Pushing the Fat Man?

Fat man variation of the trolley problem—to push or not to push

You are on a footbridge over the trolley track where five people are tied down. A runaway trolley is rushing toward them. Near you on the bridge is a fat-man. If you shove him over the side he will fall on the track—stopping the trolley and saving the five, yet dying in the process. What should you do?

Possible answers to the trolley problem by ideology—

Philosopher: We will watch and analyze what happens—to push or not to push isn’t the right question…

Christian: Is saving lives Gods problem or mine? I hope they are all saved

Muslim: And so it was written…

Hindu: What did they do in their prior lives deserves this? This is an amazing act—Bravo!

Buddhist: Doing what is honorable can make pure intentions resemble psychopathy…Push

Jewish: According to halakhic tradition we cannot push one soul aside for another. But, er, um, are any of them Jewish?

Shaman: What is a trolley?

Democrat: Five taxpayers vs one? Push

Republican: I hope they were all saved

Conspiracy Theorist: I’m not interfering with the Illuminati…

Mormon: We really are Christians, people…

Atheist:

Hard vs Soft Atheism

What I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was—is fixed and final.

I am more closely identified with what no longer exists, than with what actually is. This overwhelming feeling that I am not a body, but have a body, is a curious look in the mirror. So who am I—and who are you? Just a skin encapsulated accident of evolution, or is there more to it?

When I became a non-believer, I was certain there was nothing beyond this physical experience—nothing but neurons, senses, hormones, and misinterpreted persuasions and perceptions. What it really was though, was a clean slate to view the world without the bias of belief. I really don’t care which way it is, so I ponder existence, consciousness, and try to find my own answers.

Now I am at a crossroad with nowhere to go, yet I press on daily collecting thoughts on a path of least contradiction. That the physical world too, cannot be explained without using the same abstractions of speech and metaphors, really leads me to wonder if there is any difference in stuff at all. And no one has yet put their finger on what the physical world actually is, generally meeting the requirements of spirit.

In the west we have a limited way with words that do not adequately describe the philosophies of half the world. Bonded by the Hebrew way of a monarchial boss, it is an imagery we can’t escape even when we know it’s crap.

The idea of the absolute god with all authority is a major, cultural catastrophe that set a course of dismissing other lines of thought, rebuttals ready before the sentence is even finished. But there are better ways of being, and we find when we look elsewhere it’s not even special—it never was. Just the only table setting.

One issue I have with hard atheism is it’s own automatic rebuttal feature. Sure, it’s easy to dismiss Christianity, but does that mean there is nothing at all?

With all the hairsplitting of physical and metaphysical jargon, it appears everything is god. We are all tits on the same sow—Alan Watts, and god doesn’t know it’s god anymore than you can identify your own source of thought. You’re it