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Moral Dilemas: Antigone Essay

One of the most difficult trials I face in my life are ethical and moral dilemmas. I believe one purpose for this life is to learn to act for ourselves and learn to see a situation correctly and act righteously. Everyday I’m faced with decisions of right and wrong, most of which are easily and correctly dealt with. Sometimes however, decisions need to be made that are not easy or perfectly clear. In this paper I wish to discuss a presented moral dilemma and explain what I would do in the same situation.

One of the biggest conflicts in the play “Antigone” by Sophocles is the value of human law vs. divine law. In this tragic play a newly appointed king Creon declares to his people that treason was committed during battle, and one of the two brothers (Polyneices) killed shall not be buried. This dilemma is felt by many, especially Antigone (sister of Polyneices). The struggle between human law and divine law is a moral dilemma Antigone feels as she decides to go against the laws of the king.

The moral dilemma being presented is from the perspective of a pharmacist. The pharmacist has a young sick niece who has a terrible ear infection and cannot get an appointment with the doctor until the next day. The pharmacist knows that she doesn’t have a prescription, but knows what type of antibiotic she probably needs. Does the pharmacist give the medicine to the niece?

If I were in the position of the pharmacist, I would refuse to give the medicine to my niece. I wouldn’t give the medicine to my niece because of the consequences that I would be dealt if I were too. My position on the dilemma is similar to Ismine’s (Antigone’s sister) when trying to convince Antigone not to bury her brother. If the pharmacist helps then he/she will get fired, go to jail, and probably never work as a pharmacist again. This turns a short term problem into a long term problem which will influence the rest of your life. Is an ear infection worth going to jail and possibly ruining your life?

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