Skip to content

Rameumptom Ruminations: 021: A Trolley Problem for the LDS Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints faces incredible dilemmas when science disproves an aspect of the belief system, or when society shifts towards a more equitable world. In this episode, Scott covers the trolley thought experiment. It is a simple problem without a clear good or bad solution. This thought experiment is helpful to understand the position of the leadership of the church when faced with the complexities of a changing world.


Problem in ethics posed by the English philosopher Philippa Foot in her ‘The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect’ (Oxford Review, 1967)

Elder Oaks Be One Celebration

President Oaks’ full remarks from the LDS Church’s ‘Be One’ celebration


3 thoughts on “Rameumptom Ruminations: 021: A Trolley Problem for the LDS Church”

  1. Really appreciate your podcast.

    While I appreciate your effort to find objective angles of perspective, holding space for the Mormon leaders’ difficulties in facing complexities of their position completely negates:

    1) the suffering they have caused, currently cause, and will cause in the future

    2) the benefits they receive

    3) the foundation of their “authority” is built on misogyny, racial discrimination, dishonesty, fear-mongering and wealth, keeping these influences alive.

    These men do not suffer in any way comparable to the suffering they condone. Ignorant or not, hubris or not, they perpetuate discrimination on race, gender, sexual orientation and wealth, and fear. They create fear.

    Simply put, they cause pain for their own gain. Their personal or collective moral dilemma is of no value compared to the suffering they cause, either directly or indirectly.

    So your trolley question, in my view, is not whether they save the marginalized few at the expense of the aging majority. The trolley question is whether the institution continues protecting the few who happily or fearfully ride inside the trolley to wherever the conductor deems they should go, or if the trolley should be forced to a stop and abandoned on the tracks, forcing the passengers to either huddle inside an abandoned car or step outside.

    1. Prior to this episode, I had done a number of weeks of content where I offered more criticism. I decided to write an episode that could potentially be shared with a believing family member or friend that held fewer of my own personal thoughts. I agree with your assessment completely.

      1. Understood. Also, in my previous comment I forgot to reaffirm my appreciation for your podcast in general before sending.

        Its cheap to throw peanuts from the gallery without acknowledging your effort and willingness to create a podcast, prepare an opinion and put yourself out there.

        Most of our community is simply listeners, so again thank you for being a creator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *