How do you Make a Moral Decision?

United States
February 7, 2013 9:01pm CST
Ethics is a fascinating subject since we as humans have many different morals and standards we live by. As I was taking an ethics class in health care I dived into the concept of moral decision making and found that my way of coming up with a solution to a moral dilemma was a bit complicated...yet I do it in seconds without realizing it. I have read before that there are three main ways in which people make moral decisions. The first way is a self centered approach. This means that the answer to your dilemma will be whatever answer benefits you the most. The second way is the complete opposite. This is where a decision is made solely on how the decision will affect the other parties involved in the dilemma and not yourself. The third way is a median between the two where you would assume the affects the decision would have on both parties involved and come up with a solution the would cause the least harm. I found that I typically use the third option and with mathematical data... For example: Let's say I had a long day at work and had a massive headache. My friend calls me crying and wants me to go have a drink with her because her and her boyfriend got in a fight. I am not in the mood to drink, I don't feel well, and I will have to listen to her talk the entire time...but if I don't go I would feel as though I would be a bad friend. So this is how I would decide my decision (Keep in mind it is done a lot faster in my head than in writing it). On a scale of 1-10 if I don't go- it would negatively affect her at a 6 (this would very depending on different friends, I have one of my friends in mind) yet it would positively affect me at 9. If I do go- it would negatively affect me at a 9 yet positively affect her at a 8. Since I have the highest points of it affecting me I would chose not to go. What are your thoughts on the matter? How do you make your decisions if you break them down step by step?
1 response
• Philippines
8 Feb 13
Hmm health care is different from a social situation. If we talk about moral, it about being right and wrong plus the extend of the effect that it may cause. Providing we going to tackle about, legal issue in health care, we are bounded by standards of care, and that is supported by litigation if we neglected some actions not included in the standards of care. Moral here is very important. On the other hand, if we are just talking about like your example. Dang, of course when you are not feeling well going out talking with her and drinking, i think you could just talk by phone and listen for a while, and tell her you have a terrible headache, even though you really wanted to stay and listen to her all night, however you just cannot handle the pain anymore, i guess she can understand that. Somehow you already given her some of your time listening to her heart aches.