Right is the notion that one is being


Right vs Right Dilemma

            The ethical decision-making process laid out by Dr. Rushworth M. Kidder is laid out by 9 very important checkpoints. Checkpoint number 4, Right vs Right paradigms is one of the most important ones. Right vs Right refers to the ethical dilemmas that are that way because each side represents entrenched basic and core values.  The four paradigms, according to Kidder, are Truth vs Loyalty, Individual vs Community, Short-Term vs Long-Term, and Justice vs. Mercy. In short these paradigms represent, respectively, dilemmas where the core values at stake are honest vs commitment, us vs them, immediate desires vs future goals, and fairness vs compassion (Dennis 1997).

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            One of the reasons this concept is so intriguing is that it represents that “gray” aspect of ethics that people are unafraid to really touch upon and are probably among the more crucial ethical crises a person will expect in their lifetime. The reality of life demands that people need to be able to not just hammer their way through tough choices but “to get it right” (Kidder, 1995).  Right vs wrong is much easier to deal with than Right vs. Right because that is just moral temptation. In Truth vs Loyalty for instance, it “is right to stand on truth. It is right to be loyal” (Kidder, 1995).  It is the notion that one is being asked to support one core belief over another.

            In the context of my own life, the right vs right dilemma I constantly find myself in are those of mercy vs justice and individual vs community.


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