Ethical Dilemma Essay Example for Free - …
Moral dilemma essay Essay Example for Free
With remorse or guilt, at least two components are present: theexperiential component, namely, the negative feeling that theagent has; and the cognitive component, namely, the beliefthat the agent has done something wrong and takes responsibility forit. Although this same cognitive component is not part of regret, thenegative feeling is. And the experiential component alone cannot serveas a gauge to distinguish regret from remorse, for regret can rangefrom mild to intense, and so can remorse. In part, what distinguishesthe two is the cognitive component. But now when we examine the case ofan alleged dilemma, such as that of Sartre's student, it isquestion-begging to assert that it is appropriate for him to experienceremorse no matter what he does. No doubt, it is appropriate for him toexperience some negative feeling. To say, however, that it isremorse that is called for is to assume that the agent appropriatelybelieves that he has done something wrong. Since regret is warrantedeven in the absence of such a belief, to assume that remorse isappropriate is to assume, not argue, that the agent'ssituation is genuinely dilemmatic. Opponents of dilemmas can say thatone of the requirements overrides the other, or that the agent faces adisjunctive requirement, and that regret is appropriate because evenwhen he does what he ought to do, some bad will ensue. Either side,then, can account for the appropriateness of some negative moralemotion. To get more specific, however, requires more than is warrantedby the present argument. This appeal to moral residue, then, does notestablish the reality of moral dilemmas.
Moral Dilemma Essay Examples | Kibin
Friends and foes of dilemmas have a burden to bear in responding tothe two arguments above. For there is at least a prima facieplausibility to the claim that there are moral dilemmas and to theclaim that the relevant principles in the two arguments are true. Thuseach side must at least give reasons for denying the pertinent claimsin question. Opponents of dilemmas must say something in response tothe positive arguments that are given for the reality of suchconflicts. One reason in support of dilemmas, as noted above, issimply pointing to examples. The case of Sartre's student and thatfrom Sophie's Choice are good ones; and clearly these can bemultiplied indefinitely. It will tempting for supporters of dilemmasto say to opponents, “If this is not a real dilemma, then tellme what the agent ought to do and why?” It isobvious, however, that attempting to answer such questions isfruitless, and for at least two reasons. First, any answer given tothe question is likely to be controversial, certainly not alwaysconvincing. And second, this is a game that will never end; exampleafter example can be produced. The more appropriate response on thepart of foes of dilemmas is to deny that they need to answer thequestion. Examples as such cannot establish the reality ofdilemmas. Surely most will acknowledge that there are situations inwhich an agent does not know what he ought to do. This may be becauseof factual uncertainty, uncertainty about the consequences,uncertainty about what principles apply, or a host of other things. Sofor any given case, the mere fact that one does not know which of two(or more) conflicting obligations prevails does not show that nonedoes.