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Critiquing Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Decision Making

Laurie Gambetti

March 1, 2009

Scenario #1

The course of action I chose under consequentialism was that the mayor should let the developer demolish the nursing home and recreation center and build the mall and resort. I believe that this is the most ethical choice, because it would benefit a whole community and produce the greatest good for the greatest number.(Thomson South-Western 2007) He would be making his decision based on what is good for the whole community not just a select few. And his decision would create economic prosperity which in turn would help the community with jobs and bring in more tourists which results in more money for the community.

The course of action I chose under deontology is that the mayor would not allow the developer to demolish the nursing home and recreation center to build a mall and resort. I believe that this is the most ethical choice because the mayor has a duty to protect the quality of life for individual citizens, such as the seniors. According to Kant's Categorical Imperative, this is a dominant principle or rule for deontologists. Kant's principle indicates that there is a duty or imperative to: "Always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action should become a universal law". (Thomson South-Western 2007). This reasoning makes the decision not to demolish the nursing home an ethical one because we would not want developers to just go around tearing down nursing homes to build malls or resorts.

The course of action I chose under virtue ethics is that the mayor would reject the tearing down of the nursing home and recreation center to build a mall and a resort. I believe this to be the most ethical choice because the mayor having a virtuous character would not be able to displace 100 seniors and take them away form their way of life. My reasons for believing that this is the most ethical is that the mayor has a duty to all citizens but those who are unable to protect themselves he must make a decision based on what is morally right and what he can live with.

Scenario #2

The course of action I chose under consequentialism was for Catalina not to lie about the three additional sales so that all of the sales representatives, including Catalina could receive their bonuses. I believe this to be the most ethical choice because I feel that the consequences to her would be severe if found out. I understand that if she does lie, the net benefit would be greater and that is what consequentialism is, but I have a problem with that type of thinking. There are many things that are morally wrong that would benefit a large amount of people, does that mean that that as long as favorable consequences outweighs its negative consequences its ok to do.

The course of action I chose under deontology is that Catalina should not lie about the additional sales. My reason for this decision is that honesty is the moral standard that she should base the decision on. I believe this is the correct decision because honesty is a desirable universal law.

The course of action I chose under virtue ethics was for Catalina

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