In 1967, Philippa Foot asked one of the greatest utilitarian dilemmas of modern philosophy, the trolley question. She set up a scenario where a trolley was hurtling down a track towards five helpless, soon-to-be-flat people. However, she places the subject of the question next to a lever that would divert the trolley towards a section of track with only one soon-to-be-flat person. The question being, is it more ethical to do nothing or divert the trolley.
There is a point to this! According to the West Shore Regional Police Department, a Mustang driver in Pennsylvania’s Wormleysburg Borough put this argument through a practical test, except instead of five helpless people, there was a squirrel, and instead of another soon-to-be-squashed person, there was a mini-van. Are you beginning to understand the scenario?
It turns out Mustang drivers are moralists, and this particular one could not stand the weight of a (another?) fuzzy death on his conscience. In other words, he hit the van.
Via West Shore Police:
Now, we won’t question the validity of the age old, “squirrel made me do it” argument, but there seems to be some extenuating factors. As a side note, we should all remember that Mustang drivers are known for their somber, sober decision-making skills when behind the wheel of a car. However, witnesses to the crash allege that the 24-year-old with a heart of gold was driving a bit too fast. Not that that would have anything to do with this case.
Hopefully he’ll be back on the road in time for his next Cars and Coffee.