Major Moral Dilemmas
Sometimes major moral dilemmas require and allow for careful consideration over an extended period of time. In such cases, one way of going about this decision-making process is to:
- Gather all the relevant facts.
- Clarify the key ethical issues.
- Identify rules and commands that are relevant for the case.
- Consult the important sources of guidance — especially the Bible, with sensitivity to the best way of reading the Bible to address this situation. But also consult other relevant sources.
- List all the alternative courses of action.
- Compare the alternatives with the principles.
- Calculate the likely results of each course of action, and consider the consequences.
- Consider your decision prayerfully before God.
- Make your decision and act on it.
As you can see, setting a course when faced with a major moral decision calls for a lot of blood, sweat and tears! Especially for an organization. However, when it comes to dealing with everyday problems that we meet as individuals, the pace of life is likely to make us more streamlined.
This approach borrows from Richard Higginson, Called to Account (Guildford: Eagle, 1993) 224-240; David Cook, Moral Choices: A Way of Exploring Christian Ethics (London: SPCK,2000); and Scott B. Rae, Moral Choices: An Introduction To Ethics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995); but is also typical of many others.