daughter and the 5 you save are all criminals convicted of murder in the first degree.
Even if that was not the case, by injecting yourself into the scene you open yourself up to a lawsuit by the person you killed. This could bankrupt you and your  family and cause mental and emotional hardship to your wife and children. It is immoral to put your family through unnecessary hardship and bankruptcy which could easily be avoided. It is better to stand aside and think about what to do in this case. While you are considering as what would the best course, the train passes by and does not give you enough time to do anything. In this case you will not be judged guilty or complicit in the killing of the 5 on the track because you were stymied as you reflected as to what would be the best course of action but did not have enough time to take into account all of the relevant issues involved. Therefore you stood aside as you made an honest attempt to resolve a hopelessly complicated issue.  It is not your fault that you did not have enough time to come to a decision.

1) the trolley problem doesn't usually specify the identity of te persons. If it did that would have to be taken into account.

It does not specify, but it is a possibility. Would you be happy if you found out that the scenario given was the actual case. Or would you regret your decision and admit it was wrong because it was something possible that you should have thought about before you pulled the lever.

Hold on a second, I've never seen the trolley problem presented as a split second decision type of deal either. Obviously if I don't have time to take stock of all the variables involved (such as identity of the people, etc.) then the proper course is to do nothing. If one feels morally bound to act but believes every possible choice to be sinful, such a state is called perplexity of conscience and they are supposed to go with the choice they believe is least sinful.

However, if one knows that all the individuals are complete strangers and if one knows that they won't cause harm to those under their protection by acting, then the correct choice is to change it from the five to the one.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 04:39:36 PM by Justin Martyr »
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
The Canticle of Canticles, 6:8-9
 

Offline TerrorDæmonum

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2022, 04:43:05 PM »
What option would not be sinful?

As I wrote earlier, the contrived scenario is not very good. The good or evil is within the person. The evil that is apparent in the scenario is the loss of life, but this is not a result of the person's action and this is misdirection. This is a pre-existing situation. So there is no sin there.

The sin, if any, is in any action that a person takes, and for this, the focus is on the tracks, but the focus should be on the interior deliberation of the individual.
  • Does one have an obligation to act at all?
  • Does one have the knowledge and understanding of the situation necessary to make a moral decision within the allotted time?
  • Does this scenario demonstrate the principle well?
Consider another scenario, but without the artificially imposed gravity of life and death.

Suppose a trust fund were established and you were given the task of deciding to lift one person out of poverty and there are two candidates, one tall and one short, what would the moral decision be?

This seems contrived, does it not? And it is obvious one is not doing evil by making the decision: it is not a grave matter in itself. The only evil could be within one's will in acting. If there is no evil intention, then there is no sin.

Also, these matters are not the highest good. The life of the mortal body and the temporal goods we have are not the highest good:

Quote from: Matthew 26:6-13
And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. For she in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her.

The problem is actually dangerous because it is causing people to attempt to make complex moral decisions prematurely. It is something for people who have extensive study of moral theology to consider. It is a technical problem that most people cannot discuss well, and it is a technical problem that is of limited use for advanced people as well, as professional philosophers often refuse to answer it or have other views than the dichotomy.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 11:10:12 PM by TerrorDæmonum »
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 
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Offline AlNg

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2022, 04:52:35 PM »

However, if one knows that all the individuals are complete strangers and if one knows that they won't cause harm to those under their protection by acting, then the correct choice is to change it from the five to the one.
I don't think so. What gives you the right to deliberately murder a person on the other track?
 

Offline Justin Martyr

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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2022, 04:59:11 PM »

However, if one knows that all the individuals are complete strangers and if one knows that they won't cause harm to those under their protection by acting, then the correct choice is to change it from the five to the one.
I don't think so. What gives you the right to deliberately murder a person on the other track?

I'm not murdering a person, I'm diverting a trolley and defending the lives of five people. The death of the one person is an unintended but foreseen consequence. But, moral actions aren't based on consequences.

Quote from: St. Thomas Aquinas, ST II-II Q64A7
Art. 7: Whether it is lawful to kill a man in self-defense?

OBJ 1: It would seem that nobody may lawfully kill a man in self-defense. For Augustine says to Publicola (Ep. xlvii): “I do not agree with the opinion that one may kill a man lest one be killed by him; unless one be a soldier, exercise a public office, so that one does it not for oneself but for others, having the power to do so, provided it be in keeping with one’s person.” Now he who kills a man in self-defense, kills him lest he be killed by him. Therefore this would seem to be unlawful.

OBJ 2: Further, he says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): “How are they free from sin in sight of Divine providence, who are guilty of taking a man’s life for the sake of these contemptible things?” Now among contemptible things he reckons “those which men may forfeit unwillingly,” as appears from the context (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): and the chief of these is the life of the body. Therefore it is unlawful for any man to take another’s life for the sake of the life of his own body.

