If one has a choice between two evils, it is suggested that the logical choice should the lesser of the two evils. Hence, if I am dying and I have only choices to either kill for money or steal for food, would I be better off stealing? Does logical equate to ethical? Isn’t it more correct to pronounce that whatever I choose, I am still doing an evil, therefore an unethical thing? If so, should I rather let myself die?
I believe we always know the right thing to do when caught between circumstances where we are required to make decisions. We preach and give advice to other members of the community even meddle where our expertise is not required. But why do we do something else in contravention when it’s our head hanging in the balance? It is quite easy to say abolish death penalty because it is barbaric, unethical and unacceptable form of punishment. But when the heinous criminal act is directed to us or any member of our family, our conviction is easy swayed towards what we previously abhorred to be wrong.
What do we value more: cultural acceptance or life preservation? I believe it is the latter. We don’t blindly follow what we deem is satisfactory in the society but we accustom our choices with an ulterior motive – to safeguard our survival – although in most cases it coincides with community approval. Now, is acting towards self-preservation ethical? What if it contradicts with the good of many? What if to save the community, one needs to sacrifice his existence, and he does so, did he become unethical to himself?
The suggestion that ethical reasoning should use both the intellect and emotion in deciding ethical issues baffled me. Isn’t it that resolving ethical issues really involve the battle between good and evil? Should the emotional faculties be applied in questions concerning right or wrong? Because if so, choosing either to kill for money or steal for food to live, or sympathizing with death penalty because of an injustice or refusing to...
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