Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for January 22, 2020


Hide All Comments
  1. Img 0910
    BE THIS GUY Premium Member 4 months ago

    Second question: does the guy on the other track owe me money? Because, I don’t want to kill him before I’m paid back.

     •  Reply
  2. Missing large
    LEOKEV  4 months ago

    As I recall, you can either save 5 strangers or 1 person you know.

     •  Reply
  3. Photo
    Robin Harwood  4 months ago

    Ha! Judith Jarvis Thomson’s trolley problem makes it into the comics.

     •  Reply
  4. Crazyforkedindianpalmsquirrel max 1mb
    B UTTONS  4 months ago

    Question: who are the five tied to the railroad track. If the five are politicians, those five can start a filibuster that could bring a freight train to a screeching stop with room to spare.

     •  Reply
  5. Brain guy dancing hg clr
    Concretionist  4 months ago

    I love how Rat makes it so plausible that everything is about him.

     •  Reply
  6. Missing large
    Orcatime  4 months ago

    You lost him at “ethics.”

     •  Reply
  7. Eveningledger connie
    Johnny Q Premium Member 4 months ago

    Reminds me of this safety quiz in READER’S DIGEST. You’re driving along at night and you see a car with a lot of people stalled at a level crossing, with the light of an approaching train. What. Do. You. Do?

    The answer they gave was: Get the people out of the car and away from the tracks. Forget about trying to push the car—it’s hard to estimate the distance of an approaching train and it may be too dangerous.

    Here’s my answer: Turn around and drive away. If you can’t risk pushing the car, you have nothing to contribute to the situation. Surely they can get out of the car by themselves!

     •  Reply
  8. Image
    kaffekup   4 months ago

    Here’s one for “prolifers”:

    You’re picketing in an in vitro clinic.

    A fire breaks out and everyone runs for the exits, except you and a frightened five year old.

    Do you save him, or the 20,000 babies in the freezer?

     •  Reply
  9. Right here
    Sherlock Watson  4 months ago

    If the one guy is just standing on the track instead of being tied down, yell, “GET THE HELL OFF THE TRACK!” and flip the switch.

     •  Reply
  10. Twin commander 1000 ext
    MeanBob Premium Member 4 months ago

    The resulting derailment will likely kill them all plus many on the train, ethics be damned.

     •  Reply
  11. Black lion
    PICTO  4 months ago

    If you don’t like answers you shouldn’t ask questions.

     •  Reply
  12. Coathangerabortion 1024x1024
    Walter Kocker Premium Member 4 months ago

    If it’s AMTRAK, it’ll be way late.

     •  Reply
  13. I yam who i yam
    Kind&Kinder  4 months ago

    If he’s a philosopher-king, he gets a pass! :-)

     •  Reply
  14. Picture
    EcurbYkspohs  4 months ago

    No Ethics here . That is double headed coin set-up ! … Croc Power !

     •  Reply
  15. Avatar 2475
    Troglodyte  4 months ago

    Rat has a one-track mind!

     •  Reply
  16. Missing large
    thelost wizard  4 months ago

    Ask yourself. Do these people wish to be saved? Why are they here? Why are they tied up? Oops, too late.

     •  Reply
  17. Grandpa hef
    Jeff0811  4 months ago

    Flip the switch, free the people, then all 6 of you go beat up the guy that thought up this stupid question.

     •  Reply
  18. Th1k44e930
    dwane.scoty1  4 months ago

    Another track? Not the “other” only? Easy peasy, switch to a 3rd. track!

     •  Reply
  19. 20071112 einstein
    hariseldon59  4 months ago

    Who ties people to a railroad track these days? Is the culprit Snidely Whiplash?

     •  Reply
  20. Helmthumb2
    Mighty Phavahg Premium Member 4 months ago

    Watch “The Good Life” for the answer(s).

     •  Reply
  21. Cthulhu p1xg
    gorbag  4 months ago

    Is there any way to have the train run down both tracks?

