A Dilemma in the News

14Sep 2021 by

An ethical dilemma presents a primary agent facing some difficult deliberation between (1) at least two courses of action (a or b) going forward, (2) a choice is forced between the options because both cannot be carried out, and (3) each option has some ethical credibility, which makes ethical choice between options difficult to decide. Depending upon the dilemma, the primary agent may be an individual or a group. It can be a me dilemma or a we dilemma. In either case, deliberation between at least two preliminary options appears difficult to decide from an ethical point of view.
 Please make sure that the dilemma is a current one, representing a real future going forward, involving an adult who is at least of college-graduate age looking forward in history. Significant penalties (two or three letter grades) will be applied to dilemmas where agents are college age or younger, or where choices reflect reruns of settled issues in history. In other words, for purposes of this course, genuine ethical problems pertain to actual forced choices for the future of our human experience (after graduation from college); otherwise, dilemmas will face several grade penalties for irrelevance. The study of Ethics is only necessary when we are deliberating difficult ethical choices for a real future.

Scroll news articles posted no earlier than Sat., Sept. 11, 2021. Look for an article that suggests a genuine ethical dilemma for a group or individual. Identify (a) and (b) options for action and test them to be sure that they pose a genuine ethical dilemma, not a follow-through problem.

Based upon a recent news article, create a 5-paragraph (each at least will have 5 sentence)Dilemma (me dilemma or we dilemma) following syllabus guidelines. In the second paragraph, be sure to name your primary agent and summarize the specific news event or situation that inspires the dilemma (with citation and work cited to your news source). After that, be sure to clearly label the (a) and (b) paragraphs. And don’t forget to leave the dilemma open-ended; this week you just want to present the dilemma fairly, in a way that does not betray any preferred solution on your part.

Five-paragraph template for dilemmas of any type: 

  Introduction: What is the purpose of this short paper? Preview the dilemma very briefly. Is ita me dilemma or a we dilemma? Who is the primary agent (for a me dilemma, give theprimary agent a name; for a we dilemma, name the group or community that will bemaking the collective choice; name the company, town, etc.). 
 The second paragraph: begin to develop the main task. Summarize the situation that requiressome choice. Summarize the background story that leads up to a choice of action, with at leastone citation to a news source when a news source is required. Wholesome body paragraphswill have at least five sentences:For a personal choice (me) dilemma, name the individual who is the primaryagent and tell a particular story that has brought them to the point where achoice between options is called for.For the social habit (we) dilemma, name the community that is the primary agent andtell the story that has brought them to the point where a choice between options iscalled for. The community should be at least as large as a town or a town-sizedbusiness. What is the problem that we face? 
Third paragraph: Now that the background story has been told, present the first option foraction. Label this paragraph (a). Put the label at the very beginning of the first sentence of theparagraph. In the first sentence, briefly state the action that is to be considered. What is thefirst preliminary option for action? Present two ethical values or principles that wouldsupport evaluating this action as ethically plausible, right, or good. Present one ethical valueor principle that would support evaluating this action as ethically implausible, wrong, or bad.This should be an ethical deliberation, not a cost-benefit analysis. 
Fourth paragraph: Present the second option for action. Label this paragraph (b). Put the labelat the very beginning of the first sentence of the paragraph. In the first sentence, briefly statethe action that is to be considered. What is the first preliminary option for action? Presenttwo ethical values or principles that would support evaluating this action as ethicallyplausible, right, or good. Present one ethical value or principle that would support evaluatingthis action as ethically implausible, wrong, or bad. This should be an ethical deliberation, nota cost-benefit analysis. 
Fifth paragraph: Recap the options that are to be deliberated. Bring the reader to a state ofethical suspense. Keep it open-ended. This exercise presents a problem; do not indicate a 1320 Dilemma Breakout – 4solution. For formal clarity, end the dilemma with a question mark. Reinforce the question assuch: what is to be done?

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