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E&L pre-script%2 - Moral Agency in Greek Tragedy Acceptance Acquiescence and Assertion in the face of Authority Giving Voice to Values Guidelines

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1 Moral Agency in Greek Tragedy: Acceptance, Acquiescence and Assertion in the face of Authority Giving Voice to Values: Guidelines for Pre-scription of Action In studies that have been conducted to discover what motivated individuals in Occupied Europe to become Rescuers for those threatened by the policies of the Axis powers very few constants have been found. People of all social classes, faiths, ages, professions, etc., chose to risk their own freedom and safety rather than simply accept the dictates of the Nazi regime. However, one constant that emerged in the studies of Huneke is that of “pre-scription”. 1 Many of those who ultimately became Rescuers reported having had meaningful conversations with individuals they respected about what they would do if they were placed in a situation where they had to choose how much they were willing to risk their own lives, or that of their family or village, to save strangers. This finding suggests that one way to make it easier to act as the moral agents we wish to be is to rehearse the actions we would take in particular situations with others in a serious and meaningful context. This is not to imply that in any given situation only one course of action marks an individual as a moral agent. True, difficult ethical choices are often caused by ethical challenges, when we know the right thing to do but fear doing it because of the consequences; but sometimes we are faced with true ethical dilemmas when either of two courses of action seems to have its pros and cons. And what appears as an ethical challenge to some could be a genuine ethical dilemma to others. It was in part in light of these two factors that Mary Gentile devised the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum from which I will be adapting several principles for the exercises in pre-scripting action in the course. The whole approach is geared towards the normalization rather than the compartmentalization of ethical and moral challenges and dilemmas, making the decision to speak out against something that is perceived as
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course CC 348 taught by Professor Dean- jones during the Spring '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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E&L pre-script%2 - Moral Agency in Greek Tragedy Acceptance Acquiescence and Assertion in the face of Authority Giving Voice to Values Guidelines

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