Finding an Answer in Jewish Law to the Ethical Problem of Self-Driving Cars

In a classic thought experiment of modern ethical philosophy, a person must choose between allowing a trolley to run over five people or pulling a lever that would divert it to another track, where it would kill  only one. To its critics, this highly contrived dilemma has little practical bearing. Yet this might not always be so, writes Shmuel Reichman: if, as many expect, self-driving cars become a reality, they will be equipped with algorithms for dealing with such situations. Reichman, with this in mind, explores the halakhic ramifications of the famous “trolley problem,” beginning with a similar scenario addressed by the Talmud:

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Read more at Tradition

More about: Ethics, Halakhah, Jewish ethics, Technology

 

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer