How Halakhah Differs from Philosophy in Solving the Trolley Problem

In the moral dilemma known to contemporary philosophers as the “trolley problem,” an out-of-control streetcar is on its way to killing five people. It can’t be stopped, and the potential victims can’t be pushed out of harm’s way; but by simply pulling a lever, the driver can divert the trolley to a different track. The catch is that a single person standing on the second track will be killed in the process. In the early 1950s, the great talmudist Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz (known as the Ḥazon Ish) considered a nearly identical problem; like the vast majority of both philosophers and ordinary people, he ruled that it is better to allow one person to be killed than five. But unlike the philosophers, who tried to approach the problem through various theoretical principles (e.g., “the greatest good for the greatest number”), he reached this conclusion through analogy to similar cases given in the Talmud. Moshe Koppel explains what the trolley problem implies about the role of intuition in halakhic decision-making:

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Read more at Judaism without Apologies

More about: Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, Ethics, Halakhah, Philosophy, Religion & Holidays

BDS, Unable to Harm Israel, Has Turned Its Sights on Jews in the Diaspora

Feb. 26 2021

March 15 marks the beginning of this year’s Israel Apartheid Week, during which campus groups around the world hold rallies and events for the purpose of defaming the Jewish state and mustering support for the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction it (BDS). Richard Kemp comments:

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS