Book Review: How Godd People Make Tough Choices Essay

1043 Words Oct 2nd, 2012 5 Pages
Book Review:
HOW GOOD PEOPLE MAKE TOUGH CHOICES

This book is aimed at helping people make ethical choices, through a readable mixture of analysis, guidance, and case studies. It was easy for me to identify with the case studies.
The basic premise is that tough choices revolve not around questions of right vs. wrong rather tough choices revolve around questions of right vs. right.
Based on study of thousands of real ethical dilemmas, Kidder presents four ethical paradigm pairs: Truth vs. loyalty Individual vs. community

Short-term vs. long-term Justice vs. mercy

For a given ethical dilemma, there is usually a dominant pair. Frequently, more than one must be considered, and sometimes all four. But, as Kidder
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7. Investigate "trilemma" options, in which one seeks a creative resolution which satisfies all values at stake.
8. Make the decision.
9. Revisit and reflect on the decision later.

Major Concepts

The core values undergirding ethical thinking are the principles of:
1. Nonmaleficence – Do no harm;
2. Beneficence – Promote good;
3. Justice –Equality and right; fairness.
Rushworth Kidder suggests that decision-making is driven by our core values, morals and integrity, and that some decisions fall into one of two categories: Moral Temptations and Ethical Dilemmas.

Moral Temptations

A moral temptation is a decision about right vs. wrong and is based clearly on the core values that each person possesses. There are three ways of being wrong:
1. Violation of the law;
2. Departure from the truth;
3. Deviation from moral rectitude.
Decisions about right vs. wrong can be assessed by testing the idea according to the following principles:
The Legal Test

Is law-breaking involved? If yes, the issue is one of obedience to the enforceable laws, as opposed to the unenforceable canons of moral code. If the answer is, “Yes it is legal” there are three other tests for thinking about right vs. wrong:
1. The Stench Test: Does this course of action have about it an indefinable odor of corruption that makes you recoil? This is a “gut test” and a “gut level” determination. Always listen to your gut because it tests your internal
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