When you have to choose to do one of the two coequally unlikeable thing, you have a dilemma. Moral dilemmas are part of our lives. And because of moral dilemmas, taking decisions are more difficult. Actually we have moral dilemmas everyday, everywhere, but we don’t recognize them.
A moral dilemma confuses our mind. We can’t decide what to pick or what to do. Because both of them will cause something different and neither will be healthy. “You are an inmate in a concentration camp. A sadistic guard is about to hang your son who tried to escape and wants you to pull the chair from underneath him. He says that if you don’t he will not only kill your son but some other innocent inmate as well. You don’t have any doubt that he means what he says. What should you do?” In this situation, you will kill your son, or you will let the guard kill him, but you know that he will kill one of your friends who is in the camp too. Some people will say; “I can’t kill my son, I can’t live with that sorrow, I’ll let the guard kill him and another person.” Or other people can say; “One person dying is better than 2 people. Maybe he is my son. But another person can’t die because of me.”
If we look at other dilemmas, making decisions with sheer numbers don’t help us. For example; you’re on a bridge and you see 3 people on a rail, stuck. They’re going to die, because a train will come. Then you see another person, walking on the bridge. So my question is: Can you push that person in front of that 3 people and save those people’s life and kill one person, or you don’t do anything and you just let those 3 people die? That’s a moral dilemma, and the sort which makes you think about numbers.
Television programs try to make interesting things. Things that they believe people will enjoy. But this program in France called “Torture Game Show” puts the contestant under pressure. Competitors should give electricity to a person they don’t know. And the presenter forces them to do this and you can’t quit the game. Otherwise, you’ll be a quitter, in front of millions of people. But there’s another thing; contestants don’t know that the person they’re giving electricity is an actor, and they’re not feeling anything. So there’s a moral dilemma in this show, people should decide between 2 things. They will be a loser or they will give electricity to a person they don’t know. And they have to decide. This show is similar to an experiment in Yale University, the “Milgram Experiment.” In that experiment there was a volunteer that asked questions to a person, and if the person replied wrong, he was obliged to electro shock them. While in different experiments people have tried to observe moral dilemmas, others have tried to make money off these kinds of experiments by making tv shows about them.
We can see such dilemmas in journalism too. You have to make a decision between your job or your personality. We can see a moral dilemma in the tragic shoot at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 27 people died, including children who were aged 5-6 years old. Sandy Hook is a small place where most of the people heard about the shooting within the minutes. After this shooting Sandy Hook was flooded by journalists who were in a competition, trying to get information from people. But broken-hearted people (mostly who lost their children or friends) were trying to organize funerals and rightly they were beyond themselves. Others were shocked by the shooting, so they were telling journalists to go. People were rightly too sad to talk about this shooting. So the moral dilemma in this situation is: journalists can’t leave, because they’re working, but on the other hand, they’re humans and feel like they should leave and give people the space. Yes, there’s fierce competition like in every job and they themselves are also under pressure from their employers to learn something new for the newspaper and they have to keep their sanity and integrity to remain a sound human being. Both of these decisions won’t be healty. If they leave, then they can’t keep people uptaded and they’ll lose the competition- and maybe even their job, but if they don’t leave, then the citizens of Sandy Hook won’t be content, because they’re already having a hard time.
Making decisions can be so hard because of these moral dilemmas. But we have to learn how to overcome this. In these dilemmas we have to decide what’s best for us and others. The question is who is the priority: ‘’us’’ or ‘’them’’ ?