The Trouble with Normal
Rahul and Rashi loved each other a lot. When everything seemed fine, Rashi was forcefully married off to a wealthy guy by her parents and sent to a distant country thanks to Raghu’s lower caste. Raghu was heartbroken and slipped into depression.
Rashmi, his classmate in his college days and had loved him secretly, Rahul’s friends convinced him to marry Rashmi. He married her. Though he didn’t love Rashmi, nevertheless he was happy to get a companion and liked Rashmi very much.
Meanwhile, Rashi never loved her wealthy husband. She came back to India, but never returned to her husband. Now Rashi was alone with no one around her for her support. She contacted Rahul and both met secretly. She narrated how she loved him all these days and expressed her desire to get married to him despite knowing he was already married. Though, Raghu was pushed into chronic depression indirectly by Rashi he never hated her. In fact, he still had the soft corner for her. Now she had come for him leaving everything behind.
Q: What should Rahul do now?
Answer: The situation has put Rahul in an ethical/moral dilemma where he has to choose between his old love and his caring wife. The ethical dilemma is a situation where one has to make a decision involving significant value conflicts i.e. all the alternatives are equally justifiable and pose a significant consequence on each stakeholder. The stakeholders involved in the case are Rahul, Rashi, Rashmi, Rashi’s husband and their families at large. The above ethical dilemma can be resolved using the approaches like justice approach, Rights test, virtue test etc.
Justice approach involves giving one what he/she deserves i.e. his/her due. It means the fair distribution of benefits and bur dens. In the above case, if Rahul chooses to marry Rashi so that they both can lead a happy life, he is doing injustice to Rashmi. Because when he was going through deep depression it was she who helped him and got his life back on track. As mentioned in the case study though he didn't love her he was happy to get a companion like Rashmi. Also, the choice also harms Rashi’s husband as he has done nothing wrong and there is a possibility that he loves Ragin very much.
But if he convinces Rashmi and asks her to continue her marriage with her husband then it saves two families. Though both of them have to let go their love for each other this choice does justice to all the stakeholders involved.
Virtue approach involves the fundamental question is, “what kind of person I want to be?” While choosing between the two alternatives he needs to ask himself whether the action is in line with his ideal self, and how should he be remembered by his friends. The rights approach involves respecting rights of the stakeholders involved. Therefore while making a decision Rahul needs to weigh the consequences of his decision on all the stakeholders, especially his wife who has done a lot for him and Rashi’s husband who might be equally caring.
Getting emotional and taking decisions in self-interest ignoring its consequences on others is not a trait of an emotionally mature individual. We should control our emotions and desires and not be controlled by emotions