The Greater Good

Jan 12, 2024 | Philosophy, Videos

The Greater Good, the premiere episode of Season 2 of the YouTube Red original series Mind Field, puts an intriguing spin on the classic philosophical dilemma known as the Trolley Problem. In this unsettling scenario, a trolley car is barreling down a track towards five people tied to one track and only one person tied to a second track. If you had control of the lever, which would you choose? To answer this question in real life circumstances, The Greater Good goes to great lengths to create an elaborate production that includes real freight train, actors playing distracted railroad workers and carefully chosen subjects unaware of the experiment itself.

When exploring scientific tests such as these and their ultimate responsibility to their subjects, things become more complicated. By participating in such experiments, are researchers inflicting irreparable psychological trauma? Is the information they collect worth potential risks posed to unsuspecting participants? To get answers from experts in psychology and receive valuable feedback from an institutional review board at Pepperdine University about how best to conduct the experiment while limiting any harm it may cause its participants.

The Greater Good offers gripping suspense as viewers watch events unfold through the eyes of those unsuspecting participants as they struggle with this seemingly simple yet complex moral dilemma. With a compelling narrative that asks questions about our fundamental ethical instincts while still managing to remain entertainingly suspenseful throughout, The Greater Good is definitely worth watching – especially if you’re looking for an exploration into what it means for something to be truly “for the greater good”.

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David B