“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Voltaire
Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen
What is your toughest decision to date? Every day, we make decisions that can have a long lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others around us. Some of those decisions are tough but some are even tougher; they test our sense of integrity and the limits of our need for self preservation. One of the toughest decisions I had to make in my life was to leave my family and friends and move to the US. I did it with much trepidation and, many years later, I still wonder what might have been different if I had stayed in the UK. But there are tougher questions that we sometimes face in our lives. Many of them tend to center around life and death situations and
When I saw the Discover Challenge topic about tough questions, what popped in my head were a series of moral dilemma questions. I believe anything that forces us to choose or make a decision that can harm a loved one is truly in the category of toughest questions and most of us just won’t choose. Below, I have added a few moral dilemma scenarios from Listverse that would give most of us food for thought. They fit in the category of toughest questions and while I have never been in a position to make such a call, it is one that haunts us all. What would be your response? Have you had an incredibly tough question to face in your life?
You are a very skilled doctor with five dying patients, each of whom needs a different organ in order to live. Unfortunately, there are no organs available to perform any of the transplants. It just so happens that you have a sixth dying patient, suffering from a fatal illness, who will die sooner than the other five if not treated. If this sixth patient dies, you will be able to use his organs to save the five other patients. However, you have a medicine you can give to this sixth patient that will cure his illness and he won’t die. Would you:
a: Wait for the patient to die and then harvest his organs or
b: Save the patient even though the other patients won’t get organs.
If you chose to administer the medicine, would you still do so even if the medicine will not cure the patient, but, instead, delay his death to some short term future date or time after the five patients will have died? Why?
You are an inmate in a concentration camp. A sadistic guard is about to hang your son who tried to escape, and is telling you to pull the chair out from under him. He says that if you don’t do so, the guard will kill not only your son who tried to escape, but also your other son, who is another innocent inmate. You have no doubt that he means what he says. What would you do? Listverse
“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?” David Bowie
There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love. Lord Byron
Are there moral limits you would consider? Whether we admit to it or not, there are lines we will/won’t cross in the sand and each of us know what our gauge is. However, there might be times in our lives where the dilemma is not so clear cut that any decision we make will be fraught with danger, pain and ultimately deep sadness for us or others. May we never had to traverse that universe of dilemmas. In the meantime, check out more moral dilemma situations below and consider what you think you would do. They are from the same site and left me holding my chest.
There is a train that, much to your horror, is about to run over your grown up son, who has been tied to its track. It just so happens that you have just enough time to flip a switch that will send the train down a different track, saving your son. However, tied to the other track, is your granddaughter, the daughter of the very son in danger of being run over. Your son is begging and pleading with you not to flip the switch, not to kill his daughter. What would you do?
Jim has the responsibility of filling a position in his firm. His friend Paul has applied and is qualified, but someone else seems even more qualified. Jim wants to give the job to Paul, but he feels guilty, believing that he ought to be impartial. That’s the essence of morality, he initially tells himself. This belief is, however, rejected, as Jim resolves that friendship has a moral importance that permits, and perhaps even requires, partiality in some circumstances. So he gives the job to Paul. Was he right? via Listverse
This post was inspired by a Daily Word Prompt: Tough Questions – : Getting stumped is sometimes an invitation to rethink what we know. This week, tell us about a moment in which someone asked you a question you weren’t sure how to answer, whether because you didn’t know, were too uncomfortable, or thought you might offend or confuse the other person. This doesn’t have to be about factual questions, of course — the thorniest questions are often those to which there’s no clear, established answer. As always, feel free to approach the topic through any medium (or multiple media), and in any genre or style. I look forward to your posts! Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.
Positive Motivation Tip: To thine own spirit and moral code be true!