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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Dilemmas

Read each of the following dilemmas. Consider the wrongs committed in each and who is responsible. Discuss what actions can be taken to rectify the situation. Consider the consequences of each action.

1. Joe is a 10 year-old boy who wishes he were older. He likes hanging out with older boys who often engage in mischief. One summer day he goes with his older friends into the woods where they all look at pornographic magazines, smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey. Joe does each of these things but feels awful about it later and feels the urge to confess to his parents.

2. Ben is a crane operator. One of his junior colleagues expresses an interest in operating the crane at a demolition site. Ben allows this and the young man accidentally swings the wrecking ball into a passing police bus. The bus rolls over and is badly damaged. While no one is injured, 12 prisoners escape and large-scale efforts are required to recapture them.

3. Sally works in a diner next to a high school. Late one afternoon a boy comes in the door and orders an egg salad sandwich. The last one left has been sitting out for nearly the entire day and Sally suspects it might have gone bad. But the boy insists on having it and says he doesn’t care if it’s gone bad. If she refuses to give it to him, he continues, he’ll tell all his classmates never to come there again.

4. A soldier witnesses an enemy raid on a village in which horrible atrocities are committed including rape, torture, murder and thorough violation of property. Some weeks later, while on a scouting mission the same soldier recognizes the leader of the raid caught in an animal trap.

5. A college student is applying for graduate school. While taking the entrance exam, he discovers that the exam proctor has accidentally given him the answer key along with his exam paper.

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