CAS: CAS Project LO7 Reflection

by Yi Nok Ryan on January 31, 2018

LO7 states that the student recognizes ethical issues, is able to explain the social influences on one’s ethical identity, takes into account cultural context when making a plan or ethical decision, identifies what is needed to know in order to make an ethical decision, articulates ethical principles and approaches to ethical decisions, shows accountability for choices and actions, is aware of the consequences of choices and actions regarding self, others involved and the community, integrates the process of reflection when facing an ethical decision and shows awareness of the potential and varied consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.

The CAS Project I participated in allowed me to reflect on our ethical values, especially within its context. Are we ethically obliged to assist those in poverty? If so, why is it that there is such a huge disparity in economic status in Hong Kong (i.e. some of the wealthiest and poorest people live in Hong Kong)? Even if we were ethically obliged to do so, it would not be realistic to continually support these people financially (after all, we have our own finances to worry about and thus there is a limit to what we can reasonably do for them). Therefore, I concluded that, just like my Project, we should be ethically responsible for providing those in poverty with the means – opportunities – to get themselves out of the poverty line instead of leaving them stranded with no means to escape.

Within our Project, I would say that there were no ethical conflicts of decision: after all, we are trying to assist those in need. How could ethical problems possibly exist there? However, I thought about it and it seems that an ethical issue arises in terms of the scope of our program. We only went around Sheung Wan and Central, and could made 20 boxes worth of meals every week. This would help 20 people with their lives, but what about the rest of those in poverty? Are we ethically responsible for those in poverty outside of these two areas/districts? Where does our “boundaries” for serving start and end? I refer back to my previous point (in LO6 Reflection), where one of the purposes of the program was to inspire those to do the same. Thus, we are ethically responsible for doing as MUCH a we can, but beyond that the community should be doing the same, and that together it is possible to assist those in poverty at a national level.

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