Ethical Dilemma Discussion – “Silvia is Stuck”

Detailed Instructions

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You and your family are on a vacation excursion with a group of tourists, all of whom were strangers before the tour. The tour leader is a pregnant woman named Silvia. Throughout the tour, Silvia takes the group to visit several beautiful caves along a coastline. While leading your tourist group out of one of the caves, Silvia trips and gets stuck in the mouth of the cave and cannot be pulled or pushed out of it. In a short time high-tide will be upon all of you, and unless Silvia is unstuck, all of you will be drowned except Silvia, whose head is out of the cave. Peter, one of the tourists, advises that he has a stick of dynamite with him and suggests lighting it at the mouth of the cave so all of you can escape. The tourist group realizes there is no way to get Silvia loose from the mouth of the cave without using the dynamite which will inevitably kill her. However, if the group does not use the dynamite everyone else will drown. Questions: A) What would you suggest to the tourist group? Be specific. (Minimum one paragraph, no less than five sentences.) B) Is your suggestion ethical?

Quick Response

The scenario provided can be categorized as the principle of double effect. This entails provision of an explanation of an action that has serious harm to a person as a side effect of promoting the greater good. I would support the decision of Peter to use the dynamite stick to blow up the mouth of the cave and free everyone. This would save my family and other tourists who are more than the expectant tourist guide. The decision and approach are ethical especially when arguing from utilitarianism approach. Utilitarianism encourages focus on the bigger picture CITATION Ste09 l 1033  (Stewart, 2009), which is regarded to make significant sense when faced with moral dilemmas….

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