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Exercise 2.3 and 2.4. study case #5 and do Theory Description ,Theory Application

,and Theory Analysis.

Read: THE ROLE OF ETHICAL THEORIES
ETHICS (2 EDITION) BY WILLIAM FRANKENA (OR THE ETHICS THEORY TEXT YOU
HAVE CHOSEN)
Each of the terms listed following the Exercise number relate to ethics—either a theory
or a concept. You are to prepare a definitive research writing submitted in a Word
document file that explains the theory or concept, applies it to the identified Warner case
study, and finally analyze each concept/theory by telling what you personally like or dislike
about the theory or concept.
The following information should be at the top of all your submitted files:
Your Name———-John Doe
Exercise Number (2.1, 2.2 etc.)——EX 2.1
Exercise Theory Name————EX 2.1–Normative Ethics
Theory Description: The descriptions of the theories should be such that anyone would be
able to read and understand the concepts. This part should have references. See below
for instructions.
Theory Application: The theory applications are to be applications of the theories to the
case studies in the Warner text. The case numbers for the applications are identified
below.
Theory Analysis: The theory analysis is a critical analysis of the theory comparing
likes/dislikes, weaknesses/strengths, pros/cons of the theories as you interpret them from
your research.
The theory description portion especially should be a documented research description
with references. The format for the references will be references-cited format. Within the
body of the text the citation will be included with the author’s name, the year of the
publication, and the page numbers in parentheses. Example: (Smith,1990, 29-33). If there
is no page number, use n.p. A reference list will then be included at the end of the paper
with a complete bibliographic reference which will include the author’s name, the title of
the publication, the year of the publication, and the place of the publication. If it is a
journal article, the page numbers will be included also. For online references you will need
to include the URL address. The reader should be able to replicate your research for
further information on the topic. Remember to include Frankena references if you use them
as you will for any research you conduct when researching the theories. There is a wealth
of information on ethical theories and you should find references that add the most to your
understanding of the theories. Each Exercise 2 theory assignment is worth 10 points
and should be no more than two typical typed pages. (This is not about the number of
words but rather the understanding of the words so the “pages” may be double or single
spaced.) One point will be deducted for each DAY late the report is not submitted. All of
Exercise 2 has a value of 100 points.
Exercise 2.3: Teleological Theory
Warner Case #5: Prosecuting Attorney
Exercise 2.4: Deontological Theory
Warner Case #5: Prosecuting Attorney
THE BASIS FOR
ETHICAL CONDUCT
An Introduction to
The Ethical Conduct Paradigm
ETHICS FOR
DECISION-MAKING
CASE STUDIES
Douglas W. Warner
Table of Contents
THE BASIS FOR ETHICAL CONDUCT
Introduction………………………………………………………………….1
The Ethical Conduct Paradigm……………………………………….3
Values and Beliefs…………………………………………………………5
The Structure of Values and Beliefs……………………………7
Primary and Secondary Values and Beliefs…………………8
Wants and Needs………………………………………………………… 11
Relationships………………………………………………………………13
Group Relationships…………………………………………………….15
Intelligence…………………………………………………………………17
Discipline…………………………………………………………………..19
Concluding Remarks……………………………………………………21
Primary Definitions……………………………………………………..23
ETHICS FOR DECISION-MAKING
CASE STUDIES………………………………………………………..25
The Calf-Path……………………………………………………………..27
Case #1: Sinko Corp., A Nepotism Problem……………………29
Case #2: The Stanford Prison Study………………………………32
Case #3: To My Family, My Physician, My Lawyer
and All Others Whom It May Concern……………………..34
Case #4: Justice…………………………………………………………..35
Case #5: The Prosecuting Attorney………………………………..36
Case #6: Electro Industries…………………………………………..37
Case #7: Campbell Soup Company……………………………….41
Case #8: Diamond Find, Inc…………………………………………44
Case #9: Melinda’s Dilemma………………………………………..45
Case #10: Ace Brick Company……………………………………..46
Case #11: Who Shall Live?…………………………………………..48
Case #12: Illegal Behavior……………………………………………49
Case #13: Clones…………………………………………………………50
Case #14: The Old Bait and Switch Game……………………..52
Case #15: The Island of “Kora”…………………………………….53
The Basis For
Ethical Conduct
An Introduction to
The Ethical Conduct Paradigm
Fifth Edition
Dr. Douglas W. Warner
Amberton University
Copyright ©, 1984 by Douglas W. Warner
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system,
without permission in writing.
First Edition – 1984
Second Edition – 1988
Third Edition – 1992
Fourth Edition – 1996
Fifth Edition – 2002
THE BASIS FOR ETHICAL CONDUCT
AN INTRODUCTION TO
THE ETHICAL CONDUCT PARADIGM
Introduction:
In recent years many words have been spoken and
penned to explain, clarify, and exhort the concept of “ethics.”
Business ethics, biomedical ethics, financial ethics, personal
ethics, political ethics, group ethics, family ethics, etc. have
all been discussed by philosophers, theologians, educators,
and politicians. It seems that everyone and every group are
wrestling with the topic or the concept of ethics in an effort to
clarify what is right or wrong, good or bad.
While most of the current ethical studies have resulted
in little more than cosmetic platitudes, such efforts should not
be considered without merit. After all, striving toward greater
understanding of ethical perceptions is one of the noblest acts
of humanity, and it may very well separate man from the animals. Indeed, a search for ethical understanding is tantamount
to a striving for a betterment of oneself.
Most writings of recent vintage address the topic of
ethics from a comparative or definitive approach. An individual is given a case example of an ethical situation and then
asked to render a judgment. Usually, the judgment is to be
based upon an ethical rule that has been pre-defined. The
technique, it is presumed, will assist the individual in becoming more ethical by allowing the person to become aware
of the theoretical applications that apply. Thus, most ethical
studies stress the issue of ethics by exhorting one to weigh the
merits of each act, or to weigh the consequences of the act, to
determine the proper action to be taken.
In theory, the process of studying ethical cases in an
effort to make a person more ethical has merit. However, the
concept fails the acid test, practicality. In truth, most ethical
decisions are made while the individual is under the influence
of emotion. Perhaps the purely logical person could be pragmatic and ponder his ethical decisions carefully prior to taking
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action, but, for most of us, the ethical decisions that we make
are often tainted with the emotions of the moment. Too often,
when making ethical decisions, man’s logical nature is influenced by a philosophy that is best summarized by the lines of
a song that states, “I don’t care what’s right or wrong, just help
me make it through the night…”
No one approaches the topic of ethics as a blank slate
ready to be filled with values and beliefs derived from logical
discourse. Indeed, each approaches the discussion of ethics
with an extensive, preconceived view of what is good or bad,
right or wrong, and one is often more inclined to protect his
position than to critically analyze his conviction.
Before one can attempt to modify or change his ethical decision-making method, he must understand his present
ethical model―how he presently makes ethical decisions. In
essence, what is needed is an ethical review, a revealing of
one’s present ethical views and what factors influence ethical
decision making.
To better understand the basis of one’s ethics and how
ethical decisions are made, the Ethical Conduct Paradigm
is presented. As author of the Ethical Conduct Paradigm,
I acknowledge at the outset of the presentation that the paradigm is neither complete nor final. It, like most theories,
should be used only as a point of departure, a view for discussion.
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THE ETHICAL CONDUCT PARADIGM
The Ethical Conduct Paradigm (ECP) is not confined
to a simple discussion of ethics. The ECP is a matrix of five
mind filters that are brought to bear in differing proportions
or influences each time an individual is confronted with an
ethical decision. Let me repeat, the Ethical Conduct Paradigm is not just an explanation of ethics, it is a framework
that discusses the process of how ethical decisions are actually
derived.
To begin the discussion of the paradigm, three terms
or concepts should be defined: (1) ethics, (2) one’s ethics, and
(3) one’s ethical conduct.
Ethics is the study of the general nature of goodness or
badness as it relates to specific choices made by an individual
in his relationship to self and/or others.
One’s ethics is a body of moral standards that influences behavior or choices made, or to be made, by an individual in dealing with self or others.
One’s ethical conduct is derived from a complex mind
system that influences behavior or choices made, or to be
made, by an individual in dealing with self or others.
Note that the definitions are closely related, but there is
a significant difference between the last two. Ethical conduct
is derived from a complex mind system. The complex mind
system includes one’s moral standards, but it also includes
much more. It is the “much more” that is the basis for the
Ethical Conduct Paradigm. An expanded discussion of the
variables―I will call them filters―that comprise the complex
mind system relative to the Ethical Conduct Paradigm will
enable the individual to better understand his/her own ethical
decision-making modus operandi and predict the ethical conduct of others.
The complex mind system that comprises one’s basis
for ethical decision making is composed of five filters: (1)
values and beliefs, (2) wants and needs, (3) relationships, (4)
intelligence, and (5) discipline.
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VALUES AND BELIEFS
The first filter that comprises the paradigm is identified
as “values and beliefs.” Prior to discussing this filter, it must
be conceded that many scholars will disagree with combining these two terms―values and beliefs. They, and rightfully
so, will argue that these two words differ in connotation, if
not denotation, relative to their sociological meanings. I concede that the meanings of these two words can be debated, and
I will, therefore, give a specialized definition that will hold
exclusively for the paradigm. Thus, relative to the paradigm,
values and beliefs means “a group of principles, standards,
tenets, or dogma considered inherently worthwhile, acceptable or desirable.”
Everyone, regardless of his environment or socioeconomic circumstances, has a set of values and beliefs. Whatever one’s values and beliefs, they have basically been derived
through one of five sources: (1) folkway, (2) custom and tradition, (3) social norms, (4) law, or (5) religion.
