"Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
"Or the one."
@Sloppy Dangle, "Of all the souls I've met in my travels, his was the most..
@Sloppy Dangle, RIP Leonard Nimoy
Not really a paradox, it's more a question of whether you're ethically responsible for inaction
It's only a dilemma because one person is on the wrong set of tracks! Plus the lever is going to change the direction of the trolley so it'll probably be difficult for him to get rid of it in time before anyone shows up.
Break it down into economic terms
It's a paradox. Ethics aren't actually scientifically proven, and not everybody believes in a religion (Especially one that answers this specific question) so there isn't a 'right' answer
@Kekistan Ambassador, Not really a paradox, it's more a question of whether you're ethically responsible for inaction
@Kekistan Ambassador, there is a way. If you were to pull the lever while the wheels are on the turning point, it could cause an imbalance in the train, due to the train now moving over two sets of tracks. Depending on the distance of the people and the forward velocity as well as your time of shift, you could potentially save everyone. Or the opposite of that. Since the lever isn't binary, you could even set a midpoint and have the train go through a third route (still derailing) but your chances of it falling over increase by a good deal.
*MULTI-TRACK DRIFTING INTENSIFIES*
@Kekistan Ambassador, Of course ethics aren't scientifically proven because they are categorically different than forms of science. There isn't a scientific correct answer because that would involve deriving an ought from an is. Logically an answer could be derived, however entirely empirically one could just as easy claim that logical claims are meaningless and thus no right answer
@Kekistan Ambassador, whether everyone believes in a religion or not is irrelevant, as is whether everyone shares the same ethical system. Either there is right and wrong, or there isn't. Most of us would argue that there is. If there is, it then seems that we should try to discern as to what actually is right. The fact that something can't be "scientifically" proven (which isn't really accurate anyway, since science doesn't really 'prove', per se, but rather builds an explanatory framework that is in line with evidence) doesn't mean that there isn't truth in it. Science isn't supposed to provide an answer to every question - just empirical ones. And even then, it isn't perfect.