You've probably heard of the trolley problem before. Essentially, your are managing a railway switch. A train comes along heading toward the left track, where five people are standing. They will die if you don't switch the train to the right track, where one person is standing. Do you flick the switch and kill one person to save five?

Almost everyone, besides some creepy utilitarians, picks nonintervention. You could even lay out the scenario to a libertarian, where the train switch is someone else's private property and there are zero people on the right track, and they'll still pick nonintervention. But that's not the point; I'm getting there.

Even though very few people chose the heartless, pragmatic option when this scenario is presented to them in concrete terms, they seem to be okay with sacrificing others for the greater good when a social justification exists. Soldiers, policemen, and firefighters are expected to risk their lives to save others and nobody but extreme pacifists disputes this principle.

Why is this so? Are there psychopath politicians and psychopath community leaders who create the social justification that everyone else needs? Or do people simply think differently when the trolley problem is presented in an abstract or complex way?
damn look at all this effort