(1) FOLKWAY: Many of one’s values and beliefs
come to him through folkway; another way to express this
is to say “the way of the folks.” Many of the things one
believes and the values one reports have not been given personal scrutiny and/or study. One simply holds to these values
and beliefs because he was told to do so by the folks. Obviously, the merits of such values and beliefs are questionable.
Although it might be conceded that many beliefs and
values derived through folkway are quite proper and appropriate, the basis of their origin places them outside of one’s
own mental selection and makes them more a matter of the
socialization process. Folkway is deeply ingrained within the
individual and invokes a power of persuasion seldom fully
recognized by the individual.
(2) CUSTOM AND TRADITION: Another source
of one’s values and beliefs is derived through custom and tradition. As one grows up, those beliefs and values that were
the custom of the time, whether it was the length of hair,
a bearded face, or style of clothing, became his values and
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beliefs, and many of them are still with him today.
Values and beliefs imparted to one by both folkway
and custom/tradition are a part of one’s heritage gained at a
very young and impressionable age. Often, when an individual refers to his roots, he is referring not only to a physical
setting but also to a mental setting where problem solving and
decision making were a matter for adults and imparted to the
children. It was an impressionable time when the concepts
of right and wrong, good and bad were dictated outside of
the individual’s own capabilities of choice. Another term for
some of these values and beliefs might very well be “prejudices.”
(3) SOCIAL NORMS: The third source from which
one’s values and beliefs are acquired is by way of what is
to be referred to as “social norms.” Social norms are those
behavioral expectations held by present society and viewed as
acceptable, proper, mannerly, or non-acceptable, improper, or
unmannerly. Every time one encounters a friend, listens to
the radio, watches television, reads the newspaper, or browses
through a magazine he is being confronted by views that are
saying, in essence, “In today’s society we believe…”
Through the influences of social norms, an individual
learns how one is to smell, what books one is to read, which
movies are to be attended, what type of clothing is to be worn,
what car is to be driven, what type of house is to be built, the
best place to live, the television program to be watched, the
events to be attended, or which causes are to be supported.
(4) LAW: The fourth source in the filter of values and
beliefs is identified as “law.” The reference to law is more
inclusive than just the law of the land or legal law; it includes
corporate rules and regulations and/or regulations invoked by
groups or organizations of which one is a member.
The conformity required by such entities might seem
insignificant at first but, over a period of time, regulations
instilled by outside agencies and organizations have a way of
becoming values and beliefs within the individual. It is not
unusual for an individual to dress and act in private life to a
conformity that was regimented by the work environment.
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(5) RELIGION: The last source in the values and
beliefs filter is referred to as “religion.” Although this factor
is listed last, by no means should it be construed as least
important. Perhaps it is done so because of the biblical reference, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” In
many cases, it is the paramount factor.
For many individuals, religion is an inherited set of
values and beliefs derived through folkway or through a social
organization to which the individual is a member. For a few,
religion is a philosophy derived through a deliberate mental
process resulting in the selection of a deity.
When one defines his way of looking on the world,
he is setting up the environment for his religious thinking.
In other words, religion without metaphysics is impossible
except as a theological abstraction. If one cannot find God in
the order of the skies or in the breaking of an atom, one is not
likely to find God at prayer meetings or in any church.
While one might accept the authority of an expert in
the field of science, in the field of religion even an authority
cannot make beliefs live. The final authority for religion is
life itself, and no one can do this by proxy. The decision
can be postponed, but not indefinitely. Sometimes the beginning of recognizing the need to make the choice comes in the
normal process of growth but, frequently, it takes a crisis to
open the door to the choice that must be made.
THE STRUCTURE OF VALUES AND BELIEFS
Having identified the five sources relative to the basis
of values and beliefs, it must be reported that, while each
of these sources contribute to one’s convictions, they are not
always in unison or of equal weight. One’s folkway values
and beliefs are not always in agreement with those absorbed
through social norms and/or law. One’s parents may have
taught that marriage should be forever; one’s religion may
support the same view. However, social norms and law
may not concur with the view. Thus, an individual often
finds that within his own concept of values and beliefs, he
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encounters a dichotomy―conflicts within his own values and
beliefs system. To help prevent such conflicts, man subconsciously organizes his convictions into a hierarchy of values
and beliefs. To further understand this hierarchy phenomenon, it is appropriate that one considers the structure of values
and beliefs.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY VALUES
AND BELIEFS
Values and beliefs can be divided into two major categories: primary and secondary. An example of a primary
belief for some might be: “there is a God,” “the Earth orbits
the sun,” “love exists.” One acquires primary beliefs early in
life and continues to strengthen these beliefs by continuously
validating them through experiences or events.
Primary beliefs may again be divided into three categories: primaries of a “super,” “general,” or “selective” nature.
A super primary is either a belief that has an abundant amount
of scientific evidence supporting it or, it is a value concept
entrenched so deeply in the mind that it will be next to impossible to change by external forces. With a general primary,
there is usually a great amount of agreement that the belief is
correct─“With gravity, weighted objects fall when dropped”
is an example of a primary belief that nearly everyone accepts.
The last type of primary belief, selective primary, can be illustrated by such expressions as “the Democratic Party is best,”
or “Texas is the greatest state in the Union.” Selective primaries are beliefs that are held very strongly by an individual but
not always a consensus of the society. The difference between
a super primary, a general primary, or a selective primary is in
the intensity of the individual’s conviction toward the belief.
In addition to primary values and beliefs, there are
secondary values and beliefs. Secondary values and beliefs
are so called because they are derived from a primary. The
belief that “the Baptist church is the best church” is based on
a greater primary─“there is a God.” Likewise, the individual
who holds that abortion is wrong may have arrived at that
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belief based upon a primary belief that human life is sacred.
On the other hand, the belief that human life is sacred could
be a secondary value based, again, on the belief that “life
is sacred because God said so…” Obviously, what is a primary belief to one person could well be a secondary belief to
another.
The assumption that an individual’s values and beliefs
structure is organized along a primary/secondary dimension
allows the following conjectures:
I.
The More Primary The Belief, The More The Individual Will Resist A Change In The Belief.
If one attempts to change an individual’s primary
beliefs, success will be unlikely. This is particularly
true if the belief is a super primary or a general primary that has complete consensus within the society.
Imagine, if you will, trying to get an American to
change his belief that a baseball is round. One might
have slightly more success in changing a selective-primary belief that does not have consensus within society but, even then, the task would be formidable. Few
individuals change their belief in the existence of God
as a result of any external persuasive message. One’s
primary beliefs are so deeply ingrained that little can
be done to change them.
Secondary beliefs are more susceptible to change.
An individual can change his belief about hairstyle,
about the importance or lack of importance of environmental pollution, about increased taxes, and about
the quality of universities. These beliefs are constantly
undergoing shifts and changes as a result of new information being received.
II.
Secondary Beliefs That Are Derived From Super Primary Beliefs Are More Resistant To Change Than
Secondary Beliefs That Are Not Rooted In A Super
Primary Belief.
This principle holds a strong implication: When
a belief held by an individual rests on a more primary
belief, it may be necessary to change the primary belief
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before it could be possible to change the secondary
belief.
A belief about abortion is an example. In order
to change an individual’s stand opposed to legalized
abortion, it may be necessary to change the individual’s attitude toward the value he places on human
life. Thus, any attempt to change a secondary belief
may not succeed unless it is accompanied by support
directed toward the more primary belief that is its
foundation.
III.
The More Primary The Belief That Is Changed, The
More Widespread Will Be The Change In The Remainder Of The Individual’s Secondary Belief Structure.
One’s primary beliefs are the keys to secondary
beliefs. If one believes in God, he may also believe
in the Bible as an authority, in prayer, in tax exemptions for churches, and in the legality of prayer in the
public schools. Each of these beliefs may have been
derived from the primary belief in God. If the individual should change his belief about the existence of
God, one might expect the individual to also change
his beliefs about secondary issues that were derived
from his primary ones. In essence, one might find that
the change of a single primary belief could have major
repercussions in many secondary beliefs held by the
individual.
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WANTS AND NEEDS
The second filter to be discussed in the paradigm is
“wants and needs.” In his landmark book, Motivation and
Personality, Abraham Maslow identified five basic types of
needs that each individual must satisfy in order to feel safe
and enjoy a fulfilled life. Maslow believed that these needs
are hierarchical, that is, individuals strive to satisfy the more
basic ones before moving on to meet others. He states that
the most fundamental category of needs is physiological. An
individual must have sufficient air, water, food, and rest in
order to live. The other four categories include safety, social,
self-esteem, and self-actualization.
Maslow, like many psychologists and sociologists,
spent considerable time researching the basic biological and
psychological needs of man. Most of the research supports
a concept of a hierarchy of needs relative to man. Based
upon this hierarchy, most researchers conclude that a starving man will most likely compromise his belief that stealing is
wrong and will take food if it cannot be obtained in any other
way. However, to understand this compromise of beliefs, it
is important to discriminate between the concepts of a “need”
and a “want.”
For clarity, needs will be defined as those things that
an individual believes he must have for his own well being.
By definition, we will assume that an individual will sacrifice
values and/or beliefs for a need.
Wants, on the other hand, will be defined as those
things that an individual would like to have but would not
sacrifice values or beliefs in order to obtain. Wants comprise
those things that we would like to have in our life. Wants
might include wealth, possessions, or recognition. While
wants are less demanding than needs, once an individual has
reclassified a want to a need, he will sacrifice values and
beliefs to satisfy this newly identified need.
Obviously, what is a want to one person might very
well be a need to another. More importantly, a want can
become a need through the process of self-rationalization or
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justification. However, a need can temporarily be forgotten
when satisfied. Thus, we will conclude that there are “passive
needs” and “active needs.”
