Ethical Analysis of the Parable of the Sadhu
The Parable of the Sadhu is a story of men climbing the Himalayas that run into a moral dilemma. These are not just any men. These are groups of men from many different cultural backgrounds. As they are climbing the mountain they run into a nearly naked Indian holy man that is near death. The moral dilemma comes into play when they are forced to make the decision to backtrack down the mountain to save the man and probably never reach their ultimate goal, or ignore the needs of the desperate man in order to fulfill their personal desires. By looking at the situation and what the men did it is clear that they acted through the ethical thought process of egoism and social contract. They acted out of egoism because all the groups of men acted out of their own self interest and did not do what was necessary to help the man, because it would have been detrimental to their personal mission. They also acted out of social contract because they felt obliged to help their fellow man. In the social contract theory an individual’s action is bound only by his or her conscience. Each of the individual groups of men did a singular act to help because of the implied obligation by our social contract, although none of them went the whole way and saved the man’s life. Under different ethical thought processes the outcomes would have been different. The thought processed to be examined are: Virtue Theory, Social Contract, Kantanian Thought, Utilitarianism, and Egoism.