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Short moral dilemmas

Take this poll to see how your answers to these classic moral dilemmas compare to everyone else's. Are we all terrible people?! NOTE: Some of the subject matter here is a little dark, but that's what makes these problems so challenging. Proceed at your own risk! You are at your best friend's wedding just an hour before the ceremony is to start. If you tell your friend about the affair, their day will be ruined, but you don't want them to marry a cheater.

What do you do? Source: Listverse. You are an eyewitness to a crime: A man has robbed a bank, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he donates it to a poor orphanage that can now afford to feed, clothe, and care for its children.

You know who committed the crime. If you go to the authorities with the information, there's a good chance the money will be returned to the bank, leaving a lot of kids in need.

You have a job as network administrator for a company that also employs your best friend's husband.

Moral Dilemmas And Children’s Stories

One day, your best friend's husband sends you a message asking you to release an email from quarantine. This requires you to open the email, at which point you discover that it's correspondence between this guy and his secret lover. After releasing the email, you find yourself in a pickle. Your instinct is to tell your best friend about his husband's infidelities, but divulging the contents of company emails is against company policy and you could lose your job.

Once it becomes plain that your best friend found out about his cheating husband through a company email, all trails will inevitably lead to you as the leak.

Do you tell him about the indiscretion? Source: PsychoPixi. You've been on a cruise for two days when there's an accident that forces everyone on board to abandon ship. During the evacuation, one of the boats is damaged, leaving it with a hole that fills it with water. You figure that with 10 people in the boat, you can keep the boat afloat by having nine people scoop the filling water out by hand for 10 minutes while the 10th person rests.

After that person's minute rest, he or she will get back to work while another person rests, and so on. This should keep the boat from sinking long enough for a rescue team to find you as long as it happens within five hours. You're taking your first brake when you notice your best friend in a sound lifeboat with only nine people in it and he beckons you to swim over and join them so you won't have to keep bailing out water.A dilemma is a choice between two equally good or two equally bad outcomes.

A moral dilemma elevates such a choice by giving two outcomes equally excellent, or excruciating, consequences not only for a protagonist, but for others. A dilemma is a situation in which none of us likes to be caught, but in which we all sometimes find ourselves. A moral dilemma is a situation nobody wants, and which few must ever facebut which is terrific for making compelling fiction. The vast majority feature dilemmas, relatable because they are faced by all of us over the course of growing up: Do I sit with my old friends at lunch or with these shiny new friends?

A thief bludgeons a victim on the street for the five dollars in her purse. How a character chooses in a true dilemma is a powerful expression of his humanity and of the world in which he lives. But if you sit with your new friends you might lose your old ones, since childhood is tribal.

If you follow the rules about being nice to everyone, how do you deal with that covert bully who is never nice to you? Childhood is chock full of impossible choices. Dilemmas create emotional anguish for characters, which in turn challenges readers to consider what they would do if the dilemma were theirs.

short moral dilemmas

That is, we twist them if the dilemma is truly difficult. Dilemmas, then, work best when the stakes are both high and personal. When one choice is morally right, it will win out unless it is offset by a different choice that is equally compelling in personal terms.

Law versus love. Tell the truth or protect the innocent. Be honest or be kind.

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Parables always feature a moral dilemma. The main character faces a moral dilemma, makes a bad decision then suffered the unintended consequences. To take the schoolyard bully example, it is morally right to ignore a bully. It may feel personally right to quietly take revenge, or at the very least, to assert your own position in the pecking order by doing something that displays your own strength. Mystery in story is always good. Not just in the mystery genres, but in every single story. Special abilities, secrets.

Make the secrets hurtful and embarrassing or dangerous. Your character should be willing to do about anything to protect them. Why is the character behaving in this particular way?

Maybe they say something surprising in dialogue. The balancing act for writers is, these actions have to be both surprising and consistent with attitudes and desires. This is where the moral dilemma comes in. As soon as you create a fork in the road for your character, this creates curiosity, anticipation and uncertainty in the reader.

The mystery is: What on earth will this character do? No one talks about moral dilemmas in fiction without mentioning this film.

In this story, the moral dilemma is the main thing. In desperate circumstances, on the spur of the moment, a mother has to decide between sacrificing her son or her daughter. This decision is presented as a flashback story using her present non-wartime life as a wrapper.