Passive needs are those needs that an individual
believes he must have for his own well being but are being
satisfied at the moment. A need being satisfied is no longer
creating a demand. Thus, it is passive. On the other hand,
active needs are needs that are not presently being satisfied;
for these needs, one is exerting effort and energy to obtain satisfaction.
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RELATIONSHIPS
The next filter to be discussed relative to the paradigm
is “relationships.” The working definition of ethics states that
“ethics is the study of the general nature of goodness or badness as it relates to specific choices made by an individual in
his relationships to self and/or others.” Obviously, the term
relationships is one of the keys to an individual’s ethics.
Relationships deal with the emotional links one has
with other people. In the extreme, these relationships are
often referred to as love or hate. However, it should be noted
that relationships are not static; they are always in transition.
Although Shakespeare declared that “Love is not love which
alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to
remove,” one must recognize that no relationship is fixed in
terms of its intensity or meaning; in fact, all relationships must
be defined relative to a point in time. Thus, one can say that
a relationship is a relevant or pertinent connection or link
between two or more people; and, when there ceases to exist a
relevant or pertinent connection, there is no relationship.
To understand the concept of relationships, two points
must be discussed. First, one needs to look at the basis for
relationships; secondly, one should look at a phenomenon
known as “group relationships.”
What constitutes a relationship? Everyone knows of
individuals who are referred to as acquaintances; other individuals are called friends. What is the difference? More
importantly, what is the basis for the differences that exist
between individuals that one would call friends, acquaintances, or strangers? Is the answer familiarity? Or, does an
acquaintance become a friend over a period of time? If so,
do all acquaintances become friends over a period of time? If
not, why not?
I suggest that relationships develop on the basis of
physiological, psychological, and philosophical compatibilities. The beginning of relationships might very well be from
a physiological basis. One inherits a relationship with his
family, if for no other reason, because of the physiological
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arrangements. Later in life, he learns of the importance
of what is referred to as “first appearances.” Again, he is
making reference to the physiological importance of a first
time encounter.
Yet, as the old cliché goes, “Beauty is only skin deep.”
A physiological relationship soon moves to physiological considerations. Need, security, nationality or ethnic origins all
are part of the psychological relationships that one has with
other individuals. If the relationship weathers the psychological consideration, one may begin to see a deepening of the
relationship through philosophical compatibility.
Philosophical compatibility has to do with shared
values and intellectual acceptability. The more one gets to
know an individual, the more one finds that they are drawn
together through shared values; or, the relationship may slowly
wither as one finds that they do not have so much in common
after all.
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GROUP RELATIONSHIPS
While man longs for rugged individualism, he is basically a social being. Although he speaks of being different,
his house is usually like his neighbors. As man speaks of principles, he usually compromises his views in order to be recognized; the need to socialize and the need to be recognized
drive man to seek membership in groups.
Most people will readily identify with their neighborhood group, their city group, their state group, their nation
group. In addition, man belongs to insurance groups, to savings groups, to veterans groups, to social groups, to political
groups, to religious groups, and on and on. Man joins business clubs, social clubs, civic clubs, country clubs, book clubs,
record clubs…; even people with blond hair constitute a group
that has “more fun.”
Whatever the reason one has for joining a group, it
should be recognized that the price extracted from the individual for joining is a certain amount of conformity. Obviously, some groups are less rule oriented than others, but all
groups have values that are translated into rules and regulations that must be observed. In extreme cases, one can join a
group only to find that the group demands an absolute consistency to its values. An example would be cults that demand
total conformity of their members.
Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of a
group can sometimes result in something more than expulsion.
Since refusal to comply with group norms might indicate that
the rules of the group are improper, the group itself might
attack a rule-breaker and demand conformity. In essence, for
a person to leave such a group is tantamount to bringing the
group’s survival into jeopardy. Under such conditions, great
pressure to conform will be exerted by the group on a wayward member.
If being a member of a group requires a certain conformity to group standards, then one can logically conclude
that as an individual joins more and more groups, he runs the
risk of encountering personal conflict with his own values and
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beliefs. If, in joining the group, an individual is expected
to forfeit some of his own values, and if he joins so many
groups that the groups themselves conflict in terms of values
and beliefs, one can predict the outcome―confusion and ethical instability.
While modern society often weighs the success of an
individual upon the number of organizations to which he is
a member, one might carefully consider the conflict this phenomenon creates in one’s values and beliefs. Indeed, if each
and every group to which an individual becomes a member
has the right to extract a certain amount of conformity, the end
result is that an individual must forfeit a certain amount of his
own ethical identity.
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INTELLIGENCE
The next to the last filter to be discussed in the paradigm is “intelligence.” The term intelligence means “the
capacity to acquire and apply knowledge―the faculty of
thought and reason.” Intelligence is used in this model as a
synergistic term comprised of three conceptual factors: knowledge, experience, and perception.
Knowledge has to do with cognitive information; it is
information that is known, or can be readily known, because
it is available. However, information alone does not guarantee intelligence. One must also possess perceptive skills that
allow the appropriate application of knowledge and experience to the issues at hand. Otherwise, one can possess information but be insensitive to its proper application. On the
other hand, one may be very perceptive but ignorant of the
facts or experience necessary to choose the proper courses of
action available.
While knowledge attainment might very well be the
purpose of education, perceptive skills are more difficult to
learn. Certain perceptive skills can be gained through an
understanding of human behavior and problem solving, but a
timely application of these skills is an art gained only through
experience and critical analysis of previous endeavors.
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DISCIPLINE
The last filter comprising the paradigm is “discipline.”
One can have intelligence yet lack the courage to act; one
can have high values and beliefs yet lack the discipline to
make a decision. In the final analysis, wants and needs, values
and beliefs, relationships, and intelligence are uncontrollable
without discipline. The term discipline, as it is applied here,
refers to self-control or self-determination derived through a
combination of experiences, knowledge and emotional-sets.
People have a tendency to repeat a behavior that
brought about a desired outcome in the past. This is called
“conditioning,” and it is based upon experience. Obviously,
experience can be a good teacher. An individual who has survived a crisis and can intelligently evaluate how he survived
can use the experience in future references. However, experience alone is a poor substitute for creative thinking. The
danger of experience is that future outcomes are not always
assured by applying previously learned remedies.
In addition to experience, discipline demands control
over one’s emotional nature. Fear and frustration are not
unknown emotions in anyone; however, some people have
learned to cope more effectively than others with such emotions. The combination of the abilities to cope with emotional
pressure, to deal with problems in an orderly and logical fashion, and to critically apply experiences to a pending decision
is an essential element in the Ethical Conduct Paradigm.
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CONCLUDING REMARKS
As stated in the beginning of this discussion, the paradigm is neither complete nor final. It is, indeed, a point of
departure, a view for discussion. Obviously, much more could
be said regarding each filter, and more factors are needed to
further explain the filters concept. On the other hand, it must
be remembered that the paradigm is but an expanded model,
it is not a definitive statement; it is but a framework of reference presented to assist each individual in his efforts to better
understand his own ethics and the ethics of others.
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PRIMARY DEFINITIONS
Ethics:
The study of the general nature of goodness
or badness as it relates to specific choices
made by an individual in his relationship to
self and/or others.
One’s ethics:
A body of moral standards that influences
behavior or choices made, or to be made, by
an individual in dealing with self or others.
One’s ethical
conduct:
Filters:
Values and
Beliefs:
Derived from a complex mind system that
influences behavior or choices made, or to be
made, by an individual in dealing with self or
others.
An expanded discussion of the variables that
comprise the complex mind system relative
to the Ethical Conduct Paradigm.
A group of principles, standards, tenets, or
dogma considered inherently worthwhile,
acceptable, or desirable.
Wants:
Those things an individual would like to have
but would not sacrifice values and beliefs in
order to obtain.
Needs:
Those things an individual feels he must have
and will sacrifice values and beliefs in order
to obtain.
Relationships: A relevant or pertinent connection or link
between two or more people.
Intelligence:
A synergistic term comprised of three conceptual factors: knowledge, experience, and
perception.
Discipline:
Self-control or self-determination derived
through a combination of experiences, knowledge and emotional-set.
23
24
Ethics
For
Decision-Making
Case Studies
By: Douglas W. Warner
25
Copyright Protected ©, 1984 by D. W. Warner
No part of this material may be reproduced by any means nor
transmitted into a machine language without written permission
of D. W. Warner.
First Edition – 1984
Second Edition – 2002
26
THE CALF-PATH
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bellwethers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made;
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ‘twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed—do not laugh—
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.
This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
27
Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.
A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! Many things this tale might teach—
But I am not ordained to preach.
Sam Walter Foss
28
CASE #1
SINKO CORP., A NEPOTISM PROBLEM
Text of a Rough Draft Letter Dictated by John Bozeman,
President of SINKO Corp.
Hello Walt, old pal. It was good to hear from you
after all these years. I remember those good old days when I
used to come to you with all my problems. I’m glad to hear
that you are well and enjoying your retirement in the Virgin
Islands. Maybe I can impose on you once more, because I
have a nasty situation here that should be familiar to you.
Maybe you can advise me on how to proceed. But before
I go into the gruesome details, allow me to give you
some of the background. As you may recall from your investment activities, SINKO Corp. is a publicly owned company
which designs, manufactures, assembles, leases, and services
automatic, coin-operated washing, drying, and dry-cleaning
machines for coin-operated laundries and apartment house
laundries. When I say publicly owned, actually the public
only owns 40 percent of the shares. The balance is owned
by my wife Dolores’ family. Dolores’ father was the founder
of the business and when he died, his 60 percent was divided
equally among his heirs: Dolores; Mrs. Molaw, my motherin-law; and Mrs. Veronica Samor, Dolores’ sister. The family
has complete control of the board of directors. I myself own
just a few thousand shares, which I bought for investment at
the time of the first public offering, before I married Dolores.
