Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?

This is just a Reference for Number 2 .

 

Socrates (469-399 BC)

    • This question was posted by Aristotle
    • How should one live?

Few questions about Ethics:

    • Is ethics a set of principles to be used as guide for our actions?
    • Is it a set of objective knowledge  to be learnt and understood?
    • Is it simply a practical question about “acting out” correct behavior, rather than a theoretical question of one’s of particular moral knowledge?
    • How do we determine what is right and what is wrong?

The questions are some of the things that are asked about ethics from the time of Aristotle to the present.

Ethics 

    • Etymology : Greek word “ethos” which means way of doing thingsor body of customs
    • Ethics is the science of morality of human acts; a study of human customs

To explain briefly:

    • ethics is the philosophical study of looking at human conducts as right or wrong
    • that is why we use the word ethical and unethical to refer to right or wrong respectively in human conducts

Methodology of Ethical Reasoning (levels of looking at ethics)

    • Meta Level (Meta Ethics)
    • Descriptive Level (Descriptive Ethics)
    • Normative Level (Normative Ethics)

Meta Level or Meta Ethics

    • deals with deep, basic and sometimes perplexing questions on the nature and foundations of ethics itself
    • basically deals with what ethics is all about
    • example
      • Is objective moral knowledge possible?
      • Is morality based on feelings?

Descriptive Level (Descriptive Ethics)

    • Can be compared to scientific inquiry in the field of natural science
    • Scientific theories attempt to describe and explain phenomena existing in the real world
    • Scientific process is based on observations of empirical evidences
    • Experiments are performed to test validity of theories
    • Methodology of observation and factual verification is akin to scientific inquiry
    • Ethics in the descriptive level is to describe ethical norms of a society or community
      • Example:
        • Filipinos are religious oriented.
        • Filipinos greatly respect the elders
      • Describing what Filipinos are in the external level
      • At purely descriptive level, there is no judgment of what ought to be the ethical norms of Filipinos
    • The objects of inquiry would involve the study of human behavior and phenomena
    • the point in the descriptive level is that human conducts or behaviors are describe based what is observable, there is never a judgement on what is ethical and unethical

Normative Level (Normative Ethics)

    • Moving away from mere factual verification or sociological observation
    • Concerned with what ought to the appropriate ethical conduct in a given situation
    • Answers do not lie in the scientific facts alone
      • example:
        • Audrey promised to attend Ellaine’s birthday party. (fact)
        • We ought to keep our promises. (Norm)
        • Audrey ought to attend Ellaine’s birthday party. (Norm)
      • In this level the concern are no longer on just facts but on what norm dictates, what ought to be

Consistency and Impartiality in Ethics

Principle of Consistency

    • Ethics requires that we act consistentlyin similar circumstances
    • Ethical principles are either universal or sufficiently general in scope to apply to human conduct in a consistent manner
      • examples:
        • Ethical principle of keeping promises
        • Principle against employment discrimination

Application of rules or polices should be consistent in similar situations. If an office manager rejected that application for leave of an employee due to the unfinished report, the same should be applied to all employees who will apply for leave but are with unfinished report.

Principle of Impartiality

    • Connected with the principle of consistencyis the principle of impartiality
    • Impartialitydemands that decision-makers treat the affected persons in an equal and fair manner
    • Example:
      • Natural human inclination is to favor the interests of the decision-makers or those of his family and friends
      • Indiscriminately favoring own interest or family and friends over those other members of the community or society is against the criterion of impartiality
      • Interest of each member of the community or society must be given the same weight without preference to special relationship or connection
      • Impartiality does not necessitate a particular set of outcomes

Office policies should be applied with impartiality to all. A manager would normal approve the application of leave of an employee who is also a friend. But, regularly approving the application for leave of the friend yet rejecting the application for leave of other employees is against the principle of impartiality.

 

Rationality and Emotions

Abortion Issue

    • Pro-choiceadvocates believe that abortion is right because it promotes the right of women to personal autonomy over their body.
    • pro-lifeadvocates stands that abortion is wrong or evil because it involves killing, and killing an innocent individual

In looking at abortion whether right or wrong, good or evil:

      • If reason is important, is it the only thing necessary to determine the outcome?
      • Is there a role that emotion plays in ethical decision-making?

