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A moral dilemma is a situation where a person’s decision divides between two things whereby each course of actions will defy a certain moral. Normally, both of the actions that person’s decision divides between are usually important, thus hard to decide. When a person decides to settle on one of the decisions, his action would probably affect the other decisions, and this is the reason the word dilemma is involved. Additionally, the confusion must involve some bit of morality where a person must defy certain rules or teachings when they settle for certain decisions. The morals involved in the moral dilemmas are normally religious and cultural teachings. Notably, each religion is against at least certain things and the same apply to different cultures.
This paper tackles a moral dilemma involving Materieh who is a Muslim believer, and despite that, has to decide whether to follow the teachings and sleep angry or go against them and make ends meet. The dilemma is adapted from Chicago Tribune.
The Muslim (Materieh) Liquor Store Owners’ Moral Dilemma
Materieh is a 52-year-old Islamic believer who operates a store in Chicago South. In his store, he sells liquor, pork and lottery tickets, with consideration that all this are against the Islamic religious teachings. Dougherty (2011) asserts that the Muslim and Mohammed teachings prohibit selling and consumption of liquor. Additionally, their teachings state that nobody should sell or consume pork meat since it is prone to obesity and other not revealed issues. However, Materieh goes ahead and sells the forbidden liquor and pork meat to the people of Chicago South. Materieh does this each other day and even he never misses his prayer sessions despite the fact that he is practicing against his religious belief.
The main issue is that Materieh has to sell the liquor, lottery tickets and pork skins so that he may feed his family. This implies that, without these operations, his family will have nothing to eat since their breadwinner will not be working. Regarding that, he has to make a decision of whether he will feed his family by going against the religious teachings or he will leave them to suffer and follow the Islamic teachings. According to Materieh himself, he believes that nobody should judge him since he is not feeding his family with meat or liquor. Furthermore, he asserts that he is not just and knows what he is ding is wrong. The greatest force comes from the Muslim within Chicago who wants Materieh to stop selling the forbidden things and start selling health fresh products like vegetables.
The Reason Why This is a Moral Dilemma
As stated above, a moral dilemma is a situation where a person is involved in decision making between two certain things, on the course of deciding, the persons goes against certain moral teachings. As discussed below, several things make this topic a moral dilemma.
Firstly, this is a moral dilemma since it involves going against certain moral teachings. An issue can only be qualified to be a moral dilemma if it goes against a certain moral teaching. The moral teaching normally involves religious and cultural issues. According to Olson (2007), this issue here involves Islamic morals where by the believers are not supposed to consume or sell to other people liquor and pork meat. Despite that, Materieh who is an Islamic believer goes ahead to operate a liquor store where he also sells pork skin and lottery tickets. This is openly against the Islamic teachings. Materieh argues that he knows his actions are not just but also states that nobody has to judge him. This qualifies the issue to be a moral dilemma because Materieh has to go against one of the things he believes. Contrary to that, it is morally upright for men to provide for their family. In any case, if Materieh does not sell the forbidden stuffs, he will not be able to make ends meet for his family. This is also morally unacceptable. Regarding that, he has to disobey one of the moral teachings.
Secondly, this is a moral dilemma since there are two negotiable issues. The issues in this paper are whether to sell liquor and make ends meet or to not to sell and suffer. As noted before, a moral dilemma must also involve two issues. A topic lacks qualification of a moral dilemma if they do not involve two issues that one has to decide upon on which to settle. In this topic, the two issues involved are whether to stop selling the liquor or go-ahead with the business. Materieh is confused since any of his actions affects the other issues. Despite the fact that he has to follow the Islamic teachings, again he has to provide for his family. According to him, he can only provide for his family by selling liquor and pork skin. These two issues leave him morally confused despite the fact that he decides to settle on continuing with his business.
Evaluation of the Moral Dilemma
Moral dilemmas are serious issues that normally require critical thinking before solving or evaluating them. Phothgarde (2010) affirms that a person involved in a certain moral dilemma must seek advice from different people and listen carefully to their ideologies before settling on what to do. Moreover, if they are to decide for themselves, they ought to understand the consequences of their decisions before making them. This relates to the above dilemma, which is relatively tricky to solve.
Materieh had to settle for a thing that would probably not affect any of his moral beliefs. Morally, he is required to provide for the family basic needs, and at the same time, his Islamic religion expects him to follow their teachings. However, if he has to follow the Islamic teachings, he would not be able to provide for the family. The best step that Materieh would have taken was to follow both the morals so that he does not disappoint any. This would be achievable through critical thinking and decision-making. Materieh would have continued operating his store but now by selling different goods. Initially, he was selling liquor, lottery tickets and pork skin, all against the morality of the Islamic religion. In order to embrace the religion fully, he should have follow their proposal and start selling the fresh and healthy products like the vegetables. Despite the fact, that maybe the income would not have been relatively high like the initial one, but at least he would be able to feed the family and at the same time follow his religious morality.
In conclusion, moral dilemmas are regular circumstances in the community. A moral dilemma usually includes two issues that a person has to decide on which to choose. When a person settles on one decision, he ought to break the other moral belief, thus moral dilemma. This paper has tackled the moral dilemma involving Materieh, a 52-year-old Islamic believer who operates a store in Chicago South. In his store, he sells liquor, pork and lottery tickets, with consideration that all this are against the Islamic religious teachings. Despite that, he has to sell these stuffs so that he can feed his family. This qualifies as a moral dilemma simply because it involves going against certain moral teachings. An issue can only be qualified to be a moral dilemma if it goes against a certain moral teaching. The moral teaching normally involves religious and cultural issues.
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