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|← War and Christian Ethics||An Ethical Dilemma →|
Ethical dilemma evolves in a complex situation, involving a mental conflict between moral imperatives. Obeying one of the moral imperatives leads to transgressing of another. Ethical paradox is another common name for such a situation. Human beings are associated with complex social behaviors that are difficult to ignore; thus, conflicts arise when people ignore ethical norms. Ethical dilemmas may consider identification of the greater expression and inferior expression.
For example, abortion has a moral dilemma tagged on it (Trupin & Stöppler, 2012). A woman raped and apparently pregnant from the rapist poses a dilemma in whether to abort or keep the foetus. The fruit is innocent, and a human being is the making of God. The fact that the pregnancy resulted from a rape trauma creates a challenge in deciding whether to abort or not. Abortion is problematic in nature (Trupin & Stöppler, 2012), once done, it is irreversible, and it will haunt the woman all her life. The rights of the foetus and the rights of the mother come into conflict. Abortion at times is opted when it implies a threat to the life of the mother (Trupin & Stöppler, 2012). Most of the religious bodies and cultures are against abortion.
Those in profession make efforts to resolve dilemmas. For example, the Catholic Church bans the usage of contraceptives. This poses a dilemma in that the cost of living has tremendously shot up. Large number of children assumes uncontrollable expenses, to upkeep the family in monetary angle. The conflict arises in choosing between religious beliefs and financial obligations to the family. Many countries have set up Abortion Control Act (Trupin & Stöppler, 2012). Abortion is punishable in the law courts. The Acts set clear guidelines on informed consent, spousal notification, parental consent and a delay within twenty-four hours before an abortion is administered (Trupin & Stöppler, 2012). These Acts varies in different countries. Religious bodies excommunicate members practicing abortion. Thus, control measures applied describe the consequences of people who behave unethically in this case.
The second example of a dilemma and its possible consequences pertains to an injunction or imperative not to steal in order to cater for the family expenses (Zolten & Long, 2006). The fact to admit, however, is that the family nourishes of the stolen money. The culture and religious bodies assert that stealing is wrong (Zolten & Long, 2006). Conflict arises on the ground that if the family does not eat of stolen money, it will die of hunger. Choosing between starving of the family and stealing displays an ethical dilemma (Zolten & Long, 2006).
Efforts in solving the dilemma associated with stealing assert that the breadwinner may consider alternative sources of income. The breadwinner may also join social support organizations or apply for charity donations. Starving a family is wrong and stealing is wrong (Zolten & Long, 2006). People in such situations choose to commit one wrong to safeguard the other wrong. Such cases have been associated with persistent conflicts with the culture and religious bodies.
Stealing is not appropriate (Zolten & Long, 2006); it leads to conflict with the law of the country. Theft is also a crime in the eyes of God. It is true that dying of starvation family is wrong, but committing a theft is even more outrageous compared to starving of the family. World Trade Organization in the Kyoto Protocol extensively addressed the climate changes in the attempt to obtain enough food provision for the world population. The rich have been noted robbing the poor to a level of reliable subordination and begging, creating social class differences and problems. However, courts consider stealing as a serious offence (Zolten & Long, 2006), thus aiming to reduce unethical behaviors in the societies.