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.