I'm having a lot of trouble writing this so any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated it.
Ever since I was young I've enjoyed controversy. Not for its own sake, but rather because I've always liked looking at things from a different point of view and finding the shades of grey in issues.
One of the earliest examples of this was when I was a junior in high school attending a private religious academy. In my Bible class my teacher held open discussion days every Friday where he would choose a topic for us all to discuss and one day he choose the topic of abortion. A few minutes into the discussion I noticed that everyone in the class was arguing against abortion so when it came my turn to speak I decided to go in the opposite direction. I argued that abortion should remain legal because the Supreme Court had ruled that women have a right to choose and that the issue of when life begins was still a matter of debate amongst doctors. I did not argue this way because I believed it, but rather because I wanted to understand both sides of the issue.
During college my favorite courses were often the ones that required you not only to find the correct answer, if indeed there even was one correct answer, but to defend that answer. One of my favorite courses was an ethics class where the professor would assign us various ethical dilemmas and have us resolve them.
One of the dilemmas dealt with whether or not a journalist should reveal the names of rape victims in local newspapers. I looked at the issue from two different viewpoints. The first was a purely consequentialist approach. I looked at the harm it might cause the victims and their families in comparison to the potential good it might do to society as a whole. Looking at it from that viewpoint I eventually decided that the harm it would do the victims and their families outweighed the potential good it could do simply because I felt that it would almost certainly cause the victims harm, but the chances of it benefiting society were less than certain.
The other approach I took was one concerned strictly with the journalist's duty to inform the public of events as accurately as possible. I didn't concern myself with the question of costs versus benefits, but only with the question of whether or not the journalist had a duty to report the name of the victims. Looking at it purely from this duty oriented perspective I concluded that the journalist had an ethical responsibility to report the names of the victims because his duty was to inform the public as accurately as possible.