I need help in writing about a moral dilemma.  

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A moral dilemma can be described as a situation in which a choice has to be made, but the choices require an action that goes again the principles with which we have been raised. Therefore, one is placed in a position where a decision has to be made on whether making the choice, or leaving it altogether. However, the question arises from the premise that morality is not palpable, yet, holds strongly to our entire thought processes and choice-making. Hence, the dilemma is created. 

To write about a moral dilemma, determine first what is the belief or principle that is going to be challenged. Think about different possible standpoints that you may have taken, or may have to take, sometime in your life: Are you against or in favor of abortion? Think about animal rights, freedom of religion, or on what is your take on creationism. Further extrapolate your real feeling about some behaviors: should pregnant women be allowed to smoke if they want to? Should smoking marijuana become legal? Is it OK to drink alcohol?

Then, think about a circumstance where you would have to end up doing something, saying something, or choosing something that will go directly against your standpoint. That would be your dilemma. The format for writing against or in favor of something would be the argumentative, or persuasive format. 

An example of a moral dilemma can also be as simple as making a choice to tell the truth about something, or not.

For instance, should you tell a teacher, instructor, or Principal whether  someone is using drugs on campus, or at school? Even if your first answer is "Yes", think about it, will you REALLY go through the process of getting exposed, exposing another student, filling out a report, becoming known at school for telling on someone, and then getting someone expelled from school? That is a moral dilemma.

Another moral dilemma: Let's suppose that you find out that your father is being unfaithful with your mother. You are told to always tell the truth. However, this truth will potentially destroy your family, will make your mother sad, and will bring a lot of issues. If you want to do what you feel is your moral obligation, then you tell the truth. However, if you find it hard to do, as a result of the consequences that will arise from telling the truth, that would be your moral dilemma.

Therefore, a moral dilemma is anything that interferes with your idiosyncrasy and the systems of believe with which you are raised. It can be as simple as making an everyday choice, or as complicated as having to take a stand in a major, social, issue. 

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