I joined the company after my marriage to Dolores. It represented a financial sacrifice at the time because I had a big
job with the Whirlaway Corp., the biggest outfit in the homelaundry business. But old Mr. Molaw had his heart set on
keeping the business in the family, so I made the temporary
sacrifice. It was worth it, because now I’m in a pretty good
position. I’m president and have the confidence of the board
and the family. Up to now they’ve been willing to leave
everything to me, as long as the profits are good and the dividends are paid regularly. But now there’s a fly in the ointment. The fly is Veronica’s husband, Chauncey.
I received a call from Mrs. Molaw about six weeks
29
ago, and she told me that darling Chauncey had just been
fired from his job and that, after a short European vacation, he
would start looking for another position. This was no surprise
to me, because my brother-in-law has changed jobs involuntarily at least once a year for the last ten years. I myself think
he’s unemployable, but he is such a charming fellow, so well
mannered and handsome, that prospective employers are dazzled by his surface charisma. But when it comes to doing
a day’s work or making a decision, Chauncey cops-out completely. What’s worse, he doesn’t even realize what’s happening. I think there’s something wrong with him psychologically, but the family refuses to face that possibility, particularly Veronica.
Chauncey and Veronica have a large home and a high
standard of living. The dividend income from Veronica’s
stock alone is hardly enough to meet the house payments, let
alone their other extravagances. Without a regular source of
employment income, the Samors would have to cut their standard of living or, horrors, sell their SINKO shares. This last
no one wants, least of all me, at least until I can place their
shares in friendly hands.
When Mrs. Molaw called she asked me if I could find
a job for Chauncey somewhere, perhaps in the company. I
said I’d think about it and call her back. I called Chauncey
and had him come in to meet my division heads to see if any
of them could use him. They all turned him down saying that
they had no openings for such a high-salaried man. What they
really meant was that they didn’t want a member of the family
working for them, especially a boob like Chauncey. So, I had
to call Mother Molaw back and tell her what had happened
and that I’d try to look elsewhere. I did and failed. Chauncey
has used up this generation of gullible employers.
Meanwhile, my sister-in-law has been calling my wife
and having tearful sessions about their increasing indebtedness and telling Dolores how cruel and heartless I am for
refusing to help her husband and give him the top-level job
that he so obviously deserves because of their stock ownership. My mother-in-law is getting more demanding, too.
I’m determined that this issue is one on which I must
be firm. If I give Chauncey a top job with the company,
not only will he waste the salary and expenses (you know,
an office staff and other perquisites due his exalted rank),
30
but he’ll cause untold damage within the firm and with our
accounts. The man has no judgment whatsoever. I just can’t
have him in my hair. My job is complicated enough now.
And, if I hire him, there are lots of other Molaw kin that would
like to get aboard, too. Hiring Chauncey would set a poor
precedent.
Still, I must do something to get my mother-in-law off
my back. I don’t want either of them to sell their shares right
now and, between mother and daughter, their 40 percent could
out vote me, even assuming that I could count on Dolores to
back me up. She’s totally unsophisticated when it comes to
business matters, and she loves her little sister Veronica. If it
came to a showdown, I very much doubt that Dolores would
side with me on this issue.
So, Walt, I’m in a bind. I can’t put my incompetent
brother-in-law on the payroll because, if I did, he wouldn’t
have enough sense to stay away and leave things to me. He’d
insist on having a say in the management. He feels so selfimportant that he’d meddle in everything. I can’t let him
get further into debt because that would jeopardize the stock.
I’m unwilling to add his household expenses to mine. They
already owe me and Dolores more than $50,000. And, I’m
so busy with our new line that I can’t waste any more energy
thinking about it.
Walt, do you have any suggestions on how I can
resolve this matter? Drop me a letter with a few words of
wisdom like in the old days? I have another nasty problem
on my hands, but this is one I can handle myself. I need a
new sheet metal supplier, one large enough and well enough
equipped to handle our stamping, forming, plating, and enameling needs. My regular supplier was just acquired in a stock
deal by my most active competitor, and they gave me notice
that they will not be able to take care of all our needs in the
future. Finding a new sheet metal house will keep me busy
for the next few months.
But, I hope you’ll be able to make some constructive
suggestions, Walt. At least, give me the benefit of your
wisdom; give me a run-down on your ideas. If you can’t find
a good idea, tell me the least bad.
QUESTION: What do you think that Mr. Bozeman’s objectives are (or should be), and what should he do?
31
CASE #2
THE STANFORD PRISON STUDY
To study the social psychology of imprisonment, Philip
Zimbardo and his colleagues devised an experiment in which
they could observe behavior in a simulated prison environment. The inmates were male college student volunteers, as
were the guards. Members of both groups received $15 a
day for their participation. The expected duration of sentence
was two weeks. The simulated jail, in the basement of the
psychology building at Stanford University, was divided into
cells with bars on the doors and equipped with the minimum
amount of furniture; the toilets were public. The mock prisoners were “arrested” in realistic manner by the local police
department, booked, stripped, examined, given prison clothes
and a number, and incarcerated. The guards were in uniform
with silvered sunglasses, billy clubs, and handcuffs. The
atmosphere was oppressive.
The results of this experiment were dramatic; seemingly typical college students began to behave in strange
ways. The pseudoprisoners became increasingly disturbed;
the pseudoguards became quite brutal. After three days, the
first prisoner was released because he showed signs of severe
emotional disturbance. Before the experiment was prematurely terminated after six days, three other prisoners of the
total ten had to be released because they were seriously disturbed. The guards also were affected. They relied heavily
on physical force and harassment. For example, one of the
guards commented: “I was surprised at myself…I made them
call each other names and clean the toilets out with their bare
hands. I practically considered the prisoners cattle, and I kept
thinking I have to watch out for them in case they try something.”
The investigators were surprised by the relative ease
with which sadistic behavior could be elicited from normal,
non-sadistic people and the extent of the emotional disturbance that emerged in young men selected precisely on the
32
basis of their emotional stability. The pathology observed in
this study cannot be attributed to any pre-existing personality
differences of the subjects. Rather, their abnormal social and
personal reactions were a product of their transaction with an
environment whose norms and contingencies supported the
production of behavior that would be pathological in other
settings but was “appropriate” in this prison.
Findings such as these could have considerable impact
on the administration of prisons and prison-reform efforts.
33
CASE #3
TO MY FAMILY, MY PHYSICIAN, MY LAWYER
AND ALL OTHERS WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Death is as much a reality as birth, growth, maturity,
and old age; it is the one certainty of life. If the time comes
when I can no longer take part in decisions for my own future,
let this statement stand as an expression of my wishes and
directions while I am still of sound mind.
If at such a time the situation should arise in which
there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from
extreme physical or mental disability, I direct that I be allowed
to die and not be kept alive by medications, artificial means
or “heroic measures.” I do, however, ask that medications
be mercifully administered to me to alleviate suffering even
though this may shorten my remaining life.
This statement is made after careful consideration and
is in accordance with my strong convictions and beliefs. I
want the wishes and directions here expressed carried out to
the extent permitted by law. Insofar as they are not legally
enforceable, I hope that those to whom this will is addressed
will regard themselves as morally bound by these provisions.
Signed:_____________________________ Date:­­­________
Witness:____________________________ Date:________
Witness:____________________________ Date:________
34
CASE #4
JUSTICE
We are all for justice; but, what is justice?
John, a soldier, awakens at a field hospital. His request
for water goes unnoticed, and though his mind is still muddled
and confused, he is able to gather his faculties and go for a
bucket of water. As he returns with his water and starts to
drink, a discussion ensues from those around him.
A soldier lying on a cot next to John who is unable
to get up tells John that he should share his water with him
and with others. John replies that he does not intend to share
it with anyone; he had gone for the water and now he would
drink it.
A third soldier pleads, “You can go get more, give it to
those of us who need it the most.”
What is justice? Would it be just for John to drink the
water because he had merited it, he had gone and gotten it? Or
would it be only proper that he should give the water to those
who needed it most, for he could go get more?
What is justice? Perhaps the better word is, what is
distributive justice and who decides?
35
CASE #5
THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
There was a prosecuting attorney who had a person on
trial for an infraction of the law for which there was a lot of
circumstantial evidence. The prosecuting attorney is reasonably sure that he will win his case and put the person behind
bars for a number of years.
Grant in the case that this person being tried was really
a “bad” guy, bad news for society. He worked for the syndicate taking contracts to kill, sold drugs to children and, for
fun, he raped women. However, he was clever and concealed
evidence, and although tried before, was never proven guilty.
It happens that the prosecuting attorney uncovers some
evidence in the particular trial in question that completely
exonerates this person of this particular crime. Only the prosecuting attorney knows this evidence, and no one else will
ever know that he ran across this evidence.
What ought the prosecuting attorney do? Not just
what does the law say in this case, but what is his moral obligation? Should he protect society from this known bad guy
by sitting on the evidence and putting him behind bars? Or,
should he reveal his secret evidence and let the bad guy go
free, allowing him to continue his life of crime against society?
36
CASE #6
ELECTRO INDUSTIRES
Electro Industries designs, manufactures, and markets
high-precision electronic instruments to computer makers and
to contractors for the United States Department of Defense.
Although Electro has a standard line of products used both for
commercial and military applications, it also makes special
integrated circuits to customer order.
Jack Hill, Electro’s vice-president for marketing, has
been fairly successful with the precision electronics line.
Electro is an approved supplier for several computer chip
users in the United States, Canada, and several European
countries.
