Essay On Methods Of Ethical Decision Making

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, Morality, Information, Education, Decision, Actions, Theater, Actors

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/30

Ethical Decision Making Process (Kidder’s Approach)

Currently the internet as a media form the main source of information and hence plays a major role in education, commerce, medicine, entertainment, government and the society at large. Using Kidders model we investigate whether it’s morally correct to post a movie of a mother being killed by a gang through the internet. The question we remain to ask again is whether the availability of such content justify its use based on the fact media platform permits large-scale exchange of information from anywhere at any time (Lo, 2013). It must be noted that this there is a high probability for misuse of such content of information and thus violation of others privacy.
Using Kidder’s decision-making model, I will crack the dilemma as to whether posting such video content of private and sensitive information through the media justifies its use. The analysis of the decision-making process is a cascade into nine major checkpoints.

Recognizing the moral issue

At this level, we recognized the moral category of the case under attention by first of all developing in-depth moral sensitivity and discernment (Rest, 1994). Available literature highlights the following as ethical issues: dissemination of harmful content of information and images; inappropriate information and dishonesty; unfairness; disloyalty; careerism; pornography; sensationalism; violence and harm; privacy invasion discrimination; lack of care for social responsibility; typecasting; exclusion of women and the elderly (Foreman, 2010). If any the above-mentioned issues are observed in the information transmitted, then we appreciate and recognize the existence of moral consideration (Kidder, 2009).

Determining the actors

This phase required us to contemplate and find out those who had a hand or who the moral actors were in the act of privacy infringement or information content in question which was considered as a moral concern. We then asked ourselves who’s content it was. Whether they were authorized and obligated to act concerning the content of information in question. Whether it was theirs. (Kidder, 1995). This phase enabled us to investigate and discuss the video content in question by deciding on information source (moral actor) and when to exclusively take an autonomous position on the inappropriate information content who’s moral was in question. We also determined the number of actors involved on the information content, whether they had different responsibilities with regards to the moral and eventually developed a moral perspective.

Gathering of relevant facts

At this stage, we gathered all the facts, evidences and information pertaining to the information content that was in question considering case by case. All the available facts on the content were identified, analyzed and considered. The moral strength measure used was based on motive, weight, number, targeted audience, severity, and character.

Testing for the right-versus-wrong issues

Kidder’s approach made a unique contribution to this stage. We separated the different ethical dilemmas, factoring the magnitude of each moral decay associated with the information content in question. We then gave a clear definition of the various ethical predicaments using the criteria of right-versus-right concerns. We then noted that the ethical predicaments in question had positive and right influences so that they fitted all the phases of the condition in question (Kidder, 2009). Using careful moral thinking, we eventually narrowed down on the singled most appropriate action. Using the right-versus-wrong issues reasoning, we easily identified the misleading and tempting information contents. This did not require any critical and philosophical deduction since they were out rightly wrong from the onset. This stage gave us an opportunity to test legally, stench test, Mom test, and to use the front page test.
The stench test demanded whoever was making the decision to infer his/her moral understandings to be able to conclude whether this proposed went against his/her norms (Kidder, 1995). The legal test queried whether the suggested moral action was illegal. The front page test only queried how one would feel if the subject of investigation was to be showed up the following day in the front page of a daily newspaper (Hughes & Baldwin, 2006). The Mom test on the other hand only required us to soul search our instincts and find out if we would as well act in with the same moral standings in a similar scenario as the subject in question. In an event, that one or any of these tests failed, we considered that subject action in question not to merit a possible cause of ethical concern and therefore was a right-versus-wrong issue. This was not to be investigated further. If however, a case turned out to be a moral predicament from the tests, we had to proceed to the next level of investigation.

Testing for right-versus-right paradigms

Four right-versus-right sets of values were deployed as follows: Truth versus loyalty; Short-term versus long-term; Individual versus Community; and finally Mercy versus justice. Individual versus community issues which majors on information privacy was measured as a classic tension while truth versus loyalty taken as a basic right-versus-right issue (Foreman, 2010). We then compared the different cases of ethical dilemmas that filtered through to identify the competing moral values following down the four paradigms. Using moral reflection we identify and consider values which are central.

Applying the resolution principles

We apply resolution principles at this stage, invoking the utilitarian ethics as end based and deontological ethics as rule-based. The main objective here is to uncover the reasoning line that appears persuasive and relevant to our subject in question. Engaging in other definitive discussion involving philosophical theories, we analyze ethical issues and values against the checklist for decision-making (Lo, 2013.

Investigating the “trilemma” options

This step was invoked to enable us a middle ground. We collected all the necessary relevant facts such as circumstances that led to the content being posted and the ensuing moral issues. We then determined the actors including the photo editor and the photojournalist involved (Kidder, 2009). To be able to factor in other actors input, we brain stormed to gather in all other possible alternative actions and options that existed prior to uploading the content online. We were the forced to consider the choices of whether to upload or not upload the photo (Hughes & Baldwin, 2006). This required us to consider and compare probable options that in the past have been considered by other moral actors at every shooting and uploading stage.

Making the decision

At this stage, we looked at all the valid arguments that were in support of all the sides of the predicament. This involved not only analyzing the different cases, but to also put forth and justify the state of decision on the course of action to be taken in support. This process must be legitimate and be public domain so as to convince others of the action and on its defensibility.

Revisiting and reflecting on the decision

The final stage was the feedback loop that enabled us to figure out all issues that emerged, lessons learned and the outcome of the process which was duly revisited and reflected upon (Foreman, 2010). At this final stage, we looped back with insight to harmonize on contested issues and actions.


Foreman, G. (2010). The ethical journalist: Making responsible decisions in the pursuit of news. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hughes, J. C., & Baldwin, C. (2006). Ethical issues in dementia care: Making difficult decisions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Kidder, R. M. (2009). How good people make tough choices: Resolving the dilemmas of ethical living. New York: Harper.
Lo, B. (2013). Resolving ethical dilemmas: A guide for clinicians. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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"Essay On Methods Of Ethical Decision Making," Free Essay Examples -, 30-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Mar-2023].
Essay On Methods Of Ethical Decision Making. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 30, 2020. Accessed March 27, 2023.

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