the moral dilemmas presented in Thinking Activity 9.3 on pages 381-382 of your
2 of the dilemmas and describe the decision that you would make in this
situation and explain why.
your answers and consider if you used the same values or if you used different
values. How did your values relate to one another?
the moral value(s) or principle(s) on which you based your decision.
on your analysis of the moral values that you used, describe your general
conclusions about your own moral compass.
Re-type and then respond to these questions. Your response should consist of
Thinking Activity 9.3
ANALYZING MORAL DILEMMAS the following dilemmas ask you to respond with decisions
based on moral reasoning. After thinking carefully about each situation, do the
following: • Describe the decision that you would make in this situation
and explain why. • Identify the moral value(s) or principle( s) on which you
based your decision. • At the conclusion of the activity, compare the moral values
that you used. Did you find that you consistently used the same values to make
decisions, or did you use different values? If you used different ones, how did
the various values relate to one another? • Based on this analysis, describe
your general conclusions about your own moral compass. 1. The Lifeboat: You are the captain, and your ship struck an
iceberg and sank. There are thirty survivors, but they are crowded into a
lifeboat designed to hold just seven. With the weather stormy and getting
worse, it is obvious that many of the passengers will have to be thrown out of
the lifeboat, or it will sink and everyone will drown. Will you have people
thrown over the side? If so, on what basis will you decide who will go? Age?
Health? Strength? Gender? Size? 2. The
Whistle- Blower: You are employed by a large corporation that manufactures
baby formula. You suspect that a flaw in the manufacturing process has resulted
in contamination of the formula in a small number of cases. This contamination
can result in serious illness, even death. You have been told by your
supervisor that everything is under control and warned that if you blow the
whistle by going public, you will be putting the entire company in jeopardy
from multimillion- dollar lawsuits. You will naturally be fi red and
blackballed in the industry. As the sole provider in your household, your
family depends on you. What do you do?
3. The Mad Bomber: You are a police lieutenant heading an investigation of
a series of bombings that have resulted in extensive damage, injuries, and
deaths. Your big break comes when you capture the person who you are certain is
the so- called mad bomber. However, he tells you that he has placed a number of
devices in public locations and that they will explode, at the cost of many
innocent lives and injuries. You believe that your only chance of extracting
the locations of these bombs is to torture this person until he tells. If you
decide to do this, both your career and the legal case against the mad bomber
will be placed in jeopardy. What do you do?
4. The Patient: As a clinical psychologist, you are committed to protecting
the privacy of your patients. One afternoon, a patient tells you that her
husband, who has been abusing her physically and mentally for years, has
threatened to kill her, and she believes he will. You try to convince her to
leave him, but she tells you that she has decided to kill him. She is certain
that he would find her wherever she went, and she feels that she will be safe
only when he is dead. What do you do? 5.
The Friend: As the director of your department, you are in charge of fi ll-ing
an important vacancy. Many people have applied, including your best friend, who
has been out of work for over a year and needs a job desperately. Although your
friend would likely perform satisfactorily, there are several more experienced
and talented candidates who would undoubtedly perform better. You have always
prided yourself on hiring the best people, and you have earned a reputation as
someone with high standards who will not com-promise you’re striving for
excellence. Whom do you hire?