The 28 Most Important Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios and Examples] (2023)

Morality is defined as the principles for distinguishing between right and wrong, or good and bad behavior (Oxford Dictionary). What makes these questions a dilemma is the individual's definition of right and wrong, or good and bad. At a time when many are questioning our national moral character, thinking about what to do in different situations can be a positive exercise that prepares the individual for worst and best scenarios.


  • 1 Examples of moral dilemmas
    • 1.1 The unfaithful friend
    • 1.2 A difficult choice
    • 1.3 An office robbery
    • 1.4 Midnight death
    • 1.5 Get rich
    • 1.6 Telling a secret
  • 2 Moral Dilemma Scenarios
    • 2.1 The lifeboat
    • 2.2 sarcastic friend
    • 2.3 Hit and run
    • 2.4 Third Strike
    • 2.5 Reward a job well done
  • 3 questions about the ethical dilemma
    • 3.1 Related Posts

In this article, we'll look at some examples of moral dilemma questions to help us define what a moral dilemma is. We'll then look at some moral dilemma scenarios and end with ethical dilemma questions one might actually encounter.

Examples of moral dilemmas

The 28 Most Important Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios and Examples] (1)

A moral dilemma is a conflict in which a person must choose between two or more actions, all of which he is capable of. There are moral reasons for every decision. No matter what choice you make, someone will suffer or something bad will happen. To help you understand exactly what a "moral dilemma" means, we've provided some examples, some of which are classic moral dilemmas.

the unfaithful friend

You and your husband go to a new restaurant for dinner, where you've never been before. It's in a part of town you rarely visit. You are shocked to see your friend's wife having dinner with a very young and attractive person. By the way they act, it's obvious they are more than just friends. The couple finishes their meal and leaves without seeing you. On the way to the door, they behave very affectionately.You:

(Video) 6 Hardest 'Would You Rather' Dilemmas Ever

  • To sayYour Friend, knowing they probably won't believe you and that it could ruin your friendship?
  • Don't say anything about seeing the couple, as it's none of your business; Can you even have an open relationship?

a difficult choice

You and your family love the beach and decide to spend the weekend in a secluded beach cabin.your teenage daughterhe often gets bored on his short vacation, so make plans to take your niece with you. As soon as we arrive, a storm is brewing on the horizon and the water looks choppy. You tell the girls to get ready to swim, but to come back and help unload the car. They are so excited that they ignore the last part of what you say and run to the beach for a swim. You don't realize you've done it until you hear your daughter scream. They realize that they are both being caught in a strong current and could be swept out to sea. You are a good swimmer and you know that you can save one of them. You have a tough choice to make.You:

  • Save your niece first as she is a terrible swimmer and cannot last as long as your daughter?
  • First save your daughter because even though she is a strong swimmer and might last long enough for you to come back after saving your niece, you can't face the thought of losing her?

an office robbery

You are responsible for petty cash at the office. However, an employee is responsible for going to the bank each week to make the business deposit and receive cash for the following week. In an interview with your assistant manager, you will be asked if the working capital increase is sufficient. However, you didn't see any extra money. You discover that your colleague pocketed the extra money.You:

  • Inform your manager that you have not requested or received any additional petty cash and that you have a suspicionher colleaguepocket the money?
  • Do you share your suspicions with your colleague and give him a chance to return the money?
  • Say nothing and just wait and see what happens?

midnight death

You worked for years to succeed in your father's business. They felt compelled to take over as he worked his whole life to build the business his father left him. However, the city's big businesses have suffered seriously in terms of profits, and in recent years, you and your family have been struggling to make ends meet.

His father's health deteriorated and he was hospitalized. He has a sizeable life insurance policy that expires at midnight. If he dies before midnight, you will inherit enough money to pursue the career you've always dreamed of and provide for your family adequately.You:

  • Squeeze the oxygen line so your dad dies or smother him with a pillow?
  • Tell your dad the problem and let him suggest a solution and follow what he says?
  • Do nothing because you can't imagine living with yourself if you end your father's life?

become rich

Your friend offers you an opportunity to make a lot of money quickly. He arranged an offshore account for his profits. He won't say exactly how he makes that money, but you get the impression that it's not entirely legal. He only wants an investment of $500 and promises that with his minimum investment you will have enough to never have to work again.You:

  • Give him the $500 and decide if you don't understand how he does it, is that ok?
  • Want to know the details before committing?
  • Do you decide you don't want to be part of this deal, trusting your instincts that the offer is shady and you might even get into legal trouble?

tell a secret

Your friend tells you that he committed a crime. They explain that they sleep badly at night and feel that you are the only one they can trust with their confession. A few days later, you read in the newspaper that someone has been arrested for your friend's crime.You:

  • Go to the police and tell them what you know?
  • Encourage your friend to come clean and let him know if he doesn't, will you tell?
  • Don't say anything because you won't betray a friend's trust?

Moral dilemma scenarios

The 28 Most Important Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios and Examples] (2)

(Video) You can only save one— who do you choose? - Doug MacKay

Now let's look at some moral dilemma scenarios for you to think about. Each scene is marked by the need to make a difficult decision. As with all moral dilemmas, there is no right or wrong answer. Think carefully before answering. And remember that you can think of a better choice than the ones presented.