Two Extremes:

    • Emotivism (Pure Emotion)
    • Pure Reason

Emotivism (Pure Emotion)

    • Emotion dominate the ethical decision-making
    • Moral judgements are based on emotion alone
    • Reason is and ought only to be slave of passion – David Hume
    • A particular action cannot be to objectively right or wrong

Abortion is wrong because I feel that it is disgusting act.

The teacher walked-out from the class because she felt disrespected by their behavior.

The manager decided to deny the leave application of an employee because the manager was in a bad mood that time.

The mother decided to suspend the gadget time of her child because she was angry at what the child did.

Danger with Emotivism

    • Decision reached may be inconsistent, arbitrary or subjective
    • It would appear that we are not rational animals if we will not use reason in important ethical decisions

Pure Reason

    • Decision is arrived without emotions at all.
    • Ethical decisions and actions are guided purely by sound reasoning.

A business owner decided to lay off employees without any feeling of compassion or empathy to the worker and his family.

The teacher decided not to give considerations to his/her students who were late coming to class.

The mother decided to penalize her daughter for coming late last night.

Danger in Pure Reason

    • Decisions arrived at are somehow inhuman / inhumane
    • Disregard to moral conscience which is connected to emotion and guides decision-making.
    • If emotion without reason is blind, then reason without emotion is impotent – Peter Singer

The Middle Ground – Moral Imagination

    • Involves both rational and emotional faculties in order to make ethical decision
      • Dramatic Rehearsal” – John Dewey
        • Pragmatic approach to ethical decision-making
        • The moral actor deliberates on the ethical problem with a series of imaginary experiments in which all preferences, interests and emotions are into the mix
        • The moral actor imagines what would happen when a particular action is undertaken
        • Both emotional and rational perspectives

Ethical Dilemma

    • is a choice between two options, both of which will bring a negative result based on society and personal guidelines
    • whatever the decision, there is always a negative consequence

The Trolley Problem

    • To what extent do you think your emotions played a part in your response on whether to pull the switch or the lever and/or push the fat man over the bridge?
    • Where there difference?
    • Psychological experiments conducted on human responses
      • MRI results shows more activity in the brain region associated with higher cognitivefunctions as compared to more prominent emotional responses to the “fat man” adaptation
      • Significantly higher activity in brain regions associated with response-conflict

Kohlberg’s Dilemma

In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $4,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from if.” So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. (https://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html)

    • The Dilemma
      • If Heinz will not have the drugs, his wife will die.
      • If Heinz steals the drug, his wife might get well but his action is unethical and unlawful and has its consequences.

Data Access

Tony, a data analyst for a major casino, is working after normal business hours to finish an important project. He realizes that he is missing data that had been sent to his coworker Robert. Tony had inadvertently observed Robert typing his password several days ago and decides to log into Robert’s computer and resend the data to himself. Upon doing so, Tony sees an open email regarding gambling bets Robert placed over the last several days with a local sports book. All employees of the casino are forbidden to engage in gambling activities to avoid any hint of conflict of interest. Tony knows he should report this but would have to admit to violating the company’s information technology regulations by logging into Robert’s computer. If he warns Robert to stop his betting, he would also have to reveal the source of his information. What should Tony do in this situation? (https://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html)

    • The Dilemma
      • If Tony revealed to management what he discovered about Robert, or advised Robert to stop he will also be in hot seat for he used and accessed information with out proper permission. This is a violation of company regulation and is illegal
      • If Tony will not report what he discovered about Robert, he is violating company regulations. If discovered that he knew of Robert’s activities, he will be in hot seat.

Making ethical Decisions

(excerpts from https://www.scu.edu/media/ethics-center/resources/making.pdf) (Links to an external site.)

  1. Recognize an Ethical Issue
    • Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two “goods” or between two “bads”?
    • Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?
  2. Get the Facts
    • What are the relevant facts of the case? What facts are not known? Can I learn more about the situation? Do I know enough to make a decision?
    • What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?
    • What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant persons and groups been consulted? Have I identified creative options?
  3. Evaluate Alternative Actions
    • Evaluate the options by asking the following questions:
      • Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach)
      • Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach)
      • Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach)
      • Which option best serves the community as a whole, not just some members? (The Common Good Approach)
      • Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach)
  1. Make a Decision and Test It
    • Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?
    • If I told someone I respect—or told a television audience—which option I have chosen, what would they say.
  2. Act and Reflect on the Outcome
    • How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?
    • How did my decision turn out and what have I learned from this specific situation?

 

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