“Would you stomp a puppy to death for 5 million dollars assuming you somehow run zero risk of legal repercussions and you have no prior attachment to the dog?”

This is a question I ask my high school students every year.

The point is that the act is appalling, but would money triumph over morality?

Many kids cave right away. They realize that 5 million could set them and their future generations up for years.

Other kids hang on the fence. They weigh the financial reward versus the cost of the tax on conscience and make their call.

Still others say they wouldn’t for any amount of money. These are the ones I am interested in.

First, I try to up the money. If that doesn’t work , I ask if they eat meat or wear leather. If they say yes, I suggest they hire hitmen!

Finally I point out that for some people killing the puppy would be the RIGHT moral choice. I tell them that I am a father and a teacher. As such my primary goal is to provide for my family. Therefore, since my temporary miscomfort is outweighed by my desire to provide, and since I already eat meat and wear leather, I would be immoral, selfish and hypocritical NOT to do it.

My point to my students is that morality calls are subjective.

What would YOU do?

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