DSST Business Ethics Study Guide sm

Kerr mcgees management asserted that she had

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Kerr-McGee's management asserted that she had contaminated herself in order to paint the company in a negative light. According to Richard Raske's book The Killing of Karen Silkwood , security at the plant was so extremely lax that workers could easily smuggle out finished plutonium pellets. [4]:56-62 Indeed, on one occasion a worker gave his son a pellet to take to a show and tell session at school. [ citation needed ] Silkwood had previously been noted for inquiring as to the health effects of eating a pellet (an understandably unusual request). Furthermore, upon decontaminating her home, Kerr-McGee employees found several pieces of lab equipment, such as beakers and test tubes. [ citation needed ] It is theorized that her house was broken into, and the plutonium was placed in her home to further contaminate her with intent of causing her death; [ citation needed ] and at the same time, attempting to frame her for intentionally contaminating herself, so she could not pursue civil compensation from Kerr-McGee for her contamination. [4] Nonetheless, Richard Raske's book also asserts that the precise type of plutonium found in her body (soluble) came from a production area to which Silkwood had not had access for 4 months. The pellets had since been stored in the vault of the facility. [4]
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Kantian ethics is based upon the teachings of the philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). According to Kant, the concept of “motive” is the most important factor in determining what is ethical. More specifically, Kant argued that a moral action is one that is performed out of a “sense of duty.” For Kant, a moral action is not based upon feelings or pity. Nor is it is not based on the possibility of reward. Instead, a moral action is one based on a sense of “This is what I ought to do.” To use an example, with Kantian ethics helping an old lady across the street because you feel pity for her is NOT a moral act. Likewise, helping an old lady because your coworker will think highly of you is NOT a moral act. However, helping an old lady because you have a sense of duty to help the elderly IS a moral act. Because motive is the most important factor in Kantian ethics, it is possible for an action to have negative consequences while still being a moral act. For example, if acting out of a sense of duty you attempt to save a drowning child, but in the process you accidentally drown the child, your action is still considered a moral one. Kantian ethics has been criticized on several points. First, some say Kant’s approach gives little aid for complex situations. For example, what if there are conflicts of duty? Suppose you decide that two duties are (1) telling the truth; and (2) protecting your friends. But what if a madman with an axe asked you where your best friend was so he could murder him or her? Do you tell the truth and thus lead the murderer to your friend? Or do you lie and save your friend’s life?
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