Choosing the Right Thing to Do

In Life, At Work, In Relationships, and for the Planet

David Shapiro (Author)

Publication date: 09/01/1999

Choosing the Right Thing to Do
  • Presents a process by which readers can make moral choices that more accurately reflect their deepest values and commitments
  • Offers more than 20 questions to ask, principles to explore, and tips to follow to choose the right thing to do in any situation
  • By the co-author of Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life, which has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide

We all want to do the right thing. But determining the right thing to do isn't always easy. Everytime we pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV, someone tells us how we ought to behave. Rarely, however, do we get much assistance in deciding what to do for ourselves. Meanwhile, technological developments and rapid social changes make the right decisions-especially about the BIG issues-life, death, sex, justice, and so on-harder and harder to identify.

Choosing the Right Thing to Do responds to the growing need that people of all ages have for moral guidance-without moralizing. It contains a rich palette of principles and strategies, stories and examples, ideas and insights that offer real-world help for intelligently addressing the often quite troubling choices we face every day in our personal relationships, jobs, and lifestyles.

The book goes beyond simple commandments about right and wrong to introduce seven "moral prisms" through which we can examine any situation in order to ask questions that help us determine the right thing to do:

  • The Existentialist prism: "What will set people most free?"
  • The Deontological prism: "What would I do if everyone in the world were to do as I did?"
  • The Ethic of Caring prism: "What course of action will best sustain a caring relationship?"
  • The Communitarian prism: "How would I act if everyone knew what I was doing?"
  • The Utilitarian prism: "What will maximize total happiness in the world."
  • The Virtue Ethics prism: "What would the most virtuous person I know do?"
  • The Egoist prism: "What will most effectively ensure my short- and long-term goals?"

Author David Shapiro believes that by using these prisms, each of us can learn to make better choices. He draws upon the wise lessons of our common moral heritage-hearkening back to the Socratic ideal of learning and to Aristotle's conception of practical wisdom-to present a highly accessible model of philosophic inquiry that readers can use to evaluate how well their choices meet their obligations to family members, lovers, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow human beings.

By using this practical approach, readers are able to consider the entire spectrum of appropriate responses to the rich variety of situations they face at home an don ther job in order to act in ways that represent a deeper, richer, and more complete expression of their individual values. The result is a life that more accurately reflects who they are and which distinguishes the moral legacy they leave for their children and the world.

  • Presents a process by which readers can make moral choices that more accurately reflect their deepest values and commitments
  • Offers more than 20 questions to ask, principles to explore, and tips to follow to choose the right thing to do in any situation
  • By the co-author of Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life, which has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide

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Book Details
Overview
  • Presents a process by which readers can make moral choices that more accurately reflect their deepest values and commitments
  • Offers more than 20 questions to ask, principles to explore, and tips to follow to choose the right thing to do in any situation
  • By the co-author of Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life, which has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide

We all want to do the right thing. But determining the right thing to do isn't always easy. Everytime we pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV, someone tells us how we ought to behave. Rarely, however, do we get much assistance in deciding what to do for ourselves. Meanwhile, technological developments and rapid social changes make the right decisions-especially about the BIG issues-life, death, sex, justice, and so on-harder and harder to identify.

Choosing the Right Thing to Do responds to the growing need that people of all ages have for moral guidance-without moralizing. It contains a rich palette of principles and strategies, stories and examples, ideas and insights that offer real-world help for intelligently addressing the often quite troubling choices we face every day in our personal relationships, jobs, and lifestyles.

The book goes beyond simple commandments about right and wrong to introduce seven "moral prisms" through which we can examine any situation in order to ask questions that help us determine the right thing to do:

  • The Existentialist prism: "What will set people most free?"
  • The Deontological prism: "What would I do if everyone in the world were to do as I did?"
  • The Ethic of Caring prism: "What course of action will best sustain a caring relationship?"
  • The Communitarian prism: "How would I act if everyone knew what I was doing?"
  • The Utilitarian prism: "What will maximize total happiness in the world."
  • The Virtue Ethics prism: "What would the most virtuous person I know do?"
  • The Egoist prism: "What will most effectively ensure my short- and long-term goals?"

Author David Shapiro believes that by using these prisms, each of us can learn to make better choices. He draws upon the wise lessons of our common moral heritage-hearkening back to the Socratic ideal of learning and to Aristotle's conception of practical wisdom-to present a highly accessible model of philosophic inquiry that readers can use to evaluate how well their choices meet their obligations to family members, lovers, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow human beings.

By using this practical approach, readers are able to consider the entire spectrum of appropriate responses to the rich variety of situations they face at home an don ther job in order to act in ways that represent a deeper, richer, and more complete expression of their individual values. The result is a life that more accurately reflects who they are and which distinguishes the moral legacy they leave for their children and the world.

  • Presents a process by which readers can make moral choices that more accurately reflect their deepest values and commitments
  • Offers more than 20 questions to ask, principles to explore, and tips to follow to choose the right thing to do in any situation
  • By the co-author of Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life, which has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide
About the Author
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