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A moral dilemma - Dhamma Wheel

A moral dilemma

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Stiphan
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A moral dilemma

Postby Stiphan » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:07 pm

A teenager named John and his mother Julia decide to go some place with Julia's husband's car. John asks his mother if she could allow him to drive. She lets him drive. Half an hour later John loses control of the car and hits a tree. John and his mother escape with minor injuries but the car is damaged. John was not supposed to be driving the car. So Julia decides to lie to her husband, saying that she was driving and that she committed the accident.

Later on, Julia's husband asks John whether this is true, and what exactly happened.

Now John has several options. 1) To lie and say that it was his mum who was driving. - OR - 2) Tell the truth that he himself was driving when the accident happened, which would reveal that Julia was lying to her husband. - OR - 3) Refuse to answer.



What should John do? Which is the best option?


(Julia's husband is not John's father)




(The above is based on a true story, though not exactly the same)

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OcTavO
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby OcTavO » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:40 pm

I would say you're missing a fourth option, which would probably be a more correct one in accordance with the Buddha's recommendations on Sila: They both go to the husband together and tell the truth.

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acinteyyo
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:45 pm

Those kind of questions are a little bit misleading. Both acted unskillfully in the first place and now they have the mess.
I would stay silent, there's no other option left whereby one could prevent further problems.
It's like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Annapurna
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:01 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Stiphan
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby Stiphan » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:38 pm


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kc2dpt
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:40 pm

- Peter


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altar
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby altar » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:02 pm

I would probably say it. I mean, if he's gonna find out the truth soon it seems like, maybe get the wife to say it. But in my experience things shouldn't stay hidden too long. So just say it. "She did it."
Question: Is Julia's husband John's father?
Zack
EDIT: oops, should be, "I did it." And I see my question was also answered.

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Wind
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby Wind » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:52 am

It's just a car, let the truth be known and apologize.

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beeblebrox
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:28 pm

If you tell the truth, you're giving these people the opportunity to break away from their usual pattern of bad actions (if there was any), and get into the pattern of right actions. If they don't know how, then help them the best you can.

This would be sharing the Dhamma. If these people aren't buddhists, then don't be obvious about it (like, "Dad... this is what I think the Lord of the Shakya Clan, the Perfectly Enlightened One, would recommend us to do in this situation..." etc.) Just pointing them in the right direction would be good enough.

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Zom
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Re: A moral dilemma

Postby Zom » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:46 pm

Tell the truth is the option.


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