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Difficult Choices

Difficult Choices

(p.29) 3 Difficult Choices
Human Predicaments
John Kekes
University of Chicago Press

The widely held assumption in our evaluative framework is that the reasonable way of making difficult choices between valued and conflicting possibilities of life is to make a personal commitment to living in a particular way and then act accordingly. In the Hindu and Balinese evaluative frameworks there is limited scope for conflicting possibilities, difficult choices, and personal commitments. How individuals should live is decided by the roles into which they are born or by the burden of their inheritance. Comparing these evaluative frameworks with ours allows us to understand that our problems involved in having to make personal commitments, difficult choices, and cope with conflicts are the unavoidable by-products of our evaluative framework. We may come to understand that the burdens we carry in our evaluative framework are the price we have to pay for living as we do.

Keywords:   choices, commitments, reasonable decision making, modes of evaluation, Hindus, Balinese, critical personal attitude, individuality, context dependence

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