Sunday, January 13, 2008

An Ethical Situation Close to Home

Recently in my travels around Poudre High School, a problematic ethical situation presented itself to me. I was on the way up the stairs from my second period Spanish class to my forth period chemistry class and I was running a little late because by the time I reached the top of the stairs the minute bell had already rang. In front of me was the usual chaotic jumble in the four way intersection at the top of the stairs by the business department. I also really did not want to be late to chemistry because I did not have a pass and I had already been late the previous day.
I therefore had to make the choice of either pushing my way through the mess without consideration of the other people I may be affecting and getting to class on time or politely wading my way through the sea of people as I usually do and in all likelihood arriving to class late.

What should I have done and with what ethical justification/s should I have done it?
Also what parallels do you see with this situation and larger picture world situations (for example world politics or war) and do the same ethical justifications for my situation take effect for the larger one?


Stitches said...

Most of the other people in the hall were selfishly pushing through chaos... why not do the same? Trying to be ethically correct by politely wading through the crowd is all well and good in theory, but it doesnt tend to work out in practice. The Golden Rule, that perfect summary of ethics, works both ways. If they are shoving through the crowd, dont they deserve the same treatment?
I guess that my justification is an eye for an eye. In the larger picture, this justification is used all the time. Look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the middle east today: one side bombs the other, so the second side has to retaliate immiediately for fear that they will be looked upon as weak and unmanly...
Does the Golden Rule actually work? Does any ethical belief work when it comes into contact with the real world?

KellyR. said...

I find this a veyr interesting issue to bring up. I think it depends on the risks, if it is someting simple like someone being shoved it isn't too dangerous but if this is continued to the next level of violence then there can be serious problems. Another thing to add is if the person has a rolly back pack then I say walk through with everyone else because those ib books on people's feet can be damaging even more for a runner. and commenting on stiches i think that the goldne rule is for children not adults and it is just to become aware.