Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for January 22, 2020

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    BE THIS GUY  almost 3 years 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.

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    LEOKEV  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Robin Harwood  almost 3 years ago

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

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    B UTTONS  almost 3 years 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.

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    Concretionist  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Orcatime  almost 3 years ago

    You lost him at “ethics.”

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    Johnny Q Premium Member almost 3 years 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!

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    kaffekup   almost 3 years 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?

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    Sherlock Watson  almost 3 years 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.

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    MeanBob Premium Member almost 3 years ago

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

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    PICTO  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Walter Kocker Premium Member almost 3 years ago

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

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    Kind&Kinder  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Breadboard  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Troglodyte  almost 3 years ago

    Rat has a one-track mind!

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    the lost wizard  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Jeff0811  almost 3 years ago

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

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    dwane.scoty1  almost 3 years ago

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

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    hariseldon59  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Mighty Phavahg  almost 3 years ago

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

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    gorbag  almost 3 years ago

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

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    car2ner  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Kaputnik  almost 3 years 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.

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    lars_doyle  almost 3 years 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.

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    J Quest  almost 3 years ago

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

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    buer  almost 3 years 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?

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    Zebrastripes  almost 3 years ago

    O M G ….RAT is annoying….

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    YippiKiAyMofo  almost 3 years 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.

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    chris_o42  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Znox11  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Egrayjames  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Masterskrain Premium Member almost 3 years ago

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

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    ekw555  almost 3 years ago

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

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    SusieB  almost 3 years ago

    Is The other guy Trump?

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    Ellis97  almost 3 years ago

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

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    RobinHood  almost 3 years ago

    No the answer is NO, save them all .

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    smoore47  almost 3 years ago

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

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    LaughterIsJoyMuliplied  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Xicks  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Herb L 1954  almost 3 years ago

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

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    wirepunchr  almost 3 years ago

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

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    aimlesscruzr  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Kveldulf  almost 3 years 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.

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    Kveldulf  almost 3 years ago

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

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    bob-droid12  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Ermine Notyours  almost 3 years ago

    Imagine a world without hypothetical questions.

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    zeexenon  almost 3 years ago

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

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    LrdSlvrhnd  almost 3 years ago

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

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    WilliamMedlock  almost 3 years ago

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

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    marilynnbyerly  almost 3 years ago

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

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    Hello Sweetie  almost 3 years 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. :^)

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    Bilan  almost 3 years ago

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

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    jbruins84341  almost 3 years 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.

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    Keno21  almost 3 years ago

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

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    knight1192a  almost 3 years 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?

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    hariseldon59  almost 3 years 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”.

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    Sisyphos  almost 3 years ago

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

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    One Navy Seal  almost 3 years ago

    This can be accomplished by multi-track drifting!

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    Jim Kerner Premium Member almost 3 years ago

    This sounds like a math question from school days.

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    wwward1948  almost 3 years ago

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

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    PBS1!  over 2 years ago

    I would flip the switch, then push the other guy out of the way.

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    Boxo croco says happy Thanksgiving   over 1 year ago

    Yell at the other guy to get of the tracks

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    Sooploosh  10 months ago

    kill the 5. we lose more people that way.

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    No One in Particular  8 months ago

    I’ve heard one like this: Imagine that you’re driving a bus with cliffs on both eyes. There’s a man stuck to the middle of the road. Do you keep driving and kill him, or veer and kill everyone on the bus?

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