Essay on Moral Model for Ethical Decision Making

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The human need from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs of love and belonging refers to the particular human experiences of living in a community or society. A large focus is placed on the shared beliefs of groups of individuals as they attempt to navigate through the systems and customs of where they live. This brings light to the social construct of morality and ethics. Several texts challenge individual’s beliefs through storytelling as they manipulate the conventions of form. Both Lucy Walker's documentary and Shinichi Hoshi’s short story are texts of social denunciation that explore particular human experiences and challenge the beliefs of a modern audience.

Shinichi Hoshi’s short story “He-y Come On Out!” is a text of social criticism that comments on significant ecological concerns in society. The text uses an ingenious allegory to represent the modern era as we shove garbage into landfills without any repercussions and disregard the severe damage this is having on the planet. After the typhoon in the text, the shrine was swept away by a landslide. Shinici’s use of symbolism here, represents the fading of old traditions and religions as the newer generations of a community stop believing in their values of them. This is directly related to the recent ethical changes of individuals as they make moral decisions surrounding the use of technological advancements in Western society. The author represents the human experience of decision-making through the characterization of the mayor and concessionaire. The concessionaire is represented in the text as money-oriented as he serves as a symbol for advertisement and business and the characterization of the mayor displays him as a symbol of individuals who benefit themselves before considering the consequences of their actions. This is shown when he dismisses the impact of using the hole for the disposal of unwanted materials as the concessionaire promises to “build for them a new shrine with an attached meeting hall nearer the village.” This use of characterization shows the author exploring the inconsistencies of human behavior as she critiques the societal moral dilemmas of decision making which may have large impacts on the future generations in society. These morality concerns bring to light the theme of consequence as the characters dispose of nuclear reactors, garbage, and material evidence with the absence of restraint; “We’ve got a fabulously deep hole! Scientists say it’s at least five thousand meters deep! Perfect for disposal.” Shinici Hoshi ends the story with a pebble falling from the sky ironically past a construction worker showing the continuing urbanisation of a modern society. The workman paid no notice to this pebble as he was “gazing in idle at the city’s skyline growing evermore beautiful” although through the use of dramatic irony, the audience is aware that this small thing will trigger an enormous train of events. This causes the audience to question their practices surrounding the discarding of materials and its effect on both the environment and future generations. It questions the morality and ethics of the characters and audience during the decision-making process and causes questioning of the inconsistencies in their human behavior which may negatively impact on humanity. Decision-making plays an important role in the human experience of individuals and groups living by their community’s norms and values. This text explores individuals in a single community making an unethical decision that may negatively impact the future. This poorly made decision alters the audience’s perspectives through the use of symbolism and characterization incorporated into an allegorical narrative and criticizes the overindulgence and disposable culture of the upper classes in a society.

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The concept of one small thing causing an enormous train of events relates directly to the documentary Wasteland, composed by Lucy Walker as the motif of the documentary shows the contrast between being far away and close up, allowing people to understand, unlike worlds in different ways. This shows the changing perspectives between the population of Rio de Janeiro and the working categories at Jardim Gramacho. This intent is shown through the use of the carnival scene. This assisted Lucy Walker in challenging assumptions about Brazilian culture. It shows the careless throwing away of garbage as the event is followed by moving shots of men tossing the discarded props and costumes into a garbage truck. This relates directly to “Hey Come On Out!” as both texts manipulate the conventions of form to make the reader or audience question their morals and ethics surrounding the disposal and recycling of materials. Valter dos Santos is a character who shifts society's views toward the lack of attention to where their rubbish ends up. This character is an older picker who has worked at Jardim Gramacho for 26 years and is proud of what he does. His short, truncated catchphrase “99 is not 100” refers to the positive difference that just one individual recycled item can make. He also comments on the importance of morals and how they must be upheld even when faced with extreme adversities. This is shown through the use of a juxtaposition as he states “It’s bad to live in the height of fame with your morals a dirty shame.” The film shows the inconsistencies of human behavior as Lucy Walker uses visual images to juxtapose the morality of the upper and lower classes of Rio de Janeiro. Vik explores the notion of classism in Brazil where upper-class individuals “really believe they are better than other people”. Lucy Walker uses overhead panning shots of Rio de Janeiro, showing the large amounts of urbanization developed before cutting to shots of the consequence of consumerism- the waste. This footage, like “Hey Come On Ou-t!” brings to light the theme of consequence. Juxtaposition is also used to reinforce the idea of classism and consequences after Vik and Tiao sell the artwork in an upper-class society. After the footage of Tiao crying and stating that he “feels like a pop star”, the film cuts to the reality of life in the slums at Jardim Gramacho with the use of melancholy, non-diegetic music assisting the juxtaposition. This filming technique provides insight into the confronting impact of overconsumption and shows Lucy Walker manipulating the conventions of form to portray the human experience of decision-making for the future.

Both of the texts, Wasteland and “He-y Come On Out!” Delve into differing societies and communities in a modern world. It uses the character’s beliefs and practices to explore human behavior whilst decision-making. This helps to alter the reader or audience’s perspective as both texts manipulate the conventions of form to encourage the questioning of individual ethics and morality in contemporary society.

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Essay on Moral Model for Ethical Decision Making. (2024, February 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
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