- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Some Moral Dilemmas
In our complex society of 2017, when encountered with some controversial issue, some will use the grey defense. The issue is too complex and not black and white. There is no one "right" answer. However, there are issues that do not come under that category. Some people just choose to ignore it. Here are a few to think about.
- Mar. 2017
Some Moral Dilemmas...
- Is the fetus in the womb a human being? At what stage of development is he or she viable? Here is the dilemma for those who are Pro Chice. They claim the fetus is part of the mother and it is solely here right to decide when to abort. In extreme cases, it is done in the last trimester or late term abortion. In this case, the baby is clearly viable to survive without the mother and yet is aborted just before birth. Some physicians refuse to perform this procedure. The dilemma come into play when a pregnant women is in a car accident and the baby in her womb is killed. She survives the accident but was there a crime, assume the accident was caused by a drunk driver? What should he be charged with? Manslaughter? Or be let free?
- Suppose you arrive at a scene in a frozen lake. There were a dog and a human in the freezing water. There is only time to save one. You need to make a quick decision. Who are you going to save the man or his dog? Seem like an easy choice. Here is the dilemma. Suppose the dog is not any dog but your own beloved pet. The man is just a stranger or perhaps a homeless man on the street. Who do you pick now?
- The illegal immigration debate has been going on for some times. You support all humans and their right to exist. You disagree with the current proposal to close our borders and build a wall on humanitarian grounds. You don't like the term "illegal alien" but prefer to use the term undocumented immigrant. You support some cities that professes a santuary policy where they will not cooperate with Fedral agencies such as ICE to detain or even ask for immigration status. Here is the dilemma. Suppose one of those illegals drive an uninsured auto and happens to kill one of your family member or a close friend. What do you do? Will you want that person deported after convicted of vehicular manslaughter? Or allow him to serve his time and released back into your community?
- Self Driving Cars are in the news and being developed by Google and Uber and car companies. Some believe it will be implemented in a few years. Suppose that is the case. The software of that car will make the decisions on how to react to certain emergency situations. The main selling point of such future technologies is safety. No longer will we have car accidents due to drunk drivers or speeding demons... The car will control all aspect of the driving experience. One such dilemma might involve this scenario. Suppose you are in the backseat and the car is heading down a busy freeway. There was an accident ahead and it is due to an expoding tire, which can happen with or without self driving vehicles. It happened in a split second just ahead of you Your vehicle has a choice to make, either slam into the school bus ahead with many children aboard or veer off the road and possibly kill you? What should it do? The programmer who must deal with this scenario and many others has to make an on the spot decision, is one life worth more than many? What is the ethical thing to do? or is self preservation trumps all other consideration?
- You are a non violent individual. You live in a nice neighborhood with adequate policing. You support strict gun control to keep guns away from children and from gangs. Your neighbor is a big gun enthusiast, and a member of the NRA. Here is your dilemma. Suppose a black out happened after a serious storm. Power is off for 2 weeks. You are out of food and the refrigerator is out. You are afraid strangers may invade your home. Do you go next door and ask your neighbor to borrow a gun for self protection?
In each of the scenario, there is a simple "right" answer.
The abortion issues is clear for me. It was made legal by the Supreme court in 1973. However, it was suppose to be rare. The baby in the womb is a human being viable after 26 weeks. It should not be aborted after that and if anyone comits murder, accident or otherwise, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
In the second scenario, the right answer should be you always save humans before animal, even if it is your favorite pet dog. The answer is based on our believe that humans are given a higher value over the animal kingdom. It was God who gave us the Bible and it states the order of things. We humans as decendants of Adam were given the dominion over the earth including all the animals and the plants.
Illegal immigrants should not be here in our country. The vast majority of illegals are hard working and law abiding people who are just trying to create a better life. However, that does not give them the right to come here uninvited, and bypass or immigration process. It is a poor policy for any country to have two status of citizens, a legal and an undocumented. That undermines our equal protection under the law statue. An open border policy will lead to the end of a nation which is defined by it's borders, language and culture.
The self driving car is a hypothetical at this point in time. It is not clear to me that it will ever be achieved by technology advances, and economic feasibility. The moral dilemma is a real one. What should the programmer use as his "Bible"? These life or death decisions should not be made by humans or their algorithms. Sometimes, it should just be left to chance.
Gun control and the Constitution is at odds for a long time. The Constitution is clear in the 2nd Amendment and the reason behind the right to bear arms. Some in the modern age believe our Constitution is out dated. The self protection by guns is no longer needed when we have a well regulated police force. They point to mass shootings by the mentally ill and gun violence in our inner cities as reasons to regulate gun ownership. However, in a time of disaster, natural or manmade, the threat to individuals is real.