Humans face plenty of problems in their day-to-day lives that improve one’s cognitive functions and decision-making adjacent soft skills. But one of the hardest problems a person can face in their lifetime is an ethical dilemma.
An ethical dilemma is a problem that occurs in a person’s decision-making process, which has decisions that have large consequences for the people involved in the problem. These types of problems are often confusing and difficult to answer due to the complexity of the situation. The person has to take note and understand various elements, themes, and tones that contribute to the overall context of the ethical situation.
Ethical dilemmas sometimes appear in one’s life and cause the receiver to experience large amounts of stress the ethical dilemma creates. Not only that but the person will be at risk of cognitive dissonance when a person solves an ethical dilemma, which is highly dependent on the outcome conflicting with the person’s objectives, goals, ethics, and core values. If you want to learn more and understand various ethical dilemmas, you may use the various ethical dilemma examples in nursing, ethical dilemma examples in learning, and more on the links above.
Begin by analyzing the ethical dilemma. This means that you must try to deconstruct the dilemma you are in and take into account the various elements in play. You must determine if the dilemma is an ethical dilemma or a moral dilemma, as these have various observable connotations.
If you have the time, you should try and list out the benefits and consequences each choice brings into play. This will help bring into perspective what each choice can bring to the table.
If possible, you can brainstorm or conduct an introspective to try and generate or create more choices to answer the ethical dilemma. There might be possible alternatives that might not present themselves unless one thinks deeply about them.
One of the best ways to answer an ethical dilemma is through the value-centered approach. This approach focuses more on the choice that creates the most value or benefits for the person making the said choice.
Another way to answer an ethical dilemma is by choosing a choice that will bring the least amount of consequences to the people involved and affected by the ethical dilemma. This will require the person to weigh the benefits or consequences incurred by the choices.
People can segregate ethical dilemmas through four various vectors and paradigms. The first type of ethical dilemma is truth vs. loyalty, which tries to pit the person between indicating or saying something truthful that would antagonize or maintain the person’s loyalty or allegiance to a specific group of people. The second type of ethical dilemma is between short-term vs long-term, which pits the person between choosing a choice that would either have an immediate or a future impact. Individual vs. community is the third type of ethical dilemma, which pits the person to choose between the interests of one person over the interest of the community as a whole. The final type of ethical dilemma is justice vs. mercy, which pits the person to create a choice based on fairness, justice, and equal treatment or do something that would result in unequal treatment due to compassion and empathy.
There are many real-life examples of ethical dilemmas we can observe in our everyday lives. One example of an ethical dilemma in real life is when a parent has to choose between monitoring their child’s internet and social media activities or giving them full privacy to do whatever they want online. This ethical dilemma hinges on whether or not the parents will take away their child’s privacy for the sake of their safety, which would categorize this ethical dilemma as either truth vs. loyalty or short-term vs. long-term. Another example of a real-life ethical dilemma is whether or not a person will divulge a specific workplace accident that will result in the termination of another person. This ethical dilemma deals with justice vs. mercy, as it asks the person to decide whether or not the person causing the accident is fired from the company.
All ethical dilemmas share a common characteristic that makes people categorize them as such. One of these characteristics is that the dilemma does not present a right or wrong answer to the situation, because both present undesirable alternatives. Another characteristic that an ethical dilemma has is that one cannot use empirical data to choose the most applicable and advantageous answer.
An ethical dilemma is a specific sequence of events that will require a person to decide on a pool of difficult and disadvantageous alternatives. When faced with an ethical dilemma, a person will need to think rationally and use their internalized ethics, objectives, and core values to lead them to a decision that will not lead to cognitive dissonance.