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Moral dilemma is a situation where you are required to make a choice between two equally virtuous instances. The debate is which of the two conflicting choices is moral. Both choices seem to outweigh one another on different accounts of morality. The situation is complicated and puts the mind in a decisional struggle. Making a choice would transgress other options at one’s disposal. No one chooses to be in such situations since they are a part of the hardest experiences in life. The matter that an action can be right in one situation and wrong in another remains a matter of discourse. The position that what is right or wrong can change with respect to time and situations, does not put into account the complexities met moral dilemmas.
I once found myself in such a position. In the estate that we used to live in, there was a dangerous gang of youths. This gang went about the neighborhood harassing people. It unfortunately happened that my brother was one of the gang members until the day he encountered policemen and sustained bullet injuries. After medication and recounting his narrow escape, he chose to change a lead a moral life. However, this decision was not going to be easy for the gang haunted him to re-join them. They felt unsecure that he might hand them in to the police. His decision subjected him and the entire family to the danger of the dreaded gang. The situation of moral dilemma prevailed in my life the night a group of the gang members showed up in our home. My brother had seen them from the window and had taken haven at basement. One of the members demanded to know where my brother was.
Since the question was directed to me, I wondered whether I was going to give away the only brother that I had. I also had the choice of putting my parents in danger by keeping quite. Was I going to break the commandment in the Bible that “thou shall not lie?” Was I also going to betray an innocent person who had been granted the chance to make things right? In this situation I could also loose my own life if I made the wrong decision. The choices were either to say the truth and hand him to the lethal members, keep quite and loose my life or lie that I didn’t know where he was and risk sinning against God. By choosing any of these options, a life would be exposed to danger. All these options seemed all right and appropriate in one instance, but at the same time wrong and unfair.
I finally decided to do as expected in the Christian faith. I gave up my brother. I knew that this decision would cause hatred between us but how could I sin against God? How could I be the cause of the possible death of my parents? Was my brother’s life worth the eternal suffering mentioned in the Bible? By making this decision, I still felt that it was the greatest mistake I was going to make in life.
Some of the better solutions I think I should have been taken are: setting off the alarm. This would have possibly scared them off and possibly I would have saved even my brothers life. It could have also alerted the neighbors who would have come help us out. I could also have lied that he had traveled and later ask for forgiveness and understanding from God. By not telling the truth I could have postponed the situation. This would have given my family time to think of better solutions to the problem at hand. I also think of having decided to hold a peaceful talk with the group. We could have possibly hammered on a situation which would possibly involve no death. Maybe whatever they needed from my brother was something my family or I could provide.
Now as I look back to the situation, even though I saved my parents’ life, I still feel that I made a mistake. By making this decision I also escaped punishment by breaking the commandment in the Bible. But better still I betrayed a changed person and betrayed the belief that everybody needs a second chance. I feel like the judgment and punishment that I had tried to avoid is still on me. After all wasn’t I the reason why my brother was separated from the family? I hate the choice I made.
From this situation, I have learned that moral dilemma will never have any fair solution. Whatever path one chooses to follow he/she is still pushed to the wall. The best choice one can make is to put in mind that the best was in life, indeed, is to practice justice and every virtue in life and if possible in death. The whole world would be a haven of peace, a basket of socio-economic prosperity if we all resolved to be socially responsible and ethical in our quotidian dealings. Who would hide his brother from facing the law in the name of safeguarding a family? In the same vein, neighborhood crimes would become a thing of the past if the world cared about the society. Corruption which is a scum of the world will be completely extirpated if we all desire to lead ethical lives. This is the path into which to exhort the human race to follow although knowing a path and walking on it are two different things. The choice one decides to make must be coupled with humanity. Human life must always receive the upper hand in whatever situation it is involved.
I feel that that by being in this kind of a situation, I was equipped with the capability to make more appropriate choices in the future. I have learned that in any kind of dilemma one should weigh up the available options well. One should learn to create more space for more options. Again, not all dilemma situation solutions have negative effects. In future situations, I have learned to weigh the pressure the situation exerts on me, and the time I take to come up with a solution for the situation. A dilemma situation is one that nobody would love to find himself/herself in. But what is to be done? Choices can be made or rejected, whether bad or good, to save life or loose it, but a choice still has to be made.
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