RESOURCES FOR ETHICAL DECISIONMAKING Proposals: Our proposals are our statements about what should be done. Like value judgments, proposals are prescriptive, almost always containing the word “should” or the phrase “it is the right thing to do.” However, unlike value judgments, proposals are specific. In Brown’s model, proposals are the result of the combination of value judgments, assumptions, and observations.
We should provide an equal education to all students in the United States.
Observations: Our observations are the data we have observed or collected that support or go against the proposals we make. Observations are like assumptions in that both are descriptive. However, observations are specific, rather than general.
Students that receive excellent educations are more successful in life.
Value Judgments: Value judgments are beliefs about what is important. Like proposals, they are prescriptive rather than descriptive. However, unlike proposals, value judgments are general statements that guide our proposals. Value judgments connect the proposal and the observation statements.
We should equalize opportunities for all US citizens.
Assumptions: Our assumptions are our deeply held beliefs, beliefs that do not automatically change just because some of our observations are in conflict. Assumptions are like observations in that they are descriptive, rather than prescriptive. However, they are general, rather than specific.
Equal education is necessary for equal opportunity. Our country is based on equal opportunity.
Alternative Points of View: Often contains different proposals due to different observations, value judgments, and assumptions.
We should allow wealthy parents to provide better educations to their children.