The Trolley Dilemma
and how it relates to ethical communication

a.Throw the switch in order to maximize well-being (five people surviving is greater than one).

1 Track Workman Cable Car 5 Track Workmen

This answer corresponds with the ethical paradigm of utilitarianism

Utilitarians believe the most ethical course of action is the one that offers the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Utilitarians value consequence over action.

The Recent Evolution of Utilitarian Communication

Communication has changed substantially over the past few decades due to exponential growth in technology. The internet provides virtually everybody with an opportunity to become an instant author. While internet accessibility is beneficial, it also presents problems for utilitarian communicators. For example, utilitarians would view lying to a friend or family member in order to spare their feelings as necessary; however, when this strategy is carried out on the web, authors could be accused of falsifying information. The problem lies in the difference between familiar and unknown audiences. When we communicate on the web, we are unable to be familiar with our audience, and our audience is unable to be familiar with us. Consequently, the tone, relationship, and intent that sanctioned lying disappears, resulting in a communication faux pas.

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