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Conflict Moral Duties

Each person owes a duty to himself or herself and to the world to study ethics and to engage in thoughtful debate about what is right, and what is wrong. It is this habit of thinking about and reflecting on ethics that will help you determine the right choices when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Articulate a moral dilemma wherein one has to show a specific virtue or virtues (it can be any virtue or virtues including honesty, courage, charity/generosity, compassion, etc.)

  • What is the moral dilemma about?
  • What virtue or virtues should be shown? (You are here selecting the best course of action)
  • Why is that virtue or those virtues to be shown?
  • How should the virtue or virtues be expressed, and why in that manner?
  • Apply Aristotle’s golden mean to the dilemma.
  • Tell us how the dilemma involves conflict moral duties (loyalty to community versus to self, professional versus familial duties, national or personal obligations).

The dilemma must be a situation in which a choice has to be made.

Be sure you told us why your chosen course of action was best.

conflict moral duties

Moral Dilemma:

Imagine you work for a large corporation that has been engaging in unethical practices, such as environmental pollution and labor exploitation, to maximize profits. You are aware of these practices because of your position within the company, and you know that speaking out against them could jeopardize your job security and future career prospects. However, you also know that remaining silent means being complicit in actions that harm both people and the planet.

Virtue to be Shown: Courage

Why Courage?: Courage is the virtue needed to confront difficult situations and stand up for what is right, even in the face of fear or potential consequences. In this dilemma, courage is necessary to challenge the unethical practices of the corporation despite the risks involved.

How Courage Should be Expressed: Expressing courage in this situation involves speaking out against the unethical practices of the corporation, even though doing so may lead to personal repercussions. This can be done by reporting the unethical behavior to relevant authorities, advocating for change within the company, or even resigning from the position if necessary.

Application of Aristotle’s Golden Mean: Aristotle’s golden mean suggests finding the middle ground between extremes. In this case, the extremes could be remaining silent and allowing the unethical practices to continue unchecked, or impulsively speaking out without considering the potential consequences. The golden mean would involve carefully weighing the risks and benefits of taking action and finding a prudent way to address the issue.

Conflict of Moral Duties: This dilemma involves a conflict between loyalty to the community (by speaking out against harmful practices that affect society and the environment) and loyalty to oneself (by safeguarding one’s job and career prospects). There is also a conflict between professional duties (such as advancing the interests of the corporation) and moral obligations (to act ethically and prevent harm).

Chosen Course of Action: The best course of action in this dilemma is to summon the courage to speak out against the unethical practices of the corporation. By doing so, one upholds the virtue of courage and fulfills moral duties to the community and oneself. While there may be risks involved, the long-term benefits of taking a stand for ethics and justice outweigh the potential consequences. Additionally, by addressing the issue internally or externally, one can work towards positive change within the company and contribute to a more ethical business environment.

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Conflict Moral Duties
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