Personal culture

In our group, we discussed the question ‘to what extent is the knowledge we employ to justify ethical decisions influenced by culture and emotion?’. We mainly discussed a scenario that was given to us by our teacher: We are driving a car and we are about to crash. We can either crash into a car with 7 children, or swerve into a tree and possibly kill the mum in the passenger’s seat. We talked about how there are multiple factors that would influence our decision other than emotion and culture. Some of them may be:

  • -Our relationship to the Mum versus the relationship we have with the 7 -children (if we even know them)?
  • -How long we have to make the decision?
  • -Past experiences and histories with the Mum/the children (if someone in the scenario saved your life once, do you feel in debt to them)?
  • -Will the Mum have Survivors guilt?
  • -How old the children/the Mum is?

Bearing in mind that culture and emotion can influence each other, we then branched off to talk about the cultural and emotional side of things. When we mapped out the culture side of things, we thought about the fact that some cultures have whether children or elders greatly valued, and this could swerve your decision to one place or the other. There are other cultures and religions where it is a ritual to sacrifice someone for ‘the greater good’ (or other reasons), also whether you sacrifice one person or seven.

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