The ethical dilemma as described in the essay is more of the character that one has that the actions. It is evident that the ethical virtue theory that proposes focus more on the kind of character one develops and less of the actions is brought out. The actions of a person stems from the inherent character that one has, or the learned behaviors from the society. The will, that is closely associated with the person’s character, is what makes an act good or bad. For example, if one makes a mistake, honoring the mistakes depends on not only the societal norms, but also the character the society has inculcated in the person.
Human beings are prone to errors in the process of their interactions. As the dilemma states, it was not my intention to carry out the study without the consent of the people it is a mistake that was not anticipated and possibly very difficult to understand in the first place. My actions are not wrong per se since the natural language barrier that is very common in the society played a critical role in this case. If ethics focuses on what one does, then, this could be an immoral act yet I had the right will. There been no proof of the misunderstanding, I could have decided visit the children and carry out the study since the objections were not very strong. However, since my initial will was good and my character dictate that I ought to do what makes me happy and consider the happiness (Chaffee, 2013) of others, I had to stop the research and offering apologies to the family. Character play a critical part in choosing what is good and what is bad and, therefore, focusing more on the character and less on what we do is the best way of handling ethics.
The decision to take the family out of the study is informed on the fundamental ethical obligation that the family must enter into an informed consent before the study is commenced. The contention arising, that forms the bulk of the dilemma is the fact that the family entered into consent that I believed was informed, yet it was not. There is failure on the initiation of the process and hence, only what is good for all us is the best way out of it. From this premises, therefore, my decision is informed on the fact that since the family claimed not to have understood the research, that I thought they did, they were not happy and I was not happy too. To makes all of us happy, I had to remove the family from the research, that way, their happiness is guaranteed and mine too (Chaffee, 2013). In addition, the school head as well as all those involved would appreciate the misunderstanding and hence clear me from any possible blame.
The universal ethical laws are based on the fundamental principle that, humans strive to be happy across all cultures. Actions that do not produce happiness to the people, either in small groups or big groups are viewed as bad. It is unethical to kill without proper cause and it is ethical to kill for self-defense. However, it is worth noting that the definition of happiness or good may be subjective to the specific culture. Due to this, the universal law may be applied differently and to deferent degrees. The good will in an individual helps in maintaining the universal moral principles (Solomon, R. C., & Higgins, K. M., 2013) since it is universal.
Chaffee, J. (2013). The philosopher's way: A text with readings : thinking critically about profound ideas. Boston: Pearson Education.
Solomon, R. C., & Higgins, K. M. (2013). The big questions: A short introduction to philosophy.