15: Compromises

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
15: Compromises

Today, we’re talking about making compromises.

Is it ever worth compromising your personal principles for someone you love?

Show notes and links:
Moral Compromise and Personal Integrity: Exploring the Ethical Issues of Deciding Together in Organizations (Business Ethics Quarterly)

Full episode text

Compromise always seems to be a good word – or at least a noble value – until you are talking about issues of morality and ethics. At least, for the most part, “compromising your principles” is a phrase that is not viewed positively – some naming that compromise as a violation of your individuality and integrity, and therefore a violation of yourself. So if you are in a situation where someone you love is asking for compromise – but it’s about one of your personal principles, would you view it as “worth it”?

The discussion of moral compromise is often limited to two major arenas – politics and medical decision making. Yet in interpersonal relationships, compromise is often cited as one of the “keys” to a healthy relationship. Many of those discussions of politics and medicine may actually apply to these interpersonal relationships. As the book “Splitting the Difference” outlines:

We often lack the time, money, energy, and other human and natural resources to satisfy everyone’s rights or interests, let alone their wants and desires. And when rights or interests conflict because of scarcity, compromise may seem to be both necessary and appropriate

Additionally, some ethicists have theorized that reaching a compromise, communal decision on a moral and ethical issue could strengthen the individual confidence that members of that group or relationship have in the decision, as long as it was reached with mutual respect.

So – would a moral or ethical compromise, for someone you love, be “worth it”?