An Animated Lesson on the Classic Ethical Dilemma Known as ‘The Trolley Problem’

Educator Eleanor Nelsen and director Eoin Duffy teamed up for a TED-Ed lesson on the classic ethical dilemma known as “The Trolley Problem.” In the hypothetical situation, a person is asked if they would sacrifice one person’s life to save five, but the problem gets more complicated with slight variations. It’s a test of how people react when there are no good choices to be made.

Imagine you’re watching a runaway trolley barreling down the tracks, straight towards five workers. You happen to be standing next to a switch that will divert the trolley onto a second track. Here’s the problem: that track has a worker on it, too — but just one. What do you do? Do you sacrifice one person to save five? Eleanor Nelsen details the ethical dilemma that is the trolley problem.

Trolley Problem Train GIF

Trolley Problem Poop GIF

Trolley Problem Scale

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