Movie Analysis

1104 words - 5 pages

1. I believe that the most important issue raised by the film is how to appropriately deal with the suspected misconduct of the priest. Does the duty to protect Donald and any potential future victims outweigh the rights of the priest to be considered innocent until proven guilty?
2. This is a very difficult question for me to answer because all of the characters in this story face their own moral dilemmas. However, I think that the primary actor in the story is Sister Aloysius because, as head of the school, it is her duty to ensure the children are educated in a safe environment.
3. The five most relevant facts pertaining to this issue are: (in no particular order)
• Donald acted strangely ...view middle of the document...

The reason that I rule it out is that it doesn’t narrow down the issue enough and I think it dilutes the real crux of the problem. First, what is the truth? Second, who is she required to be loyal to, the priest or her students? I really struggle with the appropriateness of the remaining two paradigms because there are good arguments for why each may apply. I really like individual versus community, but the current situation is only individual (the priest) versus individual (Donald). That leaves long-term versus short-term. Each of the possible resolutions have potential long and short term consequences so I believe that this is the most appropriate paradigm to apply.
6. I decided to apply the utilitarian principle to this issue, do the greatest good. The possible outcomes for the short-term and the long-term under the utilitarian principle are:
Short-Term
• If he is accused, and he is guilty the problem is resolved, there are no negative long-term consequences.
Long-Term
• If he is accused, and he is not guilty, his reputation is damaged
• If not accused, and he is guilty, Donald may suffer future abuse and there may be future victims.
Under the theory of do the most good it seems to me that he must be accused. The consequences associated with accusing him if he is guilty, versus not guilty, are far more damaging and have the potential of affecting more people.
7. I think that there definitely is a trilemma for this situation. Sister Aloysius could have composed a letter to her superiors detailing all that she had observed, expressing her concerns, and suggesting that he remain in his current position under strict supervision. He would not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with any children. He could be required to undergo counseling to deal with the situation, even if he is innocent it would be a good idea to help him to figure out why he ended up under suspicion and how to deal with any resentments associated with being wrongly accused.
8. Core values for each character
• Assuming that Father Flynn was innocent, I think that he portrayed the core value of justice. He used his sermons to make the two sisters think about...

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