     •  Reply
  22. Watermelon avv
    car2ner  4 months ago

    sounds like a job for superman…but then what about the owners of the train and the lost wages of undelivered freight?

     •  Reply
  23. 3083024 0826053922 daveb
    Kaputnik  4 months ago

    One purpose of these trolley problems is not just to come up with the right answer, but to observe yourself and how you think while trying to come up with the right answer.

    In the first version of the trolley problem that I read, your choice was whether or not to slow the trolley and save the passengers by pushing a 600 pound man on to the tracks in front of them. Throwing yourself wasn’t an option, since you were assumed to be lighter. How you would push someone that heavy if he didn’t want to be pushed wasn’t explained.

     •  Reply
  24. Missing large
    lars_doyle  4 months ago

    That’s a no brainer. Switch the track to save the 5 that are tied to the track. If the person standing on the other track is killed it’s because he/she was too stupid to move. Natural selection solved the problem. Hopefully before that person passed on their stupid genes.

     •  Reply
  25. Wallpapers jonny quest 1024x768
    J Quest  4 months ago

    This is a really interesting question that programers of autonomous vehicles are currently struggling to answer. Check this out:

     •  Reply
  26. Missing large
    buer  4 months ago

    Yes, since the guy is standing, what you do is flip the switch and yell at the guy to get out of the track.

    However, in the real world, the need for info would be important. Here are some criteria that would influence the decision, as we can see daily:

    Are these 5 people on the same political side as mine?

    Is their religion the same as mine?

    Do they eat or refuse to eat the same things as I do?

    Is their skin color the same as mine?

    Do they have the same sexual orientations as mine?

    Are they insured and is there money to make from their death?

    Or money to make from suing the rail company after the catastrophe?

    Would them being run over by the train make a source of crude oil available?

    Would their being run over by a train divert the media attention away from me?

    Would I be able to blame someone else for their death and take advantage of it?

     •  Reply
  27. Af974ddf 8afb 4b1c 859e 8bb9cf064fd1
    Zebrastripes  4 months ago

    O M G ….RAT is annoying….

     •  Reply
  28. Hopper oneal mini
    YippiKiAyMofo  4 months ago

    As I did not tie them to the tracks nor did I direct the man to stand on the other set of tracks I’d likely do nothing and thereby avoid culpability in any deaths.

     •  Reply
  29. Me1113
    chris_o42  4 months ago

    “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”—Mr. Spock

     •  Reply
  30. Missing large
    Znox11  4 months ago

    It actually says more about the person who came up with the question then it does about how it gets answered.

     •  Reply
  31. Missing large
    Egrayjames  4 months ago

    I don’t care what the rest of you do, I’m going for a beer!

     •  Reply
  32. Americanflag
    Masterskrain Premium Member 4 months ago

    What would I DO??? Sell tickets to the upcoming spectacle of the train wreck!

     •  Reply
  33. Missing large
    ekw555  4 months ago

    today it seems Rat and I are cut from the same cloth.

     •  Reply
  34. Img 20190428 152052 hdr kindlephoto 2072758
    SusieB  4 months ago

    Is The other guy Trump?

     •  Reply
  35. Picture
    EllisAmirRogersArcher  4 months ago

    So, is the guy on the track supposed to be a billionaire?

     •  Reply
  36. 1537243206294
    RobinHood  4 months ago

    No the answer is NO, save them all .

     •  Reply
  37. 125261801224025850235673
    smoore47  4 months ago

    Use your mobile app to phone the engineer and tell him/her to stop the train.

     •  Reply
  38. Missing large
    LaughterIsJoyMuliplied  4 months ago

    I find Rat’s rationality scary most of the time yet strangely appealing….

