This week we will discuss the influential thought experiment which has come to be known as "The Trolley Problem"
and examine some of its uses and influences on moral reasoning.
I will present some of the ideas from Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes book (no expectation that anyone else has read it) including what he calls the "Dual Process" model of moral reasoning, which appears similar to the Kahneman "fast and slow thinking" which often comes up at think.. Greene's ideas are heavily influenced by evolutionary psychology and include the notion that we have become wired up for some degree of altruism, in a way that allows us to avoid the "tragedy of the commons", but that in a global society we are now facing "the problem of commonsense morality". How our evolved "fast" reactive moral intuitions lead us into difficulties when dealing with modern society and that we need to actively apply our "slow" thoughtful module in certain circumstances. Greene argues that a version of "deeply pragmatic" utilitarianism is the optimal rational morality for our current situation.