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1d. Desert – Irate parent

Desert

Disapproval – a mild form of an object of disinterest

Dilemma

Duty. An irate parent burst into the Principal’s office at Semple High School located in a small town in the Midwest and dove into her questions, ’Why do you permit your English teacher to require her class to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbach … (she paused for a moment to catch her breath) … when you know the book is not on the required reading list of the State Education Ministry?’  ‘That’s wrong’, she went on to say before the principal could say a word, ‘morally wrong!’ ‘I find the language used in that book totally offensive … all that cursing!’ ‘I repeat’, she said, ‘that is morally wrong’.

Rights. What’s more, my daughter has a right to be allowed to read a novel which is not offensive to me whether she agrees with me or not’, she asserted.

Motive. All the while, the Principal was wondering as he listened to her. Even though he suspected that her motives were somewhat self-serving, he accepted her moral indignation.  He agreed that it would not be wrong to offer her daughter the option to study an alternative novel.

Desert. However, the Principal felt he could not ignore the way the parent had verbally accosted him. He informed her that he would review the situation with his staff at the next Department meeting in two weeks time. In the meantime, her daughter would be required to stay in the class where Of Mice and Men was studied. He considered this action to be an appropriate way of expressing his disapproval of her action.

Discussion

  • Does the Principal’ action reflect an expression of disapproval? Explain.
  • Discuss other situations where people use this kind of thinking.

You may want to discuss other dilemmas.

Consider this view of ‘disapproval’

  • Crooked thinking

An expression of disapproval necessarily involves inflicting a punishment

  • Straight thinking

Objects of disinterest can also take one of two forms. Disapproval is a mild form of an object of disinterest. It is frequently expressed in the form of a frown, words of disappointment, mild censure, or mild criticism. The attitude of disapproval is not something one has wilfully, but a normal person can choose what form the feeling of disapproval should take. When disapproval is expressed in a stronger form then it is usually referred to as punishment. In other words, punishment includes a feeling of disapproval whereas a feeling of disapproval does not necessarily involve inflicting a punishment on someone.

Moral principle value tests

An application of the moral principle value tests probably illustrates most clearly what is entailed in evaluative reasoning. They are:

It is important to emphasize that the moral-value principle tests are not designed to resolve issues (guarantee right answers!) but to assess the ‘justification’ for moral value decisions.

To view the Dilemma from the perspective of Duty, Rights, Motives, Desert and Justice, click on the following:

Join in the conversation by leaving your comments in the blog. Click HERE.

Dilemma

An irate parent burst into the Principal’s office at Semple High School located in a small town in the Midwest and dove into her questions, ’Why do you permit your English teacher to require her class to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbach … (she paused for a moment to catch her breath) … when you know the book is not on the required reading list of the State Education Ministry?’  ‘That’s wrong’, she went on to say before the principal could say a word, ‘morally wrong!’ ‘I find the language used in that book totally offensive … all that cursing!’ ‘I repeat’, she said, ‘that is morally wrong’.

What’s more, my daughter has a right to be allowed to read a novel which is not offensive to me whether she agrees with me or not’, she asserted.

All the while, the Principal was wondering as he listened to her. Even though he suspected that her motives were somewhat self-serving, he accepted her moral indignation.  He agreed that it would not be wrong to offer her daughter the option to study an alternative novel.

However, the Principal felt he could not ignore the way the parent had verbally accosted him. He informed her that he would review the situation with his staff at the next Department meeting in two weeks time. In the meantime, her daughter would be required to stay in the class where Of Mice and Men was studied. He considered this action to be an appropriate way of expressing his disapproval of her action.

Discussion

  • Does the Principal’ action reflect an expression of disapproval? Explain.
  • Discuss other situations where people use this kind of crooked thinking.