Kantian and Utilitarian Case Study

961 WordsApr 21, 20124 Pages
Kantian Ethics It is clear from the case study that Alistair knows the contract is unorthodox. The problem he faces is whether he should overlook the bribe or report it to the board. The board of directors expects Alistair to tell the truth and report the bribe because of: his position as Chief Legal Officer, the board has a very strong ethics policy and they are wary of unethical activities. Immanual Kant theorised that moral rules are based on reason, in other words the ability to think and form logical judgements.(2) He believed that this moral reasoning is a priori, which meant that there is no knowledge needed of the outcome of an action to know if it is right or wrong.(2) His theory is an example of a deontological theory – the…show more content…
The action that leads to the greatest net outcome of utility is then considered to be the correct choice. According to this theory, Alistair should choose the action that will maximise happiness and minimise unhappiness. Alistair has two possible choices with two different consequences. The first is that Alistair tells the truth about the bribery. The possible outcome of his choice are the following: the drivers stop receiving cash and get shot, the contract is terminated and the less fortunate stop receiving their medicine, the director in charge of the contract is fired, and the relief organisation suffers great embarrassment. These are all negative effects and cause great unhappiness. On the other hand, the happiness of the board is increased because they can put a stop to more unethical activity. The second choice that Alistair has to consider is to keep silent and overlook the bribe. This would lead to the situation staying the same (as stated in the case study) and would secure the happiness of the greater good which include: the director, the relief organisation, the drivers and the people receiving the medicine. The board of directors would not know about the bribe, so there would be no unhappiness to consider. Considering the consequences of both actions, the happiness of the greater good is maximised when Alistair keeps
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