Ethical questions arise in situations across the board every day. No matter the profession or duty of work professionals and commoners alike face a constant battle with ethical issues and dilemmas. The clear-cut answer does not always present itself, leaving much up to debate among sides. Oftentimes the two opposing sides to the situation disagree on their opinion of the correct outcome causing conflict. Because ethics seeks to question morality, several different decisions can be reached for each issue. Each person tends to take a unique stance on ethical issues. Some will feel empathetic toward the victim and sway their decision in their victim. Some understand the victim’s situation but must legally take action to enforce the laws. And still others believe the government should take responsibility to help the victim and give them what they want.
Ethical dilemmas occur between friends frequently. Sometimes one person will take a different stance on certain issues than another. For example, Caroline is new to town. She meets this group of girls that seem nice and she wants to do whatever she can to make friends with them. One Friday night, the girls take Caroline to the mall. They tell her to steal a bottle of perfume from a store. Caroline knows this is wrong and that her mom will be furious, but desperately wants this group of girls to like her and include her in their group. She decides to steal the perfume because making friends was more important to her.
Especially as teenagers, we are faced with this dilemma or one similar to it often. Many of us do not want to cause conflict among our friends and go along with what our friends do to fit in. I have not been faced with this particular situation in my life, but I have experienced similar feelings to Caroline. If I were in Caroline’s situation, I know I should do the right thing but that is not always the easy thing to do. In this situation, Caroline’s intention was for the good; she wanted to make friends to facilitate her transition into this new town. However, her action in stealing the perfume was an unethical decision.
The struggle to make ethical decisions face us every day. I think people struggle with the difficulties of intention versus action because they do not realize that their actions affect many other people other than themselves. I do not believe that any one approach to dealing with the ethical issues is the correct approach. Each person will approach their ethical situation differently depending on their personal values and beliefs.