Save one, or save many?

Dear Harry Potter,

Imagine you’re by a train track. You see a group of people standing on the track and a train is coming. They don’t see or hear the train. You run to the train switch, but before you pull the lever, you notice another person on the opposite track. Would you pull the switch and sacrifice one human to save a group, or would you not switch the track? If you choose to use magic, how would you stop the train? Or save the people?


From the desk of Harry Potter
Auror Office
Ministry of Magic

Dear Philosophy,

I hope this isn’t in reference to an incident that’s ever occurred with the Hogwarts Express . . .

I suppose the obvious answer would be to stop the train with a simple Impediment Jinx, although that would only allow for a limited time to get the individuals off the tracks.

One could also levitate the individuals off the tracks, but that would be a tricky bit of magic to ensure the spell is cast on all of them and maintained until the train passes.

I’d say the safest option would be to use a Knockback Jinx to force the group of people onto the track where the lone individual is, so that the train can continue on its way and all are safe on the other track. If magic isn’t an option, I suppose a good push would suffice.

I will say that I would not sacrifice one for the sake of the group or vice versa. I’m not much of a fan of “the greater good” mantra.

All is well,