The ‘Drowning Child’ thought experiment was first posed by philosopher Peter Singer to challenge his students to think about the ethics of what we owe to people in need. Though the problem is simple, its implications are complex and difficult.
In his experiment, Singer asks students to imagine that their path to school takes them past a shallow pond. “One morning, I say to them, you notice a child has fallen in and appears to be drowning. To wade in and pull the child out would be easy but it will mean that you get your clothes wet and muddy, and by the time you go home and change you will have missed your first class.” Continue reading