I think the difference between the two examples is the level of your involvement in that one person's death. Most people apparently feel more comfortable with pushing a lever to redirect the trolley to kill the one unfortunate person ("collateral damage") than to actually use their hands to push the fat man onto the tracks to stop the trolley. But I do see your point that a life is a life, and that if you'd do it in the first scenario, you should do it in the second as well.
yes, I agree. One is more passive. You'd probably only have a split second to make the decision (if you had more time you could maybe get one or both parties off the tracks; I mean unless some villain tied them up to the tracks like in an old movie). The other scenario requires a really firm decision on your part, and the premeditation to realize that you need a fat person and seek them out.
Can you imagine rushing around on a train platform, weaving around the skinny people to find a fat guy to push on the tracks?
Sounds like a Monty Python sketch.
And yes, I think that was what my professor was trying to say - that the man has to be fat to stop the trolley. This is so ridiculous though.
I should've posted these scenarios here last night; totally would've asked in class if the guy in the first example is fat too if you'd given me the idea yesterday.
Sure, I would love to help you troll your teachers.