Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tales From the Perimeter: Situational Ethics

Perimeter meaning the 6 mile patrol road inside the fence of the military installation on which I work, where some half a dozen of us comprise a pool of running “talent” and strive to show up for a noontime run a couple times a week if we can escape our desks. We share a lot and these guys are one of the core pillars of my sanity.

In our noontime runs we often discuss situational ethics.  CH takes a lot of heat because he is an overt Christian, yet sometimes justifies bending the rules when push comes to shove.  We chide him unmercifully about "rendering unto Caesar" and obeying civil authority (but he would literally give you the shirt off his back).  In our more serious moments we reflect upon what it means to claim to be Christian, our careers in working for the Defense Department (both in and out of uniform), and Jesus' words about turning the other cheek:

But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Rather than move this post and blog into religious waters, let's just leave it hanging on that particular point.

So back to the main point, which was....what?  Ah yes, the point--we were talking about situational ethics (thus the example above) and how we bust CH whenever we can.  It's an inside joke among us to say WWCHD? whenever a sticky moral issue comes up

So, the other day I came across a situational ethics web page, and wasted no time in emailing it to my running buddies.  The lead-in says:

Here's a dilemma for you.... With all your honor and dignity, what would you do? This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally.

Spend about 60 seconds, and go take the test here.

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