     •  Reply
  39. Fingerprint picture 9257
    Xicks  4 months ago

    What’s the guy doing on the railroad tracks? What a jerk. He deserves to get run over. ;)

     •  Reply
  40. Img 20140309 081158
    Herb L 1954  4 months ago

    If the five on the track are Drumpf,McConnell,Pompeo,Miller,And Barr.Let it do it’s best not to derail ;~|

     •  Reply
  41. Missing large
    wirepunchr  4 months ago

    Quick, take out 5 accidental death insurance policies and don’t do anything else. Problem solved and at a profit.

     •  Reply
  42. Lonely bike
    aimlesscruzr  4 months ago

    Dumba$$ deserves it for standing on a track while a train is coming. Maybe he’s standing there on purpose…

     •  Reply
  43. Egil skallagrimsson
    Kveldulf  4 months ago

    Earth’s population has tripled since I was born. Yell at the standing guy to move to the other track, then DO NOT throw the switch.

     •  Reply
  44. Egil skallagrimsson
    Kveldulf  4 months ago

    Does anybody here know what a railroad switch looks like, where it’s found, or how to operate it?

     •  Reply
  45. Dresdentvtimage 7908
    bob-droid12  4 months ago

    Rat’s question was like the one version of the Trolly Problems that The Good Place didn’t cover I think

     •  Reply
  46. N1495118875 241922 2408
    Ermine Notyours  4 months ago

    Imagine a world without hypothetical questions.

     •  Reply
  47. Nowyoulisten
    zeexenon  4 months ago

    Nowadays, there’s so much hardpack gravel between ties and under tracks, bring a trowel. Just sayin.

     •  Reply
  48. Thundercats
    LrdSlvrhnd  4 months ago

    Followup: Any of the five people cute single women who may be grateful for saving their lives?

     •  Reply
  49. Picture
    WilliamMedlock  4 months ago

    Is there a train coming in the opposite direction on the other track?

     •  Reply
  50. Mbsils
    marilynnbyerly  4 months ago

    Spock’s answer. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

     •  Reply
  51. Missing large
    lynnirwin  4 months ago

    How about I yell at the dummy standing on the tracks to move his stupid butt out of the way and flip the switch?My teacher always hated seeing my hand go up when he asked these kinds of questions. :^)

     •  Reply
  52. Bluedog
    Bilan  4 months ago

    Nobody brought up the fact that if the single person is a lawyer, you are ethically obligated to pull the lever.

     •  Reply
  53. Missing large
    jbruins84341  4 months ago

    Since the other guy is standing on the tracks, he should be able to get out of the way of the train. Throw the switch.

     •  Reply
  54. Tumble
    Keno21  4 months ago

    No matter who dies, it’s Trump’s fault.

     •  Reply
  55. Hellcat
    knight1192a  4 months ago

    Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan question right there. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” “Or the one.” Though in this case do the needs of the many truely outweigh the needs of the one when the one is not the person to be rescueing the many?

     •  Reply
  56. 20071112 einstein
    hariseldon59  4 months ago

    Very poorly phrased ethics question. Obviously the idea behind the ethics question is do you allow five people to die through inaction or kill one person by direct action? People here are making a big deal out of the fact that the other guy isn’t tied down. Maybe it should be changed from “guy standing on the tracks” to “guy laying unconscious on the tracks”.

     •  Reply
  57. Thinker
    Sisyphos  4 months ago

    Who cares? These are all merely hypothetical victims, anyway. In the Real World, it is extremely unlikely such a situation would ever arise….

     •  Reply
  58. 696dc216 bb6c 4a3e b16f 9cba79038a85
    One Sealy Boi  4 months ago

    This can be accomplished by multi-track drifting!

     •  Reply
  59. Missing large
    Jim Kerner Premium Member 4 months ago

    This sounds like a math question from school days.

     •  Reply
  60. 2c80f4cf 10bc 4f14 91ab c8b9346bbedf
    wwward1948  4 months ago

    What disgusting answers! How could you all of you be so callous? But, I agree. Wait until he has paid you back…

     •  Reply
Sign in to comment

More From Pearls Before Swine