The Divided Loyalties ##HOT##
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DIVIDED loyalties. I guess that's a fancy way of saying we're feeling pulled in two directions--sometimes more! When, for example, you want to do what your friends are doing, but you also know you should obey your parents' wishes. It can be pretty confusing. So, what do you do?
As I continued praying, the divided loyalty that had disturbed me so much was resolved. The relationship faded naturally away as we gradually went our separate ways. I knew that I had done the right thing in this case, because right before my friend and I stopped dating he told me why he enjoyed our relationship. He said he enjoyed going out with me because he wasn't expected to drink, do drugs, and have sex. He said he had learned from this that he could exclude these activities from his dating experience.
What my friend sensed when we dated was his real selfhood, which is spiritual, made in God's image and likeness. And, you know what? He liked that selfhood--so did I. He liked what he was beginning to think and express for the first time in years. For, you see, my friend, too, had a divided loyalty. He had been pulled in two different directions for a long time. The belief that he was a mortal dominated by a mortal body (and had to act like it) was trying to pull him away from learning more of the
We can all have divided loyalties to resolve. But perhaps the biggest decision we come across in our experience is whether to give our loyalty to matter or Spirit. It sure seems like we are made of matter. In reality, though, as Christ Jesus showed us, our selfhood is entirely spiritual. We are made in the image of God, who is Spirit. As we understand our genuine, spiritual identity, we see that we are always governed by our eternal Father-Mother God.
Divided loyalties are a much bigger issue than one individual against another, or parents against children. They show us that we need to choose between matter and Spirit. But when we learn that it is God who demands our loyalty, we see that we can always turn to Him in prayer. We don't need to struggle with divided loyalties, since man is already spiritual, loyal to God, good, above all.
The author argues that conflicts of obligation may, but need not, give rise to issues of divided loyalties. Given this, the question then becomes under what circumstances and conditions a simple internal conflict may escalate into the problem of divided loyalties or fiduciary ambiguities. After discussing conflicts of obligation, it is asserted that loyalties are divided only when the demands of the various relationships involved are irreconcilable. As this is an extreme, the major problematic issues fall, then, in between, on multiple loyalties and ambiguous loyalties. How and where multiple loyalties arise, and under what conditions they may become ambiguous loyalties lead to the recognition that moral problems are created by leaving in ambiguity things about the relationships involved that would be better sorted out. Finally the author looks at situations in which physicians are systematically exposed to irresoluble ambiguity.
KIE: Using examples from occupational medicine, sports medicine, and clinical trials, Toulmin discusses two of the moral conflicts he believes are common to all professions: conflicts of obligations and divisions of loyalties. Conflicts of obligation are inherent in all medical practice, the author argues, and cannot be resolved by balancing claims, but only by choosing one obligation over another. Conflicts of loyalty result when a physician's relationships "to two or more individuals, or to two or more institutions, become irreconcilable in ways that force him to choose between them." Along the spectrum of loyalties lie multiple loyalties and ambiguous loyalties, and the latter, if unresolved, create moral ambiguities. Toulmin concludes by identifying characteristics of contemporary American medicine that make it likely that the dilemmas of conflicts of obligation, divided loyalties, and ambiguous relationships will persist.
It may seem surprising that one of our most well-known founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, had a Loyalist son. In fact many families were divided during the Revolution, with some members choosing to rebel against British rule and others remaining loyal to the King. Benjamin Franklin and his son, William Franklin, prominently exemplified these divided loyalties. How did this rift occur, and were they ever reconciled?
The loyalties that divide the U.S. are reaching a breaking point after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the most pro-choice legislation in American history. The law allows late-term abortions under certain conditions, allows health providers other than doctors to perform abortions and strips abortion from the penal code.
The rest of us, contrary to the delirious absolutism on display by Democratic legislators, must reason together through these hard choices. And, given the horrors this new abortion law permits, perhaps decide to stop dividing our loyalties before they divide U.S.
What was the powerful force that impelled the Haudenosaunee to set aside their tradition of peace and attack each other, despite the dire warning from the Great Peacemaker who had created their Confederacy many generations before? Simply put, different treaties, different wampum belts and divided loyalties tore apart the famed unity of the Great Law of Peace.
People are often pulled in different directions by competing priorities, multiple reporting lines and rapid change. Organizations often respond to this by introducing a matrix type organization structure. Whilst different reporting lines to geography, product group, functions and so on can create a structure of excellence, the resulting divided loyalties can present a problem.
Conflict is inherent and unavoidable in any organization, because the individuals who comprise its leadership face divided loyalties. They must make decisions for the organization, for themselves, and often for departments, groups, or other organizations as well. Additionally, decision making at any level may be divided and shared among two or more individuals or groups. Conflict is generated within leaders because (1) they must represent the sometimes incompatible interests of two or more systems, (2) they must often share leadership, and (3) they frequently receive incompatible commands from two or more levels of the hierarchy. Such conflicts may be managed by compartmentalizing decisions, setting priorities, homogenizing the interests of the organization and its leaders, and setting up a system of checks and balances. Analysis suggests that the best strategy for the organization is to encourage a moderate amount of pluralism in the values of the leaders, coupled with a set of checks and balances to assure that all interests are adequately represented, even though this strategy may sometimes stifle creative leaders.
Amy Murrell Taylor discussed how families coped with divided loyalties between the Union and Confederacy before, during and after the Civil War. She is the author of The Divided Family in Civil War America. The Library of Virginia in Richmond, the American Civil War Museum and the University of Virginia Center for Civil War History co-hosted this hour-long talk. close 2b1af7f3a8