The Parable of the Sadhu

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Analysis of the Parable

This story is about a group of men from different backgrounds and cultures that are faced with an ethical situation. What should be a once in a lifetime experience in climbing the Himalayas is halted as they come across a gravely ill man on their trek. They are faced with the moral decision to help this dying holy man and leave behind all the work they’ve put in to reach the summit or, continue on with their goal. Bowen McCoy

The author of the parable was influenced by several beliefs. He did believe the dying man needed to be helped and made an attempt by checking his pulse and offering a suggestion for treatment. However, in the end the fairness approach weighed in on his decision to continue up the mountain. This Sadhu chose to take a riskier path, now he was living the consequences of that choice. The author knew what the risks were because of previous experiences, so he chose to continue, knowing he would probably not have another opportunity. The Anthropologist

Bowen’s friend was a committed Quaker that followed the Virtue Approach. His thinking process revolved around what kind of person he thought he should be. When no one seemed to share that vision, not even his friend, he became incensed at the idea of having to leave the holy man on his own. Backpackers from New Zealand

They began with the common good approach when they brought the defenseless man below the snow line. Ultimately their decision to turn back and continue with the climb was developed using the fairness approach. What was fair to them was to bring the man to a larger, better equipped group so as they may not hinder their ultimate goal. The Swiss Couples

The Swiss couples gave him clothing and warmed him up. The Sadhu had the right not to be injured and they made sure to complete that task. Giving him clothing would most certainly fight the hypothermia. With that accomplished, they persevered on to the summit using the utilitarian method to make their...
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