Moral Dilemma Essay

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Moral Dilemma

As human beings, we are forced to accept the inevitability of being unwillingly confronted with situations that test the strength of our morality and character. In the midst of deep moral conflict we become immensely introspective and we follow our intuition with the hopes of it guiding us towards the morally correct decision. However, how can we be sure that we have acted morally in a situation that is so morbid and perverse that our intuition is completely torn? This is the dilemma that is faced by the mother who is given a terrible choice by a Nazi officer: either the officer will kill all three of her children, or the mother must kill one in order preserve the lives of the other two. In this situation,
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The answer lies in the unique context of the dilemma.

Traditional moral theory, which is not regarded as "gender-neutral" by many feminist philosophers, stipulates that a moral decision can reached by rational calculation and that emotion interferes with reaching a truly rational, and thereby moral, conclusion. By this standard, women should be seen as deficient in their method of moral deliberation. Kantian and Utilitarian ethics share the general premise that the application of a general principle to any situation, no matter what the context, allows for the achievement of a moral decision. Although Utilitarianism does directs us as to which emotions we should cultivate, the actions we should take to achieve them are solely a matter of rational calculation.

It seems as though both theories are designed to operate in an ideal world in which it is necessary that everyone consider them categorically, as opposed to hypothetically. However, this world is by no means ideal, and those of us who exist in it recognize the inherent danger in applying an abstract principle to every particular situation we encounter. These theories fail to recognize us as practical human beings that have feelings and emotional ties to those around us.

In seeing the problem of ethics as a problem of reconciling the interests of the self with what would be right or best for "everyone",

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