Ethics 4 Essay, Research Paper
Connie Science s moral dilemma of whether or not to break government ethics laws regarding the acceptance of lobbyist s gifts has come to its climax where she must choose if she will jump on the bandwagon or not. Ms. Science could use a number of methods to come to a logical and morally sound conclusion. Some of these methods include Kantian Ethics and Act Utilitarianism.
Kantian Ethics is a deontological theory (which emphasize doing one s duty without regard for the consequences) developed by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher. To apply this theory properly, one must use its component parts: Autonomy, Respect for Persons, and Universality. Autonomy states that you must think for yourself because only you can be held responsible for your actions. Connie must not allow her boss or her fellow co-workers to sway her decision. Respect for Persons is important because each person deserves equal respect and individuals should never be used as a means to an end. Connie must consider all the people that she could possibly be using if she were to accept the lobbyist s gifts. If she did accept these gifts then she would be using the president as well as all the American people as a means to get these gifts since she was appointed by the president and her decisions that would be swayed affect the populace. The principle of Universality, also known as the Categorical Imperative, states that one should only act in a manner consistent with what one would will to be universal law. Connie must ask herself : what if everyone accepted such gifts and let their decisions be swayed? If everyone accepted these gifts, then the power would lie with those who brought the best gifts and not with the person appointed to the decision. Since this is not logical and everyone would not be respected equally then accepting such gifts would be immoral and Connie should not allow herself to be swayed by these lobbyists.
Act Utilitarianism is a Consequentialist Theory(focuses on consequences) whose guiding principle is the Principle of Utility which states that one must always act in order to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Act Utilitarianism is also specific to the situation at hand and has five steps in which to follow. The first is the identification of the ethical issue which has been done already. The second is to consider all possible courses of action. These are: Connie can jump on the bandwagon and accept the lobbyist s gifts, she could also just shut up and see how it all plays out, or she could blow the whistle on the whole agency. The next step is to identify all stake holders in this situation. These include: Connie, O. Vern Bereng, fellow employees, the lobbyists, and the general pubic. Then, the total utility for all of the courses of action must be calculated. If Connie just sat on this and did nothing then the only people to benefit would be O. Vern her fellow employees, and the lobbyists. If she started accepting gifts then the only people to benefit would be again O. Vern, the other employees, the lobbyists, and also her. However, if she blew the whistle then the public at large would benefit from just and fair regulations. Since the public outnumbers everyone by far, the net utility for the whistle blowing is the greatest and as such is the best course of action.
O. Vern Bereng uses very fallacious reasoning in order to convince Connie Science that the acceptance of lobbyist s gifts is perfectly okay. Some of the worst is his use of genetic fallacies in lines 14 and 16-17. In the first, he attacks her character with an a hominem abusive fallacy and then goes on to mention that she owes her job to him which is an ad hominem circumstantial fallacy. Lines 17-18 contain an either-or fallacy when he says that employees who rock the boat don t seem to last to long since there appears to be only two options for her to take. Also, lines 24-25 contain a provincialism fallacy when he says it has always worked this way, and that surely makes it okay since the established views make it okay.