Unfortunately, as Jack Hill discovered quite early in
his tenure at Electro, there is a vast difference between being
placed on a customer’s approved list of suppliers and receiving regular orders. Electro has been successful in obtaining a
good share of specialty orders from some customers, but for
others, Hill has not been able to progress beyond the sampleorder stage.
One very large user, the Cal-Tech Industries, proved
especially baffling to Hill. They used thousands of circuits
every year of exactly the types that Electro supplied; Electro’s
prices were competitive, but in spite of a repeated and intense
wooing of the customer, Electro received no more than sample
orders from Cal-Tech. Hill’s failure to break into Cal-Tech
was proving to be an embarrassment because his boss, Horace
Hudd, had taken a personal interest in Hill’s progress with this
account.
One day in March, Hill was attending an industry trade
show in New York City. He was standing in Electro’s display
booth answering inquiries when he was approached by a dapper-looking man of indeterminate age. The man said: “I can
see from your badge that you’re Jack Hill. I’ve been looking
forward to meeting you, Jack. My name is Marty Ackersen.”
37
The two men shook hands, then Ackersen said: “Jack,
I’m here representing a client. I work as an industrial purchasing consultant for Cal-Tech Industries. You sell to them,
don’t you?”
“Yes, but not nearly enough,” Hill answered.
“Would you like to sell them more than you now do?”
“I sure would.”
“I’m glad to hear that, Jack. Suppose I look into my
contacts at Cal-Tech and see if I can be of any help. Where
can I reach you?”
“I’m here most of the day. At night I’m at our hospitality suite at the Hartford Inn.”
“Good,” Ackersen said. “And when do you close up
shop for the night?”
“About midnight.”
“Suppose I call you before twelve if I have anything.
OK?”
“Sure, Marty,” Hill replied. “I’ll look forward to hearing from you.”
Ackersen departed and Hill finished his stint at the display booth. He had a solitary dinner and then resumed his
duty at the hospitality suite. At eleven-thirty Ackersen called
and asked Hill to meet him at the bar in the lobby.
They met there and retired to a secluded table in the
cocktail lounge. After some desultory trade chatter, Ackersen
looked squarely at Hill and said: “Jack, I have a proposition
for you. I spent a few hours today with the Cal-Tech people. I
think we can work something out that will be good for you.”
“Great,” Hill answered. “Let’s hear about it.”
“Jack, I don’t know how long you’ve been in the business, but I’m a real old-timer. I’ve learned that sometimes
the straightforward and conventional approach to a buyer is
less successful than the devious approach. I know that you’ve
been trying to sell Cal-Tech for a long time without even getting to first base. Am I right?”
“Right,” Hill answered. “So what?”
“So, I’m the answer to your prayers. I have the instrument buyer in my pocket. I have him eating out of my hand.”
38
“What do you mean?” Hill asked.
“He’s my boy. I have him in my pocket. He’ll do anything I ask. I’m his benefactor. He owes me a lot.”
“Really? How will that help me?”
“I can get him to buy your electronic goods in place of
someone else’s.”
“Good. Let’s go,” Hill said. “When do I get an
order?”
“Not so fast, buddy. Hear me out,” Ackersen said.
“Oh, there’s a catch?”
“No catch, but there’s procedure we have to follow.”
“What is it?”
“It’s simple enough,” Ackersen said. “Here’s what
we’ll do. You make an I-80Q modem relay that Cal-Tech
uses. Right?”
“That’s right.”
“And you sell it for $3,000 for the standard model.
You charge a small premium for extras or for special customer
specifications.”
“That’s right. Extra accessories and special testing
can add as much as 25 percent to the cost.”
“Good. Here’s what we’ll do. Cal-Tech purchasing
department will place orders for the I-80Q modem, but they
will use their own model number and they will add some trivial specifications that shouldn’t cost much to meet. You quote
them 15 percent more than the regular price for the standard
model, $3,450 to be exact. When you get paid, you kick back
the 15 percent premium to me. I split it three ways; $150 for
you, $150 for me, and $150 for the buyer. We may be able to
place orders for 500 I-80Q relays a year plus some other items
with the same kind of deal. That’s a nice piece of change
for everybody. And it’s so simple. All you do is appoint me
your special sales agent for the Cal-Tech account and pay me
a 15 percent commission. What do you say, Jack? Isn’t that
a sweetheart deal?”
Hill stared at Ackersen but held back the harsh words
he felt rising in his throat. He pretended to be thinking over
Ackersen’s offer, then he said, “I don’t know. We already
39
have a sales agent for that account. If I cut him out after all
the work he’s put into the account, he’d get suspicious and
complain.”
“Why cut him out? Let him have his regular commission. Your regular price includes an allowance for his commission.”
“That’s true, but if I have to pay two commissions,
there’s bound to be questions. My boss would then get
involved. I couldn’t keep it quiet.”
“Who’s your boss, Horace Hudd?”
“Yes.”
“Oh, I know Horace Hudd very well. Why don’t you
talk to him when you get back? But don’t say anything about
your 5 percent cut. Tell him that we have to pay off the buyer
and the buyer’s boss. He’ll understand that. I’m sure he’s
worked deals like that before himself.”
“I don’t know. Let me think about it,” Hill said.
“OK, Jack,” Ackersen yawned. “I’m getting tired.
I’ve had a long day. I think I’ll hit the sack…Jack. I’ll call
you in a week or so to get your answer. I’m looking forward
to doing a nice piece of business for Electro Industries as their
special sales agent. And you’ll be a hero, Jack, if we can pull
the deal off. But remember, it’s this way or nothing. You
won’t be able to sell anything to Cal-Tech any other way.”
As a friend, Jack has brought his problem to you.
What is your advice?
40
CASE #7
CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY
In 1980 the Campbell Soup Company’s director for
marketing for canned goods stated, “We were thinking of
some way to identify ourselves on the local level where we
could help the education process.” A group of executives
came up with the idea of a “label for education” program,
the basis of which was the redemption of soup-can labels for
audio-visual equipment for elementary schools.
Campbell Soup approached various schools and PTA
groups about the idea and received plenty of acceptance. But
Campbell’s sophisticated marketing staff wanted to test the
program and did so in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Buffalo.
Since the tests proved successful, this year Campbell Soup
moved ahead on a national scale.
During the two-month test of the “label for education”
program, Campbell Soup received 70 million labels. “That’s
a lot of soup. M’m M’m good, not only for us but also for the
12,000 schools,” stated the marketing executive. More than
50,000 pieces of audio-visual equipment were sent to schools.
A cassette player was sent for redeeming 1,800 labels. A Bell
and Howell 16mm projector was sent for 44,100 labels.
The marketing executive stated the value of the soup
was worth more than $1,000,000. “Very few companies
would have the frequency of purchase of a product to package
social goodwill with increased sales. We’ve received many
letters from people expressing appreciation for the program.”
However, the marketing executive’s view of the success of
the soup campaign was somewhat diminished by letters being
received by the legal department. Several educational groups
dedicated to the protection of students were concerned. They
felt the program exploited students. Their argument stated
that Campbell used schools only to sell more products and
gave the impression of being “good guys” while passing the
cost on to a duped public. Mrs. Kathy Ray, wife of Senator
Ray, an outspoken representative for the organization called
41
Protection for Students, stated, “Campbell Soup has committed one of the greatest atrocities in the history of American
advertising. In the name of goodwill they have exploited
schools and children throughout the United States. Campbell
has been involved in the highest form of exploitation. Everyone should realize that every piece of school equipment provided by Campbell’s was paid for through the force feeding of
soup to unwilling students.”
Although the legal department says that Campbell has
not done anything illegal, the public relations department was
extremely concerned. Jim Bowes, Vice President of Public
Relations, best summarized the situation, “We must do something quick or consumer advocate groups are going to get
involved in this crusade and ruin our PR image.” The marketing department sees it differently, “Over 12,000 schools were
involved in this program, and over 50,000 pieces of audiovisual equipment were sent to schools. Let’s see any consumer advocate group match those numbers.”
As the president, you must develop a plan and make
such decisions as required to handle this matter. The Board of
Directors has requested that you provide them with complete
details as to how you will handle this situation.
* Update: The Campbell’s “Labels for Education” program
is still in existance. For more information, visit their web site
at www.labelsforeducation.com.
42
RULES FOR PARTICIPATION
(Please read and follow carefully)
5. Labels must be sent to Maple Plain, Minnesota
no later than March 21, 1981. Ship via Parcel
Post or United Parcel Service, postage paid. DO
NOT SEND LABELS TO CAMPBELL SOUP
COMPANY IN CAMDEN, N.J.—IT WILL ONLY
DELAY HANDLING!
2. The RESERVATION FORM must be completed
and postmarked no later than December 1, 1980. 6. Labels may be redeemed only for items listed
NOTE: This form requires an indication of your
in the catalog at the designated label quantigoal(s) so that suppliers of the equipment may be
ties. There can be no special orders, substialerted to have an adequate inventory on hand.
tutions or requests to break up sets. Cash or
At the end of the program, other and/or additional
partial cash cannot be accepted.
items may be selected.
7. All correspondence and questions pertaining
to this program are to be directed to: CAMP3. Labels from the regular size Campbell’s Soup, as
BELL’S LABELS FOR EDUCATION PROwell as the 26-oz. and 50-oz. sizes (red & white
GRAM, POST OFFICE BOX 3011, MAPLE
label), Campbell’s “Soup for One” Soups, CampPLAIN, MN 55348 and not Campbell Soup
bell’s Chunky Soups, all Campbell’s Beans prodCompany in Camden, New Jersey.
ucts, all Franco-American products, “V-8” Cocktail Vegetable Juice, Campbell’s Tomato Juice 8. Labels collected by schools during the twelve
and all Swanson* Canned Food products are eliweeks period, December 1, 1980 through Februgible for collection. (Although the labels collected
ary 20, 1981, in conjunction with this program, are
come from various size cans of various costs,
valued at 1/100 of $.01. They are of far greater
EACH LABEL IS THE SAME VALUE. The number
value when redeemed for merchandise.
of labels required for each piece of equip-ment has
9.
