Businesses putting something back into the local community… … Morally obligatory — or not? Stop Using Plagiarized Content. Get Essay It is presented in four parts, the aim being to clarify my understanding of the positions of two ethical theories in particular; Utilitarianism and Kantian Moral Theory Kantianism. The purpose of ethical theory can be explained in terms of its role in the normative approach taken to studying ethics. This requires critically considering the basic moral norms people should adhere to in the interests of acting ethically; how they should value humans and other beings in their actions The Open Poly, ; what should they consider in so doing; how should they act as a result; and, most importantly, why?
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Businesses putting something back into the local community… … Morally obligatory — or not? Stop Using Plagiarized Content. Get Essay It is presented in four parts, the aim being to clarify my understanding of the positions of two ethical theories in particular; Utilitarianism and Kantian Moral Theory Kantianism.
The purpose of ethical theory can be explained in terms of its role in the normative approach taken to studying ethics. This requires critically considering the basic moral norms people should adhere to in the interests of acting ethically; how they should value humans and other beings in their actions The Open Poly, ; what should they consider in so doing; how should they act as a result; and, most importantly, why?
The ultimate aims being, to prescribe conduct; judge actions; underwrite judgements; and, justify moral beliefs. Individually, they provide definitions, supported by reasoned arguments, laying claim to and justifying what is of fundamental importance in terms of what counts as an ethically correct action. They are mutually incompatible The Open Poly, After all, what is, the most fundamental is singular, one-off… ull-stop! An analogy. Consider all the religious persuasions in the world; all means to worship God s ; all laying claim to the fundamental means to do so; yet readily distinguished by the very different ways they go about this.
But what we can say, with certainty, is that only one can be right. The contrasting positions of Kantianism and utilitarianism epitomise the dichotomy referred to above. The non-consequentialist, deontological approach of the former sees moral importance inhered in the principle motive of the action a good in itself via our rationality — consequences are immaterial. Whilst the consequentialist, teleological basis for the latter provides that the consequences of the action are determinant of their morality — motives matter only insofar as they are conducive to maximising happiness a good in itself.
John Stuart Mill proposed what utilitarians appeal to in moral decision-making; the principle of utility; or, the Greatest Happiness Principle which: … holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure… absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. Mills, as cited in The Open Poly, , p.
An action is thus morally good if it results as far as is reasonably foreseeable in the most good consequences and least bad ones, on balance, for all likely affected, compared with alternative actions. A conventional distinction is made between the classic, act approach and a newer version of the theory — rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarians steadfastly apply the Principle to individual actions — with the added option of following suggested rules or not ; which allows for combining the good effects of upholding rules, with the good effects of breaking them, if needed The Open Poly, Not because being reliable might have spin-offs!
How can we judge if an action is done only from a sense of duty? Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become universal law. Kant, as cited in The Open Poly, , p. Kant insists we do ourselves, only that which we could have everybody else do, without it proving irrational. The second formulation tests how we treat others in our actions:.
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means. That is, we should treat people in ways that reflect their inherent value and never use them as tools to achieve some other purpose; because, as The Open Poly , p. Consider the action of befriending a work colleague. You actually detest them, but hope to cadge a free ride to work.
You are using this colleague as means to achieve your own end. Thus, Kantianism deems morally good actions those that show respect for rational humanity; by according with the formulations of the Categorical Imperative as above ; and, the morally good agent puts morally good actions into practise; motivated solely by a sense of duty. Milton Friedman may well concur, but, neither a Kantian nor a utilitarian could agree.
Basically, the reasoning provided making the business vehicle look good, thereby helping the bottom line in support of the action involved giving back to the local community is simply incongruent with what either theory would purport to justify an action being morally obligatory — for reasons I will outline in the discussion that follows. Further, is the maxim guiding the action a categorical should? It has completely hypothetical basis; if you want such-and-such then you should do so-and-so.
The businesses would only be acting in such a way necessary to achieve pre-determined and self-interested ends; and, using the community s as means in the process!
What would happen if this were acted on by all humanity? It undermines its own principle; giving is not taking as well! Only that they should not be exclusively treated in such a way? A Kantian would say yes! They are being manipulated. Their rational autonomy is not being respected; given the usinesses ulterior motives. But a Kantian would challenge this on two counts. Next, consequences are immaterial; good or bad, they come as they may — after acting on the principle behind the action for its own sake.
