I believe that thought experiments and hypothetical situations are fantastic ways to soften our hearts and show us glaring holes in our belief systems. This is what Samuel essentially did to David when he confronted him about Bathsheba in what is perhaps one of the most powerful displays of such a method used in the Bible. So, I'd like to begin by presenting you with a hypothetical situation that rocked my world for many years.
Imagine, as in the M.A.S.H. clip below, that you are on a bus full of people trying to escape imminent death from persecutors. Your bus pulls off to the side of the road and into some thicket to avoid an incoming enemy patrol. As the patrol nears, your young child begins to scream. What do you do? Do you allow your child to scream so that the fifty lives on the bus are all lost, or do you smother your child so that only one life is lost? Fifty or one? What's the right answer?