An Ethical Dilemma

“But don’t begin until you count the cost.” – Jesus

Recently, I posted the following question on Facebook (I’ve edited it a little here to eliminate some inadvertent ambiguity in the original version.):

“You’re a business owner on your way to a meeting to sign contracts with a new client.  Your company is in trouble and if these contracts aren’t signed, you’ll have to lay off 100 employees. This meeting is your only opportunity to get the contracts signed and if you miss the meeting, you lose the business.

You are walking three blocks away from the meeting when you see a blind man in the middle of a busy intersection. He is confused, lost and it’s only a matter of time before he gets hit by a car. You look around and see that no one is willing to help him. It looks like you’re his only chance at getting to safety.  If you stop to help him you will miss your meeting.

What do you do?”

I received interesting responses.  Most went with saving the blind man.  Some tried to figure out a way to do both.  Some were funny (not yours, Michael) and one person went with saving the jobs.

Regardless of the decision that is made, there is a cost.

If you save the blind man, 100 people and their families will impacted.  Considering how the average person handles their money, this will be a severe hardship for most of those families.

If you ignore the blind man and save the jobs, that man is going to get hit by a car.

The argument was made that the blind man might die.  We don’t know that.  But, he might.  At the same time, economic factors have become an increasing presence in some suicides.

The argument was made that if we save the blind man, God will take care of the jobs.  The reverse argument can also be made.

One person pointed out 400-500 people could be impacted by the job loss and there was no guarantee the blind man would be injured or killed.  She talked about the needs of the many versus the needs of the few.  And her ears aren’t even pointy.

Obviously, my bias goes against saving the blind man.  Why?  There’s no logic to it.  In fact, it makes the least amount of sense.  I agree with my normal-eared friend (for once):  if I’m that business owner, those employees are my responsibility and I can’t let them down.  (I’m not going to bite on the ‘needs of the many’ socialist propaganda bait she threw out there.  She’ll just use it against me in a future argument.)

Even though I believe the meeting should take priority, I’m pretty sure if it were me in that scenario, I’d run out in the middle of traffic and try to save the guy.  Or, at least, I hope I’d have that kind of courage.  And then, I’d hope like hell the new client would give me a second chance.

I’m such a noble guy, right?


Because, if the guy in the middle of the street was a convicted child molester I recognized because I saw him on TV, I’d let him die.

There are times when I do count the cost and then do what doesn’t make sense.  There are other times when I count the cost and do what does make sense.  Unfortunately, most of the time, I just do what I want and don’t count the cost at all.

This is one of the reasons I’m so grateful for God’s grace.  He knows wisdom is a process and He gives me plenty of time to get there.

I’m glad He realizes that I’m a blind man stuck in a busy intersection.

P.S. – It’s okay, Michael.  I thought your response was actually pretty funny.





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