I'm really hoping people will give me some of their answers to this below. I need some interaction on this one. If you don't want to leave your answer on the blog, feel free to email your answer to me. It would just help in order to give me some examples of ways people work through this problem and show the various assumptions and beliefs we have in making ethical decisions in general. So here it goes:
Imagine that a Jihadist group in Turkey took possession of a nuclear warhead and a missile capable enough to deliver it to the Eastern seaboard of the United States. It’s target area is occupied by 3,000 children. Now, we only know that the missile’s location in terms of a very broad area, so if we are to stop it, we would have to send over our own nuclear warhead to cover that entire area. Ironically, it is also occupied by 3,000 children. You then find out that there are 3,000 children that will be killed if you stop the imminent nuclear attack on the U.S. If you stop the attack, you will save the 3,000 Turkish children, but by doing so, you will sacrifice the lives of 3,000 American children. Either way, 3.000 children will die because of your decision. What do you do (and, no, you can’t come up with a different scenario in order to save both groups—this isn’t Star Trek and you’re not Captain Kirk)? More importantly, how do you reach your decision concerning what you should do? In other words, upon what basis, and by what moral imperatives, do you make your decision? Is it merely arbitrary who you choose to live? Is it based on “us” versus “them”? How do you decide? And is your decision moral or immoral, depending upon which way you go, and how you get there?