making ethical decisions: may your conscience be your guide

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MAKING ETHICAL
DECISIONS:
MAY YOUR CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE
PRESENTED FOR CLASS 5-301
BY MRS. DAVIS
HOW CAN WE MAKE DECISIONS THAT
ARE EFFECTIVE AND ETHICAL?
 HOW DO WE LEARN TO DISCERN, LISTEN
TO OUR CONSCIENCE & MAKE MOGO
(MOST GOOD, LEAST HARM) CHOICES IN
REAL-LIFE & IN STORIES?
 HOW DO MORAL DILEMMAS FIT INTO
BOOK’S THEMES-MAIN IDEAS?

MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS
WHAT DOES “MAY YOUR
CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE”
MEAN?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOZz
NOkcEgM
PINOCCHIO & JIMINY CRICKET

Not just a little squeak, pucker up and
blow
And if your whistle's weak, yell, "Jiminy
Cricket!"
Right!
Take the straight and narrow path
And if you start to slide
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!
And always let your conscience be your
guide
PINOCCHIO
When you get in trouble and you
don't know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little
whistle!
When you meet temptation and the
urge is very strong
Give a little whistle! Give a little
whistle!
ALWAYS LET YOUR CONSCIENCE
BE YOUR GUIDE
WHAT DOES “MAY YOUR
CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE”
MEAN?
Whether or not we realize it at the time,
all our words, actions and attitudes reflect
choices. A foundation to good decision
making is acceptance of two core
principles:
 We all have the power to decide what we
do and what we say.
 We are morally responsible for the
consequences of our choices.

MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS…
To help identify important decisions, ask
yourself these four questions:
 Could you or someone else suffer physical
harm?
 Could you or someone else suffer serious
emotional pain?
Recognizing Important Decisions
Could the decision hurt your reputation,
undermine your credibility or damage
important relationships?
 Could the decision impede the
achievement of any important goal?

Recognizing Important Decisions
STAKEHOLDERS:WHO IS
IMPACTED BY YOUR DECISIONS?

Each person affected by a decision has a stake in
the decision and a moral claim on the decision maker.
Good decisions take into account the possible
consequences of words and actions on all those
potentially affected by a decision (“stakeholders.”)
Being thoughtful or considerate about the way our
choices affect others is part of the stakeholder
concept. Another is to be systematic in thinking about
whom a decision could affect. The stakeholder
concept reinforces our obligation to make all
reasonable efforts to foresee possible consequences
and take reasonable steps to avoid unjustified harm
to others.
Stakeholders: Who is impacted by
your decision?
Ethical Decisions: A decision is ethical when it is
consistent with the six pillars of character. Ethical
decisions generate and sustain trust, demonstrate
respect, responsibility, fairness and caring and are
consistent with good citizenship. If we lie to get
something we want and get it, the decision might well
be called effective. But it is also unethical.
 Effective Decisions: A decision is effective if it
accomplishes something we want to happen, if it
advances our purposes. A simple test is: are you
satisfied with the results? A choice that produces
unintended and undesirable results is ineffective.

Good Decisions Are Both Ethical
and Effective
There are two critical aspects to ethically sound
decisions: knowing what to do and doing it.
 Discernment: The first requirement of good
decisions is discernment. It requires knowledge and
judgment.
 Discipline: Good decisions also require discipline,
the strength of character to do what should be done
even when it is costly or uncomfortable. It is not
enough that we know the difference between what is
right or wrong. We must follow the right course or
action. This often takes will power or moral courage;
the willingness to do the right thing even when it is
inconvenient, scary, difficult or costly.

Discernment and Discipline



A dilemma is…
a situation requiring a choice between equally
undesirable alternatives.
A moral is a person's standards of behavior or beliefs
concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
A moral dilemma is a conflict in which you have to choose
between two or more actions and have moral reasons for
choosing each action. It's not always easy to solve a moral
dilemma. They are often complicated, with a lot at stake
for several parties involved. It's important to take a slow
and methodical approach to a moral dilemma.
a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning
what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
MORAL DILEMMAS
If your best friend proudly gave you a
picture she had painted and you didn't
like the painting, would you put it on the
wall in your house?
 You have accepted an invitation to a
friend's party. Then you are invited to a
much more fun party. Would you think of
an excuse not to go to your friend's party
 If you found a diary that a friend had left
at your house, would you read it?

“FRIENDLY” MORAL DILEMMAS

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. The
sum of money would be a great benefit to the
orphanage, and the children’s lives would turn
from poor to prosperous.
ROBIN HOOD MORAL DILEMMA:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO & WHY?
Would you:
 a: Call the police and report the robber,
even though they would likely take the
money away from the orphanage, or
b: Do nothing and leave the robber and
the orphans alone?

ROBIN HOOD MORAL DILEMMA:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO & WHY?

Remember a time when you had to make a
choice and each option was equally
unpleasant? Perhaps you lied to your parents
and something terrible happened because of
it only to be faced with the task of divulging
the truth and getting punished for lying or
face the grim fate of what has occurred
because of the lie. This predicament is called
a Dilemma: a situation that challenges an
agreeable solution. In literature Dilemmas
form the main conflict many protagonists
encounter.
MORAL DILEMMA IN LITERATURE
MORAL DILEMMAS IN STORIES

Winnie must choose whether to drink
from a spring that would allow her to stay
her present age forever. The choice is not
as easy as one might first think, and
Winnie must grapple with important
questions about what life-and death-really
is.
TUCK EVERLASTING

Joel and Tony had been warned never to
go near the river. When Tony challenges
Joel to swim, and Tony ends up
disappearing, Joel is faced with the
decision of whether to tell the truth. This
novel also deals with the responsibility of
moral decision-making transferring from
the parent to the child, as the child
matures.
ON MY HONOR

When a boy learns that the dog Shiloh is
being abused by his owner, he must
decide what to do. When should you mind
your own business? When should you take
action? What should you do when the law
is wrong?
SHILOH
What moral dilemma is the main
character facing?
 What were the choices?

TURN & TALK ABOUT A MORAL
DILEMMA FACING A CHARACTER
IN A BOOK YOU HAVE READ


What is the moral dilemma facing the main
character? Make sure you provide evidence
from the text.
Is the decision the main character makes
both ethical & effective? Explain why or
why not. Make sure you address the pillars
of character involved. Tell how each one
applies or is violated.
MORAL DILEMMAS IN OUR CIVIL
RIGHTS BOOK CLUB STORIES





Who are the stakeholders involved? Tell
how each one is impacted or could be
impacted by the decision.
Was the main character able to discern and
use good judgment? Explain.
Did the main character have the discipline
to do “the right thing?” Explain.
What is the main idea-theme of the story?
How does the moral dilemma fit into the
theme or main idea?
Are there any additional questionswonderings you have regarding this ethical
model? Jot them down.
MORAL DILEMMAS IN OUR CIVIL
RIGHTS BOOK CLUB STORIES

IN A PARAGRAPH OR LESS, SUMMARIZE
WHAT YOU LEARNED TODAY ABOUT
MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS &
DESCRIBE ITS RELEVANCY IN REAL-LIFE
& STORIES.
ASSESSING OUR LEARNING:

WE WILL REVIEW ACTIVITY AND RUBRIC.
RESPONSE TO LITERATURE USING
ETHICAL MODEL
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