25 Years Ago — FBI agents arrest Ted Kaczynski [Ethics & The Trolley Thought Experiment]

“Crowding, rapid change and the breakdown of communities have been widely recognized as sources of social problems. But we do not believe they are enough to account for the extent of the problems that are seen today.

If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.

The concept of ‘mental health’ in our society is defined largely by the extent to which an individual behaves in accord with the needs of the system and does so without showing signs of stress.”

Theodore John Kaczynski aka the Unabomber

 

In the first ever book-length philosophical analysis of Ted Kaczynski’s writings on Industrial Civilization, Chad A. Haag explores the supremely-forbidden territory of questioning Modern Technology.

April 3 2021 — On April 3 1996, FBI agents raided the Montana cabin of Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber. In his essays, the Unabomber wrote about ethics and technology. The current pandemic raises many such issues. Is it ‘right’ to impose a vaccine if you know that it will save millions while killing a few? Let me ask you a hypothetical question… The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics modeling an ethical dilemma. It is generally considered to represent a classic clash between two schools of moral thought, utilitarianism and deontological ethics.  Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: Coronavirus — “Potential Emergence of a Global Pandemic” [NIC — Global Trends 2025 (November 2008)]

“We are going to argue that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom.” Ted Kaczynski

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:

A — Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track.

B — Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which is the more ethical option? Or, more simply: What is the right thing to do?

Intel Today would like to know what you think?

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The Trolley Problem Explained

In 1967 Philippa Foot introduced us to the thought experiment called the Trolley Problem. This problem introduces a situation where a runaway trolley carrying four people is careening down the tracks towards a dead end.

The four people in the trolley will certainly be killed in nothing is done. There is an option to divert the runaway trolley and save the four people but in doing so you will kill one person that is in the path of the now diverted trolley. What do you do?

In this clip a robot is introduced in to the equation. Can humans code A.I. that would make the right choice.?

REFERENCES

Trolley problem — Wikipedia

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Reading Ted Kaczynski in Brussels [Ethics in the time of Coronavirus]

25 Years Ago — FBI agents arrest Ted Kaczynski [Ethics & The Trolley Thought Experiment]

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