Ethical Dilemmas of John Milner

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My character of choice is John Milner who was born on 21st April 1840 in Dunbar, Scotland. He was an immigrant to the United States that grew to be an active young man with a passion for engaging in outdoor activities. He was a devoted Roman Catholic individual, and he hardly missed the masses. He attended the local schools in Dunbar until he was 11 years of age when his family migrated to the United States. They first lived in the Hickory Hill Farm but later moved to Fountain Lake near the portage. As a child, he loved exploring the farms.

Ethical dilemma

During his time, there was a growing diversity in the United States that did not lead to secession. There was considerable influence from the Canadian and Anglican churches which created room for all the parties to grow in. Milner himself was a Catholic, but he was in a great dilemma torn between loyalties and did not know which group to support. In the 1800s there was an influx in the number of immigrants coming to the United States who were mostly Anglicans from England (Gundersen 104). As a result, they developed a healthy competition that moderated conflicts between the church parties in Canada. Milner chose to join the Anglicans since they were the majority in his home area. However, he faced the dilemmas of identity which had preoccupied the Anglicans in the United States.

The dilemmas were similar to the historical events of the early Christians in the United States when they tried to establish a religion that would unify all the immigrants (Gundersen 112). It was not easy, but eventually, it became possible. Milner developed other worldviews about the dilemmas he had that made him become an Anglican.  He came to accept the fact that there was no need to divide believers by doctrines.  The immigrants at that time had so many enemies and were in constant attacks from the locals. All they needed was to be united if they were to survive and so the religion was the only way it could have created that unity.

Katerberg, in his works, has discussed in great depth the modernity and the dilemmas that the North American Anglican faced in the 1800s. In his book, he explained how the Anglican Church continued to be empowered by the government of Great Britain in their quest of making it be the dominant religion. Those that made other groups of Christian such as Catholics could not stand on their own and ended joining the Anglicans. This was the same case with Milner, who had been raised as a Catholic by his parents in Scotland (Katerberg 42). This document shows the struggles that many Catholics faced in their quest to maintain and follow their doctrines, but it was becoming too hard for them, and finally they had to succumb to the pressures mounted won them by the Anglicans who were numerous (Gundersen 132).

Milner in his opinion saw it was necessary to join the Anglican. His world views changed when the issue of religion used as a tool was meant to unify all the immigrants.  The immigrants due to the constant threats of attacks and the escalated levels of insecurity could do all things to ensure that they could stand a chance of eliminating any threat to their security.  This historical perspective shows how the immigrants to North America valued safety (Gundersen 138). Their existence was always threatened and, their enemies could have done anything to ensure that they overrun the migrants who had formed settlements in their country.

Milner decided to respond to the ethical dilemmas that they faced as immigrants by accepting to become an Anglican too.  The reason for him to react in this manner was as a result of the constant attacks that they faced and the need for unity among all the migrants. Right from his childhood, Milner loved engaging in a lot in outdoor activities. The attacks that they always faced made him change his stand because he felt that his freedom of movement had been limited since they never knew when they would next be attacked (Katerberg 49). He wanted to be part of the change and for him to do that he had to join the religion that united all of them. His need for freedom was the dominant driving force for him to become an Anglican. Milner had developed a concept of civic responsibility. In this sense, he felt that they could be the change the society needs.

With this in his mind, he did not think twice when it came to offering himself to be part of the people who would ensure that the society was united and there would be security which had turned to be a nightmare to many. Milner saw the many challenges that the migrants faced in their stay in North America. All these problems could easily be solved if there was security. As a result, he had to be an example to others, by putting aside all their religious differences, join forces with other like-minded and ensure that they were safe from attacks from the local communities (Katerberg 54). It was only with sufficient security that the migrants would be able to thrive in North America. Religion was the tool to achieve all that.

Milner’s understanding of self-worth helped a lot improve on his values in response to the dilemma that they were in. His decisions were mainly affected by the historical events that were taking place during those times. He had no choice but to cope up with the change that was taking place. There was a crisis, and the migrants had found themselves between a rock and a hard place (Katerberg 61). Action had to be considered while they had time since if they failed to do so, it would be too late for them.  The circumstances developed his personal views that they were involved.

Milner together with a few others loved being outside in the fields. This helped them to connect with nature. He also liked being a religious person like he had been taught since he was young while they lived in Scotland.  Christianity was the main religion for the immigrants, and it helped them to connect as it was a tool for unity (Gundersen 144). However, not everyone was an Anglican. At first, it was difficult for Milner and others who were Anglicans to join them, but they later came to realize that it was necessary to be part of the majority in the society.

This helped them to connect with nature. He also likes being a religious person like he had been taught by his since he was young while they lived in Scotland.  Christianity was the main religion for the immigrants, and it helped them to connect as it was a tool for unity. However, not everyone was an Anglican. At first, it was difficult for Milner and others who were Anglicans to join them, but they later came to realize that it was necessary to be part of the majority in the society. Their values were to develop and adapt to the current situation that they were in of a community that needed to be united by strong religious principles so that they could stand united against their attackers (Katerberg 77). Circumstances force people to change their opinions to cope with the prevailing conditions.  Characters and personal values can change as it was the case of Milner when he was faced with the ethical dilemma on religion. Particular benefits of a person have to match their current condition

Conclusion

Many people in their daily lives are faced with difficulties, and at times it is not easy to know how to best respond to them. A situation can change the perspectives and values of a person. Milner saw the many challenges that the migrants faced in their stay in North America. All these problems could easily be solved if there was security. As a result, he had to be an example to others, by putting aside all their religious differences to join forces with other like-minded and ensure that they were safe from attacks from the local communities. It was only with sufficient security that the migrants would be able to thrive in North America. Religion was the tool to achieve all that. Circumstances force people to change their opinions to cope with the prevailing conditions.  Characters and personal values can change as it was the case of Milner when he was faced with the ethical dilemma on religion.

Works Cited

Gundersen, Joan R. “Anglicans and Episcopalians in America.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, 2017, pp. 104–230., doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.013.455.

Katerberg, W. Modernity and the Dilemma of North American Anglican Identities, 1880-1950. McGill-Queens University Press, 2014.

November 13, 2023
Category:

Life Religion

Number of pages

6

Number of words

1452

Downloads:

42

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