The Parable of the Sadhu

Topics: Ethics, The Tipping Point, Decision theory, Morality / Pages: 5 (1130 words) / Published: Feb 1st, 2014
An ethical dilemma as defined by Wikipedia is a complex situation that involves a mental conflict between moral obligations where if you obey one it results in the lapse of the other. In the “Parable of the Sadhu” there is an ethical dilemma because the group is presented with two hard choices and they can only pick one. They had to decide how much they wanted to sacrifice of themselves to help the Sadhu, who was a stranger. If they took the Sadhu to the village they would be separated from the rest of the group by the storm and wouldn’t be able to climb the pass. The group clearly decided to act on the ethical thought of egoism and social contract. The social contract act can be seen when the men do the minimum to help the Indian just so they won’t feel guilty later.
Each person in society grows up with different views on ethics because each culture is different. As an ethical person one has to consider each situation that they face under the light of their own ethics. This becomes harder in McCoy’s situation in the parable because the group consists of people from many different countries and backgrounds. As McCoy expresses in his article if a manager does not take a stand fast and starts thinking too much in choosing what is right he will lose the enterprise (107). Taking a stand in every situation is required because as an indecisive person one looks weak and if one doesn’t take a stand especially in business another person can take your spot and make it for you. This usually would result in worst consequences because after you think, you may not agree with the decision made.
One should decide to let a “Sadhu” into their life after one goes through a decision making process. One should way the situation against their own being, moral principles and the consequences of the action. In the parable Stephen run through this process way before McCoy realized it. If helping someone will lead to one’s own death then this is crossing the line. For example if one



References: 1) McCoy H., Brian. The Parable of the Sadhu. Harvard Business Review, 1983. 2) “Ethical Dilemma.” Wikipedia. N.p. N.d. Web. 16 January 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_dilemma 3) Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. Little Brown, 2000. Print.

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