I overheard a conversation the other day. The quick manipulation of morality to stretch doing the right thing was miserably revealing. One guy asked another if he were driving a car and a dog ran into the street and he hit the dog and broke its leg, would he stop to find the owner or help the dog?
“Did anyone see me hit the dog?” The second guy asked.
“No,” replied the first. “It’s dark. It’s you and the dog.”
“Is the dog dead?” “No. A broken leg. It will suffer, but live.”
“I don’t stop, then.”
The first guy nodded and asked, “Okay, you hit a dog and break its leg, but instead of the dog coming into the street, you jump the curb and hit the dog sitting leashed on its front lawn.
Do you stop and help or do you leave?”
“Did anyone see me jump the curb?” “Nope. It’s you and the dog.”
“And the dog isn’t dying, right?”
“It’s yelping. And suffering. Not dying.”
“No other damage done to anything else after I jumped the curb, right?”
“Right.” “I keep going, then.”
The first guy paused and then said; “Now let’s say there are video cameras on you both times.” “With night vision?”
“Infrared. They see everything.”
“Then I stop.”
“Both times?” “Of course! I’m caught.”
The first guy stared at the second for a moment, then cleared his throat and said, “Okay. Now let’s say it’s a little boy instead of a dog…” They ran through all the scenarios again substituting “boy” for “dog.”
The answers did not change.