Moral sacrifice is subjective

Perhaps you've heard of the so-called trolley problem, also known as the train problem. The old philosophical question goes like this:

There is a trolley barreling down the tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks, therefore saving the five people. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:

  1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track.
  2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

What is the right thing to do?

Where does consciousness come from?

According to BigThink, a publication focused on education, what consciousness is and where it comes from has absorbed great minds for thousands of years. In today's world, it's a question posed by physicists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists. There are a few prevailing theories.

The first is known as materialism. This is the idea that consciousness emanates from matter. In the case of people, by the firing of neurons inside the brain. If you take the brain out of the equation, then consciousness doesn't exist at all.

The second theory is mind-body dualism. This is perhaps more often recognized in religion. Here, consciousness is separate from matter. It is a part of another aspect of the individual, which in religious terms we might call the soul.