That might make a morally obligatory action from a utilitarian perspective, but not that of a Kantian. Further, the claim does give regard to the usefulness of the action involved by way of some forward-thinking reasoning. But, that forward-thinking is so limited; the reasoning provided is entirely inadequate! Before considering the flawed reasoning, any morally obligatory action of this nature would have to be carefully considered, weighing up all likely good and bad consequences, by the business contemplating doing it, on a case-by-case basis, each time the action were to be performed.
A utilitarian would say the claim is so generalised as to render determining the action involved morally obligatory or otherwise, is impossible! Now to the justification provided, given moral significance for a utilitarian inheres in what the action is for.
Is there evidence of consideration of the reasonably foreseeable consequences for all potentially affected? What about good and bad consequences? A utilitarian would need to be securing maximal happiness and minimal harm, again, for all affected, through any morally obligatory action taken.
Is a competitor business going to suffer bad consequences? Job losses? These sorts of implications need to be considered. What about consideration of the likely consequences of alternative actions? Any right action is so, only because it better secures the greatest good for the greatest many, compared with alternatives. Where is indication of consideration given equal and impartial treatment of all affected by this action? A utilitarian would point out there is in fact evidence of unequal and partial consideration of interests — the claim, as it reads, suggests it is only the greatest good for the businesses that is of moral significance here — what if this works against the greatest overall good for all affected?
Perhaps a general rule should be followed here? It would seem to make more sense, given the nature of differing businesses and the difficulties predicting likely consequences with any circumstances. The utility principle seems to have been applied Unless, as a utilitarian would concur, promoting utility in general is unlikely to eventuate in overall unjust outcomes for all concerned, long-term; the risk is in perceiving short-term benefits at the expense of that but that is no defence for this claim — the justification provided is woefully inadequate even in support of generalised, long-term, overall benefits are envisaged.
Cosequences for all likely affected, good and bad? Alternatives considered? Seem like very narrow view of consequences involved — wrong ones? Predicting future Too demanding Basically, the claim takes a radically non-utilitarian approach to justifying the action involved. A utilitarian could not accept any part of it.
Consider the justification provided. However, the reasoning provided does not make the action morally obligatory from is all wrong from the utilitarian perspective. Criticisms: Opponents of the utilitarian standpoint might well argue it deems as morally good, actions inflicting suffering on a minority in order to benefit a majority — if they engender more good overall than alternatives The Open Poly, This seems inconsiderate of the afflicted minority.
Consider: affluent American couple and daughter illegally adopt Nepalese orphan and subject her to childhood of slavery. She sleeps in airless basement; works 14 hours plus 7 days a week; waits on them hand and foot; cleaning, cooking, gardening; no schooling; fed on scraps; treated as less-than-human. They are chuffed. The criticism seems valid — this is morally repugnant! But, I would argue it could be misguided; and I have two lines of defence.
In acknowledging this, utilitarianism rules out such gross injustice. Intense suffering by a minority will always outweigh happiness the majority derive as a result of that suffering; the balance of disutility over utility would deem the situation morally wrong. I would have to agree; all the categoric moral rules that hold without exception, in all circumstances!
Surely it is not only reasonable, but morally obligatory, to lie, in the interests of preventing a violent end to a precious human life? Not if you hold Kantian views! The inflexibility is entirely justified; we are only tempted to make exceptions to the rule not to lie, in situations where truth-telling seems to have bad consequences and lying good ones; and predicting consequences is such an imprecise science!
Kantianism avoids such second-guessing altogether. Consequences are immaterial. You simply avoid the confirmable evil — lying; tell the truth and let the consequences come as they may. Perhaps this defence is not so convincing. The problem with this, is; which circumstances permit such qualifications being made, and which do not? The actual duties take precedence over those prima facie at first appearance , so, if there is conflict, the most important duty is that actually acted on; we are morally absolved of the other.
For the intended murder situation for instance, the duty not to lie could be overruled by the duty to put a stop to criminal activity? Kantianism is about acting on principle; perhaps it simply cannot be defended. Chryssides, G. An introduction to business ethics. London, England: Chapman and Hall. Rachels, J. The elements of moral philosophy 5th ed. The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
Business Ethics Essay Persuasive Essay
Yor Want to Read saving…. He taught previously at the University of California. Physical Description ix, p. Australian Catholic University Library.
An Introduction to Business Ethics
An Introduction to Business Ethics
1861523564 - An Introduction to Business Ethics by Chryssides, George; Kaler, John