ETHICAL DILEMMA

In the first week of class, you were asked to complete a short essay in which you reflected on some event in your life in which you were confronted with a genuine ethical dilemma—a situation in which you had to choose between two (possibly more) conflicting options for reacting to and handling the situation in way that you deemed to be morally correct and ethically sound. In other words, either it was difficult to know what the morally right decision was, or, alternatively, you clearly knew, intellectually and rationally what doing the right thing required of you, but for some reason, making that decision or taking that action was very difficult for you to do. In this second essay dealing with the way you confronted your ethical dilemma, move past a simple narrative description of the event that reports how you handled the situation and why you came to the decision and course of action you took to a more analytical and critical assessment of the situation.
SHOW:
Understanding of the role of ethical argumentation in shaping ethical perspectives, values, concepts, or positions;
Realization of the influence of various contextual factors on one’s ethical views and decision making;
Ability to apply different ethical perspectives to an ethical question and explain the implications that follow from such applications;
Ability to articulate and support your own ethical position as an appropriate approach to ethical questions while also relating it to and comparing it with other ethical positions studied and critiqued throughout the course.

In this second essay in which you are reflecting on how you handled a personal ethical dilemma that confronted you, bring in to the discussion at least two different traditional ethical approaches or theories and consider how your actions in dealing with the dilemma may now be analyzed in the light of these different views. You might, for example, consider a consequentialist (e.g., Mill’s Utilitarian Theory) and a non-consequentialist approach (e.g., Kant’s Deontological/Duty Theory) to ethical questions.

Does your response to the dilemma fall in line with either approach in any important way? Does it go against the prescriptions of either theory? You should make an effort here to clearly articulate your current ethical position and decide whether it is the same as when you confronted your ethical dilemma in the past or whether it is now different.

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