The Trouble Is…

…that every dilemma differs from the next. What happens when both sides of the issue seem to be the ‘ethically correct’ thing to do? Kidder defines ethical dilemmas as “right versus right”. In this video of the late Dr. Rush Kidder, he discusses his “Four Paradigms of Dilemma”

The first paradigm he discusses is Truth vs. Loyalty.

we’re talking about truth telling, in a particular situation…there are probably very few situations where loyalty overcomes great big ‘capital T’ truth…but there are plenty, where loyalty needs to take primacy over ‘small t’ truth, truth telling in a particular situation”

You have knowledge, knowledge that can protect somebody or something you care about… BUT giving up that knowledge is not an option because to do so, has consequence….Oh the dilemma! Truth vs. Loyalty. As a parent I’m sure you, and I certainly have faced this regularly. A child asks to get something from the closet in your room, you know that their birthday present is in there, you have to say no but provide just a little ‘white lie’ to prevent suspicion and add legitimacy to your decision (I can’t think of one which my children would accept ‘off the cuff’ because essentially, they’re smarter than me). The ‘small t’. Our classrooms are filled with ethical dilemmas every week, we have a duty to protect the learners best interests because we are the ones who ultimately control the direction of their learning paths.


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