In The Parable of the Sadhu, American businessman Bowen McCoy raises a question relevant to those of us who assume that in the zealous representation of our clients (or constituents, employees, family, etc.) that we have no duty to avoid harm to those who cross our path while acting on behalf of members of our community of reference (clients, and other stakeholders). Do I follow through on my goal of getting over the mountain or give up that goal to help another human being? 1. In this writing, McCoy acknowledges that he had "walked through a classic moral dilemma." What makes the situation McCoy describes a "classic moral dilemma"? On what basis might one claim that the encounter described by McCoy is not a moral dilemma? 2. McCoy acknowledges that at first he did not see the encounter as presenting a moral problem. It was his friend and colleague, Stephen, who helped bring him around to a new view of the situation. Often, the greatest obstruction to our seeing a moral dilemma occurs, as in the encounter with the sadhu, when we are under pressure to compete or perform well. We are asked to see and know what to do and are given little time to sort out the situation before life demands its response. There is, implied in McCoy's not seeing, an argument that one shouldn't be held responsible for what he doesn't see. Consider the following (implied) moral reasoning: [pic]"[W]e all cared."(implies there was no moral failure).
[pic]"I took his pulse and suggested we treat him for hypothermia." (implies I did my part). [pic]"What more could we do?" (No one should ask us to do more than we did).
[pic]McCoy found the situation "ambiguous"; "in a situation like this" there are limits to one's moral responsibility. (The situation justified what we did).
[pic]The sadhu had no right to disrupt our lives. (The implication is that the sadhu did not deserve more help than he got. I'm not personally responsible).
[pic]I had my "own well-being to worry about."...