There’s a famous puzzler in popular moral philosophy known as the trolley problem. A runaway trolley is barreling down a street, aimed straight at a group of five innocent pedestrians. If nothing stops the trolley, the pedestrians will be struck and killed. You can save them, but only by pulling a lever that will divert the trolley down another street — and that street also features an innocent pedestrian. So the only way you can save the five innocent people is via an action that will definitely kill another innocent person. Is it morally right to do so?
I’m thinking about this philosophical abstraction because much of Europe is in the process of executing a new and perverse variant thereof.