Introduction_1623

Introduction_1623 - Key Terms Introduction Introduction...

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Unformatted text preview: Key Terms Introduction Introduction Applied Ethics Ethics – The reasoned study of what is morally right and wrong, good and Ethics bad. Ethical Issues – Moral questions or problems; situations or actions that Ethical contain legitimate questions of moral right and wrong. Critical Thinking – Informed and logical thought, or logical problem solving. Critical Situational ethics – Determining what is right or good solely on the basis of Situational the momentary context: this implies that what is right or good today in one today situation man not be right tomorrow in another situation. Conflict of interest – A type of ethical problem that occurs when a person Conflict who has made an ethical commitment or promise to act in the interests of interests another person or group, violates that promise and acts in his or her personal or interests instead. Ethical Dilemma – an ethical issue in which all of the choices appear equally Ethical wrong. King’s Argument A just law is a man-made code that squares with just manthe moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony An with the moral law. According to Thomas Acquinas: An unjust law According is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is a just Any law. An unjust law degrades it. King’s Argument con’t An unjust law is a code that a majority group compels a An minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. A just law is a code the majority compels a minority to just follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells An him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. Case Study Case You have studied hard and worked hard to become a corporate You lawyer. You enjoy donating your time and energy to non-profit and You noncharitable organizations, one of which is the local community college. You are a member of the board of trustees and influence the You President of the college and other board members. You represent many clients one of whom is a large construction You company you’ve represented for ten years. you’ The college is about to undertake a major new buildings project. The The construction company you work for plans to bid on this The project. Do you have a conflict of interest? Do What are your alternatives? What Resign immediately from the Board of Trustees. Resign Tell your construction clients you can no longer represent them. Tell Don’t bother to reveal the nature of your conflict. You know Don’ you are an honorable person, and you experienced enough to choose what is right. Disclose the nature of your conflict as quickly and as widely as Disclose possible. Consult state law and the state bar association to find guidelines Consult guidelines for governing such conflicts. Choose not to vote on any question in which you face a conflict. Choose Construction Company’s President Fire your attorney. Fire Ask him to resign from the Board of Directors. Ask Ask him to lobby hard so that your company will be Ask awarded the contract. Ask him to feed you information so that you can offer Ask a bid that is lower than the rest, but high enough to maximize profits. Ask for a meeting with the Board to discuss the Ask potential conflicts. Consult experts in business ethics. Consult 1988 Board of Trustees Guide Refrain from even the appearance of impropriety. Refrain Be a catalyst for change in meeting community needs. Be Be a model of community values, encouraging the best practices Be agreed upon and carried out in the highest fashion. Never allow personal or family gain as a direct result of public Never action. Avoid nepotism. Avoid Declare real or potential conflicts of interest before voting; Declare abstain when appropriate. Respect the “no surprises rule.” Respect rule.” Emphasize education as the means to building ethical Emphasize foundations and maintaining them. Case 2 Case You have studied computer science, earned a You degree in the subject and you now work for a large accounting firm as a subcontractor. The company you are a subcontractor for sends you to company ABC. While on assignment you develop a computer program that will handle a problem for ABC. After you complete the project you realize that with a few modifications the program would be marketable to many firms. Is there an ethical issue here? Chapter 1 The Ethics Environment Key terms Ethics – The reasoned study of what is morally right and wrong, Ethics good and bad. Morals – Behaviors that are judged to be consistent with good Morals ethical thinking and decision making. Applied ethics – The actual use of moral standards of behavior Applied in making decisions about human problems. Ethical (or moral) principles – General guidelines of ethical Ethical behavior. The should statements of ethics. Virtues – character traits that make up the moral life. Virtues Values – Anything one acts to gain and/or keep. Values Moral judgments – Conclusions as to whether specific actions Moral are ethically right or wrong. Two Main Approaches to Ethics Philosophy Philosophy Bases morality on logic and reason Bases Theology Theology Bases morality on the teachings of religious Bases authorities and personal faith. Additional Key Terms Additional Moral – Behaviors that are judged to be consistent with Moral good ethical thinking and decision making. Immoral – Behaviors that are contrary to good moral Immoral reasoning. Non-moral – Behaviors that do not fall into the scope Nonof the ethics environment, and that normally have no moral effects on others. Amoral – The absence of any moral sensitivity or Amoral concern for moral standards or decency. Challenges to Ethics Ethical Relativism. The assumption that there are Ethical no moral standards, judgments, or principles that apply to everyone; that what is morally right varies from person to person (subjectivism), or from one culture to another (ethical relativism). The cultural relativist thesis Ethical Relativism Different cultures have different moral beliefs. Different This is a factual claim This The Ethical Relativist The In order for the cultural relativist thesis to apply In to morality, it must be stated as a moral claim. This claim has many variations. This Variation 1: What a culture claims is right or Variation wrong IS what is right or wrong for that culture. What supports this ethical claim? What The Ethical Relativist Argument CR: Different cultures have different moral principles. ER: Therefore, what a culture states is right and wrong IS what is right and wrong, for that culture. Note that CR is a factual claim and ER is a moral claim. Difficulties with this argument The argument is unsound The The argument is invalid The 1. Other Derivative Conclusions No objective standard to use in judging other cultures Our moral code has no special status No “universal” truth in ethics universal” We should adopt an attitude of tolerance. 2. 3. 4. Consequences of Taking ER Consequences Seriously Could no longer say that customs of other Could societies are inferior to ours. Could decide right and wrong by consulting our Could societies standards. Moral progress is called into doubt. Moral Contradictory claims. Contradictory All cultures share some values Differences are often in belief systems, not Differences values. Since the society values itself, there are some Since moral rules that all societies must have, because those rules are necessary for society to exist. Subjectivism “Take any action allow’d to be vicious, for allow’ instance. Examine it in all lights, and see if you can find that matter of fact, or real existence, which you call vice . . . You can never find it, till you turn your reflection into your own breast, and find a sentiment of disapprobation, which arises in you, toward this action. Here is a matter of fact; but ‘tis the object of feeling, not reason. DAVID HUME, A Treatise of Human Nature (1740) Treatise (1740) Simple Subjectivism “I (the speaker) have a good feeling about X “Therefore, X is right (good, morally acceptable, ought to be done).” done).” All moral judgments are emotion based All statements. The argument to subjectivism All moral judgments are emotion based. All All emotion based judgments are subjective. All All moral judgments are subjective. All Objections to Simple Subjectivism Cannot account for our fallibility. Cannot Cannot account for disagreement. Cannot Emotivism Emotivism All emotion based judgments are statements of All attitude. All moral judgments are emotion based. All Therefore, All moral judgments are statements Therefore, of attitude Critical Issues Facts v. Values Facts Choices Choices 1. Objective Standard 2. Still can require reasons, and ask for the best reasons for taking an action. Challenges to Ethics Absolutism – The belief that there are no matters of Absolutism opinion in ethics since all moral judgments are the same for everyone. Pluralism – The belief that a universal system of ethics Pluralism is impossible because there are so many different opinions and points of view. Materialism – The assumption that ethical discussions Materialism are pointless because human beings are merely bundles of chemical compounds and energy states lacking the spiritual qualities on which ethics depends. Legalism – The belief that ethical discussions are Legalism unnecessary since we have laws to govern people’s behavior; or that ethical standards and people’ legal standards are really the same. Evil – The continuing atrocities of which Evil humans are capable sometimes overwhelm our moral senses, possibly leading us to question whether discussions of ethics have become irrelevant. ...
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