An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
David N. Snyder wrote:What would Buddha do?
I don't think this should be a problem for the Buddha of the pali tipitaka. He can see the kamma of others, so he would act accordingly based on the ripening of kamma involved.
It's only a dilemma for the rest of us.
A virtue ethicist would not flip the switch.
A utilitarian or a lay Buddhist would just flip the switch. Having right intention, there is no killing intent present and therefore no unwholesome kamma accumulated. Unless the guy on the other track is an arahant, in which case the lay Buddhist is kammically screwed for a minimum of 1.62×10^12 years.
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It starts to get more interesting when you move onto the gun-man who is about to kill 5 people.
You have the means to kill him, and by doing so, save the five.
Or do you not kill him, and let him kill the five.
Arguably, that's a much more difficult choice.
But do you really know that he is going to shoot them? Maybe he stops or not even start doing so at all...
Get the wanting out of waiting
Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others.
But let one see one's own acts, done and undone. (Dhammapada, 50)
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