Category 2 – Subcategory speaking evil
Daan and Simon are permitted to assist their mother in the preparation of apple pie. When they are about to begin, Mum notices that they have ran out of sugar, so she must rush to the store. Daan and Simon are told to go play in the room for a while. When Mum returns, they will continue to make the dough. Mum notices Daan examining the dough machine. Don’t touch the dough machine, Daan; we’ll do it together when I get back. Daan and Simon play in the room while Mum departs.
Shall we surprise Mum, Simon asks. We can already put everything in the dough machine. We mustn’t touch it, it’s dangerous, says Daan. But Simon walks to the kitchen. If it’s not on, it’s not dangerous, says Simon. Simon touches the machine: Look nothing happens. Let us assist Mum. They poured the flour in the bowl, then the eggs, milk, and butter. What could possibly go wrong now that everything is in there anyway? Yes, Daan thinks, what could possibly go wrong? Put it on Daan, you’re big enough to plug it in. Daan does it and then…the machine starts running…and all the ingredients fly through the kitchen. Mum walks in and notices Daan standing near the machine: ‘What have you done, Daan? It was all Simon’s idea, explains Daan.
Was Daan fair in blaming Simon?
The ethical question that arises here is related to responsibility and blame. The situation raises questions about who is responsible for what happened and whether it is right to shift the blame onto others. The ethical considerations in this situation include:
Responsibility: Is Daan responsible for what happened because he turned on the dough mixer, even if Simon encouraged him to do it? Is Simon partially responsible because he suggested the idea and added the ingredients?
Honesty: Is it ethical to blame others instead of taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions? Is Daan being honest when he says it was all Simon’s idea?
Collaboration and consultation: Should Daan and Simon have consulted with their mother before turning on the dough mixer, even if they wanted to surprise her? Is it ethical to make decisions without informing the relevant parties?
Daan and Simon’s ethical choices in this situation revolve around responsibility, honesty, and collaboration. They can choose to take responsibility for their actions and be honest about their involvement in what happened, or they can choose to shift the blame onto others. It is important that they carefully consider what the right ethical decision is in this situation.
By Angelique Sijbolts
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