Ethics paper - Ethical Egoism and Ethical Relativism Jill...

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Ethical Egoism and Ethical Relativism Jill Varady Intro to Ethics February 28, 2008
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Ethical egoism is defined by what is good is what produces a net benefit for a particular individual, and what is bad is what produces a net harm for the individual. Ethical egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be morally right that it maximize one's self-interest. “Ethical egoism might also apply to things other than acts, such as rules or character traits. Ethical relativism is a society’s actual moral guidelines that determine good and bad. In this paper I will discuss both of them and evaluate which on is better” (Birsch, 2002). . When using ethical egoism in a real life scenario consider Bill as an example. Bill is a taking a history class at Shippensburg University, and he has the final exam coming up in the class. He needs to get a “C” to stay off academic probation and he is sure that he will not be able to achieve a “C”. Bill is considering using a cheat sheet on the final exam. He is certain that using the cheat sheet will help him get a better grade, and it is very unlikely he will get caught because the teacher does not walk around the room. Is it ethical for Bill to use the cheat sheet during the final exam? To figure out if it is ethical for Bill to use a cheat sheet during the final exam you need to use the ethical egoism theory. The first step of the ethical egoism theory you must identify the action. In this case, using a cheat sheet on final exam is the action. Next, you need to identify the harms and benefits. In Bill’s case, harms might include getting caught, failing the class, not doing well on the test anyway, and he might feel guilty. The benefits of using the cheat sheet might be passing the class, satisfaction of passing the class, and less time
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Ethics paper - Ethical Egoism and Ethical Relativism Jill...

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