Ethical Dilemma

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Paradox Pages: 5 (1731 words) Published: January 27, 2012
Ethical Dilemma
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This research paper seeks to resolve a particular case of an ethical dilemma. This has been necessitated by the fact that ethical dilemmas are a recurrent part of life. Moreover, ethical dilemmas have become a key point of argument in the field of ethics and interestingly, philosophy as well (Garsten & Hernes, 2009). As an inividual, I find myself facing moral dilemma situation quite frequently which makes the exploration of this subject a fascinating intrigue. This exhaustive research thus attempts to integrate all the possible actions that can be undertaken to lead towards the understanding of ethical dilemma. Methodologies used to accomplish this include the three stage ethical dilemma solving process that duly applies two main approaches. These approaches are consequentialist and deontological which have been widely applied to give step by step details on how to handle the given ethical dilemma. The article dissects on subsequent decision making after thorough strive to balance between what is morally acceptable within a person’s surroundings and self interests entrenched in a human being. A thorough discussion on the particular viewpoints of ethical dilemma has unearthed the common result of individuals getting torn between self morals and societal expectations.. Finally, the research concludes that there is a need to evaluate decisions based on viewpoints arising from a given instance of an ethical dilemma.

Ethical dilemmas, also referred to as moral dilemmas, have been a recurring problem for ethical practitioners and theorists as far back as time immemorial. An ethical dilemma is a situation whereby self moral obligations and social ethical precepts conflict in such a way that any possible solution to the dilemma is not tolerable morally. Better yet, an ethical dilemma is a scenario whereby guiding ethical principles, say written rules or religious books, cannot dictate which course of action is morally right or wrong. An ethical dilemma is also regarded to as an ethical paradox since in the field of moral philosophy, paradox usually has a pivotal role in arguments, debates and discussions. Given such a case, personal ethics and societal guidelines can give no satisfactory result for the individual with the responsibility of choosing. Ethical dilemmas have an assumption that the chooser will stick to societal norms, such as religious teachings or codes of law, thus making the decision ethically impossible. In fight-or-flight response, any animal will react only in its immediate bodily self-interests when faced with perceived bodily harm with a limited ability to come up with other alternatives. However, unlike animals, people have complex social relationships that are hard to ignore (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). These relationships often lead to conflicts among individuals. Such conflicts may be settled by another approach that has strong social foundation. That is why societies instituted criminal justice systems along with ethical traditions and religious principles to mitigate such deep conflicts. Discussion

For example, you have a best friend who has confessed a terrible secret to you. At the moment the individual is married to a wife with two children. He has a loving family, a decent life and is a good citizen. However 14 years earlier he had killed a woman. He has also confessed to you that a homeless person was accused of the murder: but died before his trial and punishment. Nothing good can come from this man’s confession. His family will suffer and no one is at risk of being mistaken as the murderer. What would you advise him to do? In this situation, the person in question is a good friend. This means that individual ethics will dictate that so as to safeguard his freedom; the secret should continue to be a closely guarded affair not to be revealed to any other person. This...

References: Garber, P. R. (2008). The Ethical Dilemma. Harvard: Amherst.
Garsten, C., & Hernes, T. (2009). Ethical Dilemmas in Management. New York: Routledge.
Harding, C. G. (2010). Moral dilemmas and ethical reasoning. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Pollock, J. M. (2012). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2010). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Belmont, California: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
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