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Tough Choices

Spotting Ethical Situations

According to Rushworth M. Kidder in his book How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living (Morrow, 1995), an action or statement is wrong if it does one or more of the following:

1 - violates the law

2 - is untrue

3 - deviates from community/group values

Conversely, ethical actions or statements would do the opposite of one or more of the above.

Your assignment is to find a newspaper or magazine article that describes an action you believe to be either ethically right or wrong. If the article is on paper or you've printed it, attach it to this sheet for submission.  If it is available on the web, write its URL in the space I've left for it below. Proceed to answer the following 3 questions as clearly and concisely as you can in the spaces provided. Proofread and correct your responses for spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and complete sentences.

  1. Briefly describe the action noted in the article you found.



  1. Is the action you’ve described ethically right or ethically wrong by Kidder’s standard?


  1. What evidence can you present from the article to prove that the answer you gave to question #2 was correct?




  1. If the article you found to illustrate an ethical or unethical action is available on the web, write its URL (web site address) below.

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original web posting: Thursday, July 20, 2000
last modified: Sunday, August 01, 2004