Yesterday I posted an entree on my blog at ce54r.com, but because I know people are fucking lazy and won't bother clicking on a link to read it, I'll just re-post it here:
Twilight Zone Moral Dilemma With a Twist
I just thought about this moral dilemma which is inspired in one of the old Twilight Zone episodes I watched as a kid:
Someone knocks at your door. They tell you they have something for you. It's a glass box with a red button inside. They tell you that you will get one million dollars (or X amount, it doesn't matter, really) if you decide to open the box and press the button. That's all you have to do get the money. Of course, you're suspicious, how can you get so much money by just pressing that button, so you ask if something will happen to you if you press the button, and they say that nothing will happen to you by pressing the button. However, they say, if you decide to press the button, a person you don't know will die. So you'll be responsible for the death of one person, that you don't know and it's not related to you whatsoever, if you press the button, but you'll get the money.
In the Twilight Zone episode the family that had the box decided to go for it, but the twist happens after the person who brought the box comes back to pick it up because he had to deliver it to someone else, someone "they didn't know". Meaning that the person who pressed the button is probably going to die after all. In our example this doesn't happen, there won't be any tricks or dangers, you'll just carry on with your life like nothing happened.
Now, I personally wouldn't press the button because I wouldn't want to be responsible for the death of anyone. That's an easy choice for me, but I can't speak for everyone, I'm sure there will be quite a few who would prefer the money and would feel no remorse about being directly responsible for the death of someone who they'll never meet. It's a little fucked up, in my opinion, but I can sorta understand their reasoning.
Now, to make it even more tempting, I added an additional twist: You ask the person what will happen to the person you don't know if you don't press the button, and they tell you that that person will still die about the same time and the same way they would have died had you pressed the button, but you won't be the one responsible for their death.
Now, would you press the button?
You can read the original blog right here.