IGE 101 - Truth and Service for Holistic Living 27

Report
IGE 101 - Truth and
Service for Holistic Living
1 September 2011
How Good People Make
Tough Choices
By Rushworth M. Kidder
(1995)
Introduction to ethical
conflicts and their
resolution.
Review
We all have tough choices to make–
between right and wrong = moral temptations
and between right and right = ethical dilemmas
Goal: develop ethical fitness
‘well-tuned conscience, lively perception of right and wrong,
ability to choose right’
* think deeply, care for people and for what is right
Universals and Core Values
Universals: 1. against murder, 2. against incest, 3. kindness and regard
for others and rights is universally approved 4. truth 5. restitution and
reciprocity
Values – Goals – Plans – Tactics (Values-Tactics ladder): easier
agreement at values level
Eg. school value of honesty – people agree it’s good
Goal– reduce cheating – some disagreement—other more important
goals
Plan – get tough on cheaters – less agreement
Tactics – fail everything, kick out of school – less agreement
Ethical Dilemmas
Right vs right are genuine dilemmas because each side is rooted
in a basic, core value
And you can’t pick both
Four common dilemmas:
Truth vs Loyalty
Individual vs Community
Short-term vs Long-term
Justice vs Mercy
Resolution Principles
Do what’s best for the greatest number of people
(ends-based thinking)
Follow your highest principle (rule-based thinking)
Do what you want others to do to you (care-based
thinking)
Other principles may also be considered; these are
most common
Ends-based thinking
Consider the greatest good for the greatest number
Also called UTILITARIANISM
Try to assess the consequences or ends of our actions
Used a lot in public policy sphere
Weaknesses: can’t predict all consequences; and what is the
greatest good?
Rule-based thinking
Act on highest sense of inner conscience
Associated with Kant and the categorical imperative
Could our action be made into a universal principle of action? i.e.
if everyone did it what would happen?
Not so concerned with consequences but with moral principles
Weaknesses: doesn’t allow for unique situations—becomes too
strict – and not so helpful when more than one principle is in
conflict
Care-based thinking
The Golden Rule: put yourself in others’ shoes
Jesus: Whatever you want others to do to you, do to them; in
this way you fulfill all the law.
Talmud: That which you hold as detestable do not do to your
neighbor
Quran: None of you is a believer if he does not desire for his
brother that which he desires for himself.
Confucius: Here certainly is the golden maxim: Do not do to
others than which we do not want them to do to us.
Care-based thinking
Also found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and other major
religions
Principle of reversibility: test the rightness or wrongness of an
action by imagining yourself as the object of the actions
Sets limits on our actions and helps us promote the best
interests of others
Weaknesses: too simplistic; no actual principles for action e.g.
what if both parties want immoral things (bribing?); and not
helpful when many people involved—in whose shoes?
Apply the principles
Trooper story: driver in truck pinned into cab about to explode,
begging to be shot by trooper
Short-term vs long-term dilemma? Relieve suffering in shortterm; preserve life in long-term: never kill
Justice vs mercy? Mercy – put out of misery; justice– don’t kill
Ends-based: best for the most: is the most one? Or two? Or
society as a whole? If just driver—best to kill? If try to save,
maybe both die? Or don’t kill because that rule helps most in
society (rule utilitarianism)
Apply the principles
Trooper story: driver in truck pinned into cab about to explode,
begging to be shot by trooper
Rule-based: can’t predict what is going to happen for sure; so
stick to best principle for every trooper in all time in this
situation—don’t kill
(ends-based thinker sees that as causing unnecessary suffering)
Rule-based: what if trooper killed him, then fire truck shows up
and puts out the fire?
Care-based: put out of mercy? Always do what the person
wants? What about drowning swimmers?
Apply the principles
Trooper story: driver in truck pinned into cab about to explode,
begging to be shot by trooper
What looked like a dilemma became a TRI-lemma: a third way
emerged: the trooper took time – gun in and out of holster
RESOLUTION process can give us time to find a way through
the situation to a new and unseen possibility
Trooper obliged to obey law: do not kill; but ethics also involved;
not just the law: acting ethically is obeying the unenforceable
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
Not a checklist, but understanding the underlying process.
1. Recognize that there is a moral issue.
A. what are the issues?
B. are they really moral or just cultural or manners?
2. Determine the actor– whose moral issue is it?
not involvement – everyone involved. Who is responsible?
Who is morally obligated and empowered to do something?