Or lifeboat

You are on a cruise and the ship encounters an unexpected storm. The storm continues, and eventually you and the other passengers are instructed to get into the lifeboats and abandon ship. As people line up, you notice that some lines have fewer people, some have families, and some appear to have younger single people. You know you are strong and capable. Decide to help a group consisting of three families with a few young children, a group of elderly people who obviously need your help, or go with the strong young people you might have a better chance of surviving with?

sarcastic friend

Your friend has a great sense of humor. However, sometimes his jokes involve making fun of others in inappropriate ways. He will point out a physical flaw or look for something odd or different about a person and make an unkind comment. You feel uncomfortable when your friend does this. Do you say something or just laugh with him?

hit and run

Late one night, you drive home in a heavy rainstorm. A drunk staggers in front of your car and you try to stop, but you hit him. no one sees you The guy looks and smells like a homeless person. You check how badly he's hurt and realize he's dead. You have never had a speeding ticket and you are an honest and professional man with a family and well known and respected in your community. Report anonymously, confess to your crime, or drive home and forget about it knowing no one will follow the death of a drunken homeless person?

third strike

Your teen has had a rough few years. First came an arrest for shoplifting. The item was of little value, so it was just a misdemeanor. So your teenage son was with some friends who were smoking pot and driving fast. Your teen has promised he's turning over a new leaf and seems to be on the right track, doing better in school, coming home from lockdown and having a much better attitude in general. Now you get a call from your local police station saying that your child was with a group of kids who broke into a liquor store and stole beers. Do you go down to the police station and see how you can get your teenager out of this mess, or do you let him face the consequences that befall him?

Reward a job well done

Do you understand the meaning ofcooperationat your job. You share ideas and responsibilities with your team members on a daily basis. In your weekly team meeting with your manager, one of your colleagues recognizes a time- and money-saving change to the workflow you've developed. Your manager mistakenly believes that your colleague proposed the change, and your colleague doesn't correct the misinterpretation, but allows the boss to not only praise you, but also offer you a bonus. Do you go to your colleague and demand that he correct the situation, go to your manager and explain that you should get the recognition and reward, or are you silent because you don't believe in the ownership of ideas?

Doubts about the ethical dilemma

The 28 Most Important Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios and Examples] (3)

(Video) What Are Moral Dilemmas? (See link below for more video lectures on Ethics)

Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conduct of an activity (Oxford Dictionary). Many of us may never face many of the above moral dilemmas. However, our list of ethical dilemmas includes many that can be encountered in everyday life. It's often the small choices we make that really define our moral character. What will your answer be?

  • If you shop at a local store, you'll get a lot of change. Do you say something or are you silent?
  • You receive a package at home that was delivered to the wrong address. The shipping label indicates that this is a favorite item that you cannot buy. Do you keep it or notify the person for whom it is intended?
  • Your neighbor leaves his dog outside in all weathers. The poor animal often looks unhappy. It sometimes goes without water and rarely seems to be fed. Report what you think is going on, or keep quiet?
  • What if you suspect your neighbor is child molestation? They are not sure if they have a healthy child or if something is really wrong.
  • Are you at a party or out on the townYour best friend🇧🇷 You drink too much and don't let them take you home. How are you?
  • Your lunch is missing from work. Are you sure you know who takes it every day. Do you confront them, report them to your manager or HR, get them back by making a cat food sandwich, or just keep quiet?
  • You really like your neighbors and they make a great couple. The only problem is that they occasionally throw crazy parties. You think they use drugs, maybe even dealing. How are you?
  • A friend gives you a birthday present. Unfortunately, it is a type of perfume that you are extremely allergic to. Do you say something and ask for a receipt to return it or are you silent?
  • Her friend excitedly shared that she has anew lovein your life. Unfortunately, you know the guy is a narcissistic player who will only stay with one woman as long as he gets what he wants out of the relationship. Are you trying to convince her to break up with him or let her learn a lesson on her own?
  • You buy a pile of clothes on sale at your favorite department store. When you get home, you discover that one of the items is missing from the receipt. Do you go back to the store and pay or just leave?
  • You're failing a class you had to take, but you absolutely hate it. You have an online exam. If you fail the exam, you fail the class. You can cheat without anyone knowing. Do you do this and pass the class?
  • During the summer, you befriended a person who moved to your town. They have the same interests, like the same music and movies, and had a great time. However, her new boyfriend is unattractive and very loud. When classes start, you are embarrassed by your friend's behavior. Do you remain friends or end the relationship?

Moral dilemma issues can be characterized as "what happened if🇧🇷 Questions. It can be difficult to take a good look at ourselves and ask, “When facing a difficult decision, will I do the right thing?” Many people avoid doing this. However, it can be comforting to know who you really are and how to react in difficult situations. We hope this article has encouraged you to carefully consider the choices you make every day.

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The 28 Most Important Moral Dilemma Questions [+ Scenarios and Examples] (8)

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Susan Box Mann

Susan holds a BA in English with a dual major in Humanities and Economics from Arizona State University and a Master's in Education Administration from Liberty University. She has taught grades four through twelve in public and private schools. Subjects included English, US and world history and geography, math, earth and natural sciences, the Bible, information technology, and creative writing.

Susan has been a freelance writer for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, policies, neighborhood descriptions for real estate agents, power point presentations, resumes and numerous other projects.

Read the full biography

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