Both of these theories are go much deeper into the question what is the right thing to do, but i’m barely scratching the surface here.
What about people who agrees with utilitarians in the first scenarios and take the deontologist perspective in the second one?
According to a research done by a philosophy graduate named Joshua Green, most people who are inconsistent with their choices have a differnet brain region associated with the choise they made. Both scenarios activate the brain region that are responsible for rational thinking, conscious decision making(profrontal cortex) and emotional response(Amygdala). In the second scenario, emotional response is much stronger and makes it harder to push man off the bridge. This is because we are emotianally trained to avoid harming another human being therefore even we know the outcome is the same, it feels uncomfortable and personal to kill someone deliberately than allowing them to die.
Philosophers and phychologists have long criticise this ethical dilemma saying that its too unrealistic to be used in real world problems and participants don’t take it seriously. But recent rise in technology have made this ethical analysis more important than ever. Self driving cars, autonomous military drones will have to make decisions on who to save and who to risk, so it is important humans to understand how to value human life and what is greater good.
This is one of the many ethics posts we are going to post on this website. So keep an eye out for the updates.