Ethics - Paper 2. Utilitarianism Vs Universal Ethics. Facts

1052 WordsFeb 28, 20175 Pages
Ethics - Paper 2 Utilitarianism vs Universal Ethics Facts (150 words) The current issue involves Luke, an employee of company ABC (ABC), and his conflict between obligations to work and to family. Luke is responsible for developing land purchased by ABC to construct an adult entertainment retail store. The future building is located at the corner of the neighborhood near where Luke’s brother, Owen, lives. Being an insider, Luke knows that the presence of the business will diminish values of surrounding houses considerably. The company plans to announce this plan publicly a month from today. The damaging nature of this so-called news concerns Luke. To complicate the issue, Owen told him that he received an offer to sell his house recently…show more content…
Utilitarians believe that whether an act is right or wrong depends only on the consequences it produces. An act that results in at least as much pleasure or well being as other alternative acts is right, and vice versa. In other words, any act that does not maximize pleasure is morally wrong. Even though utilitarian ethics often clashes with conventional norms, the conflict has no direct moral relevance to the action. Universal ethics, defined by Immanuel Kant, is an ethical theory that applies to rational beings. An act is morally right when the will is perfectly aligned with duty. That is, an action has to be motivated by duty to have moral worth. The responsibilities of duty are universal; they are instilled in all rational beings and apply to all people, in all possible situations. To understand Kantian ethics, we have to understand its formulation, the categorical imperative. The imperative is an order that follows from the command of reason that tells a rational beings what they must do. It cannot be opposed, refused, or modified. In this sense, the categorical imperative is different from hypothetical imperative, which is the if-then structure. Application (400 words) The most common use of utilitarianism is by way of consequentialist moral theory. Consequentialists believe that an act’s rightness and wrongness depends solely on its consequences and nothing else. An act is right when the algebraic sum of total utility unit

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