Moral Dilemma




Thievinga loaf of bread in the name of providing for a family creates a moraldilemma. It entails a man’s obligation to feed his family, and theduty not to steal. The society considers stealing as a wrong.Similarly, neglecting a family to die from starvation is also wrongin the society (Tannsjo, 2013). Consequently, the man has to decideto commit one wrong in the effort to avoid committing the other. Nomatter what decision the man makes, it will put him into conflictwith people who have different opinions to his. According todeontological ethics, the man’s obligation to feed his familyoverrides his moral duty not to steal (Dianne &amp Mott, n.d).

Theoption to steal has adverse effects on the community. First, stealinga loaf of bread from a shop creates losses from the shop. Whenever ithappens in great magnitudes, it may lead to shop closure. The furthereffect is that more people will become unemployed, and consequently,they will lack the ability to feed their families too. The loss ofemployment by more people can create more harm if they choose tofollow the same path followed by the man (Tannsjo, 2013).

Afterstealing, there are two possible outcomes to the individual. First,he may be lucky enough to run scot-free. This way, the man will bepersonally guilty for his actions. The second potential outcome iswhen he is captured in the act an offence that might take him toprison. His incarceration further implies that he cannot help hisfamily anymore (Dianne &amp Mott, n.d). Besides, he may put hisfamily into more trouble of caring for him. Consequently, the manshall lose his dignity to the community. The community he lives inwill segregate and brand him a thief (Kerr, 2015).


Kerr,D. (2015, Oct. 1). Risein shoplifting because of people stealing to feed themselves, believepolice.ThePress and Journal,25. Retrieved on 4, Oct. 2015, from

Dianne,K. &amp Mott, D. (n.d). Moral development – Stages of moraldevelopment. PsychologicalEncyclopedia.[Online]. Retrieved on 4 Oct. 2015 from

Tannsjo,T. (2013). Understandingethics: An introduction to moral theory (3rded).Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.