Term Paper: Moral Dilemma

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moral dilemmas saw Julie at a club and she was with a boy other than her boyfriend John. They were kissing and it was obvious she was cheating on him. I knew better than to say something but John is also my friend and he asked me directly whether or not I saw Julie with Garth at the club. He told me that someone saw them together and wanted to hear a second witness's opinion before confronting Julie. I was stuck, torn between my loyalty to two of my best friends. I had known both since high school.

The way I resolved this moral dilemma would have been described both by Kohlberg and by Gilligan as being postconventional. Demonstrating a mature level of moral reasoning and having already internalized conventional rules-based ethics, I decided to first tell Julie that John was concerned. I waited for Julie to confess to me what she and Garth were doing and to what extend they were pursuing an affair with one another. As it turned out, she and Garth were mainly flirting; they had kissed but had not gone beyond that point. Thus, I alleviated a lot of grief had I put Julie on the defensive by accusing her of having a full-blown romantic affair.

Had I been stuck in Kohlberg's or Gilligan's preconventional stage then I might have sought to win favors from either Julie or John. If I thought John would appreciate my loyalty more than Julie then I might have risked losing my friendship with Julie in order to please John; even if Julie were not having the affair it would have impressed John that I cared enough about him to take that chance. The fact that I had a crush on John to begin with would have underscored my preconventional moral reasoning but my behaviors showed that I had matured far beyond that stage. Similarly, I might have felt like it was my moral duty to help John -- or that it was my moral duty to preserve Julie's privacy. At a conventional stage of moral reasoning, I would still… [END OF PREVIEW]

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