Driver: A Life Worth 190 RMB

I was on a taxi, and there are pedestrian crossing the road without observing the red light. The driver was very angry, and claimed that if he wants, he just run over the guy, and that only cost him 190 RMB.

I was shocked and asked why? He explained that the insurance covered 80% of any accidents of the taxi driver, and they have a mutual fund of all taxi drivers to cover the rest 20%. So he is free of any payment. The only downside for him personally is, the insurance fee will increase 190 RMB the second year.

Heinz dilemma

Although it is not the reasoning process of every one, it is pretty consistent with the stage one, obedience, of the Heinz dilemma. It will be paraphrased as:

The driver should run over a man if he wants, because the cost is only 190 RMB.
– or –
The driver should NOT run over a man because it causes 190 RMB cost.

This is, according to a later Kohlberg’s stages of moral development model, like a 6 year old’s reasoning process.


When I browse the catalog of Stanford University, I found out many courses of humanity. There was a Humanity Center there. There are more courses on the topic from Harvard. The topic is still pretty new in China universities, and even more unfamiliar for the general public. It is not hard to understand why the driver will claim this (and demonstrated the stage one of the Heinz Dilemma).

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