So the characters are caught between being good and being bad. That makes for more energetic fiction, when you have someone of two minds trying to figure out a problem, as opposed to being really sure about his way and his conduct. This lesser known film from explores the dilemma of a woman having to kill an innocent man in cold blood so that she can survive a hostage situation.Situation 1: There is a trolley coming down the tracks and ahead, there are five people tied to the tracks and are unable to move.

The trolley will continue coming and will kill the five people. If you pull the lever, the train will be directed to another track, which has ONE person tied to it.

short moral dilemmas

You have two choices: a Do nothing and the five people will die b Or pull the lever and save the five people, but that one person will die. Situation 2: There is a trolley coming down the tracks and ahead, there are five people tied to the tracks and are unable to move. However, in this situation, you are standing on a bridge above the train tracks and you can see the train coming. There is a man standing next to you, who is so enormous and heavy that if he places himself in front of the oncoming train, it will hit and kill him but the train will stop.

So you have two choices a Do nothing and the five people will die. He will be killed but will stop the trolley and save the five people. The ironic part about this problem is that while most people would choose the option b for the first situation, they will choose option a for the second situation, when technically, in both situations, you are sacrificing one man to save the lives of five people.

You, your baby, and your entire townspeople are being chased by this band of bad people who will kill you all if they find you. All of you decide to hide in this secret place and are silently waiting for the bad guys to move away. However you know that your baby WILL cough and the band will hear him.

Then they will find you, your baby, and the townspeople and kill all of you.

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So you have two choices:. You are a member of a gang and you have been arrested with another member of your gang. Both of you are confined away from each other and you have no way of communicating with the other member.

short moral dilemmas

The police does not have enough evidence to convict both of you with major charges and instead offer you and the other member a bargain. You have two choices: a You can remain silent b Or betray the other member and testify that he has committed the crime. Then there are three outcomes: a If you betray the other member and he remains silent, you will be set free and he will serve 3 years in prison. But this also works vice versa.

If you remain silent and he betrays you, you will serve 3 years in prison b If you betray the other member, and he betrays you too, you both serve 2 years in prison c If you and the other member both remain silent, you both only serve one year in prison.Stories that have morals and messages behind them are always powerful. Our last article of short stories became so popular, that we decided to create another list, in which every story has a simple moral behind it.

Some of these stories are very short and basic.

25 Moral Dilemmas

However, the strength of the message remains the same. An old man lived in the village. He was one of the most unfortunate people in the world. The longer he lived, the more bile he was becoming and the more poisonous were his words. People avoided him, because his misfortune became contagious. It was even unnatural and insulting to be happy next to him. But one day, when he turned eighty years oldan incredible thing happened. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life.

Some Moral Dilemmas

People have been coming to the wise man, complaining about the same problems every time. One day he told them a joke and everyone roared in laughter. So why are you always crying about the same problem? On the way they had to cross a stream. One day the donkey suddenly tumbled down the stream and the salt bag also fell into the water.

The salt dissolved in the water and hence the bag became very light to carry. The donkey was happy. The salt seller came to understand the trick and decided to teach a lesson to it.

The next day he loaded a cotton bag on the donkey. But the dampened cotton became very heavy to carry and the donkey suffered. It learnt a lesson. A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert.

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During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.

In the morning, they thought of a plan. Then they went to the Dean and said they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their way back the tire of their car burst and they had to push the car all the way back. So they were in no condition to take the test.

The Dean thought for a minute and said they can have the re-test after 3 days. They thanked him and said they will be ready by that time.Some people have hypothetical minds that like to debate what is right and wrong. Sometimes, however, what is right and wrong is not so clear, as is the case in a moral dilemma.

Three years ago, Jamie Frater created a list of 10 agonizing moral dilemmas. Be sure to tell us what you would do in each case. You are stranded with thirty people on a lifeboat that is intended to hold only seven. No one can paddle this heavy boat and it is definitely going to sink, drowning everyone inside it. It occurs to you that you can save some of the people in the lifeboat by throwing all but the strongest rowers overboard.

Do you think it would be morally permissible to save some people by throwing others overboard, especially seeing that, otherwise, everyone, including those thrown overboard, would have drowned anyway? Your wife is suffering from a debilitating disease that has put her in constant and permanent pain and agony.

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Finally, one day, she decides that she really wants to die. However, her condition is such that she cannot die on her own. She is begging and pleading with you to help her commit suicide. This would, of course, be illegal. What would you do? You are a child slave in Africa, laboring away 18 hours a day making rugs.

