Values and Vision Exercises? LO11504
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 02:34:59 -0500

Replying to LO11492 --

Hager provides a fascinating story through which we can explore our moral
values. At work, several of us gather, occasionally, to provide
"scenarios" that allow us to explore our moral beliefs, and discover
shared values.

Here's a couple that have been hanging around for two or more years,
because no one ever really agrees with anyone else.

You're married, but far from home as your nation (any nation will do), is
at war. You've been asked to be a spy. At some point (when doesn't
matter), you're discovered by a civilian, who is of the opposite sex (same
sex if you want to explore your feelings about homosexuality). The
civilian promises not to turn you in to the enemy if you sleep with
him/her. What do you do? Why do you do it?

About 60% that have played the scenario decide to sleep with the civilian
(even if it involves homosexual intercourse), and continue their work.
About 20% say they'd simply kill the civilian, dispose of the body, and
keep on working. 10% say they'd flee the country and hope they escaped
before they were found by the enemy (this are the whimps in my opinion).
10% say they'd sleep with the civilian, kill him/her afterwards, dispose
of the body, and go about their work as if nothing happened.

I fall in the 20% range, because I figure the civilian is just looking for
some hot sex and will more than likely turn me in anyway. If I simply kill
her it solves a lot of problems, and allows me to go about my work. Of
course those who oppose this option always ask me why it is right to kill
a civilian. To which I reply it is unclear to me if she is really a
civilian, or a fellow spy. Since I'm operating on less than all the facts
I have to make a decision on what I know for sure, and that is she wants
to turn me in. Thus the option to kill her seems more appropriate and fits
well into my moral views.

The second scenario is similar to the first, except you've been captured,
and the enemy says, "If you don't sleep with this person (male or female),
we will kill 30,000 of your people. If you do, we'll spare their lives."

This one really gets the conversation flowing. Consistently, the group
divides between 80/20: 80% would sleep with the person, 20% would refuse.
I'm in the group that refuses, because, again, I reason they'd just kill
the 30,000 people anyway.

Try it at lunch some time, and see what happens. For sure it will create
some pretty intense dialogue, and a lot of opinions will fly in a hurry.
It is a great exercise if you want to collectively deepen your moral
belief systems.

For what it's worth. . .


Benjamin B. Compton

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>