6 Ethics Questions Due in 3 Hours
1. (TCOs 1, 2, 3, 7) In support of TCO #7 and in the Week 7 discussions, you developed and placed into the threaded discussions your personalized ethics statement of what has become important to you in the practice of ethics as you have practiced ethics during the course. Your first task in this question is to briefly present that personalized statement in just a few sentences before continuing with the question. Much of the rest of the exam will involve your working with that personalized statement through brief applications and cases.
Use your ethical philosophy to solve the following ethical situation. Explain how your philosophy helped you make your decision.
Anticipating the possibility that their soldiers may one day be captured by the enemy, some modern armies include in their basic training exposure to simulated yet intimidating torture techniques. That is, they subject their own troops to mild forms of simulated torture in order that they may learn how to resist torture and not divulge the plans and classified information that they know. Some other armies actually train through experience of torture.
Is this practice justifiable ethically? If you believe it is justifiable only under certain conditions, specify the conditions. Explain and defend your position, and then explain how your ethical philosophy helped you come to this conclusion.
2. (TCOs 1, 2, 7) Analyze the following ethical situation using YOUR ethical philosophy. Read the situation and then in your answer, explain why this is an ethical situation, what the “issues” are, and how an “ethical” person would resolve them. Explain how YOUR ethical philosophy has helped you reach a conclusion about how to resolve or analyze this situation.
As a result of the economic down-turn starting in 2008, efficiency has become more and more the byword of the successful business person. The axioms of the efficiency expert are: “Eliminate what need not be done; simplify what must be done; combine tasks wherever possible.”
Putting this into practice means, among other things, eliminating people’s jobs. Sometimes it also means making one person do two or three people’s jobs. As company’s gain the upper hand in employment (when the number of employees wanting good jobs is higher than the number of good (i.e. high paying) jobs available), they will more and more expect employees to be willing to work longer hours and to do accomplish more and varied tasks.
1. Under what circumstances is it ethical business practices to ask employees to multi-task or do more than one person’s job?
2. Under what circumstances is it ethical for an employee to refuse to do more work than can be taken on in a conventional 40-45 hours per week?
3. Let’s assume that it is BECAUSE employees are willing to multi-task and do two or three people’s jobs, that others LOSE their jobs. Who is more at fault ethically? The employer who requests the extra work from the remaining employees? Or the employees who are willing to do the extra work, thereby putting the others who aren’t willing out of work?
3. (TCOs 1, 7, 9) How do you feel John Locke would have solved the above ethical situation differently or the same as you did using your philosophy? Please explain the reasons for the similarities or differences.
4. (TCOs 1, 2, 4, 9) John and Marsha are both married to other people and the parents of several children, and they are having an adulterous affair. One night, when they are meeting secretly, they witness a murder. They agree that they cannot risk reporting it without exposing their affair. The next day the body is found and within a week a suspect is apprehended and charged with first-degree murder. When John and Marsha see his picture in the newspaper, they realize that he is not the murderer. They meet again, discuss their dilemma, and decide that despite the new, dreadful development, they will not step forward as witnesses.
Tell what ethical philosophy the John and Marsha are using, if any.
Now, use your ethical philosophy statement to analyze the situation. Explain how, using your philosophy, you would have solved this situation either the same way as the characters in the situation did, or differently.
The question surrounds the issue of coming clean about the murderer, not whether you would have engaged in the affair or not. (Thus, you cannot say, “I would never have the affair” as your solution. Pretend you are an advisor to the two of them–not that you are the two of them. What would YOU tell them to do at this point?) Why?
5. (TCOs 5, 6) You work for a grocery store and a new manager is hired to oversee your department. He comes into your department (the butcher shop) and explains to you that for the past 6 months, your department has been losing money for the store because of the waste and spoilage going on from having to discard unsold meat and poultry. He tells you that from now on, he wants you to package ground meat in smaller, more compact packages, with older meat on the bottom of the package (so it is not visible to the customer) and the fresher meat on the top, where it is visible to the customers. In this way, you can move more of the older meat and still receive the top dollar for it. As he leaves the department where you were having the discussion, he turns and says, “And by the way, one more month of losses like we had last month from this department, and you can kiss your job goodbye.”
Will you repackage the meat in the way he requested?
Why or why not? Explain what ethical analysis you used to come to this conclusion.
6. (TCOs 6, 8) Analyze your answer above using the Blanchard and Peale ethical dilemmas resolution model. Show your steps.
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