In my student days, ethical thinking was regularly tested by questions like this:

“An aeroplane has been taken over by hijackers. You can shoot down the plane and kill all 100 people on board, or allow the hijackers to crash into an office building, killing the 100 people on board as well as the 10,000 people in the building. You have no way to save the people on board, but you can save the people in the building. Do you shoot down the plane?”

The questions were hypothetical then. Now, they look increasingly realisitc. Some countries have passed laws to state explicitly that you shoot down the plane. In Germany news, such a law has just been found unconstitutional.

So – do you shoot down the plane?

Advertisements