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Tough Choices

Writing Values Statements

In his book, Kidder explains that ethical values are those things that individuals and groups have determined as being in their best interests (making life better overall). They can usually be stated in sentences beginning with "It is right to ..." and "It is wrong to ...". For example, in a euthanasia case some of the values being discussed might be stated as:

It is right to ease suffering.

It is wrong to kill.

It is right to protect life.

It is wrong to inflict pain.

It is wrong to make life and death decisions for others.

Your assignment is to imagine that you know for certain that a good friend stole $50 from a teacher’s briefcase. She has discovered the theft, and asked any student with information to come forward. Write out a list of the values statements you could consider as you try to decide what to do. Write each statement as a complete sentence. Proofread them for conciseness, neatness, clarity, legibility, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. You may write your final draft on either this sheet of paper, or a blank one. If you do not submit this sheet, please head your paper with your name, the class name, the assignment number, and the due date.


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