Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

How to make a choice in a moral dilemma

Wednesday, I filled out the 2021 Dutch general election guidance at StemWijzer. That site poses 30 statements. You can select Agree, Disagree and None. The site compares your views with the views of 27 political parties that will compete on 17 March 2021. Its outcome intrigued me: I should vote for a party that appals me.

The suggested Dutch political party has a balanced and rational view on one issue (that is important to me), and/but unhinged views on other important issues (eg, Nexit, leaving NATO). Latter makes sense as this party has – allegedly – received campaign financing from Russia.

The reason that I filled out this questionnaire is that I feel that there is little to no choice. Mainstream parties are full of ideology and show little to no pragmatism. Fringe parties show more pragmatism. The outcome of that election guidance confirmed my suspicions

The outcome also leaves me with a moral dilemma: do the ends indeed justify the means? According to The Prince, a 1532 book by Niccolò Machiavelli, they do. This moral principle is also known as consequentialism

Hence, my question is: how do you make a choice in a moral dilemma? 

I suppose that consequentialism is a two-way street

  1. the ends justify the means, and 
  2. the cure (ie, the means) should not be worse than the disease (ie, the ends). 

Voting for that party may make Dutch matters worse. I’m reluctant to vote for a Trojan horse. I’m far from sure whether that political party deserves my trust. I suppose I’ve answered my question.

Voting may seem like a rational process but the (Dutch) number of single issue parties shows that protest voting is an emotional consequence. The (Dutch) radio commercials of the abovementioned political party use rational arguments to boost (emotional) anger.

“Anger clouds judgment, distorts truth, and destroys integrity.” A quote from an article in Carlsbad Current-Argus by Rev. David Wilson Rogers.

Choices (2015) by Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I’ve had choices 

Since the day that I was born 

There were voices 

That told me right from wrong

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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