This offer is void where restricted or prohibbeen adjusted to reflect these dif-ferences.)
ited by law.
1. Only schools with any of the grades K through 8
in the United States or its territories are eligible for
the Campbell Soup Company Labels for Education Program.
4. The 12 week label collection period will begin 10.Please allow approximately 12 weeks for delivMonday, December 1, 1980 and end Friday, Febery of the items ordered. The merchandise
ruary 20, 1981.
will be shipped from various points and may
arrive separately.
Only schools with any of the grades K through 8 in the United States or its territories are eligible
for the Campbell’s Soup Company Labels for Education Program.
*Campbell’s, “Soup for One”, Franco-American, “V-8” and Swanson are registered trademarks of Campbell Soup Company.
43
CASE #8
DIAMOND FIND, INC.
Diamond Find, Inc. is a jewelry store chain located in
the metropolitan area. The potential for employee theft in this
type of business is always great, and Diamond Find, Inc. has
always taken extensive preventative measures. Any applicant
for employment must provide considerable personal data and
be willing to submit to a pre-employment and regularly scheduled polygraph tests. Prior to employment, credit bureau and
private investigator checks are also made.
Recently, prospects and current employees of the company have become increasingly critical of Diamond Find’s
investigating practices. A number of well-qualified employees have stopped working for the company because of what
they consider to be an invasion of their privacy.
As president of the company, you have been asked
by the Board of Directors to identify the costs and benefits
associated with this practice. Should other economic considerations be of importance? You are to recommend a policy
position for the continuation or removal of this practice to the
Board.
44
CASE #9
MELINDA’S DILEMMA
A strictly enforced company rule states that an
employee who leaves his or her area of work without first
obtaining permission shall be considered to have quit the job.
Melinda reported for work as usual on the second
shift, Thursday afternoon. Shortly after she arrived, she asked
her supervisor if she could be absent during the second half
of the shift to attend a school meeting. The supervisor denied
her request in a friendly, courteous manner. He explained that
if he excused Melinda to go to a school function, he would, in
all fairness, have to allow others who made a similar request.
Melinda concluded that, in this case, she should not
have reported for work at all. The fact is, the records show
that she had a perfect attendance record for the year-to-date.
She could have been absent the entire shift without fear of disciplinary action.
Because lunch is only for half an hour, employees eat
in the company lounge area. However, at lunch, Melinda left
the plant and did not return for the remainder of the shift.
When Melinda reported for work the following day,
her supervisor informed her that she had walked off the job,
and she was presumed to have quit. Therefore, she no longer
worked there. Within minutes, Melinda, accompanied by the
shop steward, was in your office wanting to file a grievance.
You are the president. How will you handle this issue?
More importantly, justify your actions, realizing that this decision will have bearings on future, similar decisions.
45
CASE #10
ACE BRICK COMPANY
“The point I’m trying to make,” said Betty Waits, production supervisor with Ace Brick Co., “is that we simply
can’t afford to carry John Mullins for another three years.”
Waits was referring to a sixty-two year old, thirty-year
employee in her charge. In her view John Mullins, while still
exhibiting the same degree of competence he always had, in
recent years had showed a marked decline in productivity. As
Waits put it, “In many cases, John takes twice as long as necessary to do a task, twice as long as he took five years ago.”
She was pointing out to Ace’s President that such a decline
in productivity not only hurt the firm but also was undermining morale in her division. The President asked her to be specific.
“Well,” she began, “as you know, we have a considerable complement of bright, young, ambitious people. I’m
thinking of one in particular, Bill Gofar, who’s been with
us seven years. He came to us right out of college. Bill
shows considerable promise. But his morale recently has
plummeted, primarily because of John. For one thing, Bill
finds himself spending too much time doing John’s job as well
as his own, so that the division can meet production goals.
What’s more, Gofar is eager for and deserving advancement.”
“Gofar would like to be quality control engineer?” the
President asked with pointed reference to John Mullin’s position.
“He’s next in line for it,” Waits replied.
“Can’t Bill be patient for a few more years?” suggested the President.
“I don’t think so,” Waits said. “He’s already alluded to
offers he’s had elsewhere, and I’m convinced they’re genuine.
Any firm would love to have him, and I can see why.”
The President sat silently for a moment before saying,
“As you know, Betty, our voluntary retirement age is sixty-five.”
46
“But John’s not going to retire voluntarily,” Waits said
adamantly.
“You know that for a fact?” queried the President.
“He’s said as much.”
“Do you mean John wants to stay on till he’s seventy?” the president wanted to know.
Waits said he would. Then she added, “But even if
John were going to retire at sixty-five, in my professional
judgment we can ill afford to indulge him for another three
years.”
The President reminded Waits of how much the company prided itself on its compassionate treatment of its senior
members. He emphasized that this stemmed from the company’s recognition of the invaluable contribution these employees had made to Ace’s currently attractive profit picture. But
he was quick to add, “Of course, that doesn’t justify featherbedding.”
Waits acknowledged that forcing someone to retire
presented delicate legal and moral problems. “I know,” she
said, “that John would suffer financially.”
“In fact,” the President pointed out, “he stands to lose
about 50 percent in retirement benefits against mandatory
retirement at seventy.”
“But is that consideration enough to justify productivity losses?” Waits asked him. “Is it enough to jeopardize
losing a highly qualified and productive person like Bill
Gofar?”
“You’ve put the choice I face starkly,” the President
said, “but most accurately.”
1.
2.
3.
What should the president do?
What moral directions do the ethical theories provide?
Suppose the president summons John for a conference
at which time he explains the situation to him. Upon
reflection, John agrees that he’s not as productive as
he once was, that he is a liability to the firm. Do
you think John then would have a moral obligation to
retire?
47
CASE #11
WHO SHALL LIVE?
The country is under the threat of nuclear war. In this
part of the country, there are very few shelters where people
could sustain themselves for a period of six months—the time
estimated it would take before land would be safe for reoccupation. You have been chosen to determine which of various
individuals should be given access to particular bomb shelters (the selectors have indicated that they would prefer not to
compete for such openings). For one of these shelters, the list
has been reduced from 200 to 10. You are to further reduce
the list to 5. The best procedure would be to rank-order the 10
individually and then arrive at a decision. Those being considered are (ages are in parentheses):
A famous musician (47)
A nuclear physicist (51)
A young woman, six months pregnant (23)
A policeman (41)
An accountant (28) (husband of the young woman)
A nun-schoolteacher (31)
A professional athlete (35)
A female dancer-entertainer (28)
A medical student-Negro (25)
A priest (56)
48
CASE #12
ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR
New Rochelle, N.Y., October 27th *.—When the red
light turns to green and reads Thank You at any one of the
automatic toll booths of the New England Thruway here, it
does not always mean what it says, at least not if the motorist
has short-changed the machine or dropped lead washers or
foreign coins into it.
The state police reported today, after a two-week campaign against toll cheaters, that they had arrested 151 persons.
They have been fined in City Court from $25 each for the first
offenders to $150 for multiple offenders.
Lieutenant Thomas F. Darby reported that the offenders included a clergyman, a doctor, a dentist, an atomic scientist, lawyers, and quite a number of engineers, advertising
men and salesmen.
“What the offenders did not know,” the Lieutenant
said, “was that new toll booth glass with one-way vision prevented them from seeing watchful troopers inside.”
“Neither did they know,” the Lieutenant continued,
“that the license plate of each offender was recorded along
with the objects he dropped into the machine.”
1.
2.
Do you think that this behavior is serious? Do you
think these persons are likely to be dishonest in other
ways that would be more serious?
Under what circumstances might you have been
caught?
Date line “New Rochelle” The New York Times, October 28, 1961.
49
CASE #13
CLONES
(Taken from an article in Discover magazine; August, 1984)
By Splitting Embryos, Researchers Have Created Identical
Twin Horses. The Technique Could Eventually Be Used To
Duplicate Human Beings.
At the end of May 1984, in the operating shed of Colorado State University’s animal reproduction lab, two remarkable colts were born. Each was carried by a separate brood
mare—but the two were identical twins. They are the first
horse twins to have been produced by a simple new procedure
that could soon make such twinning commonplace. Created
eleven months earlier when scientists cleaved a single fertilized egg, the twins are essentially clones, carrying identical
sets of genetic material.
Researchers adding new twists to embryo transfer have
recently performed some downright exotic experiments. In
May, for example, a horse at the Louisville Zoo delivered a
healthy zebra that had been placed in her uterus as an embryo.
And at Cornell University this spring, a mule, the sterile
hybrid of a horse and a donkey, gave birth to a thoroughbred
horse that had been implanted as an embryo. Two other mules
are expected to give birth this fall, one to another thoroughbred, one to a donkey.
Given a few additional refinements—the ability to
freeze divided embryos without damage, say, or to remove
and replace pronuclei, the two packets of genetic material
that join to make the nucleus of a fertilized egg—researchers
could perform even more astonishing feats. They could, for
instance, make it possible for a horse to give birth to her own
twin. Says Edward Squires, an equine reproduction biologist
at Colorado State, “You could blow your mind thinking about
the possibilities.”
