Exploring Virtue on the College Campus
Virtues are a matter of character that is inbuilt in every individual. Virtuous individuals are characteristically good people. They do good deeds. Honesty is a virtue; it entails truthfulness, integrity, and trustworthiness at all costs. Honest people say the truth at all times regardless of the repercussions that may arise from that action. Nonmaleficence, on the other hand, is a bioethical principle that states people should do no harm or do the least possible harm for the benefit of other individuals (Howie, 2006). This paper will discuss a case study involving a campus couple and the ethically compelling they find themselves in.
The basic definition of someone who is virtuous is someone who upholds high moral standards through their behavior. Going by this definition, the young man is not virtuous. First and foremost his partying habit seems excessive. He went wild as a party animal right after leaving what is termed as parental constraints. Furthermore, the young man was sexually active and even caught genital herpes. The presumption is that he engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with multiple partners (Firestone & Catlett, 2009). There is no virtue in sleeping around.
The case study also brings up clear violation of the honesty code in this scenario. The young man is dishonest to his girlfriend by sleeping around. The young man propagates his dishonesty by not telling his girlfriend about his girlfriend he is dishonest. The young man’s sister is cheating by opting not to tell her brothers girlfriend about herpes. Nonmaleficence stipulates that people should do no harm (Howie, 2006). The young man and his sister are doing harm by not telling her the about the herpes infection. They are doing harm because they are potentially exposing her to a sexually transmitted disease.
The sister should tell her brother that he should reveal the truth to his girlfriend. If he cannot do this, then she could advise him to avoid any form of sexual contact with her until he has sought treatment and recovered from herpes. In this way, they will avoid harming the girlfriend. The young man, on the other hand, should be honest to his girlfriend failure to which he should call off the whole arrangement to prevent dishonesty (Firestone & Catlett, 2009).
When you think about it, virtues and moral values could conflict one another. In this scenario, the young man’s sister finds herself between a rock and a hard place. The virtue of honesty and nonmaleficence conflict one another (Kitchener, 2011). If she decides not to heed to her brother’s request and tell his girlfriend about his herpes, then she is honest. She is at the same time harming a cordial relationship that existed between the two “lovebirds.” If she decides to do no harm to the relationship by keeping quiet, then she is dishonest to the girlfriend.
Golden mean could come into play in this scenario; if the sister decides not to tell the girlfriend about the herpes infection. She should only agree to do so on condition that her brother seeks medical help and reaches an agreement with him that he will faithfully avoid any sexual contact that would expose the girlfriend to herpes. Concrete this; she is reaching an amicable solution that favors both ends (Kitchener, 2011) . Excellence could apply in this case for the young man if he becomes faithful in his relationship; avoid the excessive partying and reckless sexual behavior.
In summary, the sister having noted the developments should seek and amicable solution following the golden mean principle. She should offer more time with an ultimatum, after which she will do the telling herself. This paper has discussed scenario basing its arguments on the virtues and moral principles of ethics honesty and nonmaleficence.
Firestone, R. & Catlett, J. (2009). The ethics of interpersonal relationships (1st ed.). London: Karnac.
Howie, J. (2006). Ethical principles and practice (1st ed.). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Kitchener, K. (2011). Intuition, Critical Evaluation and Ethical Principles: The Foundation for Ethical Decisions in Counseling Psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 12(3), 43-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011000084123005