Essay on Ethical Dilemma

Words: 3387
Pages: 14

The case study presents a moral dilemma based on potential harm to innocent people. By using Kohlberg’s moral development model and by examining major ethical systems, namely deontology and utilitarianism, a clear understanding of the factors influencing this type of decision-making can be gained. Specifically, utilitarianism, Kant’s categorical imperative and the doctrine of double effect address the decision from differing viewpoints, providing the decision maker with compelling evidence to support both angles of the ethical and moral dilemma presented in the decision at hand. A decision can then be made if it is considered morally justified, depending on the model used to make the decision. Often the solution of an ethical dilemma would …show more content…
The utility principle also supports the A/CO’s decision in that the right actions are those that yield the most good or utility. By closing the hatch there will be more lives saved and also a more expedient death to the three trapped men. There are two variations of utilitarianism; act- utilitarianism and rule- utilitarianism (Pojman & Feiser, 2009). Act-Utilitarianism is based on a situational context, considering that an act is right if and only if it results in as much good as any available alternative. It is only concerned with the good and evil that results from a particular circumstance, not the means to get there. This particular situation involves quick decision-making abilities while under an increasing presence of danger. The A/CO must make a decision under extremely stressful conditions. It is the decision to close the hatch to save the lives of the remaining crew that result in the greater good. However, Rule-Utilitarianism is not as dependent on the context of a situation. An act is right provided it is required by a rule, and that this rule is a member of a set of rules whose acceptance would lead to greater utility for society than any other alternative rule (Pojman & Feiser, 2009). The emergency procedure to close the hatch to the engineering department due to flooding would be followed. By ignoring this procedure the submarine will sink farther and crush under the