These modern animal husbandry techniques work not
just with calves and colts but also with people. An increas50
ing number of couples who have difficulty conceiving are
turning to in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer as a way
around their problem. Both of these methods for manipulating human embryos were first developed and tested with animals. For this reason, the artificial twinning techniques now
being explored with horses have profound implications. “In
not too long a time,” says Squires, “the technology for doing
almost anything we can think of will be there. The only thing
holding us back will be ethical considerations.”
Experiments with rats and rabbits by Seidel and others
in the 1950s indicated that embryos are armed with built-in
redundancy. Blastocysts—seven to ten-day-old embryos containing about 60 to 100 identical cells and surrounded by a
protective sac called the zona pellucida—can survive substantial losses of cells. As many as three quarters of a blastocyst’s
100 or so cells can be damaged or removed, yet the embryo
will still survive and grow into a normal organism.
51
CASE #14
THE OLD BAIT AND SWITCH GAME
The advertising of low-priced sewing machines, washers, and dryers by Sears, Roebuck & Co. resulted in an accusation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The charge
claimed that Sears was guilty of advertising these appliances
at low prices and then trying to sell the customer higher-priced
items, a technique commonly referred to as the “bait and
switch” tactic. The commission threatened to file a formal
complaint, forcing the issue into court, unless Sears agreed to
negotiate a consent decree.
The FTC’s allegation stemmed from an ad by Sears
offering a portable sewing machine for $58. Upon a customer’s arrival, however, salespeople (who were paid on a commission basis) supposedly would try to sell the customer a
higher-priced machine. The FTC also claimed the same thing
has been done with washers and dryers. According to Stephanie Kanwit, who directs the FTC’s Chicago office, “Salespeople know they will not make money if they sell too many lowpriced items.”
Sears contended that the facts of this investigation “do
not substantiate (its) conclusions.” The merchandising vice
president for this retail firm quoted statistics showing that
Sears sold over 80,000 of the machines in question during
the time span in which the FTC is interested. This volume
of sales constitutes “the third highest unit sales of the more
than twenty different models in Sears’ entire line of sewing
machines.”
In an extraordinary display of disunity by the FTC
commissioners, Mayo J. Thompson sided with Sears, arguing
that the complaint contained “no showing of probable consumer injury.”
1.
2.
3.
Do you agree with Mr. Thompson?
What ethical principles should be required (if any) of
sales people?
Do you see this case having any ethical violations? If
so, what?
52
CASE #15
THE ISLAND OF “KORA”
After several days in a storm, during which time your
ship was blown off course and sunk, you were washed ashore
on an island known as “Kora.” The natives on the Island of
Kora are gentle, and they believe that you are a special envoy
from the gods. They have named you Supreme Ruler and
Lord over the whole island. Your word is law.
However, with your new found honor and authority
comes the burden of responsibility. The elders of the tribe
have come to you to solve their more pressing problems. As
the elders tell you their problems, the following events and
information are learned.
It appears that approximately four years ago the island
underwent a violent earthquake caused by an erupting volcano. Prior to the volcanic activity, the island was about four
times larger than it is now. However, violent earthquakes
caused by the volcano ended with three-fourths of the island
dropping into the sea. Although much of the land that had
been used for farming and grazing cattle was lost, only three
natives were killed during the event. Now, an island, which
had once been 5 x 4 miles, is only 2 x 2 miles. It appears the
balance of nature has been upset.
From the natives you learned that prior to the earthquakes, the island supported about 850-900 natives. There
was peace and tranquility and plenty to eat. Prior to the earthquakes, the natives had been spread out over the island in
family groups; now, however, out of fear resulting from the
earthquakes, all the huts have been gathered close together
and conditions are crowded.
Presently, the situation on the island is rather bleak.
For the last three years, the rate of deaths has increased
because of an apparent increase in diseases and starvation.
Also, most of the farm animals look very poor physically, and
most are diseased. Already, over 100 natives have died from
starvation or disease, and nearly the whole population looks
53
sick from either disease or malnutrition. Sanitation problems
in the village are atrocious and stealing and fighting have
become commonplace.
As best you can figure, it seems that an island that
could once support 850-900 natives has been reduced to onefourth of its original size. Even with all of the technology that
you know, you see no way in which the island can support
more than 250 people.
Since you were sent by the gods, the natives and elders
expect you to solve all their problems. What is your plan?
1. What should they do about their moral decay—stealing
and fighting?
2. Mostly, what can they do so that they will have enough to
eat?
54
1
Normative and Meta-Ethics
Student’s Name
Course
University
Professor
Date
2
Normative and Meta-Ethics
Theory Description
Ethics is a significant discipline that enhances human understanding between right and
wrong. In normative ethics, moral actions tend to be judged by considering the right or wrong
action or choosing the good or bad character traits (Frankena, 1989, 5). Therefore, individuals
can quickly evaluate their actions by comparing the goodness and the badness that the actions
may inflict on others. Meta ethics relates to the ethical viewpoint that seeks to better understand
the nature of ethics in terms of properties, attitudes, judgments, and principles (Frankena, 1989,
6). Ultimately, it elaborates on the meaning of morality, goodness, and how to evaluate a bad
thing from a good thing.
While normative ethics evaluate the standard for wrongness or rightness of various
actions, meta-ethics considers the more profound analysis of moral language. Besides, normative
ethics assist individuals in ascertaining good judgments on moral values, moral obligation, and
non-moral values. Meta ethics takes a different approach and focuses on finding relevant theories
and the meanings that justify judgments of moral value, moral obligations, and nonmoral values.
Normative ethics include theories like utilitarianism which considers the actions that present the
best consequences, virtue ethics, ethical intuitionism, and Kantianism (Eggers, 2021, 16;
McPherson & Plunkett, 2021, 14). Hence, we must evaluate if they relate to the desired moral
obligation at the end point of every action.
Theory Application
Individuals always justify and apply ethical theories and concepts differently. In
Melinda’s Dilemma case study, there is a significant battle on who has committed the good or
3
the bad action. Solving such issues always have a prolonged implication on other similar
subsequent cases (Warner, 2002, 45). Applying the normative and meta ethics concepts makes it
crucial to understand the good or bad side of Melinda’s actions. Therefore, in this regard,
normative ethics would highlight Melinda’s action as wrongdoing since she failed to consider the
requests and the guidelines that define and justify an employee quitting the workplace. The metaethics will elaborate on the issue and provide more understanding of the motives and attitudes
that led to the action. Therefore, in this case, I would solve this issue by holding the supervisor’s
action to fire Melinda based on the terms of employment. The central dilemma, in this case,
relates to Melinda’s good actions towards attending the school meeting. However, overturning
the supervisor’s decision would weaken the company’s rule and negatively affect the subsequent
cases. Therefore, the normative and meta-ethics consider going against the company rules a bad
action, hence unethical.
Theory Analysis
Normative and meta-ethics are crucial since they provide the basic understanding of
ethical situations in terms of being moral by committing bad or bad actions. One of the
significant dislikes of the normative and meta-ethics concept is that they tend to highlight that
there has to be either wrong or a right action or circumstance. Many people have disagreed with
this assumption since even factual statements and intentions may cause some significant moral
problems (Eggers, 2021, 13). Therefore, it is not easy to substantiate one actual factual claim to
another. However, normative and meta-ethics are significant since they enhance the basis of
formulating moral guidelines that directly impact institutions and human actions and illustrate
how best life should be. This is relevant to Melinda’s case, whereby the company has specific
4
guidelines that control employee conduct, upon which any deviation from the rule is considered
an unethical action and therefore warrants a supervisor’s punishment.
5
References
Eggers, D. (2021). Metaethics: Moral language and beyond. The Language of Desire, 12–21.
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110733693-003
Frankena, W. K. (1989). Ethics (2nd Edition). The University of Michigan.
McPherson, T., & Plunkett, D. (2021). Metaethics and the conceptual ethics of normativity.
Inquiry, 1–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020174x.2021.1873177
Warner, D. W. (2002). The Basis For Ethical Conduct: An Introduction to The Ethical Conduct
Paradigm and ETHICS FOR DECISION-MAKING CASE STUDIES (5th ed.). Amberton
University.
THE MEANING OF ETHICS
In his Pulitzer Price-winning book, THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST (1969), David Halberstam quotes a passage written by
Boles,
then
Undersecretary of State with
Kennedy administration.
the
newly
Chester
organized
The passage was written by Mr. Boles one
month after the Bay of Pigs incident.
Boles wrote in his private
diary the following.
The question which concerns me most about this new
administration is whether it lacks a genuine sense of conviction about what is right and what is wrong…
Anyone in public life who has strong convictions about
the right and wrong of public morality, both domestic and
international, have a very great advantage in times of
strain, since their instincts on what to do are clear and
immediate.
Lacking
such
a
framework
of
moral
conviction…he is forced to lean almost entirely upon his
mental processes; he adds up the pluses and minuses of any
question and comes up with a conclusion.
Under normal
circumstances, when he is not tired or frustrated, this
pragmatic approach should successfully bring him out on the
right side of the question. What worries me are the conclusions that such an individual may reach when he is tired,
angry, frustrated, or emotionally affected…
As
in
Boles indicated, a study in ethics is very much a
decision making.
study
Obviously, not all decisions that an
indi-
vidual makes will be based upon ethical considerations, but every
human decision, consciously or unconsciously, is based upon
some
type of value system.
For clarification, it should be stated that a human decision
is
any decision that related directly to, or affects, the
tionships
one has with other human beings.
Thus, the
rela-
study
of
ethics is the study of our value system and how we put it to work
or apply it in making decisions relative to other human beings.
One
rather
might
simple
think
process.
that the study of ethics
All we need to
do
is
would
imply
a
study
values.
However,
the process is a little more complicated.
