David Schmidtz

Wherever I go, whether my audience consists of local students, congressional staffers, or post-Soviet professors, when I present the TROLLEY case and ask them whether they would switch tracks, most will say, “There has to be another way!” A philosophy professor’s first reaction to this is to say, “Please, stay on topic. I’m trying to illustrate a point here! To see the point, you need to decide what to do when there is no other way.” When I said this to my class of post-Soviet professors, though, they spoke briefly among themselves, then two of them quietly said (as others nodded in agreement), “Yes, we understand. We have heard this before. All our lives we were told the few must be sacrificed for the sake of many. We were told there is no other way. But what we were told was a lie. There was always another way.

David Schmidtz, Elements of Justice, Cambridge, 2006, pp. 175-175