Rt v Rt - Word - Overview: The Ethics of Right versus Right...

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Overview: The Ethics of Right versus Right By Rushworth M. Kidder Excerpted from How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living © 1995 William Morrow and Company Chapter One Overview: The Ethics of Right versus Right All of us face tough choices. Sometimes we duck them. Sometimes we address them. Even when we address them, however, we don't always decide to resolve them. Sometimes we simply brood endlessly over possible outcomes or agonize about paths to pursue. And even if we do try to resolve them, we don't always do so by energetic self- reflection. Sometimes we simply bull our way through to a conclusion by sheer impatience and assertive self-will -- as though getting it resolved were more important than getting it right . This is a book for those who want to address and resolve tough choices through energetic self-reflection. Those are the people, after all, whom we often think of as "good" people. They are good, we say, because they seem to have some conscious sense of vision, some deep core of ethical values, that gives them the courage to stand up to the tough choices. That doesn't mean they face fewer choices than other people. Quite the opposite: Those who live in close proximity to their basic values are apt to agonize over choices that other people, drifting over the surface of their lives, might never even see as problems. Sound values raise tough choices; and tough choices are never easy. That was the case with a librarian who, several years ago, was working the reference desk at the public library in her community. The phone rang. The questioner, a male, wanted some information on state laws concerning rape. The librarian asked several questions to clarify the nature of his inquiry. Then, in keeping with long-established library policy designed to keep phone lines from being tied up, she explained that she would call him back in a few minutes after researching his question. She took down his first name and phone number, and hung up. She was just getting up to do the research when a man who had been sitting in the reading area within earshot of the reference desk approached her. Flashing a police detective's badge, he asked for the name and number of the caller. The reason: The conversation he 1
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had overheard led him to suspect that the caller was the perpetrator of a rape that had happened the night before in the community. What should she do? On one hand, she herself was a member of the community. She felt very strongly about the need to maintain law and order. As a woman, she was particularly concerned that a rapist might be at large in the community. And as a citizen, she wanted to do whatever she could to reduce the possibility that he might strike again. After all, what if she refused to tell -- and another rape happened the following night?
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Rt v Rt - Word - Overview: The Ethics of Right versus Right...

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