Moral Accountability as a Result of Choises

2387 Words10 Pages
Moral Accountability As a Result of Choices Are we as individuals morally accountable for our actions if we are forced to make a choice under duress or extreme conditions? People every day make choices under their own volition. While some decisions seem simple and straightforward, others are more complicated when ethics and morality are of concern. We are ultimately responsible for our actions, however, if we are coerced, intimidated or manipulated into making a decision that is contrary to our belief system, our moral responsibility is negated. What are the motivating factors that affect our behavior and ultimately persuade us to make a moral decision? It can be said that societal mores, religious beliefs and cultural traditions influence our notion of right and wrong and help guide us through life. These fundamental experiences shape our perception of the world and help us develop our moral principles. With this being said, how do we reconcile the making of a decision that has moral implications and presents us with an ethical dilemma? Webster’s Dictionary defines an ethical dilemma as a situation that often involves an apparent conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another (“Ethical Dilemma”). When we are faced with a decision that has ethical considerations, we are forced to contemplate each alternative to determine the best outcome based on a set of rules. Many cultures have embraced recognizable golden rules, or ethical standards that have helped to govern and influence the behavior of their communities’ citizens. Societies and their inherent values systems have been constructed from the collective experiences of their human inhabitants. Our principles of right and wrong are closely linked to these experiences and communal traditions. The primary barometer to determine whether our actions are deemed right or
Open Document