One night, you have a dream: God comes down from heaven and tells you that no one, not one person in the world, is buying your rugs. Would you feel:. Disappointed and anguished because you truly are going through all this slavery for nothing, or b.

Pleased because no one is benefiting from your cruel treatment. Slightly based on the trolley dilemma; there is a train that, much to your horror, is about to run over your own son, who has been tied to its track. It just so happens that you have only enough time to pull a lever which will send the train down an alternate track saving your son.Moral dilemmas are thought experiments which ask you to imagine a difficult situation and decide what you think the morally correct course of action would be.

Read through these 25 moral dilemmas, and have a think about what you might do in each situation. The Trapped Mining Crew. Heather is part of a four-person mining expedition. There is a cave-in and the four of them are trapped in the mine. A rock has crushed the legs of one of her crew members and he will die without medical attention.

She is able to calculate that this space has just enough oxygen for three people to survive for 36 hours, but definitely not enough for four people. The only way to save the other crew members is to refuse medical aid to the injured crew member so that there will be just enough oxygen for the rest of the crew to survive.

Should Heather allow the injured crew member to die in order to save the lives of the remaining crew members? A runaway trolley is heading down the tracks toward five workmen who will be killed if the trolley proceeds on its present course. Molly is on a footbridge over the tracks, in between the approaching trolley and the five workmen. Next to her on this footbridge is a stranger who happens to be very large. If she does nothing the trolley will proceed, causing the deaths of the five workmen.

The only way to save the lives of these workmen is to push this stranger off the bridge and onto the tracks below, where his large body will stop the trolley, causing his death. Ken is a doctor. One of his patients, whom he has diagnosed as HIV positive, is about to receive a blood transfusion prior to being released from the hospital. He has told Ken, in the confidence of their doctor-patient relationship, that after he gets his transfusion, and his medicine from Ken, he intends to infect as many people as possible with HIV starting that evening.

Because Ken is bound by doctor-patient confidentiality, there is no legal way to stop this man from carrying out his plan.

Even if Ken warned the police, they would not be able to arrest him, since his medical information is protected. It occurs to Ken that he could contaminate his medication by putting an untraceable poison in it that will kill him before he gets a chance to infect others. Tom is part of a group of ecologists who live in a remote stretch of jungle. The entire group, which includes eight children, has been taken hostage by a group of paramilitary terrorists.

One of the terrorists takes a liking to Tom.Morality is fun to debate. At the end of last December, I posted a list of another 10 dilemmas. By the comments submitted, I realize many did not feel that they had sufficient debatable merit.

Therefore, I have posted 10 more, which I think will be more thought provoking and agonizing than my first list. Please tell us what you would do in each scenario via comments. You are a very skilled doctor with five dying patients, each of whom needs a different organ in order to live. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of the transplants.

It just so happens that you have a sixth dying patient, suffering from a fatal illness, who will die sooner than the other five if not treated. If this sixth patient dies, you will be able to use his organs to save the five other patients.

Would you:. If you chose to administer the medicine, would you still do so even if the medicine will not cure the patient, but, instead, delay his death to some short term future date or time after the five patients will have died?

Ethical Dilemma: What's The Right Thing To Do? - MONSTER BOX

You have witnessed a man rob a bank, but then, he did something completely unusual and unexpected with the money. He donated it to an orphanage that was poor, run-down and lacking in proper food, care, water and amenities. Your best friend is about to get married. If your friend marries this woman, she is unlikely to be faithful, but on the other hand, if you tell your friend about the affair, you will ruin his wedding.

Would you, or would you not, tell your friend of the affair? This girl is an honor student. However, near the end of her grade twelve year, she fell ill with the flu and fell way behind in her school work.

She was so desperate about the report that she went online and passed off a report she found on that subject as her own. Her English teacher caught her and has referred her to you. If you enter on her academic record that she plagiarized, she will likely not be eligible to be accepted into St.

What would you do? You are a developer at a photo outlet. There have been six instances over the past several weeks in which the same parents have taken film to you for developing. In those pictures you have processed, you have seen those parents with a little boy, obviously their young son. In three of those six cases, the child appeared to be injured in some way.

One time, he had a bruise, one time he had a burn, one time he had multiple bruises and a cast. The parents could be totally innocent after all, but a child protective agency may take the child without any thought. This would leave the parents facing criminal charges, an expensive court case and possibly have to keep fighting to win their child back, even if found not guilty.

On the other hand, maybe the parents are harming their son and to not intervene would mean he will have to endure more of this cruel treatment, maybe indefinitely.