Determine the ethical course of action for the following three scenarios from the perspective of each of the three philosophical approaches: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. Then, complete the matrix below by writing a few sentences stating the ethical course of action and the reasoning from that approach's perspective. Clearly differentiate the reasons for each of the three approaches.
Keep in mind that, although rationale might differ, the ethical course of action for a given scenario might be the same for each philosophical approach. Be sure to state the ethical course of action as well as the rationale behind it, according to the philosophical approach.
The mayor of a small seaside town faces a tough decision. A prominent developer has submitted a
proposal to build a large mall and resort in the town. This development is estimated to bring $150 million
in tourism each year and several hundred new jobs to the community, which badly needs the economic
boost. The proposed location of the new development, however, is a site that now houses the only
nursing home and senior citizens' recreation center in the area. Both the nursing home and recreation
center would have to be demolished, affecting 100 seniors and 30 employees. There is no other location
in town where the new development can be built. How should the mayor decide: in favor of economic
prosperity or in defense of his elderly citizens?
Catalina works for a regional sales branch of a large pharmaceutical company. Individual employees as
well as the entire branch receive incentive packages if they reach certain sales goals. If a sales rep meets
his or her individual goals, he or she receives a large bonus check at the end of the year. Likewise, if all
the sales reps meet their goals, the entire branch receives brand new equipment, vacation packages, and
It is two weeks until the end of the fiscal year, when reps report their sales. Every sales rep in the branch
has met his or her individual sales goal, except Catalina; she is three sales short. A friend encourages her
to report three additional sales and then, come next year, report that three of her sales had been
cancelled. "There's a loophole in the company policy that makes it so they can't take away your bonus
after you've already received it," her friend tells her. "Plus, if you don't meet your goal, none of us get new
equipment or vacation. You'll ruin it for all of us!" Should Catalina report and then cancel those three sales
so she and her coworkers can receive their bonuses?
Malcolm came home to his apartment one evening after a long day at work. He lives near campus with
three other students at the university. Malcolm turned the corner into the kitchen to find one of his
roommates sitting at the table with another man whom Malcolm didn't recognize. On the table were
several small bags of what appeared to be...drugs? It took Malcolm by surprise, so much so that he froze
in his tracks. His roommate and the other man quickly stuffed the bags into a backpack, exchanged a wad
of bills, and the man brushed past Malcolm and out the front door. Dumbfounded, Malcolm stared at his
roommate, who approached him and, almost threateningly, said, "You didn't see anything. Got it? Don't
think I won't know who squealed if anyone finds out about this." What's Malcolm to do: report his
roommate to the police or keep quiet?
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Consequentialism: The mayor should accept the bid for the development because under this framework, the consequences are the most important factor. The consequence of accepting the bid will be better for more people.
Deontology: The mayor should not accept the development because under this framework, the act of displacing seniors and employees is never acceptable despite the consequences.
Virtue Ethics: The mayor should accept the development and should seek a method for using the tourist profits to fund a new, better nursing home for the seniors as under this ...
The solution defines several alternative decisions based upon differing types of ethical decision making processes for three dilemmas including a nursing home on the seaside, and others.