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Word Count: 1,843
A man dies His communitys culture deems that he be buried in holy ground lest the community suffer some catastrophe He having always been at odds with his community on this point has left a provision in his will that he be cremated and his ashes scattered into the ocean The body waits in the hospital while the community debates the issue What is to be done The elders have asked for a moral opinion What is one to say If the belief that the man must be buried is one deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the community then a decision to cremate him would cause an uproar On the other hand if there are some who sympathize with the man either decision might cause a schism within the community The ultimate action would have to depend on much more than the cultures belief about burial It would have to take into account the cultures beliefs on individual rights freedom of belief and the validity of the mans will It would also have to take into account the moral implications of carrying out a mans dying wish and the repercussions of violating a sacred social institution This is not a decision to be taken lightly but by stepping back and weighing the options carefully one can come to a conclusion which would be the most moral given the situation I say most moral because there really is no right choice here Any ac tion taken will most definitely be wrong to at least one group of people Here no plea can be made to universal morality because neither belief in its specific sense appeals to any pure moral intuition People on the other side of the world might have neither the belief that the man should be buried nor the belief that his ashes should be spread Each persons choice would be too influenced by his own cultural morality and so nobody
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