In fact,
truly understand one’s ethics is one of the most difficult
confronting
an
basis
ethics is so much a part of the past as well
for
present.
to
a
individual today.
tasks
because
the
as
the
More importantly, any pragmatic approach we might
have
logical
making
It is difficult
to
evaluation of ethics as it
relates
to
decision
is oftentimes overshadowed by that force called
emotion.
Yet
each day every person is confronted with the difficult
of
evaluating those affairs that come their way,
and
task
rendering
judgments as to which are good or bad, right or wrong.
NATURE AND LIMITATIONS OF THIS STUDY
Nearly
subject
of
everyone
asked
ethics.
It is hoped that you approach
intrepidly–anxious
ethics.
will indicate an
interest
in
the
the
subject
to explore and curious about the meaning
This study will not be taught from a
theological
spective; although I must willfully admit my belief in a
of
per-
Supreme
Being and in the divine nature of Jesus Christ.
I acknowledge that I bring my prejudices, both those that
I
have confessed and those I hide from myself, to my interpretation
and theory of ethics.
you
to
pledge
However, this study in no way will require
allegiance to any belief as
completing the course.
a
prerequisite
to
On the contrary, the study is intended to
be
a revelation, a mind awakening to the reality of
and
responsibility to be free–not so much a
your
physical
right
freedom,
but a mental freedom, a freedom to choose.
People
tion,
often construct their own tyrants.
Custom,
tradi-
and social norms–concepts dictating what is often
called
“proper”–can
be as coercive as any tyrant.
who
to
chooses
control his own thoughts and
Only
thinking
chooses
his
man
own
values has a change again such mind tyrants.
This study will not be a simple review of the various
cal theories.
ethi-
Of course, you will be expected to becomes
famil-
iar
with the theories of relativism, normativism,
and
deontological theories as propagated by such individuals
Kant,
Fletcher, Epicurus, Bentson, etc.
that
you will find all of these theories limited.
teleological,
However, it
is
likely
Most of
them
attempt
to tell us how to have better ethics while, in
we
not understand the ethics which we now
do
as
reality,
possess.
Simply
put, most of us do not know what it is we believe, much less why.
Before the theories for making ethical choices can be
meaningful,
start.
we
must first understand the basis
from
What do I believe, and why do I believe what
truly
which
I
we
believe
must be addressed before I have any chance of thinking anew.
VOICES FROM THE MIND
Within each person are many mind voices, and the voices
all
but
is
sing
they
do not sing in unison.
Each time
a
person
confronted with an ethical decision the voices sing from
his/her
subconscious
of
voices
or
in an effort to direct a conclusion.
are rooted in the past.
associates.
some
the
Others come from those we
love,
All sing, but they do not sing in unison.
Man,
being
a giver of labels, has entitled the composition
of
voices
“beliefs”
and beliefs are the basis
However,
the
of beliefs and values
basis
these
of
one’s
actions.
must
be
discovered
within the hidden shadows of the mind.
This study, then, is intended to assist each of us toward
better
understanding of our values.
We will try to isolate
a
the
many voices, and to weight the value of each voice to see if some
come
from
sources that might be labeled more
important than others.
voices.
logical
or
more
We will look for the root value of
those
Where the journey takes us is not as important
as
the
fact that we will, perhaps for the first time in our life,
study
the
enjoy-
question of our own ethics.
It may not be a totally
able trip.
For as Dag Hammerskjold (second Secretary General
the
Nations and winner of the Nobel Peace
United
of
Prize)
said,
Before attempting to give a specific definition to the
term
“The longest journey is the journey inward…”
WHAT IS ETHICS?
ethics, let me share two stories.
The first story will reveal
spent his life pondering the meaning of
right
a
scholar
who
and
wrong.
The second story will be that of a man who was so sure he
knew what was right or wrong that he died for his belief.
The first story:
An ancient question was put to Socrates by Mento: “Can
you tell me Socrates whether virtue is acquired by teaching
or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor practice, then
whether it comes to man by nature, or in what other way?”
Socrates answered, “You must think I am very fortunate
to know how virtue is acquired. The fact is far from
knowing whether it is taught, I have no idea what virtue
is.”
Socrates’ response to Mento’s inquiry was designed to
his
inquisitor
to confront an issue that remains
the
point
for any consideration of values, “What is the
the
moral?”
How
this
question
is
answered
implications
for
every
aspect
of
one’s
investigation
of moral thought and behavior.
force
starting
ethical
has
profound
conception
It is the
or
and
essence
of the beginning of one’s ethical view.
While Socrates’ statement suggests that values are relative,
the
second
story reveals that values may be
made
of
“sterner
stuff.”
In a book entitled, THE MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, the reader
is made aware of the individual known as Sir Thomas More,
the Archbishop of Canterbury. Sir Thomas More is the
friend to the King during the time that Henry the VIII
decided to rid himself of his wife by having the Roman
Catholic Church authorize a divorce. History records that
Rome refused to issue the divorce papers; as a result, the
King separated England from Catholic control and established
the Church of England in order that he could rule as both
King and head of the church.
With the King’s decision to become the head of the
church,
he demanded that all priests
disavow
their
allegiance to Rome and to pledge their allegiance to him.
The story continues that all of importance and influence
agreed to the King’s demands except Sir Thomas More.
Although Thomas had been a friend of the King, the
friendship soon waned and the King threw More into prison
because of his continuous refusal to take the oath of
allegiance. Later, when it became obvious that even prison
could not force Thomas More, the King set a date for his
execution should he continue to refuse to comply.
Just
prior to the date set for the execution, two characters
confront the condemned man.
First, the Duke of Norfolk tried to persuade More to
sign the King’s oath. He assured More that everyone in
England was aware of his position and would understand he
signed only under duress. However, More continued to
refuse.
As the Duke of Norfolk became frustrated with
More’s persistent refusal, he suggested that More was
refusing only out of pride. Thomas More replied, “I will
not give in because I oppose it…I do…not my pride, not
my spleen, nor any other part of my appendage, but I, I,
Thomas More.
A few minutes later, More’s daughter, Meg, entered the
prison room to plead with her father. She tells her father
that he is all that she has left since her mother had died,
and regardless as to how he personally feels about the
King’s oath, he should sign for her sake. She pleads her
point by suggesting that he owes her, as his only daughter,
certain responsibilities that mandate he sign the oath.
In
response, Thomas More said, “When a man takes an oath, he
holds himself in his own hand, like water. If he opens his
fingers, then he needn’t hope to find himself again.” More
refused his daughter’s request and he was executed.
Thomas
basic
More’s
story shows that a sense of self can
source of consistency in moral conduct.
When a
be
a
sense
of
self is strong and clear, one identifies with one’s own
actions,
and
will
each
action
is the self extended.
This
concept
be
discussed in greater depth later.
A DEFINITION OF ETHICS
Having set the stage, it is now appropriate for us to define
the word “ethics.”
The dictionary defines ethics as the study of
the general nature of morals and the specific moral choices to be
made by the individual in his/her relationships with others.
Obviously, this definition leaves us with two serious
tions.
are
First, what are morals?
concerned
ques-
The dictionary says that
with the judgment of the goodness or
morals
badness
Such being the case, we
of
human

actions and character.
may
now
expand
our definition by saying that ethics is the study of
the
general
nature of goodness or badness as it relates to
choices
as made by the individual in his relationship with
specific
oth-
ers.
However,
we are now faced with a second question.
question
of
ethics
relative only in our
dealings
people?
In other words, are we only concerned with the
Is
with
the
other
goodness
or badness of our judgment in our relationship with others, or is
it
possible that an individual on a desert island, never
confronted by another individual, could still possess an
The
question
is, “Can one by unethical in private?”
to
be
ethics?
We
might
carry the question even further and ask, “If one were isolated on
an island all their life, could that person be without ethics, or
nonethical?”
Ultimately, we are begging the question, “If one can have an
ethics, then can one not have an ethics?”
CAN ONE BE NON-ETHICAL?
Most prominent anthropologists/sociologists who have studied
the
history of man and his civilization conclude that
each
every civilization studied provided some type of a value
It
may
very well have been that their value
conform to our value system of today.
or
civilizations
system.
would
not
Perhaps previous societies
believed that when a
sacrifice was demanded.
system
and
volcano
erupted,
human
To us, such a thought would be horrible.
However, to them, it was the right thing to do.
Historic records clearly indicate that it is impossible
reasoning
man to be totally void of some type of
We
therefore, conclude, based upon
must,
that
man cannot be non-ethical.
value
historical
for
system.
evidence,
He is not without some type
of
value system regardless as to whether or not we would concur with
the value system presented.
While we might conclude that all humans capable of
have
thinking
some type of a value system, an ethics, history also
shows
that one can be disloyal to those values held.
In essence, while
we are not without ethics, we can be unethical.
Being
means
that we make decisions or choices that do not
those
values we report that we believe.
agree
Of course, we
confronted with the question, “Why might we do this?”
lies
before
Making.”
to
us.
This course is entitled “Ethics
we
are
for
Decision
bring
be
un-
More importantly, we
find that we are not always logical, nor do we
ethical questions logically.
now
The answer
In this process we will, at times,
faithful to what we report what we believe.
proach
with
It recognizes that as we make decisions we will
bear our ethics.
will
unethical
always
In addition to what
may report, emotions enter into the decision
making
ap-
values
process
and
often
distort any logical process we might seek to
use
in
we
can
making ethical decisions.
As
we
begin this study, the best definition
subscribe to is this:
that
ETHICS IS THE STUDY OF THE GENERAL
NATURE
OF GOODNESS OR BADNESS AS IT RELATES TO SPECIFIC CHOICES MADE
THE INDIVIDUAL IN RELATIONSHIP TO SELF AND OTHERS.
BY

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