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Deontological and Teleological Ethical Systems

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Please help with the following assignment.

Scenario Situation 1

You are a manager of a retail store. You are given permission by the owner of the store to hire a fellow classmate to help out. One day you see the classmate take some clothing from the store. When confronted by you, the peer laughs it off and
says the owner is insured, no one is hurt, and it was under $100. "Besides," says your acquaintance, "friends stick together, right?" What would you do?

Explain what you would do based on ethical formalism, utilitarianism, religion, and natural law.
? Address each of these ethical systems in relation to the scenario.
? Compose a 200- to 350-word paper.

Deontological vs. Teleological Ethical Systems

Compare and Contrast deontological and teleological ethical systems in a 700- to 1,050-word.
? Provide examples and descriptions of the seven major ethical systems
? Determine whether each system is deontological or teleological.
? Identify which system most closely matches your beliefs and explain why.

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Hi,

Interesting questions and paper topic! Let's take a closer look at information form various sources, which you can draw on for your final paper. I also attached an informative chart comparing three ethical theories.

RESPONSE:

1. Scenario Situation 1

You are a manager of a retail store. You are given permission by the owner of the store to hire a fellow classmate to help out. One day you see the classmate take some clothing from the store. When confronted by you, the peer laughs it off and says the owner is insured, no one is hurt, and it was under $100. "Besides," says your acquaintance, "friends stick together, right?" What would you do? Explain what you would do based on ethical formalism, utilitarianism, religion, and natural law.
? Address each of these ethical systems in relation to the scenario.
? Compose a 200- to 350-word paper.

RESPONSE:

Ethics is about what is right or wrong action in a given situation, and theories usually look at one of two things -- (1) the inherent nature of the act (deontological, including ethical formalism religion and natural law) -- or (2) the consequences of the act (teleological, such as utilitarian ethics). (http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/415/415lect02.htm).

1. UTILITARIAN

Utilitarian ethics is classified as a teleological theory because the rightness or wrongness resides in the consequences of action (http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/415/415lect02.htm). Thus, Teleological methods, sometimes called consequentialist methods, are based on estimating what the likely outcomes of a given course of action will be, and then choosing the method that has the most positive consequences and the fewest negative consequences. According to these methods, those actions should be chosen which lead to more positive and fewer negative consequences, and those actions should be rejected which lead to more negative consequences and fewer positive consequences (http://www.bioethicscourse.info/lecsite/ethicsintro.html).

Thus, from a utilitarian view, you would argue that stealing is wrong because it has more negative consequences than positive. Stealing is not in the best interest of society or the greater number of people, as it would create a chaos if people began to steal from other. Rather, stealing only benefits only one person and if stealing became a society norm, it would harm more people than it would benefit. Negatively, stealing is wrong because of the consequence of harming people and society outweighs any good it does. Positively, being honest and not stealing does the most good to the greater number of people in society as a whole. Therefore, you would probably decide to report your classmate for taking some clothing from the store.

Now let's consider the other three ethical positions:

2. ETHICAL FORMALISM

Kant's theory is an example of ethical formalism. For example, Kant analyzes the acts of so-called "Good Samaritans" to see why they do good things for complete strangers. What matters is whether or not the Good Samaritan is truly, or formally, doing the good thing out of the kindness of their heart -- or whether they expect payment, glory, or the return of a favor. Only if something springs from a desire to do good with no expectation of reward or benefit, can we truly say the "goodness" of an ethic has been achieved. The question then becomes: "Under what circumstances will people sincerely do good with no expectation of benefit?" Kant says the answer is when people are "doing their duty" and the concept of DUTY becomes an important part of ethical formalism, which consists of three components:

1. Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
2. Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, including yourself and others, as an end in itself, and never as a means to an end.
3. Act as if you were a lawmaking member of a kingdom of ends (http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/415/415lect02.htm).

Stealing is universally wrong, and stealing does not meet the criteria of being an end in itself. Rather, it is a self-serving act with the intent being one of personal gain (as opposed to one's duty). From this perspective, you would therefore argue that taking some clothing from the store without paying for the clothing is stealing, and stealing is wrong. It is wrong because the intent of your classmate was one of personal gain, a means to an end (as opposed to doing a good thing out of the kindness of her or his heart) and he also used the store keeper (stole his or her property) as a means to an end.

3. RELIGION

Religion is classified as a duty-based ethical system (deontological). What characterizes deontological ethical methods is this: they simply state that some things are right or wrong.

Therefore, from a religious perspective you would argue that stealing is wrong based on religious precepts and beliefs, such as the Ten Commandments in Christianity, for example. Stealing violates one of the Ten Commandments: Though shall not steal. And it also violates the commandment given by Jesus in the New Testaments: Love your neighbor as yourself. Since your classmate is taking clothing that belongs to the store manager, it is stealing and it is not showing love for his neighbor, from a Christian perspective; therefore, it is wrong. Positively, it is your classmate's duty to do what is right, which is to pay for goods taken from the store and to not steal.

Likewise, in Buddhism, stealing is wrong behavior as it violates the second precept: "I will respect the property of others, I will not steal. - Avoid stealing. Do not take what is not yours to take. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that, which is not given. Live simply and frugally." "Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth" (http://www.gardendigest.com/zen/ten.htm#First).

Therefore, from a religious perspective, you would argue that stealing is inherently wrong behavior; therefore you would confront your classmate and take appropriate corrective measures.

4. NATURAL LAW

Natural law is the notion that there are unchangeable laws of nature which govern us, and that our institutions should try to match this natural law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurisprudence). Stealing is considered universally wrong from this perspective; therefore it is a natural law.

Thus, from this perspective, you would argue that taking clothing from the store was stealing, and stealing is wrong (regardless of the amount), mainly because stealing by nature is inherently and universally wrong; it destroys social relations, ...

Solution Summary

For Scenario 1, this solution explains what a person would do based on different ethical theories: ethical formalism, utilitarianism, religion, and natural law. Then, it compares and contrasts deontological and teleological ethical systems through comparing seven theories and identifying which ethical system each theory reflects (deontological or teleological), including a charts of the different theories.

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