Pick the correct answers:

One rainy evening I wandered into a shop, where I left my name-brand umbrella in a basket near the door. When I was ready to leave, my umbrella was gone. There were several others in the basket. Should I have taken a similar name-brand umbrella, taken a lesser quality model, or just gotten wet? - I.F.S., New York
A. a similar name-brand umbrella
B. a lesser quality model
C. just gotten wet

How much is a cat worth? My affectionate and obedient Manx needs a procedure that will cost a few hundred dollars. My instinct is to pay for what she needs, but I can't help thinking it's wrong. Wouldn't the cash be better spent on sick humans? -- J. M., Boston
A. It's your cat, and so its health is your responsibility at any cost. There is such a thing as a second job.
B. It is grotesque to spend this kind of money on an animal when many people go without adequate health care.
C. Caring for your cat can coexist with your charitable impulses toward your fellow humans.

I'm too young to be admitted to R-rated movies. But if my parents donít mind me seeing a movie, is it wrong for me to lie about my age or buy a ticket to a different movie and sneak in? After all, Iím not cheating the theater out of any money. - Dan Margolis, Pennsylvania
A. Rules are rules. You should not lie just to get your way.
B. A lie about your age isn't ideal, but it is OK. It is your parents, not a theater manager, that may regulate what you view.
C. Sneak on in. Whose hurt? It's not like you add to the theater's costs.

My neighbor, a 20-something and quite good looking, never draws his blinds. The view from my apartment is extraordinary. Every night at 8:15 he returns from jogging to shower and prepare for bed, which I enjoy watching. What should I do? - Anonymous, New York
A. feast your eyes.
B. avert your glance.
C. buy binoculars, invite friends over, sell tickets.

My fiance and I waited in line for four hours to buy tickets to a show. There were a limited number, so each person was allowed only two. We were approached by a man who offered us a $100 bonus to each buy an extra ticket. What should we have done? -- R. A. , Connecticut
A. sell him a ticket, take the extra $100
B. sell him a ticket at cost
C. spurn his advances entirely

I am 7 weeks pregnant and looking for a new job. Is it fair to look for a job at this time? When should I tell prospective employers? L.C. New York
A. At the job interview
B. Over cocktails after a particularly successful interview.
C. Never. At least not during the job hunt.

While engaging in horseplay in my house, a friend of my 10-year-old son accidentally broke an antique lamp. I did not ask his parents to pay for it and would decline if they offered, but it irks me that they didn't even make the gesture. May I surreptitiously break something in their house to settle the score? What should I do? - anonymous, Highland Park, N.J.
A. Smash something, say nothing. An eye for an eye, a broken lamp for a broken lamp.
B. Smash nothing, say something. You and those parents need to talk
C. Smash nothing, say nothing. Kids break things, it's what they do. Why make a big deal about it?

I had a dinner at the home of one of my neighbors, and he said grace in a way that seemed appallingly sexist. What should I have done?-- anonymous, Los Angeles
A. Let it pass. Their house, their customs. And silence is not an endorsement of their views.
B. It is wrong to be passive in the face of such offensive comments. You should have walked out right then.
C. Speak up, but not during the actual prayer, and not angrily. Thereís time for a quiet conversation during dinner.

In more than 25 years of teaching, I have never agreed with my students on what to do when one of them gets an answer wrong and I inadvertently mark it as correct. If the student lets me know, I praise him for his honesty, then take off the points I should have in the first place. Is this right, or should I let him keep the points because the mistake was mine?- Sandra Martin, Ramsey, N.J.
A. lower the grade: the test should accurately measure his work not your powers of observation
B. leave the grade unchanged : honesty rewarded
C. lower the grade an extra ten points: that'll teach the little grade-grubber

A physician, I recently prescribed Viagra to a patient. Shortly after, his wife, also my patient, disclosed that they've not been intimate for months. On the one hand, his private affairs are none of my business. On the other, his wife is likely to feel betrayed if she discovers I've given him the means to satisfy his ends. What should I do? -P.M., Ohio
A. inform the wife
B. keep silent
C. urge the husband to inform the wife



THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE DIFFERENCE
How to Tell Right From Wrong in Everyday Situations
By: RANDY COHEN - "The Ethicist" from The New York Times Magazine.
TheEthicist@RandomHouse.com

Special thanks to illustrator Christoph Niemann.

 


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