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ACTIVITY A: Not Like They Used To

Many things have changed in the last thirty years. Some think that not all changes
are for the better. Look at the categories below and talk about how they have
changed. Have they gotten worse, gotten better, or stayed the same? Do these
changes reflect a widespread loss of basic morality?

 Family values
 Respect for elders
 Respect for authority
 Attitudes toward the law
 Attitudes toward child-rearing
 Work ethics
 Generosity towards the needy
 Social conscience and activism
 Trust in the government


Are we losing our morals? Its not uncommon to hear stories in the media about
the good deeds of common citizens. It is also reported that more people than ever
are volunteering their time to help the poor, the sick, and the elderly. Nonetheless,
there is also a lot of evidence of a widespread lack of basic morality.

Immoral behavior can be found in all areas of society. Most high school students
experience a lot of peer pressure to do things they consider to be wrong and it is only
the most self-confident or unpopular who can risk not complying. In many high
schools in the West, students are experimenting with smoking, drinking, drug, and
sex. Violent behavior, and mistreating or excluding unpopular students has become

Parents, who are supposed to act as role models and set a good example for their
children, are just as likely to break generally accepted codes of behavior. Just for
example, they break traffic rules just to save a couple of minutes.

Office workers are guilty of unethical behavior on a daily basis misusing their
expense accounts, stealing company property, lying about what they did or did not
do, using sick days inappropriately, and the list goes on. Unusually they excuse their
behavior by saying things like, If I didnt do it, someone else would or Its okay
everyone does it.
Even the highest level of business executives admit they are willing to falsify their
accounting records to gain an advantage over their competitors. A surprising 75% of
MBA students say they would be willing to change the fact to make company profits
look good. This lack of moral self-control is common in the workplace.

We frequently face temptations to do what we know is wrong and many of us could

improve our day-to-day behavior in some ways.


1. Summarize the article in your own words.

2. Give some examples of temptations that high schools students, adults, and
office workers face.
3. Do you agree with the above article? Do you think that the authors views are
accurate? Or do you think they are idealistic? In your opinion, is the author
realistic or pessimistic about human nature?

Activity C: Moral Dilemmas

Consider each situation carefully and discuss what would you do in such situations.

Callous Jogger
You are out running one day along your usual route when you see someone
drowning in a river. The person obviously cannot swim, and probably wont last
more than a couple of minutes against the strong current. No one else is around.
Would you risk drowning to save a stranger? Are you morally or legally obligated
to do so?

The Overcrowded Lifeboat

The year is 1840, and you are the captain of a ship that has struck an iceberg and
sunk in the middle of the Atlantic. You and 30 other passengers are crammed into
a tiny life-raft intended to carry only 8. The raft is taking on water fast and you are
forced to make a decision: you must either throw some passengers overboard in
order to save some or the raft will surely sink and you will all drown. Which
would you choose? If you threw some people out, how would you decide who it
would be?
Pangs of Conscience
You have an important job and many people depend on you. If you ever lost your
job, many people would be inconvenienced. Nonetheless, you have been pilfering
supplies from the company for your son to use at school for several months now.
The boss has caught on and goes hunting for the culprit. He narrows down the
suspects to one: a cleaning lady. He confronts her and, although she protests, he
fires her on the spot. Would you confess or keep quiet?

The Partiality of Friendship

You are in charge of hiring someone to fill a position at your company. Your friend
has applied and is qualified, but someone else seems even more qualified. You
want to give the job to your friend, but you feel guilty, believing that you ought to
be impartial. But on the other hand, doesnt friendship have a moral importance
that permits, and perhaps even requires, partiality in some situations? Who would
you hire?

Lets Put the Hurt on Him

A terrorist who has threatened to explode several bombs in crowded areas has
been apprehended. Unfortunately, he has already planted the bombs and they are
scheduled to go off in a short time. It is possible that hundreds of people may die.
If you were the interrogator, would you resort to torture to make him talk? Why
or why not?

Doctors Dilemma
You are a psychiatrist and your patient has just told you that he intends to kill a
woman. You cant be sure if he is serious or not. Should you report the threat to
the police and the woman or should you remain silent as the principle of
confidentiality between doctor and patient demands? Should there be a law that
compels you to report such threats?
ACTIVITY D: You Must Be Joking!

Look at the following statements and say whether you agree or disagree. Support
your opinion.

Charity starts at home. Why If no one gets hurt, it is

should I donate my money or perfectly acceptable to break
time to others when I need to traffic laws.
work hard just to support my
own family?

The government mismanages the

budge anyways, so what is the harm
in evading taxes. Its a victimless
University students these days seem to crime and, anyway, everyone does it.
care more about fashion and electronic
gadgets than about social and political
issues. Dont they see how shallow
they are?

Children belong to their parents.

The government has no right to
interfere in the way people bring
up their children.

Men have so much stress to cope with

and they need to have some fun.
Women shouldnt complain too much
about their late nights, drinking, or even
the occasional affair.