Moral luck in a moral dilemma
A moral dilemma refers to a situation where a moral agent’s action may be ethically wrong, but the action it the preferable one. The critical aspect of a moral dilemma is making a choice between two competing ethical beliefs or values. The action of a moral agent results to consequences which are viewed differently by other moral agents. Moral luck describes situation where a moral agent is morally blamed or praised for the consequences or actions even when it is clear that the agent never had full control over the actions neither the consequences (Foot& Philippa, 06). An example of a historical moral dilemma includes decision made in a ship that stuck an iceberg in 1842.
A ship that carried both human beings and cargo struck in an iceberg. More than thirty survivors were crowded in a life saver boat which could only hold seven people. As the storm increased, it became apparent that the lifeboat needed to be lightened if anybody was to survive. Confronted by a moral dilemma, the captain considered the correct moral action in this situation was to compel some people over the side and let them drown. The captain reasoned the act to be fair to those thrown overboard since they would have drowned anyway. If he failed to take any action, he would be accountable for the demise of those he could have saved.
Not everyone agreed with this decision and some people criticized the moral action. They claimed that if the captain did nothing and everyone perished as a result, the death could be due to natural calamity and no one was to be held responsible for these deaths. Conversely, if the captain tried to save some people, he could only do so by causing death to others and their lives would be his responsibility. A moral agent choosing the act that causes less harm would choose to let some people die since this would be better than doing nothing. The captain discarded the critics reasoning. Since the only likelihood for survival...