Posts Tagged ‘dilemma’

Moral ambiguity

April 5th, 2009

I am walking the fine ethical line.

Take this scenario:

You enter a hotel and use the bathroom not as a patron, but as a guest, because fate dictates that you cannot hold your bowels, and you must use the closest facilities, which happen to be inside this hotel.  It is indubitably clear that nothing is awry here.

Now, let’s suppose that coffee is sitting on a table, which happens to be next to the restroom, but also adjacent to the open dining room that is widely accessible to you.  Free coffee, you say.  Why not?  The person who entered into the hotel before you picked up a cup.

Suppose now, that the dining room has food – fruits, pastries, soda, and other delectable refreshments, and suppose that you are now extremely hungry after completely emptying your innards.  Simple, you say.  There are plenty of places where you can buy food.  But what if you have no money to go elsewhere to fulfill your fleshly desires?  Would you be at the mercy of your appetite?

Extending this scenario once more, suppose that you booked a room at this hotel with your companion and that breakfast is not included with the stay.  Your friend decides to wake up early and shell out $10 for breakfast while you, in your pitiful state, decide to sleep in.  If, on the way out from the dining room, he grabs an apple for you to eat, is it wrong for you to accept it?

This simple illustration has massive repercussions.  What is theft?  What if survival dictated that you steal?  Is there a right answer for the above dilemma, or dilemmas that are mildly more complex than a straight line from point A to point B?  Though the fine line of truth is razor thin, may it not be only the prude that reserves himself to answer such ethical questions.  It is the folly of man to not raise himself above instincts and it is but a positive hindrance to the elevation of oneself.  To propose a decency any less makes us no better than the savages of humanity that we shun.

I find myself in increasingly difficult situations where I must make a sensible effort to determine if my actions are in the right and if my conscience accepts them.  At the present moment, I am in a hotel piggybacking free wi-fi it offers to guests.  Is this wrong?  Let wisdom and scruples be the judge.