OBJ 3: Further, Pope Nicolas [*Nicolas I, Dist. 1, can. De his clericis] says in the Decretals: “Concerning the clerics about whom you have consulted Us, those, namely, who have killed a pagan in self-defense, as to whether, after making amends by repenting, they may return to their former state, or rise to a higher degree; know that in no case is it lawful for them to kill any man under any circumstances whatever.” Now clerics and laymen are alike bound to observe the moral precepts. Therefore neither is it lawful for laymen to kill anyone in self-defense.

OBJ 4: Further, murder is a more grievous sin than fornication or adultery. Now nobody may lawfully commit simple fornication or adultery or any other mortal sin in order to save his own life; since the spiritual life is to be preferred to the life of the body. Therefore no man may lawfully take another’s life in self-defense in order to save his own life.

OBJ 5: Further, if the tree be evil, so is the fruit, according to Mt. 7:17. Now self-defense itself seems to be unlawful, according to Rm. 12:19: “Not defending [Douay: ‘revenging’] yourselves, my dearly beloved.” Therefore its result, which is the slaying of a man, is also unlawful.

On the contrary, It is written (Ex. 22:2): “If a thief be found breaking into a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die; he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood.” Now it is much more lawful to defend one’s life than one’s house. Therefore neither is a man guilty of murder if he kill another in defense of his own life.

I answer that, Nothing hinders one act from having two effects, only one of which is intended, while the other is beside the intention. Now moral acts take their species according to what is intended, and not according to what is beside the intention, since this is accidental as explained above (Q[43], A[3]; FS, Q[12], A[1]). Accordingly the act of self-defense may have two effects, one is the saving of one’s life, the other is the slaying of the aggressor. Therefore this act, since one’s intention is to save one’s own life, is not unlawful, seeing that it is natural to everything to keep itself in “being,” as far as possible. And yet, though proceeding from a good intention, an act may be rendered unlawful, if it be out of proportion to the end. Wherefore if a man, in self-defense, uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repel force with moderation his defense will be lawful, because according to the jurists [*Cap. Significasti, De Homicid. volunt. vel casual.], “it is lawful to repel force by force, provided one does not exceed the limits of a blameless defense.” Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense in order to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s. But as it is unlawful to take a man’s life, except for the public authority acting for the common good, as stated above (A[3]), it is not lawful for a man to intend killing a man in self-defense, except for such as have public authority, who while intending to kill a man in self-defense, refer this to the public good, as in the case of a soldier fighting against the foe, and in the minister of the judge struggling with robbers, although even these sin if they be moved by private animosity.

Reply OBJ 1: The words quoted from Augustine refer to the case when one man intends to kill another to save himself from death. The passage quoted in the Second Objection is to be understood in the same sense. Hence he says pointedly, “for the sake of these things,” whereby he indicates the intention. This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.

Reply OBJ 3: Irregularity results from the act though sinless of taking a man’s life, as appears in the case of a judge who justly condemns a man to death. For this reason a cleric, though he kill a man in self-defense, is irregular, albeit he intends not to kill him, but to defend himself.

Reply OBJ 4: The act of fornication or adultery is not necessarily directed to the preservation of one’s own life, as is the act whence sometimes results the taking of a man’s life.

Reply OBJ 5: The defense forbidden in this passage is that which comes from revengeful spite. Hence a gloss says: “Not defending yourselves---that is, not striking your enemy back.”
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
The Canticle of Canticles, 6:8-9
 
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Re: Trolley Problem
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2022, 05:00:30 PM »
However, if one knows that all the individuals are complete strangers and if one knows that they won't cause harm to those under their protection by acting, then the correct choice is to change it from the five to the one.
I don't think so. What gives you the right to deliberately murder a person on the other track?

This is not a proper framing. Why would you do this? As written before, it is a matter of interior will, of deliberation.

A violation of the Fifth Commandment cannot be imputed on someone who had no intention of violating it, even self-defense. Again, this is a matter of interior intention and deliberate human acts.

Quote from: Summa Theological Second Part of the Second Part, Question 79
Article 3. Whether omission is a special sin?

On the contrary, It is written (James 4:17): "To him . . . who knoweth to do good and doth it not, to him it is sin."

I answer that, omission signifies the non-fulfilment of a good, not indeed of any good, but of a good that is due. Now good under the aspect of due belongs properly to justice; to legal justice, if the thing due depends on Divine or human law; to special justice, if the due is something in relation to one's neighbor. Wherefore, in the same way as justice is a special virtue, as stated above (II-II:58:7), omission is a special sin distinct from the sins which are opposed to the other virtues; and just as doing good, which is the opposite of omitting it, is a special part of justice, distinct from avoiding evil, to which transgression is opposed, so too is omission distinct from transgression.

And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10