The Trolley Problem

I recently watched “The Fault in our Stars”(for the first time because I was so busy wasting my time in college) and I love it very much. I’m going to be honest I haven’t read the book but now I’m planning to.  Anyway when the movie was about to end,  the “Trolley problem” was mentioned. I had no idea what it was. So curiosity got the best of me,  so search about it with my friend google.

The trolley problem is basically a moral dilemma. The general formula involves a trolley going downhill and is about to hit 5 people on the rail ahead of it. Your at a distance from the people and the rouge trolley, but the lever to divert it to another rail before it hits 5 people is in front of you. However, there is one person at the other side who will die if ever you pull the lever. What will you do?

Tough one but……what does that dilemma got to do with the movie? So I searched again until I found a transcript of John Green’s interview where he explained it. He said that it was a way for Van Houten to dodge the completely unintellectual pain that Hazel was trying to make him acknowledge. And the trolley problem is chosen in particular because it perfectly demonstrates how inaction is a kind of action, especially in Hazel’s case where she is trying to determine a life that is well lived or a heroic life.

I gotta say that the story has depth. Not to mention John Green is a colleague of David Levithan. They even wrote a book together titled Will Grayson, Will Grayson which I totally love.

Anyway, I believe that the trolley problem has many possible answers to it or even if I am confine with either kill one or do nothing and kill 5 there is no possible good choice because all has a negative result. An morality suggest that we choose the one with lesser evil. According to their study, 95 % chose to kill one. However, most of them changed their answers when the researchers identified the victims with people whom the subject knows.

And I love that variation…..because in the end we will find someone whom we are prepared to sacrifice 5 lives (metaphorically, I hope) just to be with longer.

PS: I love the concepts of the movie so much especially about how can there be larger infinities and Sisyphus the Hamster. I finally understand why some authors prefer not to continue the lives of their characters beyond what the books tells about them.


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