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The Classical Ethical Theory: Utilitarianism

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Question:

Discuss about the Classical Ethical Theory for Utilitarianism.

 

Answer:

Introduction:

Ethics is considered as the framework of moral principles. Utilitarianism can be referred to the effort of providing a solution to the question “what a person should do?” This acts an answer that guides a person producing the best possible consequence (Mill, Allen & Morrow, 2016). In case of deontology, morality of activities are judged on the basis of some rules. It can also be referred to as the normal ethical position.

The essay is consisting of the information regarding the lawsuit case against a Facebook post and ethical analysis on the case study. According to the case study, a lady posted some vague information on the social media called Facebook against her friend. At last, because of the post, she had to pay $500,000 ("Woman ordered to pay $500k for lying in Facebook post", 2017). This case study is analysed within this essay on the basis of four classical ethical theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue and contract.

Analysis of the Case Study Based on Classical Ethical Theories:

Within the concept of the outcomes of the Utilitarian, all the bad and good generated by the act are being included. In happens regardless of the fact that this analysis is being performed during the act. In this case, the utilitarianism theory is being analysed after the act is completed (Veruggio, Operto & Bekey, 2016). As the per the theory of utilitarianism, one of the bad is that the lady who posted the statement had to pay a lot of amount to the victim. However, the alleged had paid the price of the mistake that she has done, she has gone through various bad things during the case was on or after that also (Guillen, Ferrero & Hoffman, 2015). The situation has damaged her image in the society. The second bad case is that the image of the victim in the society also defamed. Many people who had seen the image may assume that she was involved in the death of her son, may be indirectly she is responsible for the situation. In general, the utilitarianism theory is a normative framework that provides a customary through which a distinct should behave. In addition to that, based on the standards the current social practices in addition with moral code should be improved and evaluated. One major factor in the utilitarianism theory is that it cannot be confirmed or verified like a descriptive theory (Willis, 2014). This imposes that the two bad situations that has been provided above is not always possible to prove theoretically.

 

In terms of deontology, the prime focus remains on the actions the people take rather than consequences of the actions as described in the utilitarianism theory. The deontological ethics suggests doing the right things, choosing the right path after analysing the choice and confirming that it is actually right and avoiding the wrong path (Farah, 2015). The case study states that the prime actors took mainly two different actions. The alleged has posted something o the social media that she should not have posted before verifying the information and the victim filed a lawsuit against her friend (alleged) ("Woman ordered to pay $500k for lying in Facebook post", 2017). In case of the first action that was taken by the alleged was completely wrong. There is no way to justify her action. In case she has some proof that the posted information was right then her action could have been somehow justified. The second action was taken by the victim and she lodged a lawsuit. Her action is completely normal. In some way, it can be assumed that this action was just for revenge. However, if the situation is analysed closely then it can be understood that this is the only way left to her to prove publicly that the charges made against her was false. However, claiming money was not the right action to take (Paquette, Sommerfeldt & Kent, 2015). The victim was fighting for her dignity. Through accepting a huge amount of money she somehow left a black mark on her image in society. The fight was to prove that she had nothing to do with the death of her eleven-year old son.

The virtue ethics concentrate on the character of the person. It does not have any connection with the actions taken or the consequences of the action. The theory concentrates on the moral character or virtue of the person carrying out the action instead of ethical protocol or standards (Hursthouse, 2013). Along with dealing with the wrongness and rightness of the different actions, virtue provides direction as to the behavior or characteristics a person with moral values will achieve. The first character in this case does not have any moral value. Her taken actions directly defines that the amount of virtue she poses is very little. Making statements in public is that are based on false information is something that no person with virtue will do. The statement was very sensitive. Alleging a mother that she was involved in her son’s death is something that only a moral less person as her can do ("Woman ordered to pay $500k for lying in Facebook post", 2017). The other person in this case has self-respect and takes the decisions that only a person with moral values can take. She did not directly attacked the persons who was blaming her. The second thing that can be understood about the character of the victim is that she has a fighting nature. She fought until the last moment and won the case. Finally, she was done after punishing the alleged and retained her self-esteem (Bright, Winn & Kanov, 2014).

The contact ethics states that the people live in the society together with an agreement. This agreement is responsible for political rules and moral of behaviors. According to some person, if the people live in the society by following the contract then everyone can live morally. This signifies that, the action alleged has taken did not follow the social contract (Steverson, Rutherford & Buller, 2013). As described above, the person does not have any moral values. As per the social contract theory, a person cannot do anything she wants. Every action has to be abide by some standards and protocols. The victim is seemed to be behaved being under the social contract.

The first recommendation would be for the alleged. Before making some allegations in public, she should have verified that the information was real. In case, there was no way that she could find that the mother was involved in the death she should have said nothing. It is better to keep shut rather than suspecting people and blaming them on the basis of false information. The second recommendation is for the victim. She should have not charged with money.

Conclusion:

From the above study it can be concluded that each of the classical theory of ethics is very different from each other through they are internally connected. Without having idea of one theory, it is not possible to analyze another one. The whole analysis has been done on the basis of reasoned arguments. There are various factors that are needed to be considered while assessing an ethical dilemma. From the case, it has been confirmed that posting vague information about anyone can be really a big issue. The first thing that is to be considered while analysing character of a person is that the actions taken by the person does not always define the person correctly. 

 

Reference List:

Bright, D. S., Winn, B. A., & Kanov, J. (2014). Reconsidering virtue: Differences of perspective in virtue ethics and the positive social sciences. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(4), 445-460.

Farah, M. J. (2015). An Ethics Toolbox for Neurotechnology. Neuron, 86(1), 34-37.

Guillen, M., Ferrero, I., & Hoffman, W. M. (2015). The neglected ethical and spiritual motivations in the workplace. Journal of business ethics, 128(4), 803-816.

Hursthouse, R. (2013). Normative virtue ethics. ETHICA, 645.

Mill, J. E., Allen, M. N., & Morrow, R. A. (2016). Critical theory: Critical methodology to disciplinary foundations in nursing. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive, 33(2).

Paquette, M., Sommerfeldt, E. J., & Kent, M. L. (2015). Do the ends justify the means? Dialogue, development communication, and deontological ethics. Public Relations Review, 41(1), 30-39.

Steverson, B. K., Rutherford, M. W., & Buller, P. F. (2013). New venture legitimacy lies and ethics: an application of social contract theory. J. Eth. Entrep, 3, 73-92.

Veruggio, G., Operto, F., & Bekey, G. (2016). Roboethics: Social and Ethical Implications. In Springer handbook of robotics (pp. 2135-2160). Springer International Publishing.

Willis, J. E. (2014). Learning analytics and ethics: A framework beyond utilitarianism. Educause Review.

Woman ordered to pay $500k for lying in Facebook post. (2017). Mail Online. Retrieved 16 May 2017, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4368984/Woman-ordered-pay-500k-lying-Facebook-post.html
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