(not stakeholders – automatically a utilitarian approach)
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
3. Gather the relevant facts: how did events unfold, who knew what
when, who did what when, etc.; and what is future potential?
4. Test for right vs wrong issues:
4 tests: legal, stench, front-page, mom
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
4. Test for right vs wrong issues:
a. legal test: is what happened illegal? Then issue of right and
wrong. (except civil disobedience—prepared to accept
consequences)
b. Stench test: intuitively have gut sense it is wrong
c. Front-page test: if what you are going to do was in news
tomorrow, would you still want to do it? If not, don’t.
d. Mom test: if I were my mom, would I do this? (moral exemplar
whom you care deeply about)
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
4. Test for right vs wrong issues:
a. legal test: is what happened illegal? Then issue of right and
wrong. (except civil disobedience—prepared to accept
consequences)
b. Stench test: intuitively have gut sense it is wrong
c. Front-page test: if what you are going to do was in news
tomorrow, would you still want to do it? If not, don’t.
d. Mom test: if I were my mom, would I do this? (moral exemplar
whom you care deeply about)
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
4. Test for right vs wrong issues:
Legal, stench, front-page, mom
If wrong, don’t do it.
5. Test for right vs right paradigms
Which type of dilemma is it: truth/loyalty, long-term/short-term,
community/individual, justice/mercy
Helps make sure that it is truly a dilemma. If can’t find one of these,
maybe a right/wrong issue.
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
6. Apply the resolution principles:
ends-based, rules-based, care-based
not decide on vote, 2 to 1, but think carefully through the
situation and the issues to find what you think is best
7. Investigate the “trilemma” options: is there a third way?
compromise? Creativity?
8. Make the decision: need moral courage—take responsibility to
do what you think is best.
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
9. Revisit and reflect on the decision: after the heat of the moment
and whatever happened; look at the whole thing again to see
what you can learn– what you might have missed, done
differently, etc.
Brief note on brain structure and moral decision-making: pre-frontal
cortex: integrates brain stem, limbic system, perceptual areas: “it
shapes our bodily processes, oversees brainstem activity,
enables us to pause before we act, have insight and empathy,
and enact moral judgments” Mindsight by Siegel
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
1958 Space Race between USA and Soviet Union
28 year old engineer, Ted Gordon, given job of writing countdown
for launches and be conductor of tests of Thor rockets
300,000 parts had to function perfectly at the right time, hundreds
of actions by hundreds of people
Everything checked and double-checked
Read pp 179-180
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
1. Moral issue? yes, something wrong done; needs restitution
2. Actor? Gordon, he was responsible to make the decision
3. Facts? mechanic definitely to blame—not a slip on grease
someone else left or mechanical failure
4. Not right vs wrong: no legal requirement to fire; no stench, no
frontpage, no mom issue – right vs. right
5. Seems to be justice vs mercy dilemma: colleagues want justice;
Gordon chose mercy
Nine Checkpoints for
ethical decision-making
6. Gordon used ends-based resolution rule: consequences for the
mechanic– how he would behave in the future
Not care-based (how he would want to be treated) nor rule-based
(potential danger means firing is appropriate)
7. Trilemma: Gordon went for one side-- mercy ; could have gone
for trilemma: kept him on and penalized him severely
8. Decision made: kept employee, gave greater responsibility
9. Revisited by Gordon – key part of his life story; mechanic?
probably
Ethical Dilemmas
Kidder’s picks (all things being equal):
TRUTH vs Loyalty – humans & groups less trustworthy than
principles
Individual vs COMMUNITY- individualism and rights causing
damage; lost value of community and responsibility; and
community includes individuals—not other way
Short-term vs LONG-TERM- long-term includes short term
Justice vs MERCY- can imagine world so full of love that justice
not necessary, but not vice versa
Schedule for rest of term
Quiz on Thursday, September 8: Religion for
Peace, Willard, Christianity, Confucianism,
Daoism
Finish the religions next week: September 6 & 8
Personal Plan for Payap Time and Habits
Practice Reflection paper due: Sept 8
Schedule for rest of term
Quiz on September 13: Islam, Judaism, Kidder
Group project presentations: September 13, 15,
20
Individual reflection on group paper due Sept
22
Final wrap up and final exam preparation: Sept
22
joe-ks.com
Hope you make it to the
finish line!!!
Rubrics on the blog this weekend!
Hope your projects are going well.

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