Okay, so if you were recently traumatized by watching the wrong episodes of Blue's Clues or super sad Thai life-insurance commercials, then you're probably in a bad place. So perhaps you ought to save this post for later? If you think you can handle pondering a wicked ethical conundrum, then soldier on.
In the unsettling 1982 film, Sophie's Choice, Meryl Streep's character is confronted with an impossible decision on the same night she's forced into a German Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz specifically. I won't spoil it for you here in case you haven't seen the movie (or read the William Styron novel it's based on), but suffice it to say that the choice she's forced to make destroys her emotionally and haunts her for the rest of her life.
The following brain teaser is not nearly as gut-wrenching as what Sophie had to go through, but, nonetheless, it's time to put on your thinking cap, while simultaneously looking deep into your soul. This puzzle of a problem has been doing the rounds on the Internet, and I'd like to open it up for discussion here. Take a look at the picture at the top of this post, and consider the following facts:
- There are two railroad tracks—one is known to be active and one is known to be out-of-service and not in use any longer.
- Three kids are playing on the active track.
- One kid is playing on the out-of-service track.
- The three kids know that the active track is active and frequently in use, and the other kid knows that it is safer on the out-of-service track.
- A train is suddenly speeding along on the active track.
- All four kids get their feet stuck in their respective tracks and cannot escape.
- There is a switch that is able to divert the train from the active track (with the three kids) to the out-of-service track (with the one kid).
- You can pull the switch, which moves the train from the active track to the out-of-service track, thereby saving the three kids on the active track and killing the one kid on the out-of-service track.
- Or you do nothing, and let the three kids on the active track die and the one kid on the out-of-service track live.
And if you think kids playing on train tracks is something that exists only in hypothetical situations, think again. There are videos on YouTube that show you just how reckless some children can be. This short clip may be NSFW because the train operator swears—for obvious reasons. Watch:
But, hey, little kids aren't the only ones making questionable decisions. Apparently, taking photos on train tracks is all the rage nowadays. Sometimes you get some cool shots for Instagram. Sometimes the price is death. Watch:
Oh, man, that was rough. I think I need to watch my TEDx talk again to cheer me up. (Hey, I never said I wasn't a narcissist.)
[Source: Amazing Posts.]