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Ethics: Application of Locke's Theories

Consider these three problems.

After reading the following case scenarios, identify the consequences of the actions taken, and then determine whether the actions taken represented a greater good, who would benefit from the good, and whether the consequences ethically justify the decisions and actions.

The Mayor of a large city was given a free membership in an exclusive golf club by people who have received several city contracts. He also accepted gifts from organizations that have not done business with the City but might in the future. The gifts ranged from $200 tickets to professional sports events to designer watches and jewelry.

A college instructor is pursuing her doctorate in night school. To gain extra time for her own studies, she gives her students the same lectures, the same assignments, and the same examinations semester after semester without the slightest effort to improve them.

Todd and Edna have been married for three years. They have had serious personal problems. Edna is a heavy drinker, and Todd cannot keep a job. Also, they have bickered and fought constantly since their marriage. Deciding that the way to overcome their problems is to have a child, they stop practicing birth control, and Edna becomes pregnant.

Using what you have learned from our discussions and readings up to this week, write an answer to all three parts.

How would Locke have addressed or solved the problem? Explain how his ethics and the answer he may have given are different or the same as yours.

Solution Preview

Problem 1:

The Major of the city has accepted expensive gifts, lavish club memberships from organizations which either already got contracts from city or likely to do business with the city. In this case, the Mayor's actions are self-serving and clearly not those of the greater good. The Mayor has the responsibility to serve the people of the city. An elected represented like Major has the social contract towards the people of the city to serve them and act in the greater good of the citizens. As a return for the gifts Mayor is receiving if he award contracts to those who offered gifts at a higher price or who cannot deliver the services with high quality, it is going to impact the citizens. In this case the Major has put his personal self ahead of his responsibility of serving the people of the city. It is unethical for elected representatives like Mayor to accept high value gifts from organization which are doing business and it can be considered as accepting bribe. ...

Solution Summary

This solution clearly analyzes the three problems (Mayor of city, College Instructor, Todd & Edna) and provides solutions in general perspective and also using Locke's Ethical behaviors.